Rivet|MRO recently conducted a survey of independent industrial and electrical distributors to better understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected their businesses. Here is a summary of the results:
HOW HAVE YOUR SALES BEEN IMPACTED SINCE THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC HIT IN MID-MARCH?
Over 80% of survey participants’ sales have gone down since the beginning of the pandemic. According to the results, about 30% of distributors lost 20-30% of sales, and another 30% are down more than 30%.
In contrast, about 20% of distributors’ sales are up 20-30%, most likely because they serve clients who were deemed essential and/or because they had a solid supply chain for things like disinfectants and PPE.
HOW DO YOU ENVISION YOUR DISTRIBUTORSHIP’S SALES RESULTS FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR?
Similarly, most survey recipients expect 2020 to be a down year. 36% of distributors expect sales to be down 0-10% from last year’s numbers, and 27% expect to be down 10-20%.
9% of participants expect to see no overall effect from the pandemic, and almost 30% of distributors expect to see an increase in sales from last year.
DID YOU APPLY FOR A PPP LOAN?
77.8% of participants applied for a loan, and 22.2% of participants did not.
IF YES, HOW LARGE WAS YOUR PPP LOAN?
The average PPP loan amount received by survey participants was $250,500.
HOW IMPORTANT WAS YOUR PPP LOAN TO YOUR BUSINESS?
Of the distributors who received a PPP loan, 85.8% claimed that ‘It was very important, but we could have made it.’ Another 9% said, ‘It was nice, but we would have been fine without it.’ No survey respondents categorized the loan as follows: “It was critical. We could not have survived (without it).”
WHEN DO YOU THINK YOU WILL BE RETURNING TO NORMAL OPERATIONS–ALL OFFICE STAFF WORKING IN THE OFFICE, SALES TEAM IN THE FIELD MAKING CUSTOMER CALLS, ETC.?
Distributors seem to be generally positive about returning to work in the near future. 27.3% of survey participants expect to return to normal within the next month, and almost 36.4% expect to be back in the office within the next two months. 27.3% expect it to take two months or longer, and 9.1% are not sure if the economy will ever return to normal.
HAVE YOU SEEN YOUR ONLINE SALES CHANGE AS A RESULT OF THE CRISIS?
Many of the survey participants do not have an eCommerce platform, but of the ones who do, 66% said that their online sales have gone up by more than 10%. And the remaining third of distributors said they saw no meaningful change in online sales. No distributor reported a decrease in online sales.
WHAT EFFORTS DO YOU PLAN TO IMPLEMENT TO HELP GROW YOUR BUSINESS AS YOU MOVE FORWARD FROM THIS CRISIS? (PARTICIPANTS COULD SELECT MULTIPLE ANSWERS)
According to the survey results, 63.6% of distributors plan to place a greater focus on marketing efforts. 45.5% will reorganize their sales team. The same number plan to place a greater focus on PPE sales. 36% will place a greater focus on disinfectant and sanitizer product sales. And 36% also are planning on implementing enhanced eCommerce solutions. 18.9% of distributors will add sales people and/or do more sales training. And 9.1% will place a greater focus on larger customers. The same number plan to consolidate purchases with preferred lines and work to convert business.
WHAT PERCENTAGE OF AVAILABLE CO-OP MARKETING FUNDS DO YOU THINK YOU CLAIM EACH YEAR? AND HOW EFFECTIVE ARE YOUR CO-OP MARKETING EFFORTS?
On average, distributors felt like they claimed 64% of available co-op marketing dollars. And respondents rated their co-op marketing efforts as only 51 out of 100. This means that distributors are not taking advantage of co-op funding—and they’re not investing that money properly!
If this is you, let us help you secure all co-op marketing funds you’ve earned with our Co-op Maximizer Program. Then, we’ll help you put it to better use with our industry-leading Marketing Services!