A new report found that although online sales in the B2B space are growing, those companies should be willing to invest more in e-commerce platforms.
Several new stats in this report will be of interest to anyone in B2B sales. The analysis by Accenture Interactive included interviews with 50 digital and e-commerce leaders from U.S. B2B companies with at least $500 million in annual revenue.
1. The percentage of B2B buyers who purchased goods online jumped to 68 percent last year from 57 percent in 2013.
2. 86 percent of B2B firms offered online purchasing options. But those suppliers still generated most of their business from non-web sources.
3. Two-thirds of suppliers said that resistance to change among their long-term customers was a barrier to growing online sales.
4. The top purchasing channels available to B2B buyers include in-person sales representative (90 percent), online through a site (86 percent), over the phone (82 percent).
5. What’s the top tactic B2B firms use to promote their e-commerce platform? Email marketing heads the list at 90 percent
The Accenture report concluded with this recommendation for B2B organizations:
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. At the same time, it takes more than a visually appealing website to convert visitors into buyers. Organizations need to differentiate their digital purchasing experience with exclusive promotions, personalized features and informative content customers can’t get in person or over the phone.
In the B2B space especially, firms should prioritize self-service capabilities. B2B buyers crave efficiency as much, if not more than, consumers. Robust digital account management features – such as customized pricing, contract information and transaction histories – can distinguish a brand among a sea of competitors that still rely on phone calls and paperwork.
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