Traditional wholesalers are still going strong

The traditional wholesale channel is still able to retain its strong position in the electrical installation market. Almost all European electrical installers make use of this channel in order to buy their products. This makes up for over 80 percent of their total spending. Looking at the share of online ordering, the European average lies just over a quarter. In the latest edition of the European Electrical Installation Monitor, USP Marketing Consultancy provides full insights in the usage of, and attitude of electrical installers towards, different purchase channels. The research, covering 7 European countries (Germany, France, UK, Spain, Poland, The Netherlands and Belgium), is based on 952 telephone interviews with electrical installers.

Large majority of electrical installers keeps buying at traditional wholesale
Compared to 2 years ago, the share of European electrical installers buying at the traditional specialized wholesale increased and is close to the entire installer population. For all countries the importance of the traditional wholesale is underlined by shares of over 90%. Spain makes up the lowest share of installers buying through this channel, while in the UK 99% of the electrical installers buy here.

Also the share of wallet for the specialized traditional channel is marked by a European increase compared to 2 years ago (+6%). 

Online focus in way of ordering differs between countries
Over a quarter of the European purchases at specialized wholesalers are done through online ordering. There is quite a country difference in the way products are bought at the specialized wholesaler. Online focus is high in the Netherlands and also in Germany and Poland. In the UK, on the other hand, the share which is ordered online is relatively low and traditional ways of buying are more common.

Expected big shift in purchase behaviour not present yet

Instead of a decreasing role for the traditional specialized installation wholesale, our research shows that the traditional channel remains strong. Two years ago, a strong growth of channels like pure online and direct through the manufacturer were foreseen. Although these two channels are on the rise in terms of share of installers buying there, the share of wallet remains quite steady on a relatively low level. It will be interesting to see how this develops as traditional channels try to keep up with benefits of new channels and the other way around.