PC Expo Show Preview - PC Marketing
The BTO programs generate only one-fourth to one-half the rate of returns as PCs purchased off the shelf, NFM Buyer Warren Raab said. But, he added, "We pay for it in that the margin is not nearly as good for the build to order as it is off the shelf."
Compaq recently added a lot more flexibility to its BTO programs, with more processor and video memory, for example. And yes, BTO shoppers respond to the Compaq brand. But Raab said Compaq's BTO PC margins are substantially lower than that for its off-the-shelf PCs; whereas Proteva's margins can be "good or slightly better than the off-the-shelf systems."
And, he added, "They (Compaq) tend to be on the front end of the curve with price moves--somewhat to the detriment of the product that's on the shelf.