Availability is key for delivered customers

T he number one improvement that retailers want to see their delivered wholesalers make is on product availability. This information comes from him! research amp; consulting, as it exclusively unveils feedback from retailers about their delivered wholesalers.

The company has just spoken to 1,000 retailers who use delivered wholesalers, throughout the UK.

The chart (right) shows the top five ways in which retailers would like their delivered wholesalers to improve their service to them in the future (other than price).

On average, retailers are rating their delivered wholesalers’ availability of products at 7.7 out of 10. When him! asked retailers how many times, in the last five orders, their order had turned up with items missing or crossed off, retailers said that, on average, nearly two orders out of five had items missing. Clearly there is room for improvement.

In some cases, out of stocks are unavoidable. But could the telesales team help to reduce the annoyance factor by calling customers back to make them aware that certain items are out of stock and provide the retailer with the opportunity to order an alternative product?

Range of products is the second improvement that retailers want to see from their delivered wholesalers. Convenience shoppers tell him! they want more new products (NPD) and more premium ranges in convenience stores. Retailers say stocking more NPD is how they plan to grow their sales over the next 12 months (and it’s more important that finding cheaper prices!).

Retailers have started selling, on average, 10 new products in the last three months. It is a ‘well-known brand’ and ‘cheap price for me’ which influences whether a new product gets on the shopping list. Brand owners need to consider running bigger and better ‘Ra-Ra’ days to encourage telesales to up-sell NPD and promotions.

Leaflets are still a very effective way of promoting NPD to retailers, they get the greatest cut-through with 64% saying they recalled seeing a wholesaler leaflet in the last three months.

The third improvement retailers would like to see from their delivered wholesaler is having a loyalty bonus/discount.

On average retailers are ordering from their main delivered wholesaler 1.7 times a week. They also say they are sourcing products from elsewhere (including cash and carries) less frequently.

We can create loyalty in other ways if retailers are ordering products regularly then the telesales team should be building up a rapport with them and should be suggesting products which they feel might be appropriate for them. Also they should be calling them to inform them about special promotions which are relevant to them.

The role of a delivered wholesaler’s telesales team is critical to its success as it can influence purchase and keep retailers returning.

Web usage is also growing 30% of retailers visit their delivered wholesaler’s website more than once a week. Wholesalers can maximise this platform by having areas on their website dedicated to providing information such as top sellers and ideas for growing sales.

Retailers would also like to see promotions on a wider range of products. The majority make a shopping list before placing an order with their delivered wholesaler, but only half say they stick to the list. Price and promotions influence what goes on the list.

Retailers tell him! that convenience or ‘being convenient’ is still the major driver for them to use a delivered wholesaler over a cash and carry. But being convenient can mean many things such as retailers not having to take time out of their business to go to a cash and carry. Perhaps they don’t have a large van or feel they could save on petrol by getting everything delivered?

Delivered wholesale needs to be hassle free in every respect that means everything from the ordering process to the delivery of the goods.

Finally, suppliers should work with delivered wholesalers to ensure they are helping retailers to give better service standards.

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