Report: 76% of B2B Buyers Use Three or More Channels for Research

Statistics from Blue Nile Research’s latest report indicate that B2B buyers are fully prepared to leverage a variety of channels when researching a purchase. In fact, 76 percent of them use three or more channels to gather information throughout the process.

A vast majority of B2B buyers (82 percent) utilize search to interact with a company before making a purchase. Eighty percent claim that they visit the brand website, while 79 percent said they read customer reviews and case studies. However, Blue Nile researchers claim that other channels, such as social and mobile, should not be forgotten.

b2b, marketing, channels

“Although far less, between 14 and 25 percent, use channels such as mobile and social, marketers should not base their investment in these channels solely on this data since it describes buyer behavior in the interest, consideration, conversion stages of the buying journey and does not accurately reflect top of the funnel behavior,” the researchers stated.

When looking at the types of content B2B buyers are most likely to click on during the buying process, data and stats (46 percent), blog posts/video (18 percent) and infographics (10 percent) top the list.

The Role of Demographics in the B2B Buying Process

In terms of generation, statistics show that Millennials are far more likely to research a brand before making a B2B purchase. A study published by the IBM Institute for Business Value has found that 93 percent of Millennials read reviews prior to buying a B2B product or service. This is compared to just 37 percent of Generation Xers who said the same.

However, content is not the only factor that drives Millennial-related sales. This demographic heavily weighs recommendations from family and friends (36 percent), while Generation Xers (38 percent) and Baby Boomers (37 percent) are more likely to trust independent analysts or industry experts.

“Millennials want ready access to detailed information about brands, products and services, yet despite all the facts and figures at their fingertips, their ultimate decision to buy (or not) could be swayed by someone far beyond the vendors’ target market,” wrote the authors of the IBM report.

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Rebecca Johnston-Gilbert' — Rebecca Johnston-Gilbert, Marketing, Postman

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