Amazon Aims To Compete With ADI and Anixter

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Jun 01, 2015

The ambition of Amazon has no end.

Recently, we explained how Amazon has gotten into the security installation business which generated strong debate and concern.

At the same time, Amazon is also expanding into commercial distribution.

How much of a threat to traditional security distributors? In this note, we examine Amazon Business, based on multiple discussions with Amazon representatives, examining the details of the offering and how it compares to ADI and Anixter.

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Security *********

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Discounts *******

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Credit *****

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Phone *******

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End ***** ********

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Comments (12)

Like any online store, Amazon is great if you know exactly what you want, but where traditional wholesalers have the advantage is their knowledgable sales staff. OK, I know how sarcasistic that sounds, but there is always that one person at ADI and maybe two at Tri-Ed who have worked their long enough to offer advice. Imagine calling (emailing?) Amazon and asking what device you need to allow you to power a 30watt PTZ camera over 400m away? Or asking what credentials are compatible with a specific access control unit.

Now if Amazon creates a "systems group" that can answer the phone and answer these questions and commits to it long-term, they could really hurt traditional distributors.

So call Anixter, ADI or Tri-Ed to get info and then buy on Amazon? I am thinking that is what will happen if the prices are lower on Amazon.

I've tried emailing ADI. Got crickets. I take it they answer their email for some people?

Rodney, who'd you email at ADI? ADI's pretty big.

I went to the web site and found my local office and called and emailed
them asking about what it takes to set up an account. I go through this
exercise every time someone asks me to find things on the street. I
keep finding more and more online operations so unless one of these old
smokestack distributors figures out to talk to me it don't happen.

I already use Amazon for quick one off items or items where distribution lead times are too long. I can get guaranteed arrival dates, tracking info, and quick pricing on Amazon much easier than any other distributor. Ingram Micro is nearly as good, but eAnixter and ADI's portal and communication of tracking info leave a lot to be desired. There is a lot of catching up that needs to be done to compete in the Internet era by these two. The RMA process with Amazon is very simple as well. No need to wait a week for an RMA, just request it online. As stated in the article, the downside is that there is no real customer service at Amazon... They truly just push boxes out the door. If you know exactly what you want it is not too bad of deal, as long as it is ordered from Amazon or "fulfilled by Amazon" stores.

Its the relationship that counts- I have a particular distributor who knows me like a book, and knows where not to "tread" as not to aggravate me. I like the relationship because it makes doing business easier, and the product knowledge really helps...I am talking about when a camera has a certain power requirement or something special that only training or hands on experience would provide to my distributor. I have also been offered better alternatives by my distributor when I order stuff, whether it be in price or quality.

We have signed up to distribute products through Amazon Business with our Amcrest brand (Dahua OEM). Regarding the technical support issue, if customers have questions we find they will often find our direct website, call us, ask questions and then place the order directly on Amazon.

From the customer's viewpoint they are eager to purchase from Amazon directly as they are assured short lead times, guaranteed arrival info, tracking and ofcourse best pricing and no-questions asked return policy.

Adam, good feedback.

How do you deal / handle volume discounts? Let's say someone wants to buy 100 cameras or has bought 1000 cameras so far this year, how do they get lower prices?

John,

The way we have set it up right now is that business customers get a different (lower) price than regular customers. Currently its set at a flat price of around 15-20% off the current retail depending on the SKU.

If a customer wants to place a much larger order such as 100 or 1000pcs and needs a further discount, they would usually call us directly to place the order and request the discount. In such case we would prefer to sell to them directly rather than through Amazon in order to save Amazon selling fees on such a large order.

However, if the customer insisted to purchase through Amazon, we would essentially setup a discount code for the customer which would provide the additional funds off the final purchase price.

From what we see currently (only been live about 2 weeks), customers are not purchasing hundreds of systems or cameras directly on Amazon. Those type of customers will usually call us directly to discuss their particular situation.

Really? Amazon is still listed as an unauthorized distributor by Hikvision as of 6/12/2015.

Yes, it appears that there are a lot of re-sellers buying Hikvision cameras from China selling them on Amazon. This creates many issues for Hikvision USA, both on the channel and support side.

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