Measuring retailer satisfaction


Researching retailer satisfaction is a special subtype of b2b market research. Retailers who sell a manufacturer’s products are surveyed about how satisfied they are with their business relationship with the manufacturer. The target groups for a study about retailer satisfaction are, for example, independent car dealers or telecommunication shops.

Retailers often have an ambivalent relationship to companies whose products they sell. The relationship lies in the conflict between dependence on the one side and a sense of entitlement on the other. Developing the special part of the b2b customer relationship requires differentiated, well-thought-out contact point models, which also capture the specific “captive” situation many retailers find themselves in. The studies for retailer satisfaction are therefore a special case and the market research institute needs to have precise knowledge of this relationship:

  • Retailers are to some extent unhappy in the partnership if unable to impose changes
  • Dealers as a whole often don’t paint a consistent picture – differentiated approaches for subgroups must be developed
  • Some retailers are unhappy purely for strategic reasons and will remain so – their results, however, should not distort the total result


If the design is developed first, studies on retailer satisfaction often function as tracking studies and can, depending on the retailer network, generate a large quantity of similarly structured report pages – automation (in part at least) of reports has huge advantages.

Practical example: Study from the
electronics industry

In the area of retailer satisfaction, for example, a study from the electronics industry shall be presented here. The aim of the study was to initiate operational measures to increase satisfaction with the retailer relationship, evaluate current initiatives and measures implemented, and avoid competitive disadvantages.

Development of the questionnaire

To develop the questionnaire, a classic contact point model was developed together with the customer. The procedure for sequential driver analysis, developed by (r)evolution, was to be used for the analysis. The development of just the right segmentation of retailers for this study into “risk retailers”, “baseline partners” and “brand ambassadors” took account of the specific configuration of a study on dealer satisfaction. The largely automated production of the reports enabled us to meet the customer requirement for faster reporting whilst also producing more detailed reports.


The application of sequential driver analysis within the discipline of dealer satisfaction has delivered a number of outstanding benefits for the customer: The process is based on a quite straightforward and comprehensible set of statistics, while still effectively shedding light on non-linear dependencies which would otherwise remain undetected when using classic linear analytical approaches (correlation, regression, factor regression). The process effectively discovered hidden driver structures and thus delivered new insights. The focus on strategic target groups generated significant attention from management and has since succeeded in establishing itself within the company.


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