Bizpare.com, a just launched B2C price comparison website offers the channel a new lead generation opportunity
The new start-up is the brainchild of Jason Blair who has 12 years’ experience in the industry having set-up and sold his own dealership, as well as holding a number of sales roles over the years.
Having worked within the legacy model whereby the OEMs and lease companies ‘sell’ their products and solutions to the channel who then resell to end-users, Blair recognised an opportunity to create something that would help potential customers to compare prices on hardware and make informed business decisions.
“In many cases, the actual product a customer buys depends on which vendor they are speak to,” he said. “Very rarely does the customer have enough information to make a decision based on their actual requirements.”
Blair argues that in typical SMBs, managing the print fleet can be challenging and time consuming. Ensuring best value often requires lots of research and planning which takes time, plus there is a list of features to consider, as well as servicing, consumables replenishment, training staff etc.
“It can be difficult for buyers to know what they should be paying,” Blair added. “When you add leasing charges and settlement figures into the mix, plus service costs, it can be virtually impossible to compare one proposal against another or to fully understand the total cost of ownership.”
He continued: “On the face of it one model may have a lower cost per copy but there may be price increases, additional service costs or lots of different things that will over time, cost more.”
Accurately compare solutions
It was this that prompted Blair to create a solution that would enable end-users without a dedicated procurement team to accurately compare solutions in order to make right decision for them going forward.
Bizpare.com is a group buying website that makes acquiring a new printer or MFP simple. Users can quickly and easily compare products available from a range of manufacturers and resellers. Customers simply input their requirements such as volumes output in colour and mono; functionality – fax, copy, print, scan; additional features such as finishing or duplex etc. online. The system then looks at each vendor and their offer, and provides the best matches against the customer requirements.
Customers can then choose to buy from the dealership or vendor direct or arrange leasing through the bizpare.com online system.
For end-users the potential savings can be significant. Blair says that as bizpare is a group buying website, this enables it to secure discounts to benefit its members. And by using the comparison tool, it takes the legwork out of finding the right device for the business’ requirements, in addition, buying guides help end-users understand the technologies available, ensuring they benefit from the very latest to boost productivity.
How it works for the channel
Dealers have a log in area where they can input all of the pricing information – the list price of each machine, cost per copy, both colour and mono, add-ons such as fax functionality, extra paper trays or finishing options for every machine they stock free of charge. Blair says that this should be the pricing available to bizpare customers as opposed to general pricing.
“By including all of this information, the system is able to work out and calculate the best solutions for individual customers. All of the key information from price increases, service costs, contracts, admin fees, lease prices etc. are presented to the customer, enabling them to make an informed decision.”
While the system today supports hardware transactions, and does allow for multiple machines based in different departments to be compared, Blair said that he is looking to add software solutions at a later stage. “There’s no reason why we can’t do that, building in a solution such as Papercut will be easy to do – but at this initial stage we’re focusing on getting the basics right,” he explained.
It’s free of charge for dealers and manufacturers to list prices and a number have already signed up. “Our first goal is to get national dealers representing all of the major OEMs on board first so we cover the whole market. We’ve had strong interest from day one, with many already signed up and we have a number of meetings in the pipeline,” Blair said.
Bizpare earns a commission on every sale. “When an order comes through we take a percentage of the total deal,” Blair explained, adding: “Alternatively in exchange for a monthly fee, resellers can reduce that percentage, enabling them to become more price competitive with a view to securing more new business.”
Blair argues that many dealers are spending significant money on lead generation and whilst the leads are coming through, there is almost always a further follow up to seal the deal. “With bizpare, the lead is there and it’s been qualified, which has proven to be a major pull for vendors,” he said in conclusion.