Scag names new distributor in Canada

HMI Performance Incentives recently released a market research report asking contractors in a variety of industries including landscaping about their key buying preferences and loyalty factors.

The largest proportion (just under 50%) of respondents were from small businesses with annual sales of less than $ 1 million, and the vast majority of them (78%) claimed to be the owner or president of their company.

From the report:

Every retailer doing business today should be aware of channel erosion, the decay of the traditional distribution channel from the manufacturer to the retailer to the end user. Landscape architects said they regularly shop at multiple vendors, an average of 3.21 vendors, slightly less than the overall survey average of 3.5.

By and large, landscapers still buy most of their supplies from dealers, but certainly not all. Around 70% of them stated that they had bought at least three quarters of their product from retailers. Around 76% of them buy up to a quarter of their product through retailers and around 57% buy up to half of their product through manufacturers.

But when it comes to electronic purchasing, landscapers are still waiting for their time. Around 41% of respondents said they did not buy any of their products through purely online companies like Amazon, and around 55% said they only used online companies, but only up to a quarter of the time.

In general, smaller companies tend to change the way they do business or adopt new technology, a little more slowly. Big changes, like integrating a full e-commerce platform, require resources that smaller businesses often don’t have. So it is hardly surprising that the landscape gardeners surveyed here stated that they were largely disinterested in the sales mechanisms of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

When asked about their ecommerce purchasing preferences, about 43% said they didn’t shop electronically at all, while about 35% said they preferred to use a retailer’s or distributor’s website.

What keeps landscapers loyal to?

According to the results of the study, landscapers generally remain traditional in entering the digital age – but that doesn’t mean their distributors don’t have to keep their customers’ buying preferences in mind. Retailers, manufacturers, and even occasionally just online stores are pushing into the traditional distribution arena. So knowing what your buyers want from you is important.

Part of it is figuring out what will instill the strongest sense of loyalty in them. When asked which factors they have made loyal to their sales partners, landscape gardeners come across some common elements: product availability, technical know-how and a good relationship with the sales partner’s managerial office staff.

For more insights into contractor buying preferences, see the HMI Performance Incentives market research report. Download the full report here.

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