A great B2B online buying experience is key to buyer retention and growth

For 67% of buyers, the ability to order through a supplier’s website is considered either very important (38%) or extremely important (29%) according to a recent survey by UPS on B2B purchasing insights, which looked at the behaviours, preferences and perceptions of industrial supplier performance.

The UPS B2B Purchasing Insights Study, conducted in partnership with research firm TNS, looked at both the current and intended purchase behaviours of buyers across the purchasing process.

Buyers reported that the majority of their suppliers have websites that offer online ordering and 34% said they have gone outside of their existing supply base to make an online purchase with a new vendor.

Integration is also an important requirement, with buyer’s highly ranking greater integration of a seller’s systems and processes – inventory, shipping and returns – in order to provide a more competitive and satisfying customer experience.

For example, data suggests that offering real-time product availability, negotiated pricing and shipping costs into the online purchase experience may help to fill a need for many buyers.

63% of industrial supplies buyers purchase through websites, whether directly from suppliers or through a third-party provider, but many still use phone, fax and placing orders through sales representatives or emails.

Importantly, those suppliers that can differentiate their ordering process with enhanced speed, ease and convenience are at a significant advantage.

Despite this, many suppliers are struggling to provide a seamless and easy ordering system for their customers with the complexity of B2B purchasing, such as negotiated pricing and multiple payment policies, providing inhibitors to new technology investment.

B2B Online buyers value website features that offer more insight into product information details, order costs and status.

Among buyers who purchase through suppliers’ websites, the ability to know shipping costs before ordering was one of the most mentioned benefits.

Other key benefits include:

–          Real-time product availability

–          Purchase history and delivery dates.

–          Improved visibility into real-time product information and availability

In Australia and NZ, many suppliers are considering investments in improved B2B commerce platforms that can provide a fully integrated buying experience for their customers.

And it is clear that a valuable competitive advantage comes from those that can provide their customers with the best online buying experience by delivering the buying channels their customers want combined with the right business processes.

For more information: www.ciber.com.au