Distributor Tech Data has announced the launch of SMB.techdata.com, a new website specifically designed for its SMB customers, and which has a consumer-focused feel and a high degree of user personalization. At launch, it is available only to partners in the U.S., but is likely to be available in Canada later this year.
“What we decided to do was make a focused website for the SMB market through TDSMB to serve our – customers in that space, and we decided to do something completely different,” said Phil Filippelli, vice president, E-Business at Tech Data. “We looked at different websites and no one else did this responsive design pattern. We saw this as a huge opportunity for us.”
Filipelli said that before, resellers could get the info on td.com to a certain degree, or from the distributor’s sales team, but that the information is presented here in a more user-friendly manner.
“Everyone goes to techdata.com, so it struggles to be personalized, and we felt we needed to go in a different direction,” Filipelli said. “We are able to offer B2C type functionality with a very responsive design.”
This begins with a customizable dashboard design.
“It moves information around on the screen so what you are looking for moves to above the fold,’ Filipelli said. “Mobile devices will also have this same look and feel.”
“There are extensive customization offers – including the home page – through plug-in architecture, so the most relevant information to them is displayed in the forefront,” said Erin O’Donnell, e-Business Specialist at Tech Data.
Live chat is another feature of the site.
“Once you log in, we offer chat directly, and the chat is direct interaction with our sales team,” Filipelli said.
“We feel we are getting really good traction of the chat feature, especially since the chat reps are the same team that supports the customers,” O’Donnell.. “We have been getting really good feedback on the chat feature.”
Another feature that Tech Data expects will please solution providers is the system being used for open monitoring.
“We are using new technology that we think is a game changer to track open orders,” Filipelli said. “Tracking open orders will be a key differentiator for us. No distributor we have seen is doing this. There has always been some frustration among resellers with the way this used to be done. Now this system provides them with information faster than their salesperson would be able to.”
“The system gives them everything on tracking status before it gets to final delivery,” O’Donnell said. “If there is incomplete information, we give that kind of alert, or if something went on back order so will be delayed. These are the kind of events we alert them to, as well as things like the estimated ship date.
The monitoring system’s features are also scheduled to be expanded.
“An advance later on this year will take in delivery confirmations from shipping vendors so the resellers will be able to see it all here,” Filipelli said.
Other noteworthy features are a separate section for top promos, as well as a What’s Selling plug–in that shows by category what’s selling the most right now.
“Like Amazon, we also have a ‘customers who bought this also bought’ feature” Filipelli said. “It alerts the reseller to accessories, and it means the average order size is bigger than on techdata.com. This kind of feature is especially important for SMBs, who are often smaller companies who may be on the phone with their customer and can ask them about accessories.”
In addition to the new website, TDSMB is also introducing some new services for SMBs, and a new loyalty program.
The three new services are entirely new in their structure, Filipelli said. Ambassador Services are designed to onboard and educate solution providers on how best to leverage Tech Data to grow their business. They create detailed account profiles and align the partner with the appropriate Tech Data sales team. Sales Services assign solution providers a personalized sales structure, including a well-trained team that complements their business’s market niche and technology offerings. Finally Financial Services provide flexible credit options for SMB solution providers with dedicated programs geared toward their individual needs.
The new loyalty program is TDLoyalty, the first such program Tech Data has designed exclusively for SMB resellers. It is point-based and has three levels—Advantage, Choice, and Preferred—based on total web sales for the year. Participating solution providers earn points by purchasing eligible products through SMB.techdata.com and can stack points to purchase items from a catalog of more than 10,000 items.
“The more you buy, the more points you get,” Filipelli said. “The points are awarded based on the SMB reseller account, but the reseller can give the points to different employees.”
SMB.techdata.com is not yet available in Canada, but it is coming.
“They are on the roadmap, and it should be later this year,” Filipelli said.