Projector vendor InFocus will start to sell direct to European customers in the second half of 2000 when it launches an online store through its UK Web site, due to go live in May.
The vendor has also launched the LP335 projector for the home cinema/DVD market, as well as the traditional business user. InFocus bought close rival ASK Proxima last month.
According to Bill Yavorsky, vice-president for worldwide sales and marketing at InFocus, the company is going direct to "answer any questions customers have about InFocus's products and to raise general awareness about the projector market".
Yavorsky said he expects about one per cent of the company's EMEA sales to come through the online site within the first year, rising to four per cent within 18 months.
Tony Bicknell, adviser at analyst Decision Tree Consulting, said the Web is a significant route to market for projector vendors as they attempt to educate users about future products.
He said: "Projector manufacturers can do a better job of utilising the Web than the channel. A large proportion of the business community still does not know a lot about projector technology and what it can do for them. Selling through the Web is a way to address that ignorance."
InFocus's Web site will also include a reseller resource centre that will give the channel access to behind-the-scenes real-time information, as well as marketing material, Yavorsky said. The manufacturer is also rolling out a Business Class reseller programme through distributor Ingram Micro to educate its channel partners about projector technology. It also sells via Steljes.
The LP335 will be available to InFocus's specialist audio/video dealers and PC resellers this month. The ultraportable projector weighs 4.8lb, features digital and analogue connectivity and HDTV compatibility, and uses digital light processing technology. It can also be attached to the next generation of digital notebooks.
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