A better eCommerce experience is more important than finding cheaper prices for corporate buyers, according to a new survey from Avionos.
The company announced its new research, "Positioning Strategic eCommerce in a Digital-First World: The 2019 B2B Buyer Report," on Wednesday (April 10), which surveyed 150 U.S. B2B buyers that have key roles in their corporates' purchasing processes. The survey revealed that the vast majority (88 percent) would turn to a supplier's competitor that had a better digital channel, even if it meant products would be more expensive.
"For years now the trendy topic of discussion has been the consumerization of B2B commerce," said Avionos president Scott Webb in a statement. "But that was just the introduction to what we see now, which is the emergence of the true B2B experience. It does require a consumer-like ease of use, but more significantly, the experience must respect and incorporate the unique complexities in a business-to-business relationship."
That means that while corporate buyers are indeed influenced by their consumer shopping habits, they are increasingly demanding features that adhere to their needs as corporate buyers.
"This is a critical moment in B2B commerce," Webb added, "and suppliers need to take note if they're going to stay in the game."
Ninety-nine percent of survey respondents said they expect their vendors to prioritize innovation in their eCommerce strategy, including fulfillment, delivery and customer service. Online commerce giants like Amazon Business and Google are now ramping up competition for B2B eCommerce players, with Avionos finding that one-third of respondents begin the purchasing process at these firms, while nearly the same percentage (32 percent) said they start at a vendor's website.
The vast majority of B2B buyers between the ages of 18 and 25 prefer online shopping processes, compared to 70 percent of those aged 36 and above.
Further, corporate buyers are demanding better information on products, with 84 percent reporting that poor product content has led them to abandon a purchase with a vendor, especially if that content is inaccurate or lacking.