B2B procurement has not escaped the digital revolution—not by a long shot. But B2B suppliers have not caught up with B2B buyers’ growing digital acumen.
This is according to the 2014 State of B2B Procurement Study conducted by Acquity Group, part of Accenture Interactive. The survey of 500 procurement officers with annual purchasing budgets of more than $100,000 uncovered how B2B buyers are searching, discovering and purchasing online.
The 2014 Acquity Group State of B2B Procurement study uncovered massive growth in online research and spending by B2B buyers across multiple devices. Study highlights include:
68% of B2B buyers now purchase goods online, up from 57% in the 2013 State of B2B Procurement study
The number of respondents who spent 90% or more of their budgets online in the last year doubled from 2013, increasing from 9 to 18%
44% of respondents have researched company products on a smartphone or tablet in the past year, compared with 41% in 2013
30% of B2B buyers report they research at least 90% of products online before purchasing, up from 22% in 2013
94% of B2B buyers report that they conduct some form of online research before purchasing a business product
55% of B2B buyers conduct online research for at least half of their corporate purchases
40% of buyers research more than half of goods under $10,000 online
Only 37 percent of B2B buyers who conduct research through a supplier’s website feel it’s the most helpful tool for research.
Buyers rely on a variety of online sources to make a purchase decision. The most popular sources include supplier websites, Google searches, user product reviews, blogs, social media and third-party websites such as Amazon Supply.
Online procurement spending is on the rise, creating new opportunities for suppliers
46% of respondents said their companies will increase online purchasing next year
68% of B2B buyers made online purchases in 2014 versus 57% in 2013
Procurement officers, especially in the millennial generation, are relying more on mobile and tablet devices to conduct research and purchase business goods. In fact, mobile purchasing and research habits generally diverge among the youngest and oldest generations of workers
55% of millennial workers ages 18-25 use mobile phones for procurement research, compared with 36 percent of respondents over the age of 45
Half of millennial B2B buyers use tablets to conduct research, while 31 percent of buyers over the age of 45 use tablets for product research
44% of respondents have researched an item for their company using a mobile device
For suppliers to fully capitalize on this growth, they must address several areas of their online experiences, including poor conversion rates. Sixty-nine percent of B2B buyers have abandoned an online shopping cart in the last year, for a variety of reasons:
37% found a lower priced product from another supplier
35% said the website page did not load properly
26% said checkout process took too long
22% said the checkout process was too confusing