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EUROPEAN HVAC INSTALLERS DID MORE ONLINE TRAINING IN 2020, BUT STILL PREFER FACE-TO-FACE TRAINING

The global pandemic has a lot of influence on our day-to-day lives but is also affecting the construction and installation market in many ways. Besides the more obvious effects (supply chain shortage, online order behaviour, changes in orientation behaviour etc), the corona crisis also impacts the training needs of installers. Or more specifically, the way the training is consumed. ​To have a clear view of any potential changes due to corona, and perhaps more importantly their future behavior, we focus on the topic of training needs in the new Q1 2021 report of the European Mechanical Installation Monitor.

PURE ONLINE PLAYERS CAN DISRUPT INSTALLERS’ TRADITIONAL BUYING JOURNEY

Price is often considered to be a focal point in purchase decisions in both B2C and B2B. Nowadays, price transparency has a big impact on the consumer market, as we are much more used to check and compare prices online before making a purchase. But how does price transparency affect the purchasing behaviour of the electrical installers, a very traditional target group in a very traditional market? In our quarterly research conducted in 7 major European markets, we investigated the impact of price on electrical installers’ purchasing behaviour and whether their traditional buying journey can be disrupted by pure online players. We found out that price transparency and lower online prices can indeed disrupt installers’ traditional purchasing behaviour in the future.

GROWING USAGE OF SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS FOR PROFESSIONAL PURPOSES BY PLUMBERS AND HVAC INSTALLERS

In the last years, installers and plumbers slowly but surely made the shift from printed sources of information to digital ones. While it was clear for everybody that internet and websites are of great importance for the installers, manufacturers were also eager to know whether social media channels should be included in their communication and marketing campaigns for this target group. As a part of the European Mechanical Installation Monitor, in Q4 2020, we focused on investigating the media orientation and usage among plumbers and HVAC installers in Europe, and the usage of social media was one of the topics.

BIM AWARENESS BOOMING AMONG ELECTRICAL INSTALLERS

In the trend of digitalisation in the construction sector to make construction processes more efficient, Building Information Modelling (BIM) takes an important role. We have seen the rise in BIM awareness and usage among architects and general contractors, parties that are involved at early stages or throughout the construction process, in the results of our monitor researches over the last years. But how is this rise of BIM reflected by target groups that come in at later stages of the construction value chain, like electrical installers? To what extent are they familiar with and make use of BIM in their projects? To answer these questions we added a section about BIM to the Q3 2020 Electrical Installation Monitor, of which the main theme was Services in the Installation Sector. Aside from services offered by installers, we focussed on services installers expect from manufacturers, including BIM support. To put results in perspective, it was necessary to provide a BIM update among this target group. The results show a major rise in installers’ awareness of BIM over the last two years.

AMAZON MORE POPULAR THAN DIY STORE WEBSITES TO SEARCH FOR HOME IMPROVEMENT PRODUCTS

Online orientation has become incredibly important in the overall consumers market. Ever more consumers start their customer journeys by searching for products and product information online, regardless whether that journey leads to buying online or in physical shops. Consequently, major players are out for a piece of the action, and major shifts in the usage of search engines can be seen. In the US, for instance, Amazon has recently overtaken Google’s dominant position, as more US consumers now use Amazon to search for products.

HOW BIM CHANGES THE ROLES IN THE CONSTRUCTION PROCESS

It may seem safe to assume that trends and developments in the ever-changing construction market affect the roles and influence of all parties involved in constructing a building, but it is an assumption nonetheless. That is why, for the Q1 2019 European Architectural Barometer, we focused on changing roles in the construction process and asked architects in eight different European countries what changes they perceive in the roles of other parties in the construction process from concept development to finished building, and what causes of these changes they can identify. And the results are insightful indeed.

ORIENTATION FOR HOME IMPROVEMENT PRODUCTS BECOMING INCREASINGLY MORE DIGITAL

Online purchasing is becoming more and more common in the overall consumers market. The amount of online purchase channels is growing, and virtually any product can be found and bought online these days. 10 years ago, for instance, I had no choice but to go to a supermarket to get my groceries, and carry them home myself. Nowadays, I can select and buy the same groceries online without ever having to leave my desk, and continue writing this article whilst awaiting their prompt delivery. An entire customer journey behind the very laptop this article is written on.

AMAZON DOMINATES THE PURE ONLINE B2B ELECTRICAL INSTALLATION MARKET

In the general consumers market, online purchasing has become more and more popular. It is increasingly common to buy a product on a website and have it delivered on your doorstep the next day. This trend can be seen in the increasing amount of pure online players, for instance retailers that primarily aim at online sales and that have no, or nearly no, physical stores any more. These pure online players are popular because they offer convenience, the possibility to shop at any time and have it delivered at your doorstep, a wide range of products, and often highly competitive prices. One of the prime examples is obviously Amazon. This trend is quite clear in the general consumers market, but what about the B2B market? And, more specifically, what role are these pure online players currently playing in the construction market, and especially in the field of electrical installation products? To answer these questions, we dedicated the European Electrical Installation Monitor Q4 2018 to the development of purchase channels, and asked 952 electrical installers from seven countries about their purchase behavior.

DUTCH INSTALLERS FRONTRUNNERS IN THE USAGE OF APPS FOR PROFESSIONAL PURPOSE

Regardless of the high share of smartphone users among the HVAC installers and plumbers, the usage of apps for professional purposes still has room to grow. These are some of the results of the Q4 2018 report of the European Mechanical Installation Monitor with the theme ‘Media orientation and consumption’. This report is based on 900 successful interviews with HVAC installers and plumbers in six European countries.

VISITING THE WEB SITES OF MANUFACTURES ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT INFORMATION SOURCES FOR THE EUROPEAN INSTALLERS

Rotterdam, February 28, 2019 – Internet is not only the most used place to search for information, but also the most useful one. The general search on the Internet often leads to visiting manufacturers’ or wholesalers’ websites. These are some of the results of the Q4 2018 report of the European Mechanical Installation Monitor with the theme ‘Media orientation and consumption’. This report is based on 900 successful interviews with HVAC installers and plumbers in six European countries.

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