Merchant and Retailer   Market Research

 After decades of remaining relatively unchanged, the traditional trade counter environment is under unprecedented  pressure.  Merchants are having to adapt due to the  growth of digital channels,  the seemingly unstoppable rise of new formats such as Screwfix and Toolstation, and the blurring line between the trade  and retail customer.


We've worked with a number of 'bricks and mortar' merchants to better understand these trends - including large national research studies for Plumbase and Selco.

Whether you are an independent or national merchant brand, building or plumbing & heating focused, now is the time to get in touch.  We can help you measure how your trade or retail audience is changing, evaluate your marketing, counter or product offer or independently gauge supplier or staff perceptions of your business.

Our  merchant and retailer  research experience

We've worked with brands and suppliers in the merchant  market for many years and struggle to believe there are others with more rounded merchant experience.  We have measured brand awareness, undertaken mystery shopping and  asked installers what they think of showrooms and display areas.

On behalf of supplier brands we have explored key customer relationships and loyalty schemes.  This includes in-depth interviews with  kitchen showroom    staff for  Franke and   merchant branch managers on behalf of Polypipe.

As well as the traditional   ' bricks and mortar' merchants, we have also worked with  merchants who have experimented  with new propositions in the trade market.  See our piece here about work undertaken recently for Travis Perkins where we evaluated their drive-thru BUILT concept .  


To help us meet the challenges of working in this sector,    we have developed  some bespoke    research methodologies .   This includes   our  ethnographic 'On the Tools' approach where we observe how tradespeople interact with merchants and make their purchasing decisions. 

Our  market research techniques include:

  • Online surveys and consultations

  • Telephone interviewing 

  • Face to face for more detailed stakeholder interviews

  • Focus groups   -   face to face and online or virtual 

  • Self completion  methods, including SMS, POS, self-serve terminals

  • Ethnographic   in-depth research

  • Mystery  shopping

Snapshots    of our recent merchant and retailer research

1. Customer segmentation in the trade environment

Using a statistical segmentation to profile and value your trade customers 

A detailed Customer Segmentation is a great way to profile your customer base and condense everything you know about their  loyalty, preference, purchasing etc.  We then create   'Pen Portraits' for the merchant so that staff can  easily visualise  the key   customer types that visit branches or transact online.


In a recent case, we went a step further and merged transactional data (monthly account billing) to provide a full picture of how engaged and valuable each segment is to the company. This is now being used to  create bespoke   marketing and media plans to betetr target the most valuable trade segments.

We recommend that in a fast-moving category such as merchanting that this sort of strategic exercise is refreshed every 2-3 years.

2. Deep dive into showroom and counter  marketing collateral

A review of printed marketing materials targeted at the trade

 We planned and executed  a qualitative study with both tradespeople and retail consumers into the use of printed brochures used to  promote product to our client's target audience.


We looked into how the  material worked in the marketplace, either as inspiration or as a technical reference point.  This allowed us to match how brochure design and  other POS material  directly influence how    tradespeople  and retail  consumers make thier decisions.


This research allowed the business to make some key decisions about the strategic direction of their assets going forward and some distinct tactical decisions about the execution of these key pieces of literature.

Free research reports in the merchant and retailer sector

The home improvement sector has known for some time that homeowner confidence to purchase products more typically associated with the professional tradesperson has been on the rise.  A new data tool from Eureka! now helps shed new light on what we have suspected for some time.

Download the FREE  report here!

Eureka! Research has conducted an exclusive survey with nearly 1,000 UK homeowners to better understand consumer sentiment to smart tech and where they would turn for advice about installation. 


Download our FREE report here

Purchasing and installing a new boiler is a large and significant expense for households.


The growth of new online purchasing platforms, such as BOXT, represent a significant disrupter to the traditional route to market, allowing consumers to select, order and arrange installation themselves.

Read our exclusive FREE report 

What do our  merchant and retailer   clients say about  us?


"Eureka! helped us create a unique customer trade segmentation which we are embedding into the heart of Plumbase; the results are already being used by senior stakeholders at the very top of the business.  The results have also allowed us to share key insights with our suppliers, maintaining our position as sector knowledge holders and industry partners. Eureka! demonstrated to me that they are experts in our field and Dave and Rich are a pleasure to work with. They have years of research and insight experience in our sector, why would you use anyone else?”

Travis Perkins

"We are really pleased with the work carried out by Eureka! They went above and beyond what was required and delivered much more than we expected.


We particularly valued their attention to detail and amazingly fast turnaround to meet our internal deadline.


On this basis we will be working on many other projects with Eureka!  Highly Recommended!"


Tell us what's  on your mind and we'll do our absolute best to help

0121 679 5465


The Mill

Radford Road



B48 7LD

Eureka! Research | Market Research Birmingham
Eureka Research Limited
Company Number: 10521517
VAT Number: GB 259 2008 08
Eureka Privacy Policy
Changing role of the tradesperson?

How is the tradesperson role evolving? What products do they purchase and from where? What brands are top of the pile?