A recent report states that plumbers still play a vital role in advising their customers on which products to buy. The survey found that 74% of customers will ask plumbers for advice when choosing a product, with 80% of plumbers reporting that customers like help with their interior design ideas.
Of course, to anyone in the trade, these findings come as no surprise. Despite living in an increasingly digital world, people still turn to people they know and trust when it comes to making decisions.
However, with such demand on plumbers to research the market and find out about products, trends and compliance issues, merchants must do all they can to support their key customers – the plumbers themselves. And to do this, retailers must engage with plumbers instore and online.
Top tips to help merchants engage and inform plumbers:
- Understand your customer. Understanding and satisfying customers is the key to delivering excellent service and generating repeat business. As such, the more you know about your plumber customers, the easier it is to give them what they need. If you haven’t already done so, spend some time figuring out the wants, needs, and motivations of your customers and use this knowledge to inform all your merchandising decisions.
- Maximise your visual merchandising. Use visual merchandising in store to give your customers the opportunity to learn about new products. This won’t only give them the information they need to advise their customers, it could also result in higher sales. Find out more about how to maximise your visual merchandising here.
- Be current. At certain times of the year, certain products may be in higher demand than others. For example, spring remains a popular time for homeowners to look at home improvements such as a new bathroom. Consider promoting and prioritising seasonally relevant items to help maximise sales and provide your installer customers with what they need.
- Get online. For today’s retailers, your offline presence no longer exists in isolation. Consider your own buying habits for example. You might see something in a magazine, go online to find out more, and ask your friends their opinion on a potential purchase; all before visiting a store to take a look at the product for yourself. Savvy retailers understand that this trend is becoming increasingly common, not only for consumers, but also for business buyers. To stay ahead in this game, it’s vital to become ‘multi-channel’.
- Be social. Social media is more than just another way to get your business in front of its customers. It also lets you communicate with them, sharing advice, product info and trends. Don’t think about social media as a way to shout about what you do. Instead, think about how you can use it to give your customers the information they need. Find out more about how merchants can make the most of their social media activity here.
- Use your website to help your customers. Whether installers are looking for a particular product, hoping to solve a problem, source new information, or looking for the best possible price, your website is fast becoming their first port of call. However, while online channels provide customers with the information they need to guide their buying decisions, your website must help them to find this in as little time as possible. Find out how to maximise your merchant website here.
Ultimately, by arming plumbers with the information they need to make informed decisions and, in turn, to support consumers, you’ll not only succeed in creating more satisfied customers, you’ll also give your business a boost in the process. That’s what we call a win-win-win.