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Published Reports

 

MWA – in association with OPI – has an ongoing program of researching and publishing market studies aimed at providing detailed market insights on current industry issues at a very affordable cost, including:

 

 

Boiling The Frog: Young Office Worker Usage & Perceptions Of Office Products (2012)

“Boiling The Frog: The OP Industry’s Guide To Young Office Workers” is a major research report looking at the behaviour and attitudes of young office workers – those under 35 – whose usage of, and attitudes towards, traditional office products is likely to be very different to that of their older colleagues. We believe that the presence of these young workers is already being felt and reflected in changes in OP demand across the world, and these trends will continue to develop gradually year-by-year as young workers represent an ever increasing proportion of the office workforce. As a result, this research report is essential reading for all manufacturers and distributors of office products.

The research comprises two groundbreaking reports investigating the use of and attitudes towards traditional OP amongst young office workers in the UK and US.

Price: £2,495/$3,745 per country report.  Further details are available in the Boiling The Frog Brochure.

 

 

Mountain Or Molehill?: A Study Of Demand For FM Supplies In The US & UK (2013)

With demand for ‘traditional’ office products (OP) in structural value decline over recent years, OP resellers have increasingly turned to other product areas. One of the main sectors has been FM supplies – comprising ‘Janitorial/Sanitorial/Breakroom/Industrial/Health & Safety/Mailroom supplies’. Certainly, OP resellers have seen significant growth in FM’s share of their total sales, but despite this growth, the OP industry still accounts for a very small share of the overall FM supplies market. While this could be seen as an opportunity for further growth, it also points to a potential weakness in the OP industry’s position, since there are many other powerful specialist and non-specialist channels also supplying these products – and having a potential interest in supplying OP.

As a result, the OP industry needs to understand how B2B end-user buyers of these products currently behave-and how they are likely to behave in future.

‘Mountain or Molehill?’ consists of two reports, each based on research carried out amongst B2B purchasers of FM supplies in the US and UK, investigating the products, sources and services required in this growing category.

Price: £2,000/$3,100 per country report.  Further details are available in the Mountain Or Molehill Brochure.

 

 

Swimming With Piranhas: OP Purchasing From Amazon (2014)

There is no doubt that Amazon – as well as other broad line e-commerce specialists such as eBay – will be a major factor in the future of the OP industry.  However, little is known about their current and potential B2B customer base for office products.  For example:

  • What types of businesses have bought OP from Amazon in the last 12 months?
  • What kinds of products – and what share of end-users’ total OP purchases – are currently being purchased via Amazon?
  • What are the perceived benefits and disbenefits of buying OP from Amazon?
  • What are the perceptions of service from Amazon, compared to other major national OP resellers?
  • What are the perceptions of the Amazon Basics brand?
  • To what extent is Amazon used for making price comparisons with offline resellers?
  • Which OP supply channels have lost out to Amazon?
  • Do customers navigate directly to Amazon or do they just search for products online and find themselves at Amazon?
  • Once at the Amazon site, do customers prefer to buy from Amazon or from an Amazon Marketplace seller?
  • How will OP sourcing from Amazon change in future?

All of these key questions – and others – are addressed in ‘Swimming With Piranha’, which comprises three reports, each featuring the results of 400 interviews with B2B end-user OP buyers carried out in ther UK, Germany and the US.

Price: £2,200/$3,750 per country report.  Further details are available in the Piranha Brochure.

 

 

The Spider Report: How And Why Business Products Are Bought On The Web (2015)

There is no doubt that online purchasing is an established and major part of the BP industry, but little is widely known about the needs and requirements of these online purchasers. For example:

  • Why do business products (BP) purchasers buy these items online?
  • What are the disadvantages of buying BP online?
  • Which BP items are the most likely to be purchased online?
  • What share of core BP items is currently being purchased online? What is this share expected to be in 2016?
  • What is the average value of an online BP order?
  • Which online suppliers are used to purchase major BP categories?
  • Has the move to online purchasing widened the number of BP suppliers being used?
  • How did purchasers hear about their current online suppliers?
  • What are the key factors that drive the selection of an online supplier?
  • For what reasons are online purchases abandoned or online suppliers discarded?
  • What do buyers want from their online supplier that they are not getting already?
  • How do buyers search for product online?
  • Which product attributes are used when searching for major BP categories?
  • What are the main problems encountered when searching for products online?
  • How important are online product descriptions, multiple pictures, videos and user reviews?
  • Do buyers order online using a PC, tablet or smartphone?
  • What spend or credit limits are imposed on online purchases?
  • Are manufacturer brands more important to online buyers?
  • How important is free delivery and what minimum spend is acceptable in order to access free delivery?

All of these key questions – and more – are addressed in ‘The Spider Report’, which comprises two reports, each featuring the results of 400 interviews with online B2B end-user BP buyers carried out in the UK and US in the autumn of 2015.

Price: £2,500/$3,750 per country report.  Further details are available in the Spider Brochure.

 

 

The Phoenix Report: Is The Dealer Channel Rising Again? (2016)

While it is well known that the independent dealer channel has been under severe pressure in the US and UK since the early 1990s, it might seem that its traditional major competitors – the international resellers – are now no longer enjoying spectacular growth, while the emergence of online trading and the opening of the FM supplies market have provided new opportunities for the traditional dealer to change and flourish. What, then, is the current state of the independent dealer base?Are dealers growing and profitable now? What is their product and sales channel focus? How are they buying, selling and stocking product? Is the dealer channel now something that vendors should reassess?

