Benefits - Small local shops or nationwide chains which offer a lot of locations to purchase products. Has employees that are knowledgeable about various computer products helping you know fulfill your needs. Some stores may offer classes and training sessions, answer questions, provide technical support and repair hardware products. The best marketing channel for buyers who are going to need help with purchasing products.
Limitations - Can be an expensive channel when it comes to buying hardware and software. This raise in prices comes from them purchasing the products from distributors and all the things they do to help you get what you need when you are there at the location.
Benefits - Offer low prices and are the best source for purchasers not in need of help.
Limitations - Might provide limited service and support to unexperienced purchasers.
Benefits - Targets large corporate or educational customers so that large amounts of sales can cover the cost of sales representatives and commissions. Allows web-based direct sales to individuals which allows custom building of products to fit your needs. Cuts the cost of dealing with a retailer creating more profit on units sold.
Limitations - Manufacturer must provide customers with technical support. Can be costly hiring large numbers of technical support people.
Benefits - Often the only source for specialized computer systems. Offers complete hardware and software packaging for purchasers. VAR's have great expertise in ensuring that the hardware and software you are looking to purchase will work for you.
Limitations - Charge for their expertise. Without them you'd have to buy computer components piece by piece but they are the most expensive channel.