More enterprise IT buyers than ever before expect e-commerce to be more consumer like, a new hybris study reveals, and nearly all large companies surveyed said their suppliers needed to make their websites easier and more compelling to use.
Buyers Want Better Online Experiences
We want our work email to be as easy to use as our gmail, and we want our shopping experiences to be as easy as buying on Amazon, right? Think of the disruption Amazon has caused so many retailers and it's easy to see why so many IT buyers are expecting a similar experience for their businesses.
In its 2012 State of B2B E-Commerce report, hybris found that while B2B buyers prefer to buy online, the supplier websites they have access to are woefully in need of an upgrade. Fully 71% of respondents said they still work with suppliers who don't offer any online ordering.
That doesn't mean most of those suppliers are doing catalog only offerings, but there clearly are a few. We have to believe those companies are getting an earful from their customers at this point, but even for those who do have e-commerce sites, the experiences offered are apparently a bit behind the times.
E-Commerce Changing Fast
Hybris is a leader in the e-commerce space, according to Forrester, but the landscape is shifting so quickly even its spot on that list is not assured in the near future. The State of B2B E-Commerce report found three distinct benefits of buying online most often cited by the B2B procurement specialists surveyed. These buyers want to be able to place orders when it's most convenient for them. Normal business hours being the limitation there. Respondents also said it was faster and easier to track those orders online.
One of the biggest problems found with existing supplier websites was they were simply cumbersome to navigate. Furthermore, while customers want to be able to buy and browse at their leisure, the study also found they would still be willing to work with a sales rep. This was especially true for those with budgets over US $1 million.
As a warning to those IT suppliers who have yet to optimize their websites or upgrade at all, the study found two out of five respondents had switched suppliers because it was too hard to find what they wanted. Let us know in the comments if your suppliers have needlessly hapless websites or if you know of one who has recently updated with a better system or service.