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Channel Shift: Measuring B2B Efforts to Shift Customers Online

Accenture Interactive report offers insights into successful B2B online purchasing efforts in the US.


Current State of B2B eCommerce Buying

Shifting Customers to Online

Mobile Matters

In an effort to drive customers online, B2B organizations can’t neglect the relationship between eCommerce and mobile adoption.

According to the report, fifty percent of interview participants have already implemented mobile strategies; 36 percent have mobile plans in the works and only 14 percent don’t intend to focus on mobile.

The presence of mobile strategies positively correlates with both the number of years an organization has dedicated to eCommerce and the percentage of revenue received from online sales (see chart below). This indicates that, while accommodating mobile shoppers can have a powerful bottom line impact, strategic mobile experiences require time and effort to build.

Challenges and Opportunities

A number of challenges still stand in the way of B2B organizations’ ability to lure existing customers online and create eCommerce experiences that entice new audiences. B2B leaders admit that internal bottlenecks inhibit many of their firms’ eCommerce aspirations, but many are quick to characterize the customer as an issue as well.

Given the wide range of tactics B2B organizations use to alter customer behavior and boost online sales, it’s clear that some methods are more successful than others. When asked which channels have been most successful for shifting customers online, many organizations realize the power of the personal touch. Spurring more eCommerce revenue requires more than a web presence or an email marketing list; there needs to be a human element involved as well.


For the most part, B2B organizations across industries are taking measures to expand their digital horizons and move into the eCommerce space.

Based on the survey results, there appears to be three core factors that influence customer buying behavior: capable digital channels, human capital and internal engagement.

First, firms must strive to offer a seamless experience across any digital channel they use, whether it’s an eCommerce website, a mobile application or social media profiles. Next, the best IT infrastructure in the world won’t convince customers to shift online by itself. B2B organizations cannot underestimate the power of the human touch when trying to change buyer habits. And finally, businesses need to secure and maintain positive internal engagement – across different departments and personnel ranks – toward their digital initiatives.

Above all else, B2B organizations need to recognize that building out a successful eCommerce presence and process takes time. By giving eCommerce initiatives the time and effort they deserve, organizations give themselves the breathing room to perfect new processes and get comfortable with a new business model. The more comfortable B2B organizations become with these digital realities, the more comfortable they can make their customers.