For URC, like any manufacturer, dealer feedback is an important planning element for understanding the pulse of dealers and frontline personnel and is critical to informing the company’s decisions on products, services, and personnel decisions.
In February, URC launched a research tool to understand industry and company dynamics as well as outlook from the vital members of the community to work with end-users. This project is part of an annual check-in and provides insights into a point in time, namely Q1 2022, and trends building over the past three years.
Results were returned to URC in March with some similar shifts to general forecasts and summaries in the industry.
Some of the themes create an interesting picture of industry sentiment. The following are a few highlights from URC dealers:
- Projecting strong but some softness in the residential market at levels near pre-pandemic time period
- 67% forecasting growth in 2022, which is down from 2021
- Light commercial market showing signs of growth in 2022
- 52% forecasting growth, which is up from 2021
- Given some industry headwinds, 2023 residential and light commercial market optimism is soft
- Overall dealer optimism about their businesses is also soft as the industry experiences headwinds
- Dealers see System Upgrades (32%) and Networking (27%) as Top 2022 Growth Drivers, which is similar to 2021 results
- Smart Home Automation and Control Headwinds are led by DIY and Consumer Education/Awareness of control and automation
- URC dealers rank marketing channels that manufacturers should use to reach end-users as follows: Social Media, Public Website, Search Marketing, Videos, Email
- Printed catalogs and brochures remain important sales tools
- 53% of respondents agree that a Showroom is Very Important
- 78% URC dealers Support “A Virtual Experience” to sell control and automation systems
- Attending live/in-person industry trade shows remain important, with 65% dealer support, slowly recapturing pre-pandemic levels
The Top 8 Drivers of URC Dealer Loyalty are as follows (ranked by importance)
- Technical Support
- Innovative Products (Hardware and Software)
- Territory Exclusivity
- Provide Active Field Support
- Provide Leads
- Manufacturers Who Advertise
- Manufacturers Active in Social Media
Results were received in March 2022 and comprised of 122 survey responses from among URC’s domestic U.S. dealer community.