Every industrial distributor carries batteries, but do they all know which batteries truly provide the best solutions for their customers? We spoke with battery experts from top industry brands Rayovac and Duracell for some tips on how to keep your customer in mind when selecting a battery line.
ID: What basic criteria should distributors consider when selecting which batteries to carry?
Michele Woolever, Associate Product Manager, Rayovac:
The first thing a distributor should consider when selecting which batteries to carry is the quality and performance of the products they are offering. Customers are always looking for a great deal but a great price is not worth the risk of a battery leaking in your device.
Next a distributor should understand what battery sizes and chemistries their customers demand. Alkaline batteries are the most popular because they have long lasting power in a large range of devices at a relatively low cost, so it makes sense to carry multiple options. Heavy duty batteries are a very low cost option that is good for low drain devices but their sales are very small compared to alkaline, so you only need to offer one brand. AA and AAA batteries are the most popular followed by D and 9V. There is also a wide variety of specialty batteries. A distributor should offer a wide variety based on customer needs, but they do not need multiple options for each specialty battery size.
Last, a distributor should understand what packaging their customers prefer. Bulk and shrink wrap packs are great for contract or bid business. Rayovac batteries also come in Contractor Packs, which are designed for showroom sales and feature a convenient reclosable storage.
Paul Schacht, Duracell Professional Team Lead:
An independent third party study by Kline & Company in 2013 found that end using professionals believe product quality and battery life are the two most important purchase criteria for batteries, followed by price. The insight here is that professionals don’t want “cheap” batteries, but rather need their battery-powered devices to work reliably in order to do their jobs effectively and efficiently.
Since there are many battery manufacturers to choose from, distributors should look to partner with a manufacturer that can help the distributer sell. Specifically, a manufacturer that builds relationships and trains distributor sales representatives, has e-commerce solutions to help you win online, and is committed to growing the category.
ID: Describe some of the latest innovations in battery and portable power technology, and how they can provide key benefits for the end customer.
Jessica Yurchich, Assistant Product Manager, Rayovac:
In the last couple of years, high performance alkaline batteries have helped grow the alkaline category. Rayovac Advanced High Energy batteries offer more power in a wide range of devices. This results in changing the batteries less often and creating less waste. These batteries excel in providing long lasting power for high drain devices.
With more devices moving to built-in rechargeable batteries, the portable power segment is booming! The Rayovac 2 Hour Power was named an honoree of the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show Innovation Award for its unique design that uses a single use lithium battery which holds its power for 10 years, making it a great emergency solution. More popular options include devices operated by lithium ion batteries and even alkaline batteries. Two durable, waterproof, dust proof, and drop-tested lithium ion power packs will be added to the Rayovac product line this summer. The most popular solution has been the Rayovac alkaline powered power pack. This is ideal for situations where you can’t or don’t want to recharge your battery charger such as during emergencies or outdoor activities. It is key to note that there is no standard for the specifications listed on these devices and many products from un-reputable brands are not meeting the specifications listed on pack. Test multiple options personally before offering them to your customers.
Paul Schacht, Duracell Professional Team Lead:
The connected world today has more devices than ever before. An average workplace today is equipped with 30 battery-powered devices compared to just five in 1970. With the continuous innovation in electronic products, there has been an increasing demand for long lasting batteries. In 2013, Duracell launched Quantum, the world’s most advanced Alkaline battery. The breakthrough technology in Quantum’s Hi-Density Core uses a proprietary compression process and unique formulation of ingredients to pack more advanced power into the same size battery. With more power boosters and improved energy flow throughout the battery, Quantum provides unbeatable long-lasting alkaline power for both high and low drain devices.
As mobile devices increase in popularity, Duracell has partnered with Powermat technologies to provide consumers with easy access to power whenever and wherever it’s needed. Duracell Powermat has deployed easy-to-use charging stations at public and private venues. Duracell Powermat is committed to offering an innovative and robust product line so that consumers will never be powerless.