Buyer behavior in the business market is changing, and perhaps one of the biggest changes is that buyers increasingly do not see a difference between the “business” and “consumer” purchasing experience. Business buyers – particularly those under 50 - are increasingly saying they want an “Amazon-like” experience, at least according to a 2018 study by Salesforce. In fact, 67% of respondents said that they even switched vendors to get a more consumer-style purchasing experience!
This potentially has a lot of ramifications for how you and your partners do business. Let’s dig in.
What Do Modern Buyers Want From A Purchasing Experience?
The exact definition of “consumer-like” or “Amazon-like” in that study was left up to the respondent, but it’s not hard to take a good guess at what that means – particularly in conjunction with this Marketing Charts report on pain points in the e-commerce buying process. Experiences or features B2B buyers are looking for undoubtedly include:
· A website that gives accurate, easily-parsed information on products.
· The ability to make direct purchases online.
· Personalized content and product recommendations.
· Streamlined shopping cart / checkout services.
· Easily-available customer service if needed.
This is a major change to how typical B2B purchases are conducted - and there is many reasons to think that the change has only started. Why? The demographics. The Salesforce study makes it clear that the younger a B2B buyer is, the more likely they are to expect this Amazon-style experience – or switch vendors to achieve it. For example, even 54% of Boomers agreed with the statement “I expect Amazon-like buying experiences,” along with 66% of Generation X, and 77% of Millennials.
Undoubtedly, once more Gen Z workers enter positions of purchasing responsibility, they will continue this trend.
Can Your Ecosystem Adapt To New Buyer Demands?
On the face of it, these trends represent a true paradigm shift in B2B relationships and buyer behavior. The days of sales staff wining and dining clients to win their business may not be truly gone, but it seems they’re increasingly confined to much larger-scale purchases. When it comes to the smaller stuff, business buyers want to purchase online quickly and easily, without having to schmooze or go through extensive RFP processes.
More than anything else, we suggest opening discussions with your partners to discuss these new trends. Work on improving your e-commerce sites. Look for ways to streamline the process. And where salesperson involvement is unavoidable, try to add value to the experience however possible.
LogicBay can help unify your ecosystem, and improve collaboration in the face of fast-changing market trends! Contact us for a personalized demonstration.