News & Views

New BMA research: ‘Understanding the merchant’

The BMA has commissioned a new piece of research that will delve into an influential sector of the bathroom industry: merchants.

This ‘Understanding the Merchant’ research will seek to identify the drivers and barriers to increasing sales of bathroom products via the merchant sector. The study will survey and interview employees at merchants; from counter staff to category managers to directors, and across all the various merchant types, building out on the findings from the recent ‘Understanding the Installer’ research project, which highlighted the importance of the merchant in terms of advice and product selection, particularly to the trade.

How can BMA members get involved in this research?

It is important that the research findings provide our members with the answers they need to increase sales via the merchant sector. If there are any aspects of this sector that you want to address, please tell us so we can include them in the study. Also see ‘Next Steps’ below.

Research partners and stakeholders

We are pleased to be partnering with MRA Research on this project. MRA has a wide experience working with merchants across a range of projects, and they created the BMBI in 2015 in partnership with the BMF and GfK.

We are also looking for stakeholders within the industry to support the research by raising awareness and credibility of this research, e.g other trade associations, trade press, buying groups, etc

Funding and incentives

The research study is funded by the BMA. However, providing incentives to encourage participation in the study is an additional cost. For the purposes of this project, we are looking at offering payments to specific charities in return for merchants participation and opinions. The charities supported will reflect the construction/bathroom industry, such as Band of Builders and Crash. We are looking for members who can sponsor these charity payments.

Next steps

A full briefing on the research will be given at the next BMA marketing meeting on 18 July. Details of the meeting and registration can be found here. We would urge members who are looking to increase sales via the merchant sector to attend this meeting and find out how the research can support this.

Contact Jane Blakeborough, research manager at the BMA for more information.
Tel: 07502 178475

Email: [email protected]

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