Rise of online ordering calls for adaptability specialized installation wholesale

Being the dominant player in the electrical installation market, the specialized wholesale constantly needs to adapt to changing market situations. The rise of online ordering is one of them. Wholesalers constantly need to adjust their business model in order to keep up with increasing competition from other online players. Looking at the purchase behaviour of electrical installers, which is the topic of the European Electrical Installation Monitor Q4 2019, we see that these other online players already have a proper foothold.

Competition from pure online channels differs per country

Online competition for the specialized wholesale mainly comes from channels specialized in selling their products via the internet. Looking at the share of electrical installers making use of these channels, based on the European Electrical Installation Monitor Q4 2019, there is a clear difference between countries. In France adoption of these channels is still limited, while three out of four electrical installers in the UK already have experience in buying there. Also in The Netherlands and Germany more than half of the electrical installers already buy at pure online shops.

Competition expected on time and delivery

For electrical installers the most important reasons to buy through pure online channels are price, the availability of niche products, time-saving and fast delivery. Especially regarding the last two buying reasons, competition between the specialized wholesale and pure online channels will become increasingly interesting. They are most likely to be improved towards an optimum for both channels.

Part of the installers loyal to specialized wholesale

Traditionally the specialized wholesale is the most important channel, having strong customer relations. Electrical installers in each country  mention loyalty to be the most important reason NOT to switch towards pure online channels. In Belgium and France 7 out of 10 installers mention this to be a the reason. In the other countries loyalty plays a role for between 20 and 40% of the installers.  

The group of loyal installers could be considered the most save customers for the wholesale. They are less likely to switch based only on for example price, as long as they feel that in the end the wholesale benefits transcend those of other channels.  This also leads to the conclusion that a fair share of the installers are more open to change in their purchase behaviour. For more detailed information we refer you to the European Electrical Installation Monitor Q4 2019