Gartner Research

User Survey Analysis: SMB Channel Preferences and Behavior, Western Europe, 2008

Published: 27 August 2008

ID: G00160337

Analyst(s): Robert Anderson , Joslyn Faust


Small and midsize businesses in Western Europe use a variety of sales channels to purchase technology. This report identifies key IT channel selection criteria, as well as the buying behaviors that motivate the SMB market in the region.

Table Of Contents
  • Western European SMB IT Channel Selection Guide
    • Pricing of Products Ranks Higher Than Any Other Channel Criterion
    • Quality of Postsales Support Is Also Very Important
    • Existing Relationships Count
    • Vertical/Industry Knowledge Ranked Low as a Selection Criterion but Plays Prominently Regardless
    • Top Two IT Selection Criteria Are the Same in Western Europe
  • SMBs Use a Variety of Channels to Purchase Technology
    • Direct From Manufacturer Is Still the Most Widely Used SMB Channel
    • Software Developers and VARs Are Also Important Channels for the SMB Market
    • Retailers, Integrators and Service Providers Individually Represent Significantly Smaller Amounts of SMB IT Budgets
  • Primary SMB Channels Also Vary by Company Size
  • Channel Preferences Vary by Technology
    • Software Developers Are Used for Software and Business Applications and Security Software
    • VARs Are Used for More Integrated Offerings and Solutions
    • Network Service Providers Expanding Their Portfolios

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