Simply, Elonex embrace Web sales

The trickle of vendors attempting to sell online is in danger of becoming a flood.

UK direct seller Simply Computers is the latest to make the dive, following Dell's high-profile splash last month. The fast growing London-based company will kick off Web selling in the middle of July and says it will make all the 5,000-plus products it carries in its catalogues available for ordering over the Web.

"We think people are getting the confidence in the Web to buy online," said Barry Harding, electronic commerce manager for Simply. "We believe everyone will need to have a selling presence on the Web."

However, Harding is not expecting a radical change in buying patterns. "Buyers aren't ready to make big purchases over the Net. We want to slowly nurture the market. A lot of buyers will browse the catalogue online then order over the phone," he said.

Fellow UK PC vendor Elonex is also gearing up for an imminent launch into Net selling after a good experience selling a single configuration over the Web.

"We started last week with a 'Best Buy' system, really as a taster," said Demetre Cheras, marketing director for the north London firm. "We sold quite a few even without making a big noise about it; it was a nice surprise." Elonex is preparing the ground for a major online commerce announcement to be made later this month.