A study released by the Acquity Group, part of Accenture Interactive, has found that 94 percent of B2B buyers conduct some research before making a purchase, with 55 percent of them doing so for at least half of their purchases.
The “State of B2B Procurement” report looked at 500 B2B procurement officers with annual purchasing budgets of approximately $100,000. The goal was to determine how B2B companies adapt and stay competitive through their purchasing decisions.
About 68 percent of B2B buyers purchase goods online, compared to 57 percent cited in the 2013 version of the study. Nearly 44 percent of respondents said that they researched goods and services on a smartphone or tablet over the past 12 months. This is an increase from the 41 percent recorded in 2013.
However, the study found that only 48 percent of B2B buyers go to their suppliers’ website to make their purchase.
“B2B buyers in the United States are more active online than ever before, spending more time and company dollars in the digital space,” wrote the authors of the study. “However, few are successfully leveraging their suppliers’ websites to find the information and make the purchases they need — representing a significant missed opportunity for B2B organizations.”
B2B Companies and Spending Habits
In August, Epsilon released its “2014 Multichannel Trend Report,” which provided insight into how B2B organizations are using their money. Researchers found that B2B companies saw online sales grow by approximately 8 percent between 2011 and 2013. This accounted for about 64 percent of all sales.
“As your customers spend more and more time on mobile devices and online, it’s not surprising that there’s a notable impact on where they are researching products and making purchases,” said Tim Prunk, SVP of Epsilon Data Solutions. “With brands, consumers and businesses connecting both online and offline, a comprehensive, omnichannel marketing strategy remains key to success and to driving meaningful relationships with customers. In order for marketers to enhance the customer experience and best appropriate marketing dollars, they must use insights to know their customers, technology to reach them when and where they’re most engaged and creative content to drive desired outcomes and behaviors.”
In terms of B2B product spending according to industry, the financial sector saw the biggest increase out of 93 industries examined – spending increased by 6 percent. Retail trailed slightly behind with 5 percent growth. In both B2B and B2C industries, mail order and call center purchases declined.