B2B Suppliers Unprepared for Gen Y Procurement Preferences

b2b-stock-photoAcquity Group today announced the findings of its 2013 State of B2B Procurement Study, which surveyed corporate buyers with annual budgets in excess of $100,000 on their purchasing habits and preferences.

The study revealed Gen Y buyers are more likely to shop online than their older counterparts, with a consistent trend of online purchase increasing in younger generations

  • 90 percent of buyers age 18-35 make company purchases online
  • 68 percent of buyers age 36-45 make company purchases online
  • 45 percent of buyers age 46-60 make company purchases online
  • 29 percent of buyers age 60 make company purchases online

Research practices by generation
The study also showed that younger buyers research more before purchasing than their older counterparts.

Those over the age of 60 were most likely to research less than 10 percent of the time, and those 26-45 were most likely to research 50 percent of the time or more.

Buyers under age 60 spend longer (one to two hours on average) researching before making a major purchase of $5,000 or more, while the buyers over the age of 60 spend 30 minutes or less on research prior to making a major purchase.

“The significant difference between age groups in time spent researching is likely a reflection of experience and an expectation of substantially more robust content,” said Robert Barr , Senior Vice President at Acquity Group. “Younger buyers are more attuned to the online shopping experience and less familiar with options in B2B eCommerce, likely leading them to spend longer doing research across sites, especially third-party sites, when information on the supplier’s website isn’t readily available.”

The rise of Amazon Supply
Launched in April 2012, Amazon Supply is gaining traction among business buyers – 63 percent of buyers age 18-35 have purchased from Amazon Supply at least once, and 40 percent purchase frequently from Amazon Supply.

“The next generation of B2B buyers is highly connected, and expect an easy-to-use and highly-targeted online experience, but most suppliers don’t offer capabilities comparable to familiar consumer sites, such as Amazon,” said Barr. “This trend of online purchasing continues to rise and B2B suppliers must have an online presence that promotes familiarity and research capabilities, or consumers will go elsewhere.”

The Acquity Group B2B Procurement Methodology
As a leading provider of digital marketing, interactive design, and eCommerce solutions, Acquity Group works with many global B2B companies to extend and refine their eCommerce capabilities to increase profits, efficiency and customer loyalty. Acquity Group completed this study to help chief marketing and IT officers in B2B companies gain a better understanding of how buyers research and purchase goods for their organizations.

The study surveyed 207 buyers with annual procurement budgets of $100,000 or more across a wide range of industries. The survey analyzed buyer behavior and preferences across a variety of areas, including research habits, loyalty trends, purchasing frequency and channel, and customer service needs, as well as feature and offering preferences. Respondents were further broken down based on demographic qualifiers, including age, budget and industry. Response percentages were evaluated on a quantitative scale to assess actionable metrics for B2B companies.

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