B2B eCommerce

Buyers make purchasing an online team sport

B2B buyers are often a purchasing team and not just a single individual. And they begin the digital purchasing process on multiple sales channels. The latest data comes from a new survey of 750 executives from business research and consulting firm McKinsey & Co. The survey finds B2B customers now regularly use ten or more channels to interact with suppliers, up from just five in 2016. Buyers are more willing than ever before to spend substantial amounts through remote or online sales channels, with 35% willing to spend $500,000 or more in a single transaction (up from 27% in February 2021). 77% of B2B customers are also willing to spend $50,000 or more.

“The next normal for B2B sales is here, and there’s no looking back—businesses are no longer cautiously testing the waters, incrementally (and sometimes reluctantly) inching their way online,” McKinsey says. “The pressures from COVID-19 have accelerated the shift.”

During the pandemic, an unprecedented share of consumers began changing brands or retailers, and signs suggest that B2B buyers are following suit. More B2B customers are actively looking for another supplier if their main needs are not met, McKinsey says. More than 80% say that a performance guarantee—including a full refund if a certain performance level is not met—is critical for brand loyalty. Purchasers are almost as likely to want real-time customer service, transparency online about product availability and pricing, and a consistent purchasing experience across multiple channels,” McKinsey says.

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