van vault merchants over online

Survey shows tradespeople prefer buying in merchants than online

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Despite the general increase in online sales, recent research has highlighted that tradespeople still prefer more traditional methods of buying equipment.

Research by in-vehicle secure storage brand Van Vault has unveiled surprising results, providing further insight into purchasing habits of its trade customers.

The survey, covering a number of trades, including builders, electricians, plumbers and carpenters, showed that when buying secure storage solutions for their van, the preferred choice is to purchase in-store.

In recent years the overall value of internet retail sales has steadily increased. According to latest figures from the Office for National Statistics, online sales in February were up 9.4% year-on-year, currently running at 17.6%.  Online sales have reached a value of £1.19 billion.

Despite this, the study of 300 tradespeople revealed that merchants are going against the current retail grain, with stores being the first choice, rather than online.

The figures

When it comes to buying secure storage – which is driven by a wide range of issues from replacement to theft, and from needing extra storage to getting a new van – often tradespeople do their research online first before making a visit to store to purchase.

van vault merchants over online

The research showed initial online research is done to look for product information, but visibility in-store is important as they want to actually see the product before purchasing in-store.

This is because it is easier to see the quality of manufacture as opposed to simply looking at a picture online.

They are provided with a better understanding of the size of the product, storage capacity and the tools that it can hold, if they see it in-store.

Deborah Hunt, Marketing Manager at Van Vault, said: “Merchants have a vital role to play when it comes to providing customers with advice. Our report found that 38% of tradespeople rely on merchants/stores for recommendations and information and one in four seek expert advice from a member of staff.

“That is why at Van Vault, we ensure merchants can support their customers in the best way possible and respond to what they want – security, functionality, quality and peace of mind – providing extensive and in-depth information.

“Our research shows that leading brands need to invest in their retail customer base whilst responding to the changing shopping habits of the trade.”

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