Experts are constantly reminding B2B suppliers and manufacturers to invest in digital solutions because their buyers are moving online and want to procure goods and services the same way they do as a personal consumer.
That may be true, but new research from Cartridge World warns that B2B companies cannot entirely ignore the brick-and-mortar front. The toner retailer released the findings of its study Monday (March 30) and found that while the majority (75 percent) of ink cartridge business buyers shop for these products online, more than half (58 percent) still prefer in-store purchases.
"One consumer insight is that while shopping for printing suppliers, the online channel remains primary among business customers but a significant market share still prefers a personalized in-store experience,” said Cartridge World North America CEO William D. Swanson.
Cartridge World also found that B2B buyers place high importance on customer service and other services, like product repairs. Large, office-based businesses were also found to be more likely to procure products digitally; smaller businesses, on the other hand, were more prone to in-store purchases.
The research inquired about the buying habits of hundreds of B2B buyers in an array of industries including real estate, hotels, law offices and others.
The study follows Cartridge World’s recent decision to shift its business model to better serve the B2B community. Part of that strategy was to introduce the Printer Bundle service, allowing businesses to procure both printer supplies and maintenance services. Now, the company said that as a direct result of the study the company will update more than 500 of its brick-and-mortar locations throughout North America in addition to focusing on its digital buyers.