Fewer than one in 10 buyers rated as “excellent” their purchasing experience on B2B e-commerce sites, a recent B2BecNews survey of more than 100 B2B buyers finds.

Meeting B2B buyer expectations with a comprehensive e-commerce site along with excellent customer service and delivery programs is still a challenge for many manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers, says new research from B2BecNews.

Many B2B e-commerce sites also still don’t offer many of the advanced e-commerce features buyers want.

In many ways, B2B buyers still find many e-commerce sites lacking, and many sellers have yet to implement the advanced self-service and personalized tools buyers want.

For example, fewer than 10% of buyers rated their experience using B2B e-commerce sites in the past six months as excellent, compared with 45% as good. More important, 35.1% and 10.8%, respectively, listed their experience as only average or fair/poor, according to a survey of 111 buyers in diverse industries that range from automotive and computers to industrial and medical supplies.

Many B2B e-commerce sites also still don’t offer many of the advanced e-commerce features buyers want. For example, another recent B2BecNews survey, of about 150 manufacturers, reveals that many manufacturers are still working to deploy more sophisticated e-commerce features—and to use social media to market and communicate with customers.

Less than half of all manufacturers (43%) in that survey have a website that’s optimized for mobile, only 21% have deployed an app and only 34% have links to social media. Manufacturers, it seems, also are slowly deploying more sophisticated purchasing and order management tools that business buyers need for making more custom purchases.

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The manufacturers survey also found that only 43% of them offer bulk pricing tools on their B2B e-commerce site and only 38% have deployed features that let business buyers request a quote or negotiate pricing. Even fewer manufacturers, at 28% and 20%, respectively, have e-commerce tools that enable customers to configure orders or automatically reorder parts and supplies.

Distributors overall are embracing B2B e-commerce faster than manufacturers, according to the manufacturers survey and a separate B2BecNews March 2018 survey of more than 120 distributors.

About 60% of distributors have an e-commerce site compared with about 40% of manufacturers, according to the B2BecNews distributors and manufacturers surveys.

But like many manufacturers, not all distributors are deploying the most advanced e-commerce features buyers want. For example, business buyers with very complex and specific products want to integrate their core back¬end supply chain and financial systems directly with a distributor’s for faster and easier ordering. Buyers also want tools that let them configure products, do negotiated or bulk pricing or automatic product reordering.

Today, only about 44% of distributors can integrate their e-commerce systems with a customer’s enterprise resource planning software or applications for managing supply chains and financial systems, and less than 20% have a product configuration tool or the ability to customers automatically reorder products.

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“What’s happening is that buyers are ready to buy, but it’s the suppliers that are holding them back,” says Brian Beck, senior vice president, e-commerce and omnichannel, at B2B web design and development firm Guidance. “About one-half of manufacturers still don’t have an e-commerce site and those companies that don’t are missing out on a superior opportunity.”

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