B2B buyers increasingly seek digital-first omnichannel options

Across the board, B2B buyers are a mobile and an increasingly digital group.

Just four years before the global COVID-19 outbreak, B2B buyers made about two-thirds of their organizational goods and services purchases through traditional email, by phone or fax, or in the branch, and about one-third online.

But time and economic trends have changed that buyer behavior. Today, B2B buyers do not limit themselves to only a handful of channels. Instead, buyers use multiple channels to connect and purchase from sellers. And digitally driven buyers are increasingly researching and purchasing across electronic channels.

“The accelerated transformation of B2B sales into a fully omnichannel approach is now the predominant path,” says McKinsey partner Jennifer Stanley.

B2B buyer behavior is increasingly happening across multiple digitally driven sales channels, by increasingly younger decision-makers — or the managers of more digitally native procurement teams.

B2B buyers by generation

Today’s purchasing manager and procurement team are also increasingly led by younger employees who demand more digital interaction with their suppliers, survey data shows. B2B buyers are still traditional, even old-fashioned, in how they communicate online with sellers.

Older purchasing managers continue to retire or leave the workforce in other ways. As they do, a younger generation of digital-first B2B buyers may prefer no contact at all, except online.

Drinks distributor evolves its digital buying experience

But more B2B sellers are re-inventing how they do business to meet the needs of more digitally driven business buyers. A case in point is family-owned Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits. The distributor is out to gain market share by enhancing its collaboration with buyers and trading partners through digital and offline channels.

It took a significant step in that direction in 2023 in announcing several appointments to key positions including vice presidents in ecommerce and omnichannel development, customer and supplier relations, and national retail sales.

“These teams continue to evolve under the National Accounts umbrella, enabling Southern Glazer’s to remain the strategic thought partner to grow these categories and gain market share,” Southern Glazer’s said in statement.

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