Web site fails to pull channel business online

Weak reception for zygonet.com

zygonet.com, the on-line market for PC equipment, has received a lukewarm response from the channel despite claims that huge numbers of dealers and distributors are using the service. The company claims that over half of the UK’s distributors have joined the free Web site since its January launch, with dealers placing potential orders for around £10 million of kit through the service. The site will be free until 30 April and will then cost distributors £995 and dealers £695 annually. Few of those contacted by The Register said they would continue to use the site when they had to pay and said they would want to see how the service develops over time. Peter Rigby, CHS Electronics marketing and communications director, was sceptical about bidding for business on the site. "Distributors are pitching blind. It gets rid of the ability to price customers individually, and we could find ourselves undercutting one of our big resellers. We don’t feel the need to use zygonet.com." Paresh Pau, director at London-based distributor Technoworld, described the whole process as "quite tedious." He added: "I would need a bit more convincing to make it worth the fee." In the face of such criticism, Andrew Jenkins, zygonet.com sales director, remained upbeat. "The trial phase went really well. People were getting between five and 55 quotes per item posted. Savings of between five and 30 per cent were not uncommon," he said. Jenkins was unsure why some distributors were not using the site. However, he admitted that distributor quotes could take days to come through, adding that the Web site was more ideally suited to dealers selling to consumers. ®

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