B2B E-commerce Buyers – What are they looking for?

In a Forrester survey, B2B buyers revealed some insight into what drives online B2B e-commerce buying behaviour. The results weren’t surprising at all but are different to those you’d see from a B2C survey.

Providing the right Brands and Products

The most popular response when it came to Business-to-Business e-commerce was product. B2B buyers indicated that they are looking for an online B2B portal that has the right Brands and Products. It is important to remember that B2B companies are looking for quality and reliability as much and not more than consumers. In the scenario where B2B buyers are doing their purchases online, brand reputation can take away certain concerns they might have when buying online. Reputable brands and products come with good warranties and track records, making the decision to buy online less worrying.

Pricing Details

Accuracy and availability of pricing detail was second on the priority list for B2B buyers that prefer to buy online. B2B buyers are concerned with buying products at the right price as it impacts their profit margins and rebates. If a company has pre-negotiated a discount based on volume as an example, having visibility to the price is non-negotiable. Often pricing doesn’t only related to purchase price, but having insight into Recommended Retail Price (in the case of retail) can also help adoption of b2b e-commerce portals.

Product Technical Data

Much like the first two priorities, the third priority is also related to product. The online B2B buyers are looking for technical data when buying online. They want to have peace of mind that they are buying the right product. Often times there are various products with the same functionality but different features and components, and having accurate product descriptions and technical details are critical to the online B2B buyer to ensure that they buy the right product for the job at hand.

Fast Customer Service

Companies have to remember that B2B buyers are used to being able to pick up a phone and call their account managers or sales reps to get quick response and service. Where B2B companies activate an online B2B portal its vital not to lose response times and neglect customer service. The Forrester respondents all indicated that fast customer service was one of the top four priorities when it comes to a B2B e-commerce portal.

For more insight into B2B e-commerce strategies and portals, speak to Expert Ecommerce, the leaders in the B2B e-commerce space in Africa. Contact info@expertecommerce.co.za or visit www.epertecommerce.co.za for more information.