Availability is still the key to satisfaction

Retail Consultancy him! has launched a new delivered tracking programme for the wholesale community – both suppliers and wholesalers focusing on both foodservice and retail, supported by Booker, P H, Nisa and Brakes.

Last month we unveiled some of the key findings from him!’s delivered caterer study, here we take a look at the feedback from 1,000 independent retailers who source goods through a delivered wholesaler.

When we asked retailers why they use a delivered wholesaler they said the main reasons were price, value for money and delivery service. Reasons such as a small minimum order/no minimum order, promotions and convenience did not get mentioned by many. This means that wholesalers are not necessarily providing a “convenient service” in the eyes of their customers.

Customer satisfaction ratings

Overall retailer satisfaction ratings for areas of service such as; availability of products when ordering, ease of ordering, service by telesales and delivery staff, on-time delivery, accuracy of delivery and overall value for money are slightly lower than we would expect. They are also lower compared to those ratings given by caterers who use delivered wholesalers. This can be seen in the table below.

So there is plenty of room for improvement especially when we delve deeper. Retailers told him! that they would like their wholesaler to improve on; product availability, offering a larger range of products to suit the retailer, the wholesalers staff helpfulness and the accuracy of order being delivered.

Wholesale support

How do delivered wholesalers support the retailers business? Only one third of retailers say that their wholesaler has provided them with planogram recommendations, point of sale material, top sellers in selected categories and range advice in the last six months.


Nearly one quarter of retailers interviewed had not brought anything on promotion from their delivered wholesaler in the last five orders. So how do retailers find out about promotions?

Over one third of retailers say that they see promotional leaflets in magazines and also receive direct mail from suppliers. Another 16% said that the telesales team informed them about promotions while they are placing their order.


The role of the PLOF is a very important one as half of all retailers say have a PLOF in front of them when placing an order. So do wholesalers and suppliers make the most of this opportunity to talk to their customers? Well 62% of retailers say that they have received a PLOF with range recommendations and information on top selling products, but only 44% said that the PLOF contains merchandising tips or planograms.

Ordering process

How do retailers order their goods? The majority of retailers place their order by phone – either the customer calling the wholesaler or the wholesalers’ telesales team calling the customer. We mustn’t forget about online ordering as this service is being used by 15% of retailers.


How loyal are independent retailers to their delivered wholesalers? Thirty eight per cent of retailers recognise that their delivered wholesaler offers some form of loyalty scheme. Of customers who said they knew about the loyalty scheme only 81% used it.

It is so important for wholesalers to keep their customers loyal. Over half of those retailers who use a delivered wholesaler told us that they have topped up from a supermarket such at Tesco, Sainsbury’s or Asda in the last four weeks, and 22% of retailers say that they have topped up at a discounter chain such as Aldi, Lidl and Netto. These stores are fulfilling a need. Is it because they are perceived as being more convenient then having to place an order with a delivered wholesaler? Especially when buying fresh or just a few items.


=== Service Satisfaction Ratings Caterer Retailer ===

Availability of products when ordering 8.2 7. 7

Ease of ordering 8.6 8. 1

Service by telesales delivery staff? 8.3 8. 0

On-time delivery? 8.3 7. 9

Accuracy of delivery 8.3 7 .9

Overall value for money 7.8 7.5

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