Report: What Resellers Want in Mobile Receipt Printers


Have you ever wondered what your peers value in the products they choose to resell?

Epson recently commissioned BlueStar to survey a curated group of partners that resell mobile receipt printers.

They wanted to better understand what VARs valued about the category and what VARs know about the preferences of their end user customers. The respondents, primarily composed of VAR/Resellers (82%), provided a wealth of information that can help shape the market and improve product offerings.

Respondent Company Types

The majority of respondents (48) identified as VAR/Resellers, with a smaller representation from Integrators (3), ISVs (2), and other categories (5). This diverse group offers a broad perspective on the industry’s needs and trends.

Breakdown by Job Function

The respondents hold various roles within their organizations, with titles like VP of Sales, Account Manager, and Business Development being the most common. These roles highlight the respondents' direct involvement in sales and customer interactions, providing a frontline view of market demands.


Annual Sales Volume: Mobile Receipt Printers

To get a better idea of who we were hearing form, we asked "What is the total number of mobile receipt printers your organization sells or leases annually?"


What are the Top 3 Reasons End Customers Change Brands?

We started by asking resellers of mobile receipt printers what they thought led to end customers moving from one brand to another. Respondents were limited to only three responses.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, lower cost and product availability ranked number one and two respectively. Resellers perceived that end customers don't want to pay a premium, and they want the product that is readily available.

In contrast, product reliability ranked third with half of the respondents including it in their top 3.


There is a classic saying that goes: you can have anything fast (availability), cheap (cost), and good (reliable)—but you can only pick two, which may be applicable here.

As a trusted technology advisor, spend the time to sell the brands you believe in, with an emphasis on reliability and brand reputation to increase your margin and total deal size. Also worth noting is that word of mouth (recommendation from a trusted advisor) is also quite important. It could be helpful to arm your sales team with battle cards and testimonials from other customers sharing their experiences with the brands you offer when selling products with higher price points.

OK—So What Matters to the Resellers?

Next we asked resellers, "What are the critical requirements for you to consider adding a new manufacturer supplier?" In this case, we allowed respondents to choose up to five answers.


We found it interesting that competitive pricing ranked so much higher than favorable profit margin. 

It's admirable, perhaps, that reseller organizations are prioritizing end-customer desires (low cost) over their own well-being (profitability), but it does beg the question: why?

Do resellers view mobile receipt printers a a commodity product with little differentiation, and as a result, they're willing to "race to the bottom" to close the business? Or, are they under-educated on how to value-sell in this category? Maybe they see mobile receipt printing as a means to sell higher-margin solutions such as integration services, and post-sales support/service.

The relatively high marks for reliability/quality, vendor support, and superior technology and innovation seem to indicate the performance matters—so we'll suggest that reseller sales and business development teams would benefit from access to product marketing content such as case studies, customer testimonials, and benefit statements to help drive higher quality deals.



How are Mobile Receipt Printers Being Used?

In an effort to determine whose hands these products are ending up in and how they're being utilized, we asked respondents to choose the top five ways their end customers are utilizing mobile receipt printers.

The Top 5 Use Cases


The Full Results



Digging in to the Features: Which Ones Matter the Most?

Next, we took twelve common mobile receipt printing features and asked respondents to rank the entire set in order of importance. The features with the highest cumulative scores had the highest average position in the ranking.

Versatility in connectivity options—offering both WiFi and Bluetooth—as well as ease of setup, ruggedness, and shift longevity features (battery life, swappable batteries) won out.

Seemingly, features that were paper size related rank a bit lower, and mounting accessories/options seem to be an afterthought.

This made us wonder—are salespeople asking about how the warehouse, delivery, and field service associates will use the product? It seems logical that further education and training on mobile receipt printer accessories such as cases and mounts could result in additional revenue for VAR and manufacturer organizations a like.


Key Takeaways

  • Cost sensitivity is high for this product category, which can be a sign of commoditization. Manufacturers should work to stand out in some obvious and own-able way—this could be aesthetics, level of support, or product innovation. Resellers should think about a total mobile receipt printing offering, inclusive of accessories such as cases, mounts, and media as well as post-sale support and training to increase deal size and margin quality.

  • Reliability is valued highly as is word of mouth and product recommendations from trusted advisors. It's tough to convince a buyer to take a chance on an unfamiliar brand, so resellers and vendors alike should equip their sales teams with sales enablement materials—case studies, video testimonials, quotes and references from high-trust end-users to aid in the sales process.

  • Respondents told us that vendor support and innovation do matter—which means that brand matters. Resellers should arm their teams with product knowledge that enables them to value sell the products that innovate from a feature standpoint and excel in reliability and support.  A strong grasp on the pros and cons of products at varying price points will help protect margin.
James Korte
James is the Director of Marketing at BlueStar, having worked in professional sports and advertising previously. He's also a jiu-jitsu practitioner, videographer, and Dad to three boys.

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