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The Value of Smaller Customers
The Value of Smaller Customers
The entrepreneurial roots of the Watercooler industry are well known – as an industry that originally consisted of many 'one man bands' who served all the companies in their local area, large and small. As the industry has grown however, the structure of the industry has inevitably changed, with a few large companies now able to provide a national service. Zenith (2007) reports that the Watercooler market has seen year on year growth since 2002 - with total UK cooler numbers reaching an estimated all time high of 718,000 units in 2007.

Source: Zenith 2007

This change in the industry has effected a shift in the approach required by smaller local watercooler sellers As many of the larger companies run at a national level, it can become problematic for them to efficiently supply anyone other than medium to large consumption accounts, who provide them with the largest financial returns. Furthermore, with an increasing number of large clients switching to POU (Point-of-use) units as they become aware of the cost savings that can be made, it becomes apparent that a switch to focus on smaller clients could be the way forward for many watercooler distributors.

The future of the industry's growth will depend on an increase in small and medium sized accounts (Zenith, 2007) – and there are still opportunities for new and existing suppliers in the industry to take a share of this expanding market. Aside from offices, low consumption commercial accounts are one area that have grown in recent years – places such as shops, car showrooms, spas, hairdressers, and doctors surgeries have all seen an increase in uptake.

In fact, it is estimated that whilst the medium to large customer segment has reached a point of near saturation, the small (under 15 employees) segment is still very much available and with a potential for very large future growth.

In addition, the range of coolers available today also makes it possible for suppliers to offer watercoolers that have been specifically designed to meet their clients needs – which has not been the case in the past. For example, Ebac's SlimCool range has been developed with the small office in mind. It features a slim design and small footprint to save office space and low price point to make finance easier for smaller clients to handle.

Developments such as this are all key drivers of growth within the watercooler industry – and with an increased emphasis on acquisition and retention of low consumption accounts the industry has an opportunity for growth over a number of years. It is focusing on this growth area that will be the next important step to many companies – however with the availably of small office specific solutions such as the SlimCool range, and a general increased awareness and acceptance of the watercooler concept, the opportunity for growth has never been stronger.

To find out more about how Ebac can help your business effectively target low consumption accounts Contact Us.


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