The challenge

We conducted research research on behalf of a DIY multiple to understand purchasing decision making amongst trade customers. Our client had a good understanding of their consumer market but had less of an understanding of how tradespeople purchased their products and where their offer fitted in (for example, did they also buy from merchants, in what situations did they use them vs. merchants or other retail outlets?). They wanted a detailed understanding of the thoughts, motivations and attitudes of their trade audiences to ensure that they understood what made them tick.

Our approach

We conducted in store intercepts with tradespeople during the purchasing process, conducting a depth interview just after they had made their purchases to understand in detail their thought processes ‘in the moment’. We looked at a range of issues including where they typically purchase from, why they purchase from this type of outlet, how brand loyal they were (i.e. would they purchase some products from x but others from y?), whether they ordered from the trade counter or the retail counter. We also conducted follow-up exercises with some tradespeople to understand buying behaviour in more detail. For example, we asked them to record the next occasion they made a purchase over the telephone to understand familiarity with the company they were using and the extent to which personal relationships play a part in any decision making processes. We also did web enabled interviews with some as well, asking them to go online and look at/assess the online offers of a number of merchants/DIY multiples.

The outcome

We were able to bring the buying experience alive for our client. As interviews were conducted as the buying experience happened, we could observe behaviour and also capture in-situ feedback.