The younger the procurement official, the more likely they are to migrate towards digital channels, like websites and social media platforms, to source goods and services for their companies.
That’s according to new research from Sacunas, which found that a new generation of professionals is shaping the evolution of eProcurement.
A survey released by the company on Thursday (March 24) found that, at one-third of the businesses surveyed, millennials aged 20–35 are the sole decision-makers when it comes to sourcing and purchasing for their companies.
The majority of this group — 56 percent — said search engines, supplier websites and social media platforms are their main destination when researching and procuring. Further, according to researchers, the younger the professional, the more strongly they believe social media sites can act as a resource for procurement.
The survey found that 85 percent of millennials use social media sites to research and procure products for their business; 40 percent of them said Facebook is their preferred social media platform for this purpose.
Just 11 percent of professionals with buying power aged 25–29 agree that social media is the most important source of product information; that figure drops to 8 percent for professionals aged 30–35.
The electronic aspect of procurement goes beyond the desktop, too. According to Sacunus, millennials are also migrating to the mobile phone, with 82 percent of those surveyed citing mobile devices as important to the research process when making purchasing decisions for their companies.
When it comes to how this product information is presented, the winner for preferred medium is video, with 29 percent citing it as the most important way to access this information. That surpasses case studies, whitepapers and brochures.
“Our findings contradict the traditional belief that social media is a secondary influencer on purchasing decisions for B2B brands,” said Sacunus Director of Research and Strategy Heather Wadlinger in a statement. “We’ve confirmed that not only do millennials turn to social media for information about B2B brands, but they overwhelmingly prefer Facebook and YouTube to other social media platforms like LinkedIn.”