Business buyers want—and expect—a lot from the e-commerce sites they use (or may use) to make an online purchase quickly, easily and efficiently.
Today, business-to-business e-commerce is a $900 billion market in the United States alone, where B2B online sales could reach as much as $1.1 trillion in about two years, says Forrester Research Inc.
With e-commerce as a growing sales channel, more B2B buyers such as corporate procurement directors are shifting more of their buying online, according to data and analysis contained in the 2018 B2B E-Commerce Buyers Expectations Report.
For example, a B2BecNews recent survey of 111 business buyers at companies in a diverse group of industries, ranging from automotive and healthcare to food and beverage to consumer products, finds that nearly half of companies (48.3%) purchase products online at least once per week, including 16% that do so multiple times each week.
But even though B2B buyers are shifting more of their total buying online, that doesn’t mean they are giving their e-commerce business to manufacturers, distributors or wholesalers with just an average or below-average website.
Instead, B2B buyers have high expectations for the B2B e-commerce sites they like and use the most—and do lots of research online before making purchasing decisions.
Consider these facts:
- B2B buyers aren’t prone to making hasty decisions when making online purchases. Only about 2% of companies make a purchase on a B2B website on the same day they complete their final research and internal discussion and approval process, says the B2BecNews survey.
- The top expectation B2B buyers have for conducting business on an e-commerce site is site search. The survey found that 61% of companies list ease of finding products via search and navigation as very or somewhat important when buying online.
- The B2B buyer at many organizations is the manager and director in charge of purchasing, but an executive who also often interacts with other managers and departments within their organization to research and buy products online.
Buyers set a high bar for the performance they expect from B2B sellers.
Are sellers delivering on those expectations?
Many sellers are, and this report is filled with best-practice data, analysis and case studies that explain how manufacturers and distributors such as Honeywell Aerospace, MSC Industrial Supply, Cardinal Health and others are meeting customer expectations through excellent website design, customer service and systems integration strategies and programs.
The 91-page 2018 B2B E-Commerce Buyers Expectation Report research report is filled with best-practice data, analysis and case studies that explain how manufacturers and distributors are expanding their online sales. It is filled with lessons that can help other B2B companies as they map out their path to e-commerce success.
Sign up for a complimentary subscription to B2BecNews, a twice-weekly newsletter that covers technology and business trends in the growing B2B e-commerce industry. B2BecNews is published by Vertical Web Media LLC, which also publishes DigitalCommerce360.com, Internet Retailer and Internet Health Management. Follow Mark Brohan, senior editor for B2BecNews editor of Internet Health Management, on Twitter @markbrohan.
Follow us on LinkedIn and be the first to know when new B2BecNews content is published.