An Acquity Group study of 500 buyers with annual purchasing budgets of at least $100,000 (£61,936), found that the number of those researching at least 90 per cent of products online has increased by 36 per cent in the last year.
Thirty per cent of respondents to the 2014 State of B2B Procurement Study go online to explore the vast majority of their purchases, compared with 22 per cent in 2013. More procurement professionals are buying online too – 68 per cent in 2014, up from 57 per cent in 2013.
Yet supplier sites are not necessarily providing the information and ease of use that the buyers need. The majority (83 per cent) say they use supplier sites for research and 48 per cent buy directly from them, but just 37 per cent cite this channel as the most helpful research tool. The findings suggest buyers can shift their attention to third-party websites offering “more accessible, informative content”.
According to the report: “As younger buyers without established vendor relationships enter the market, suppliers must optimise their online content to provide buyers with as much information as possible and stand out in an increasingly crowded market.”
Last year’s study also reported the increase rise in online purchasing and warned that B2B suppliers must have an online presence that promotes familiarity and research capabilities to attract purchasers.