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RESEARCH NEWS: B2B buyers 'mimic consumer shoppers'

Enterprise buyers are beginning to mimic consumer shopping behaviors, according to a new study by business technology solutions provider Avanade.

The 1000 business and IT decision makers surveyed believe the value of the customer experience is now more important than price. Notably, business buyers are willing to pay up to 30 per cent more for a product or service that offers an improved customer experience.

Meanwhile, businesses no longer have control over information shared about their products or services. Sixty-one per cent of business decision-makers report third-party sites and feedback from business partners, industry peers or social channels are more important than conversations with a company’s sales teams when making a purchasing decision.

Plus, a whopping 70 per cent of respondents believe technology will primarily replace human interaction with customers in the next 10 years. Anticipating this change, businesses are making new technology investments, changing business processes and redesigning organisational roles.

The research also highlights that businesses investing in technology to support better customer service and modifying internal roles are seeing positive results. Specifically, the companies making these changes are experiencing increases in customer loyalty (61 per cent), revenues (60 per cent) and customer base (60 per cent).

Mick Slattery, executive vice president global service lines at Avanade said:  “The ‘consumerisation of IT’ is dramatically transforming the traditional ways companies sell products and services to other businesses and consumers.

“Businesses have lost control of the sales process, and B2B and B2C buying models are merging. It’s no longer business-to-business or business-to-consumer – it’s business-to-everyone. Those businesses that understand the nature of today’s complicated customer relationships are creating longer-term and more lucrative relationships with customers.”