London, 6th October 2022 – Research published today by global digital commerce platform VTEX reveals new insights into the changing attitudes and expectations amongst British business buyers for their online purchases following the pandemic.
The survey of 250 buyers from large and small UK businesses across a range of sectors shows they are increasingly using ecommerce platforms, with nearly six in ten (57%) making at least 40% of their purchasing online.
Over three quarters (78%) of buyers also agree that the ecommerce capabilities of B2B brands have improved over the last two years. As a result, buyers are increasingly trusting ecommerce sites not only for repeat orders, but also big-ticket purchases. More than one in four (26%) said they are willing to spend up to £50,000 in a single transaction and nearly one in ten (8%) happy to spend over half a million.
Despite this, the research revealed there are rising expectations amongst B2B buyers for further improvements in their online purchasing experience. Over half (52%) agreed that the ecommerce capabilities of B2B brands are lagging behind that of consumer brands.
Nearly three quarters (74%) believe B2B brands could improve customer experiences by offering higher levels of personalisation. Buyers would like to see new features such as Saving previous payment options (34%), options to purchase the same product from another manufacturer on the site (i.e. offered more seller choice as is provided by marketplaces) (30%) and the ability to better understand how well products fit their needs (e.g. demonstrate) (28%).
The survey findings clearly show expectations amongst business buyers are evolving rapidly, with half (48%) wanting suppliers to make major updates to the functionality of ecommerce sites at least twice a year and a third (33%) expecting updates quarterly.
Khalid Khan, Head of Sales UK at VTEX commented: “B2B sellers need to recognise that their business customers are also end consumers in their personal lives, who expect the same quality of digital commerce experience within their professional environment they enjoy when purchasing in their private lives.”
“B2B digital commerce adoption may well be behind B2C, but buyers will expect B2B sellers to reach the level of maturity that B2C sellers exhibit in a much shorter timeframe. While this will place pressure on B2B sellers it also represents a fabulous high growth market opportunity.”
The research also explored attitudes towards B2B online marketplaces, revealing three quarters (74%) of buyers would like to see more sellers combine forces with third parties and provide them with a broader range of products or services via marketplaces. In fact, three in ten (30%) expressed a desire for sellers to offer options to purchase the same product from another manufacturer on their site, highlighting the growing demand and an increasing desire to ‘shop around’ for best value with business purchases.
Khan continues: “Our research clearly shows the ecommerce opportunity for B2B sellers is big, and we’ve seen those successfully embracing more personalised commerce experiences are growing their customer base and loyalty more quickly – even in challenging market conditions.”
“We know from experience that providing regular feature updates can be costly and time consuming. As a modular solution, platforms like VTEX have the capability to liberate sellers from complex, rigid systems and deliver continuous, seamless enhancements giving sellers a competitive edge.
Buyers increasingly demand more choice, with our feature rich marketplace capability, we empower our clients to easily add third party sellers to their store, or, alternatively push some or all of their catalogue out to external marketplaces or other VTEX sellers opening a raft of new commercial possibilities.” To find out more about how your business can benefit from digital commerce platforms visit https://vtex.com/gb-en/.
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About the research
Research of a nationally representative sample of 250 B2B respondents with buying good decision making responsibilities was conducted by Opinium between 18th – 31st August 2022.
VTEX (NYSE: VTEX) is the enterprise digital commerce platform where global brands and retailers run their world of commerce. VTEX puts its customers’ business on a fast path to growth with a complete Commerce, Marketplace, and OMS solution. VTEX helps global companies build, manage and deliver native and advanced B2B, B2C, and Marketplace commerce experiences with unprecedented time to market and without complexity.
As a leader in digital commerce platforms, VTEX is trusted by more than 2,400 customers, including AbInbev, Carrefour, Colgate, Motorola, and Whirlpool, having over 3,200 active online stores across 38 countries (as of FY ended on December 31st, 2021). For more information, visit www.vtex.com.
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