Previously Published in the July 2015 issue of Independent Dealer
What Battery Sellers Don’t Know May Cost Them
By Paul Schacht
Batteries are a vital, but often unseen, part of every workplace. Whether powering wireless keyboards or other office devices, batteries keep workplaces productive. Office supply dealers know this, but it’s been difficult for dealers to gain deeper insights into the professional battery market—until now.
Duracell Professional, the B2B division of Duracell, recently released the 2015 Battery Market Insights Report. The first of its kind from Duracell, the report contains data from more than 400 interviews with both professional end users and distributors in the office channel and others. The insights give dealers an unprecedented view into the $256 million away-from-home battery market and help them better understand their customer’s mindset. Here are a few highlights:
Customers want quality. The survey found that the most important factors customers consider when selecting a battery are quality, performance, and value. It also shows that Duracell is the leading battery brand in the away-from-home market. Since 2012, the brand’s market share has increased from 48% to 56%. Duracell batteries also scored higher than the competition on 9 out of 11 factors for battery selection, including battery life, quality, and reputation.
How can dealers grow their sales? The report also includes recommendations from professional end users about how distributors can better serve them.
End users report that distributors have a great understanding of their business needs, are credible, and provide personalized service. However, end users also report a lack of proactive communication from distributors. They recommend distributors improve the frequency of their communication and offer better quality information to help guide their purchases. With more than one-third of end users reporting that they rely on their distributor for battery information, this is an opportunity for proactive dealers to expand their share of battery sales.
The battery market is changing. Despite the growth of devices with integrated batteries, alkaline batteries remain a key element in the workplace. Devices that traditionally were the primary use for batteries—flashlights and communications equipment—are being supplanted by wireless devices such as computer mice and keyboards.
Customers prefer branded batteries. While battery usage has evolved, professional end users continue to prefer branded batteries over private label, which is perceived as offering worse performance compared to branded batteries like Duracell. End users, particularly those who use expensive, high-tech devices, perceive significant performance advantages from branded batteries.
We are deeply committed to empowering dealers with knowledge and insights about their customers. We encourage you to mine the wealth of data in this report, which was produced in collaboration with Kline & Co., to capture a greater share of this evolving market.
Paul Schacht is national sales manager for Duracell Professional, the business-to-business division of Duracell.