Bigcommerce reveals insights into changing B2B buyer behavior

Bigcommerce reveals insights into changing B2B buyer behavior

BigCommerce, a leading Open SaaS ecommerce platform, recently unveiled its findings from the Global B2B Buyer Behavior Report, shedding light on the evolving preferences and habits of B2B buyers in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia.

BigCommerce collaborated with Price Intelligently by Paddle for this consumer survey in May 2023, with a total of 1,006 respondents from the US (508), UK (261), and Australia (237). Respondents were required to be at least 18 years old, employed, authorized to make business purchases, and make purchases more than twice a year.

The report underscores a growing convergence between B2B and consumer retail trends. B2B buyers are increasingly seeking the same user experience they enjoy as consumers – mobile-responsive websites, transparent product information, and seamless checkout processes.

These findings serve as a wake-up call for businesses to modernize their ecommerce operations. Ecommerce is the fastest-growing channel for B2B product sales, with the US projected to reach over $2 trillion in B2B ecommerce sales by 2024, according to eMarketer.

Lance Owide, General Manager of B2B at BigCommerce, emphasized the need for adaptation: "The way B2B buyers shop is changing, and B2B merchants need to adapt. Buyers are turning to online channels to research, compare, and purchase products."

Key findings from the survey include:

Online Shopping: 74% of respondents prefer online platforms for product purchases.

Product Discovery: 65% rely on search engines for product discovery, while 42% turn to online marketplaces like Amazon Business.

B2B Marketplaces: 60% of respondents use B2B marketplaces for purchases, with 51% choosing Amazon Business.

Pain Points: The top pain points during the purchasing process include inaccurate pricing and shipping costs (40%), slow website loading times (29%), and poor customer support (28%).

Technical Issues: 31% of respondents abandoned online purchases due to technical issues.

Checkout Preferences: Buyers prioritize displaying complete and accurate pricing information during the checkout process.

The report also highlighted how B2B buyers discover and purchase products. While digital platforms like search engines and online marketplaces are popular, catalogs remain a viable way for 42% of global respondents to find products. Trade shows, which were affected by the pandemic, saw a decrease in importance.

The pandemic accelerated the shift to ecommerce for B2B buyers and merchants. A 2021 survey found that 87% of B2B buyers identified new suppliers online, up from 78% before the pandemic. Among the most-used purchasing channels, suppliers' ecommerce websites and apps were the preferred choice in the US, UK, and Australia.

Amazon Business emerged as the leading online marketplace for B2B purchases, with 51% of respondents selecting it. Walmart and Alibaba lagged behind.

Ratings, reviews, and peer recommendations played a significant role in purchase decisions. Promotions and marketing campaigns also influenced buyer choices.

In terms of ecommerce site preferences, buyers value the ability to compare products and prices, customize orders, and access purchase histories. However, these benefits can be negated by inaccurate pricing, slow website loading times, and complicated checkouts.

During the checkout process, technical issues were the primary reason for cart abandonment (31%). Secure checkout was another concern, particularly in the UK (30%).

Credit and debit cards were the most preferred payment methods, while electronic and physical checks were more popular in the US. Respondents valued total and accurate pricing information and multiple shipping options.

Overall, the report emphasizes the importance of providing a seamless online shopping experience for B2B buyers and the need for businesses to adapt to evolving consumer-like expectations in the B2B sector.

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