Ordering traditionally still most important; online ordering the highest in the Netherlands and Germany
The traditional specialised wholesale is still the most used channel by European HVAC installers and plumbers, but besides omnichannel developments (direct from manufacturer, online stores etc) the way of ordering at the wholesale is undergoing changes as well. This is one of the results of the Q3 2017 report of the European Mechanical Installation Monitor, theme: "Purchase Channels." USP Marketing Consultancy has investigated which purchase channels (pure online, specialised wholesale, DIY stores, and so on) are used by the European HVAC installers & plumbers and what share of wallet each channel has. The results of this research of USP Marketing Consultancy are based on 1,200 successful interviews with HVAC installers & plumbers in six European countries.
Way of ordering at the traditional specialised wholesale
In Germany, Poland, France, Belgium and the Netherlands, almost all HVAC installers and plumbers buy at the traditional specialised wholesale. The share of wallet spend there is also significant (above 70%). Besides analysing the share of wallet per channel, USP Marketing Consultancy also investigated the way of ordering. In this case, we focus at the way of ordering at the traditional specialised wholesale because it is still the most important channel used.
Traditional ordering in the UK, France and Poland
When ordering at the traditional specialised wholesale, 92% of the purchases at this channel are done traditionally (via telephone, fax, at the counter in the store, via the sales representative, e-mail etc.). About 88% of the purchases at the traditional specialised wholesale in Poland and France are ordered traditionally. This means that only a minority of the purchases are ordered online via the web shop or web platform of the wholesaler.
Online ordering in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium
In the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium online ordering has already reached a significant share. About half of the purchases at the traditional specialised wholesale in the Netherlands are done online. For Germany, this is 41% and for Belgium - 24%.
It is clear that ordering traditionally at the specialised wholesale is still most important. Online ordering at the specialised installation wholesale has already reached a significant share in countries like the Netherlands and Germany. One of the reasons that online ordering at the specialised wholesale is so developed in the Netherlands has to do with the fact that the largest wholesaler, the Technische Unie, has a strong focus and dedication to their online ordering operation. There are countries, like the UK and France, where online ordering hasn’t developed yet. It is very important to keep following the developments in the way of ordering, because changes in the ordering behaviour will have significant consequences for the role of the wholesale. If installers, like in the Netherlands, order their products via the online shops of the wholesale, there will be far less personal contact and opportunity for the wholesalers to promote and push certain products.
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