Each year, a reputable market analyst surveys solar retailers in Australia (and globally) to find out what they think about the various wholesalers and manufacturers of solar panels, inverters, and energy storage systems.
The insights from solar retailers are illuminating, and in this post we’ll share the Top 3 brands of panels, storage systems, and wholesalers. We’re also going to pull out some of the key messages of the report, which is based on a 2019 professional survey of over 200 Australian solar retailers.
Why are we doing this? In 2020, SunWiz is partnering with EUPD Research (the original author) to bring you the Australian 2020-21 Installer Monitor report.
The Top Ranks... (2019)
(Purchasers will get the full charts, updated for 2020)
Top 3 Wholesalers
The chart below shows how many installers purchased from each wholesaler. Solar Juice was the most frequented wholesaler in terms of #retailers, followed by One Stop Warehouse and then Sonepar (L&H)
(SunWiz believes that OSW may have overtaken SolarJuice in terms of volume)
Interestingly, OSW had a greater number of high-volume installers (retailers) than SolarJuice. Sonepar were mostly used by low-volume installers, which is understandable considering the number of sparkies that use L&H.
This chart shows that Sonepar (L&H) was used exclusively by more solar installers than other wholesalers – again understandable in terms of its affinity with sparkies. In contrast, almost half of the users of OSW showed little loyalty, using it as a ‘space filler’ for their supply.
Interestingly, AC Solar Warehouse had the most satisfied customers, with the greatest Net Promoter Score (85.7) amongst wholesalers.
Top 3 Modules
Jinko Solar was the highest brands awareness – the solar panel brand that installers thought of most first (2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th too). That’s like being asked ‘name 5 panel brands’ and Jinko was named first 25% of the time, and in the top 5 brand names of 66% of installers surveyed.
LG Electronics and Trina were #2 and #3.
Most people named Jinko… not everyone bought from them. Still, they led the purchasing popularity by #installers. Again followed by LG Electronics and Trina Solar. Of course, this doesn’t translate directly into market share.
Jinko users were also very loyal last year, with 30% of its solar retailers using the panel exclusively. It would be difficult for retailers to exclusively offer premium-priced LG, but 11% of its users did… on the other hand 50% of its retailers were more occasional in closing deals with it.
Top 5 Storage Systems
LG Chem dominated the field when retailers were asked to name five storage brands. 57% of retailers included it in their responses; 33% named it first.
Tesla, BYD, Enphase, and Sonnen were also brands amongst the first to mind.
Inverters: What's important to Retailers?
This chart (2018) compares what retailers thought were important features of inverters, and how satisfied they were with each aspect.
You can see that low price is the least important factor of those named, and price satisfaction levels closely matched its importance. Inverters place a lot of emphasis on efficiency and retailers are satisfied with efficiency, but retailers think the manufacturers could definitely improve their service features – such as claims management.
A clever inverter manufacturer would focus on servicing their claims well… and win customer loyalty. (The full report shows this level of analysis for each brand of inverter, module, storage system, and wholesaler).
Why you must get this report!
The 2020/21 report will tell you exactly what to do to gain more customers. You’ll see what attributes solar retailers value most of all, and how your service compares to their expectation.
Equipment manufacturers can learn what solar retailers think of them AND their competitors, PLUS see how their distribution partners perform, so you can address any barriers to uptake of your product.
Wholesalers can learn what solar retailers think of them AND their competitors, PLUS see the performance of the equipment brands they stock.
This extensive report covers:
- Which is the most popular wholesaler, panel, inverter, storage solution – and which has the greatest brand awareness
- Which wholesalers, panels, inverters, and storage solutions are retailers most likely to recommend
- Which wholesalers and manufacturers do solar retailers use most exclusively, and which are gap-fillers
- Which features are most important when selecting a wholesaler, panel, inverter, and storage solution
- How each wholesaler & manufacturer performs according to each of these most important features.
- Which equipment brands do retailers avoid and why
- and much much more