HP offers direct referrals to online resellers

HP Canada has introduced an e-business initiative that aims to connect the firm’s online resellers and retailers with customers looking for buying options via the Internet.

Through a program called Estore2, the partners’ online

storefronts link directly through HP Canada’s Web site, receiving direct referrals each time a customer browses a product page and clicks on a “How to Buy” button, said David Brisson, program manager for Estore2.

Brisson said the initiative has been running in beta phase since mid-August, but it was officially launched last month

In order to participate, partners must be able to guarantee secure online transactions, have a toll-free line available and provide e-mail and phone support. They must train all staff on HP products, and be able to conduct post-sales support, Brisson said.

Resellers must also post a privacy statement and list terms and conditions, he added. Growth targets will be set on a partner-by-partner basis.

Janet Le Mare, imaging and printing systems marketing manager and interim marketing manager for HP’s business customer organization, said the program ties with the Mississauga, Ont.-based firm’s general approach to the channel. “We want to provide incremental value to partners to benefit reseller partners as well as end-user customers,” she said.

London, Ont.-based DirectDial.com’s CEO and managing partner, Greg Bruzas, said he thinks the launch shows HP’s commitment to the channel – unlike that of some other major vendors that went direct or adopted a hybrid sales model.

“Dealers do not really want to partner with guys that are going direct,” Bruzas said. “But in many cases resellers don’t have much of a choice. I’m really happy that HP’s overall direction and methodology for increasing sales is not a direct model.”

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