At one time, some customers of facility maintenance distributors were termed "user choosers." These people actually selected and used the products the distributors sold.
In time, "user chooser" evolved into "buyer." The buyer's job was to not necessarily use the products but investigate what products are available and then select the best for his or her facility.
Today that term is changing once again and this time it is likely to have major implications for facility maintenance distributors.
This is because today's user chooser/buyer is now a "shopper."
"This is a bigger change than most may think," says Leah Runge, AFFLINK's marketing manager for the eLev8 process. "And, it has major implications for facility maintenance distributors."
According to Runge, this new generation of "shoppers" is accustomed to purchasing products online. As a result, they may place greater value on how easy it is to make a purchase than who they make that purchase from.
Runge notes other end-customer changes evolving as well.
For instance, today's "shopper" expects distributors to do their homework and investigate a company ahead of time so that they are familiar with the firm; the facility's likely supply needs; and suggest products that meet those needs in the most cost effective way possible.
"However one thing the new generation of shoppers shares with the user choosers and the buyers of the past is that they want their distributors to be problem solvers, consultants, and advisors," adds Runge. "Fortunately, this is made easier with new web-based technologies that can make the purchasing process simpler for both the distributor and the customer."