‘The Phoenix Report’ is designed to assist BP vendors, wholesalers, dealers and dealer groups in assessing the current and future health of the independent dealer channel so as to optimise their marketing Strategies. The study comprises two reports, each featuring the results of in-depth interviews with 200 OP dealers in the US and 155 in the UK (as well as six in-depth telephone interviews with major OP wholesalers and dealer groups in each country), addressing the following questions:

  • What is the current size of the business products dealer universe?
  • What were dealers’ total sales and average gross margins in 2015: how and why are these changing?
  • What were dealers’ sales by broad product category (stationery, paper, EOS,furniture, presentation/planning, breakroom, JanSan, other FM supplies, print,other) in 2015 and what will they be in 2016?
  • Which new product and service categories are actively being developed by dealers currently?
  • Which end-user markets are being served by dealers and how is the share of each market changing?
  • What is dealers’ current and future dependence on e-commerce, and how do they resource and run their e-commerce operations?
  • Which were the key competitors faced by dealers in 2015 and who will be their major competitors in 2017?
  • What impact is Amazon having on dealers’ business currently and what actions are dealers taking to respond to Amazon?
  • What sources are used by dealers overall and how will the share of each source change by 2017?
  • What are the perceived strengths and weaknesses of the main wholesalers used by dealers?
  • What are the perceived strengths and weaknesses of each dealer group?
  • What share of dealers’ sales were fulfilled by drop shipment in 2015 and how is this changing?
  • To what extent are dealers looking to acquire in the next two years and what kind of businesses are they looking to acquire?
  • Do dealers have a clearly defined exit strategy?

Price: £1,900/$2,850 per report.       Further details are available in the Phoenix Brochure.

 

 

Piranha Business: Investigating The Appeal Of Amazon Business (2017)

Amazon originally launched Amazon Business in the USA in the spring of 2015 as a B2B portal offering “hundreds of millions” of products, business-only pricing on select items, quantity discounts, corporate credit, free two-day shipping on eligible items and orders above $49 and multi-user business account administration allowing integration with third-party procurement solutions. Since then, Amazon has been rolling out this model in other countries and – as a result – it is vital that OP suppliers across the world get an up-to-date understanding of the strengths, weaknesses, issues and opportunities being presented by Amazon Business.

This new c200 page in-depth survey report investigates the profile, behaviour, needs and attitudes of 400 US business customers who had bought any type of business supplies from Amazon Business in the last 12 months and answers 20 key questions:

  • What is the demographic profile of Amazon Business customers?
  • What business supplies product categories do they buy overall, and what product categories do they buy from Amazon Business?
  • What share of their overall business supplies do they now buy from Amazon Business, and is this increasing?
  • Where did respondents previously buy the business supplies product categories that they now buy from Amazon Business?
  • Which other types of office products supplier do respondents still use?
  • When did respondents first start to buy business supplies from Amazon Business? Had they previously used Amazon or AmazonSupply?
  • Why have respondents chosen to buy from Amazon Business, and what are the perceived advantages and disadvantages of doing so?
  • How important is price to respondents, what kind of pricing do they want and what is their perception of the ongoing competitiveness of Amazon Business’s pricing?
  • What do respondents think about the quality of Amazon Business’s customer and after-sales service?
  • How important are commercial visits by suppliers to respondents?
  • How frequently do respondents place an order with Amazon Business and what is their average order value?
  • How do respondents place an order with Amazon Business and how effective is the supplier’s ability to integrate with their e-procurement system?
  • What kind of delivery service do respondents require from Amazon Business? How important is ‘free delivery’ and how often do they qualify for it?
  • Are respondents happy to buy from third party suppliers via Amazon Business and to receive their order in several separate consignments?
  • How important to respondents is the use of a local supplier, and do they see buying from Amazon Business as having any negative social impact?
  • What is respondents’ perception of the value of the ‘exclusive discounts’ and promotions that Amazon Business offers?
  • What is respondents’ perception of the ‘Multi User Accounts’ system and ‘Business Analytics’ offered by Amazon Business?
  • What are their usage and perceptions of the Amazon Basics brand against manufacturer brands and other own brands? Are there any product categories in which they would not like to buy this brand?
  • How do respondents search for product and how easy is it for them to find required products on the Amazon Business site?
  • What is the respondents’ anticipated future use of Amazon Business? Would they ever go back to using a conventional OP supplier and – if so – what would persuade them to do so?

Piranha Business: Investigating The Appeal Of Amazon Business” is an essential tool for understanding what is happening right now in the business supplies market place, where it is going in future and what action needs to be taken by vendors and resellers.

Price: $3,750.  Further details are available from www.opi.net/Piranha-Business

 

 

The View From The Top: A State Of The Industry Report 2016-7 (2017)

This is the fourth in a series of annual reports summarising OP market performance in key national markets as perceived from in-depth interviews with 61 senior executives in the US, Canada, Benelux, France, Germany, UK and Australia.

The data collected from these senior OP industry executives answers the following questions for each country market:

  • What was the value of the OP market in 2016?
  • What was the value of the addressable FM supplies market in 2016?
  • What happened to sales volumes, margins and profits in 2016?
  • How will sales volumes, margins and profits change in 2017?
  • What will be the value of the OP market in 2017?
  • Which product categories are growing or declining?
  • Which product categories will win or lose in 2017?
  • Which distribution channels won or lost in 2016?
  • What are the prospects for key channels in 2017?
  • What were the key industry events in 2016?
  • What is the current market share of Amazon and the end-use sectors in which it is currently having the most success?
  • What will be the effect on the OP industry of the Office Depot/Staples divestment of European operations?
  • What will be the effect on the OP industry in Europe of Brexit?
  • What will be the effect on the OP industry in North America of the Trump Presidency?
  • What will be the future trends for other key issues, including own label share, the share of on-line sales and the share of sales in JanSan, breakroom workwear/PPE/signage products, business gifts and MPS?

Price: £850/$1,080 per report.  Further details are available in the SOTI 2016-17 web page.