Wholesaler availability “critical” new him! research finds

Huge opportunities exist in exploiting mobile and click and collect, him! Research’s Ed Sibley told the FWD Conference as he unveiled the company’s latest research last week.

The research, conducted among 10,000 foodservice and retail customers, revealed the changes in route to market over the past year, and what motivated customers to buy.

“Ease of order is becoming more important for both retailers and foodservice operators,” he said. “The good news is that wholesalers are getting better – telesales operators, for example don’t just take orders, they offer information, help and support. But there are opportunities for growth – 28% of retailers would like to get promotional information via mobile apps, with the figure rising to almost 50% for symbol customers in London.”

One of the most critical issues was availability – and certain categories were “at risk”.

“Availability is crucial in the wholesale ‘power categories’ – the things people visit a wholesaler for, such as tobacco, soft drinks, confectionery , snacks and alcohol.”

Almost two-thirds (63%) of tobacco retailers would go elsewhere if the brands they needed were unavailable, he pointed out, adding that in foodservice, 63% of operators would use another wholesaler if a particular beer they wanted was out of stock.

“There are huge opportunities to increase customer loyalty and recommendation if availability, value, good advice and [in delivered]accuracy are improved,” he concluded. “Get these things right, shout about it, and your customers will keep coming back.”

•We’ll have more on him!’s new research in the August issue of Wholesale News.

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