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A new report from ecommerce technology provider BigCommerce reveals what today’s B2B online buyers think about product discovery, the shopping experience, and checkout.

A recent international survey of 1,006 B2B buyers found that 74% of them regularly use online commerce platforms to purchase products. However, 31% said technical issues kept them from completing an online purchase.

The way B2B buyers shop is changing, and B2B merchants need to adapt.
Lance Owide, general manager of B2B

The Global B2B Buyer Behavior Report, which surveyed 1,006 buyers in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, found that three-quarters of them purchased online but cited concerns about accurate pricing, web page load times and customer support, among other issues. The survey was conducted for ecommerce technology vendor BigCommerce in May by the Price Intelligently data research unit of Paddle, an online payments technology provider.

“The No. 1 reason B2B buyers abandoned their carts was because of technical issues faced at checkout,” the report says. Survey respondents said their main concern about checkout was viewing online displays of complete and accurate pricing.

Global B2B Buyer Behavior Report findings

The report asserts that B2B and retail ecommerce activity is blending among many buyers. This results in more B2B buyers expecting the ease of online shopping they’ve become accustomed to on online retail sites and marketplaces.

The report provides survey results separately for buyers in the U.S., the U.K. and Australia. Some of the report’s notable findings include that, compared with U.K. and Australian B2B buyers, U.S. buyers rely more on online marketplaces to find products. Another notable finding is that 42% of all survey respondents say they still rely on printed paper catalogs to discover products. In addition, the report notes that the B2B purchasing and checkout processes are complicated, requiring B2B ecommerce sites to provide the online shopping and checkout experiences B2B buyers require.


“The way B2B buyers shop is changing, and B2B merchants need to adapt,” Lance Owide, general manager of B2B at BigCommerce, says in a statement about the report. “Buyers are turning to online channels to research, compare and purchase products.”

Following are the survey results for the percentages of U.S. buyers regarding how they discover products, their expected shopping experience, and the checkout process. (Percentages refer to the percentage of respondents.)

How U.S. B2B buyers discover products:

  • 66% — Internet search.
  • 58% — Online marketplaces.
  • 42% — Product catalog (printed paper).
  • 42% — Industry association.
  • 35% — Online ads.
  • 33% — Referrals.
  • 29% — Industry publications.
  • 24% — Physical ads.
  • 23% — Social media ads.
  • 23% — Trade shows.
  • 14% — TV ads.

The purchasing channels U.S. B2B buyers use:

  • 75% — Supplier website.
  • 65% — B2B marketplace.
  • 53% — In-store/at vendor’s warehouse
  • 44% — Sales representative.
  • 28% — Social media channels.

The top causes of abandoned carts for U.S. B2B buyers:

  • 31% — Technical issues like inaccurate pricing.
  • 23% — Lack of secure checkout.
  • 17% — Shipping and delivery.
  • 15% — Complicated checkout process.
  • 8% — Lack of payment options.
  • 6% — Lack of payment term options.

U.S. B2B buyers’ most-used payment methods:

  • 80% — Credit card.
  • 49% — Debit card.
  • 39% — ACH/direct entry/direct debit.
  • 32% — Third-party payment apps.
  • 31% — Digital wallets.
  • 28% — Purchase order invoicing.
  • 21% — Electronic check.
  • 18% — Physical check.
  • 14% — Terms through third-party service.
  • 10% — Cryptocurrency.

Top reasons that motivate U.S. B2B buyers to purchase online:

  1. Customer ratings and reviews.
  2. Promotions and marketing.
  3. Peer recommendations.
  4. Industry publications.
  5. Competitors’ usage.
  6. Trade events.

Top reasons U.S. B2B buyers purchase online:

  1. Compare products and prices across competing vendors.
  2. Customize orders; select products and quantities.
  3. Save my purchase history; reorder; track orders.
  4. Purchase anytime, anywhere.
  5. Easier to know my total cost.
  6. See live inventory availability and out-of-stock items.
  7. Receive customized product suggestions based on search/purchase history.

Top pain points U.S. B2B buyers experience online:

  1. Inaccurate pricing and shipping options.
  2. Slow website load times.
  3. Difficult to contact customer support.
  4. Complicated checkout.
  5. Poor search and navigation.
  6. No real-time inventory information.
  7. Data privacy concerns.
  8. Lack of payment options.
  9. Limited flexibility of pricing/discounting.

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Paul Demery is a Digital Commerce 360 contributing editor covering B2B digital commerce technology and strategy. [email protected].

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