That's a great question!
I work as part of the retail channel, for some suppliers. I noticed a common thing:
- They all started promoting the retail channel, offering great support, focusing entirely on their partners!
But now, most of them are also selling directly to the end client! This is mainly because of the results theirs partners are getting, when the results drop, they try to survive and so they think of selling directly!
As a partner, I can tell you that it's not good to know that now they are selling directly! I felt betrayed!
But from the business point of view, I can totally understand their (and yours) dilema!
It's a hard decision to make, and you have to think very well about it! My suggestion:
- If you have several products/services, try to see your partners feedback by selling directly only part of the products/services you have. And start with the less profitable ones, so they don't feel threatened! This way you can measure their reaction and see if you should continue or not.
Keep me posted on your decision and results!