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The growing variety of wholesale customer types, some with radically different business models and strategies, is presenting wholesalers with challenges in developing and maintaining effective and long-lasting wholesale relationships.


  • According to Ovum’s Wholesale Customer Survey 2018, wholesale supplier selection criteria in the Price and Quality categories remain significantly more important to wholesale customers in most markets than the Relationships and Reputation criteria.

Features and Benefits

  • Assesses how different customer groups' priorities for their relationships with wholesalers have developed.
  • Identifies where wholesalers' reputations are of greatest concern to wholesale customers and why.
  • Explains why and how wholesalers need to improve and maintain good relationships with their customers.

Key questions answered

  • How do different wholesale customer types' attitudes to the Relationships and Reputation criteria vary?
  • Which aspects of wholesaler relationships and reputation are of greatest concern to customers?
  • How has wholesalers' performance against Relationships and Reputation 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

Evolved views of Relationships

  • Cultural differences and the effectiveness of relationships
  • The importance of the Relationships criteria in wholesaler selection
  • Wholesaler performance against Relationships criteria
  • Relationships criterion 1: Long-term relationships
  • Relationships criterion 2: Service wrap
  • Relationships criterion 3: Organizational flexibility
  • Relationships criterion 4: Partnerships

Evolved views of Reputation

  • Sources of information used to determine reputation
  • Reputation criterion 1: Supplier brand
  • Reputation criterion 2: Financial stability


  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Author