US B2B Buyers’ Online Purchasing Habits 2024: What Distributors Need to Know

According to the Wunderman Thompson Commerce and Technology research B2B Future Shopper 2023, the global B2B market is becoming increasingly digital, with a growing desire for seamless omnichannel purchasing experiences and improved mobile capabilities. 

The research involved 2,261 B2B buyers, including purchase managers, procurement managers, purchasing clerks, agents, purchasers, and C-level executives. The research emphasizes the significance of OWNED (emphasis is ours) digital platforms. To satisfy consumer requests, B2B vendors must remove friction points and promote purpose, sustainability, and improved service. 

The future of business-to-business (B2B) commerce will encompass marketplaces, social commerce, and the metaverse.

It is a very useful and timely report. Distributors must read the report to gain valuable insights into the changing landscape of B2B online purchasing in the US.

A quick outline of the report as it pertains to B2B eCommerce

  • As B2B eCommerce continues to grow, US buyers are increasingly frustrated with their online buying experience, with over half finding it more complicated than offline.
  • Despite this, a significant portion of B2B purchases are now made online. 
  • WFH has led to an increase in online purchasing. 
  • The supplier’s website and mobile site are the most popular channels for product search
  • B2B buyers expect a similar experience to B2C. 
  • Suppliers with a purpose beyond selling and those who are digitally innovative are more likely to be preferred. 
  • In five years’ time, B2B buyers are expected to purchase more from supplier websites and social media channels.
  • To succeed in the competitive B2B online marketplace, suppliers must focus on providing an inspiring, efficient, and purposeful online experience.

Some insights from the US B2B Buyers’ Online Purchasing Habits Report

Source: Wunderman Thompson Commerce and Technology research B2B Future Shopper 2023

Key Takeaways for Distributors

Invest in making online shopping better. A lot of US B2B buyers are unhappy with their online shopping experiences, so distributors should focus on making a smooth, easy-to-use interface that makes the buying process easier.

Understand the shift towards online purchasing. As more business-to-business (B2B) purchases move online, distributors need to change with the times to stay competitive.

Prioritize the website and mobile site. Since the distributor’s website and mobile site are the most popular ways to search for products, distributors should make sure that these platforms are set up to give users the best experience possible.

Be digitally innovative. Since most B2B buyers say they are more likely to buy from a distributor that is digitally innovative, distributors should put innovation at the top of their list if they want to stay ahead of the curve.

Have a purpose beyond selling. US B2B buyers are more likely to favor distributors with a purpose beyond selling goods and services, so it is crucial to establish a strong brand identity and social responsibility initiatives.

It’s become more important than ever before to curate an online shopping experience for your customers that matches their growing expectations while best representing your business and its values. At the same time, it needs to be designed such that it doesn’t burden your team with its upkeep and management. 

What’s the takeaway for us? The study above reiterates what we’ve observed in our 15+ years of experience in driving growth for distributors to succeed in B2B eCommerce— by creating efficient, inspiring, and purposeful online experiences.

With a new name to match our renewed approach, Klizer is a team of experts dedicated to driving growth for distributors via ecommerce. With over a decade and a half’s worth of experience in the domain, we are further committed to offering tailored and dedicated ecommerce services for our clients customized for each client and their business challenges, goals, and outlook. Talk to one of our ecommerce experts today.

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