Trade showrooms are shedding old-fashioned stereotypes

Published:  26 May, 2016

Trade showrooms still play a vital role in the decision making process and are breaking down old stereotypes in a bid to attract a harder to please younger audience, a new study from Origin reveals.

The research found that 71% of those interviewed would visit more than one showroom before making any final purchase decision, so the trade has to be at the top of its game to achieve that all-important sale.

Overall satisfaction scores averaged just 6 out of 10, and 16% of those questioned assumed that a trade showroom would be too much of a sales-focused environment. The research continues to showcase the areas in particular need of work, with only 40% of UK showroom visitors fully trusting the sales staff.

Being more focused on pushing for increased budgets was a major downfall, with 37% stating it was the main factor in the lack of trust. Other factors that were highlighted include visitors feeling as though they were not being listened to, sales representatives appearing to be ‘yes men’, as well as appearing to be uninformed.

According to Origin’s statistics, the younger ‘digital’ generation, aged between 18 and 34, are proving far harder to please in comparison to those aged 35 and above. When asked to rate their showroom experience out of ten, the ‘digitals’ only voted for 5.2, substantially lower than the 6.5 rating from older customers.

One third of the ‘digital generation’ feel that having friendly and well informed staff is an important factor when visiting a showroom, whereas 70% of Generation X feels it is. This younger generation also ranks having plenty of choice on show much lower than the older generation (28% vs 45%), and also consider touching and using the products as less important (31% vs 44%).

Claire Cunnick, sales trainer at Origin, said: “Trade showrooms are so vital to our business, which is why we try to be as supportive to our customers as possible. We offer support and training to our trade agents, helping them to keep their customers happy. This can be anything from sales and product training, through to marketing support, including the likes of website reviews, PPC advice and social media guidance. We also offer informative showroom collateral, as well looking into introducing technology into the showroom itself through things like point of sale.”

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