Business-to-business purchasers are increasing the amount they buy online, resulting in suppliers investing more in their e-commerce platforms.
Eighty three per cent of the 526 suppliers surveyed by Accenture and hybris are either in the process of implementing or upgrading their e-commerce suite or planning to do so within six months.
Of the 930 buyers questioned, 52 per cent said they expect at least half of their purchases to be made online in three years’ time.
The study, ‘Building the B2B Omni-Channel Commerce Platform of the Future’, also found that consumer shopping habits are influencing how purchasers expect to buy from suppliers. Nearly half (49 per cent) prefer making work-related purchases on the same websites they use for personal purchases.
Most buyers want enhanced search functionality on a website (60 per cent), followed by display of rates and reviews of products and services (58 per cent) and improved personalised product or service recommendations (50 per cent).
When it comes to payment, 69 per cent prefer to use direct, instant online forms of payment, such as credit cards or payment systems, rather than purchase orders and invoices.
“Business buyers are coming online with high expectations across the board,” said Brigid Fyr, managing director, Accenture Interactive. “With three out of four buyers stating they would buy again from a supplier with an easy-to-use website, sellers have a large opportunity for growth by focusing on making the entire purchasing experience as easy as ordering a book online.”
Chief strategy officer at hybris, Brian Walker added that business suppliers have made a good start to adapting to changing buying patterns. “Now it will be important for them to ensure a truly seamless experience for their customers at all times and on all touchpoints.”