The number of B2B buyers who purchase goods online is growing – up from 57% in 2013 to 68% in 2014, according to new research from Accenture Interactive.
Very importantly, 86% of B2B organisations now offer online purchasing options, in order to accommodate online shoppers.
The research was based on data collected from a survey of 500 procurement officers with budgets exceeding USD 100.000.
Additionally, B2B buyers who spent 90% or more of their budgets online in the last year doubled from 2013 levels, from 9% to 18%.
Also, only 48% of B2B buyers surveyed purchase goods online directly from suppliers, with the rest using third-party websites or other purchasing channels. Furthermore, 94% of B2B buyers say they conduct some form of online research before purchasing a business product.
Moreover, 40% of buyers research more than half of the goods they purchase under USD10.000 online. For larger corporate purchases of more than USD5.000, 34% spend over three hours researching products.
The B2B online buyer values the online experience and is primarily looking for speed and convenience above all else. The traditional procurement process may be too slow or cumbersome, and this buyer wants efficiency and transparency to pricing and products. When a positive experience is delivered, over half of end user buyers are loyal to online suppliers. According to a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Intershop, 54% of end user buyers would purchase again based on a good experience.
The study also revealed that 73% of B2B buyers value pricing information the most when making an online purchase. They seek a vendor who is transparent about delivery costs (53%) and expected delivery (44%). They also want visibility into stock availability (49%).
When researching vendors, rich content is the key to making the decision to purchase online and from which vendor. According to the report, 28% of end user buyers consider a supplier when the supplier provides the right technical information. They expect suppliers to share specification sheets (61%) and instruction manuals (46%). They also expect to see rich media content, as 38% of end user buyers find video content helpful when making purchases online.