B2B buyers are spending more online, but they’re choosey about their ecommerce destinations — and prefer purchasing on manufacturers’ websites.
Buyers want helpful online product content and purchasing features, demands that have many of them preferring manufacturers’ websites, new research from Digital Commerce 360 and Forrester Research Inc. finds.
“Brand manufacturers win buyers with great content,” says Forrester senior analyst Joe Cicman. “Our joint research indicates the top choice for business buying in 2023 is the brand manufacturer’s own site (57%), beating-out Amazon Business at 43%. Why? Both a surprise and a delight: 85% of buyers tell us that the best source for product information is the brand manufacturer’s own site.”
The joint research project also found that 70% of B2B buyers will increase their online purchasing of goods and services in 2023.
Cicman — who will discuss at the EnvisionB2B Conference & Exhibition this month the results of the joint DC360/Forrester suryey and the intersection of online buyer demands and sellers’ ecommerce technology strategies — asserts that sellers must review the functions that address the challenges they face in serving customers, then identify the ecommerce technology platform that covers those w.
McKesson discusses B2B commerce trends
Cicman will speak at EnvisionB2B in a June 21 session to analyze with DC360 the results of the joint research project and discuss digital commerce technology trends with Val DuVernet, senior director of digital strategy and optimization at medical products distributor McKesson.
B2B companies “should examine potential ecommerce solutions to identify which ones cover the specific common functions they most value,” Forrester says in the March 2023 report, “Demystifying the Technical Functions of B2B Commerce Solutions,” written by Cicman with input from other Forrester analysts.
Some of those functions, for example, can include how ecommerce technology manages customer account hierarchies, contract terms and personalized product catalogs for each customer.
Gartner’s Gene Alvarez on technology choices
Gene Alvarez, distinguished vice president and analyst covering digital commerce technology at research and advisory firm Gartner Inc., says B2B companies today have plenty options for deploying ecommerce technology based on their resources and their customers’ demands regarding the online buying experience.
Companies with limited IT resources can opt for software-as-a-service platforms that support customized customer-facing front ends. But businesses with more substantial resources can move up to even more customizable modular and composable MACH platforms with extensive use of microservices, APIs, cloud and headless infrastructure configurations, Alvarez says.
As competition increases in B2B ecommerce, and companies develop new and innovative ways to interact with buyers and make their customers’ jobs easier, it will be crucial for online sellers to operate commerce technology they can modify to keep up with new standards.
“As new innovation comes along, you need to” be able to bring about that new innovation because it will be table stakes within a year,” Alvarez says. “That’s where MACH brings advantages.”
Alvarez will speak on digital technology trends and strategies at EnvisionB2B. He will lead a June 20 panel and workshop on building customer loyalty.
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