Business buyers are embracing the Web, according to a survey by Abacus. The company’s 2006 Business-to-Business Industry Insights Report found that 40% of b-to-b sales occurred via the Web in 2005, up from 34.5% in 2004, a 16% increase year over year.
B-to-b customers made online purchases nearly 10% more than b-to-c customers, with the Web accounting for 31% of consumer purchases. Interestingly, the report found that traditional channel (mail/phone/fax) customers are worth more to a b-to-b company than those who purchase online. Traditional channel customers have a $60 higher average sale per transaction, which resulted in 9% higher revenue per contact.
“B-to-b marketers must look at the trends among traditional and Web purchases to best determine where their opportunities are,” said Elisa Krause PhD, vice president of analytics for Abacus. “With the continued growth of the Web as a primary purchase channel, b-to-b marketers should consider investing in the tools—such as a comprehensive marketing database—that provide access to data and insights into not only which channel the order came from but what really drove the order – the customer’s path to purchase. With this understanding, direct marketers can devise the best channel contact strategy to maximize marketing budget and ROI.”