Study: B2B Purchasers Demand B2C Ecommerce Experience

Nov 29, 2012 8:56 PM  By

A whopping 94% of B2B purchasers surveyed in the 2012 hybris State of B2B Ecommerce study said suppliers need to create an online buying experience as simple as using a B2C website.

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Steve Kramer, president of North America at hybris, said in a press release it’s imperative that suppliers improve their online offerings to build and retain their customer base.

Due to outdated catalogs and a lack of B2B ecommerce functionality, two out of five survey respondents have switched suppliers due to difficulty finding product information, according to the study
B2B purchasers enjoy the ecommerce option because it allows them to do business with their suppliers at their convenience (89.4% according to the survey), it saves them time (84.6%), and they are better informed about the status of their order (80.7%).

According to the survey, 88% of B2B purchasers agree or strongly agree that if given the option to buy a product online, ecommerce would be their preferred buying channel. In addition, three out of four respondents indicated that their preferred method for researching procurement supplies is online.

But, B2B suppliers are not delivering in this area. According to the survey, 71% of respondents still work with vendors who don’t offer any online ordering, despite the overwhelming desire to buy this way.

Most B2B supplies have traditionally been offered through print catalogs. But the top two drawbacks to ordering through are that they are not updated frequently and purchasers have difficulty finding product information. What’s more, 74% of respondents indicated that product catalogs are not updated more than quarterly.

When ordering supplies for their business, B2B purchasers surveyed were more likely to say that it is easy to find product information online than in print (84.4% vs. 70.7%). They similarly find it easier to track orders online (88.6% vs. 62.7%).

Jim Tierney (jim.tierney@penton.com) is a senior writer for Multichannel Merchant. You can connect with him on Twitter (TierneyMCM) and LinkedIn, or call him at 203-899-8449.