Why B2B Purchasing is Moving Online

By 2020, Forrester Research predicts one million U.S. B2B sales reps will be out of a job. Why? Because B2B buyers want more of the B2C shopping experience and are going online to get it. B2B buyer behavior has changed significantly over the past few years and it’s not surprising. With technology expanding into most areas of people’s lives, both personal and professional, so is the need to adapt and change the old ways of doing business. Online sales show that B2B eCommerce is now twice the size of B2C eCommerce, with sales expected to reach $1.13 trillion by 2020. It was only a matter of time before B2B made the switch.

B2B Buyers Want the B2C Shopping Experience

While in the past print product catalogs and phone orders may have worked for B2B buyers, today’s tech-savvy buyer wants a better and more efficient shopping experience. With online catalogs, buyers can browse items whenever they want, zoom in on images, watch product videos and get recommendations, all from their smartphone or tablet. And don’t forget to include customer reviews on your products, 42 percent of buyers seek out user reviews on items they are thinking about purchasing. Setting up your online catalog to have these features plus an easy check out process will help the transition from traditional to online B2B purchasing. Get more information on online product catalogs here.

There is Higher Demand for More Convenience

The number of B2B buyers who spend 90 percent or more of their budgets online doubled from 9 percent in 2013 to 18 percent in 2014. When they have the opportunity to shop anywhere they want, whenever they want, customers are much more likely to visit your website, even more so when they find it through a Google search. A huge 94 percent of B2B buyers do research online before making a purchase. If you don’t have a web store or your site isn’t responsive and mobile-friendly, you are missing out on potential customers. Especially with 71 percent of buyers preferring to do their own research on products instead of having a sales person explain their options.

B2B online purchasing is only going to get more popular in the future. If you’re interested in learning more on the topic, register for the “B2B eCommerce – Selling Online Isn’t Just for Retailers” webinar taking place Tuesday, May 12th at 2 p.m. EST. The webinar will cover B2B buyer demands, the role of smartphones and tablets, benefits of selling online with an integrated eCommerce solution and more. You can register here.

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