IDC Study Confirms There Is Opportunity to Sell Peripherals and Their Supplies Online

FRAMINGHAM, MA – AUGUST 16, 2000 – According to a recent IDC survey, there is opportunity to sell peripherals over the Internet. While business and consumer respondents both demonstrated interest in buying printers, multifunction peripherals (MFPs), and their supplies, online, opportunity appears to be largest for printers and supplies. Approximately 30% of respondents to IDC’s survey said they were likely to purchase a printer via the Web this year, compared to less than 15% who said they would buy MFPs.


IDC’s survey also revealed that printers and MFPs with speeds under 12 pages per minute are more likely to be purchased via the Web than faster devices.

"There is reason to feel optimistic about the opportunity to sell peripherals over the Internet," said Angele Boyd, vice president of IDC’s Peripherals research. "Vendors wondering if they should use the Web as a channel and how they should do so should consider following the successes of other industries such as books and airline tickets."

According to IDC, experience with the brand or product and the ability to talk with someone at the Web site are the most important considerations impacting online purchases of printers and MFPs.

IDC’s household respondents indicated they would be more comfortable purchasing peripherals from the manufacturer’s or traditional reseller’s Web site. "Probably because familiarity breeds a sense of security, household respondents strongly prefer the Web site be the vendor’s or a traditional reseller’s," Boyd said. "Use of dot-com-only resellers to reach this audience has some risk as respondents seem less comfortable with this type of site."

Before manufacturers start selling peripherals online from their own sites, however, IDC cautions they need to carefully evaluate the costs. "Many vendors underestimate the costs of getting closer to customers," Boyd said. "Those costs not only include Web site development and maintenance, and traffic creation, but also the costs of losing channel partners."

IDC surveyed 600 users in the United States, 17 channel partners, and 4 vendors. Complete survey results are published in IDC's new report The Internet as a Distribution Channel for Peripherals: A User, Channel, and Vendor Analysis (U.S.). The report analyzes the opportunity for Internet sales of printers, MFPs, and their associated supplies and forecasts the opportunity by device type. Results are segmented by households, businesses with less than 100 employees, and businesses with 100 or more employees. Additionally, the report suggests how peripheral vendors can manage channel conflict, based on primary research with the channel and vendors.

To purchase the report, please contact Patrick Steeves at 1-800-343-4952 extension 4549.

About IDC

IDC delivers dependable, high-impact insights and advice on the future of ebusiness, the Internet, and technology to help organizations make sound business decisions. IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends and analyzes business strategies, technologies, and vendors, using a combination of rigorous primary research and in-depth competitive analysis. IDC provides global research with local content through more than 600 analysts in 43 countries worldwide. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.

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