Mobile access a “natural transition” for the SMB-focused distributor, executive says
You can add D&H Canada to the growing list of distributors who can say “there’s an app for that.”
“We know that our customers aren’t always stationary, they can’t always be sitting around their office to put orders in,” said Greg Tobin, general manager of D&H Canada. “This is a natural transition for us. We’re all about making it easier to do business.”
The app, which debuted in time of the company’s annual technology show last month, allows the company’s resellers to order (including using barcodes or QR codes to find inventory), as well as creating customer watch list to be notified when a product a customer is seeking is available.
Going mobile was particularly important for D&H, Tobin said, because of the nature of the SMB-focused VARs the company tends to work with most. For many of these VARs, the luxury of a purchasing department is still some layers of growth away, and the ability to place an order on the way back from a sales call, or when otherwise out and about, is paramount.
“We see the fact that business is no longer stationary, and that’s just going to keep going,” Tobin said.
And of course, if business is no longer stationary, then sales are no longer stationary either. It’s a fact that’s not lost on D&H, which has proudly maintained its annual technology shows are “old-fashioned selling events” above all else. True to form, the app also focuses on selling. Throughout September, the distributor offered weekly specials for its mobile app users only. And that trend is likely to continue.
“Until we’ve got a sufficient degree of penetration, we’ll continue to incent behavior,” Tobin said.
The app will also work on the Apple iPad, although in an iPhone-sized window on the device. Tobin wouldn’t elaborate on whether native support for the iPad – or any other mobile device or platform – was in the works, but it seems likely that the company would opt to port their applications to other mobile platforms, most notably Android, as well.
“WE looked at all the platforms, adn at this point in time, we feel we’ll get best results from going with the iPhone and iPod Touch out of the gate,” Tobin said.
Custom e-commerce apps are rapidly gaining adoption in the market. Synnex was among the pioneers of app development in distribution, both offering its own app for VARs to use and doing custom development on behalf of its partners. Tech Data also rolled out its own app in Canada earlier this year.
The D&H app is available now on the iTunes App Store.