B2B ecommerce risks losing sales to competitors due to lack of personalisation

A personalised ecommerce offering would persuade a third of B2B buyers to purchase from a specific vendor, according to new research.

Nearly half of B2B buyers want customer specific pricing as part of the buying experience, according to a survey of 560 B2B buyers worldwide. A further 38% of respondents felt tailored offers and shipping options would make the purchasing process more personalised, and an additional 36% also want personalised payment methods.

The survey, undertaken by Sapio on behalf of ecommerce provider Sana Commerce, found that 33% of buyers evaluate offerings on price, while just under a third evaluate on payment terms, with delivery and stock availability coming in third and fourth.

B2B ahead of B2C

Respondents felt that the use of new technology, such as online portals and web chat functionality, was better in a B2B environment than B2C. Buying through new sales channels, such as social selling, voice ordering, mobile commerce, predictive ordering and easy checkouts however were still considered slightly better in B2C ecommerce.

The research also suggests that automated payments and purchases will continue to grow in importance, with buyers listing them as the top two factors that will have the biggest impact on their role in five years’ time.

Great service is the top factor that would encourage over a third of customers to buy according to the research, followed by low prices and product features.

More than half (57%) of respondents still want their quotes delivered by email, a third (34%) would like someone to call them with a price and another third (36%) would prefer access to quotes online. Email is considered to be one the most important B2B channel for buyers (41%), closely followed by ecommerce (28%) and phone (25%).

Michiel Schipperus, CEO and managing partner at Sana Commerce, said: “Understanding buyer preferences is vital if organisations are going to successfully compete in such a volatile marketplace. Our research found that the list of B2B buying requirements is long and businesses need to ensure that they’re able to meet buyers’ KPIs through ecommerce to help drive efficiencies and deliver the best experience.”

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