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Wholesalers’ portfolios of services have broadened and deepened in response to evolving customer needs. However, most wholesale customers have multiple wholesale suppliers and are willing to shop around to satisfy their needs.


  • Respondents in Ovum’s eighth Wholesale Customer Survey indicated that the importance of all four Portfolio criteria are close to their ratings of their existing suppliers' performance.
  • Wholesale customers are now more willing to use multiple suppliers to secure the services they need, with the quality they want, for a price they can afford. Customer loyalty to suppliers is ebbing.
  • In nascent wholesale markets and difficult-to-reach locations, Portfolio criteria are more important for supplier selection than in mature markets.

Features and Benefits

  • Explains how different customer groups' attitudes to wholesalers' service portfolios have changed.
  • Identifies where service portfolios are of greatest concern to wholesale customers and why.
  • Explains what wholesalers need to do to meet their customers' service portfolio needs.

Key questions answered

  • How do attitudes to suppliers' portfolio criteria vary across wholesale customer types?
  • Which aspects of wholesalers' portfolios are of greatest concern to their customers?
  • How has the importance to wholesale customers of Portfolio criteria changed between 2003 and 2018?
  • How has wholesalers' performance against the Portfolio criteria changed between 2003 and 2018?

Table of contents


  • In brief
  • Ovum view
  • Recommendations

The survey explained

  • Survey objectives
  • Criteria for purchasing decisions and performance evaluation
  • Representative sample

Portfolio priorities are changing

  • The importance of Portfolio criteria in wholesaler selection
  • Wholesaler performance against Portfolio criteria
  • Portfolio criterion 1: Breadth of services offered
  • Portfolio criterion 2: Depth of service specialization
  • Portfolio criterion 3: Service reach
  • Portfolio criterion 4: Innovation


  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Author