B2B sellers of all types have their work cut out building customer loyalty, says a new survey from B2B ecommerce applications service provider Merkle.
Merkle recently surveyed 3,622 buyers of B2B products and analyzed 7,000 B2B purchasing experiences. The research revealed that buyers go to an average of at least 3.2 different ecommerce sites looking for products and services to purchase for their organization.
But these buyers may take 344 days to make a final purchasing decision and they are not as loyal as in previous times. The research finds that only 34% of buyers give their repeat business to a B2B brand they used in a previous purchase.
“B2B buyers feeling safe about their decision has become increasingly important,” the report says. “They have fewer reasons to stay loyal to their current suppliers, due to a disconnect between brand experiences and rising customer expectations and changing customer needs.”
Other findings include:
- Fewer B2B buyers (55%) reported having positive brand experiences across key parts of the purchase journey when compared to last year.
- “It is much more likely that buyer expectations have moved on, and that they are now outstripping the speed at which B2B brand experiences are changing,” Merkle says. “In short, B2B brand experiences are failing to keep pace with buyer expectations.”
- The two decision drivers of considerable importance to B2B organizations are “supports us with expertise” and “integrates smoothly with our processes and operations.”
- “As businesses are forced to become leaner and work more closely with their suppliers/partners, they have become more and more reliant on the organizations with which they choose to work,” the report says.