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Mobile devices shape B2B transactions

Posted: 27 Apr 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:smartphone? B2B? consumers?

Almost every consumer who flocks to his/her favourite electronics retail location holds a smartphone, and these devices potentially change the way that people buy products and services.

Today, more than half of shoppers (55 per cent) use a mobile device to research products prior to purchase while they are in the store and one in five have actually purchased a product via an electronic device while still in the brick-and-mortar location, according to by a recent survey conducted by SecureNet. And for younger shoppers, the trend is even more marked, as the graphic below demonstrates.

Now, these same trends are beginning to become evident in the business-to-business (B2B) world, as procurement departments look for online experiences that are on par with the consumer world.

SecureNet survey

(Source: SecureNet's The Way We Pay survey)

"Many B2B companies believe that the relationship sale is still extremely alive and well, meaning that they think that the people they have deployed in the field are netting sales," said Bob Barr, technology services managing director at the Acquity Group in an interview. "Increasingly, though, customers are doing and want to do their research and comparison shopping without talking to a sales rep. Companies disproportionality invest in the buy experience when they should be investing in post shipping and research tools for customers."

In fact, research from the Acquity Group highlights these trends, finding that:

  • 44 per cent of respondents have researched an item for their company using a mobile device
  • 37 per cent have researched business goods on their tablet devices
  • 24 per cent have made a purchase for their company using a mobile device
  • 25 per cent have made a corporate purchase using a tablet device

According to the survey, online procurement spending is on the rise, with 68 per cent of B2B buyers making online purchases in 2014 versus 57 per cent per cent in 2013. Nearly half (46 per cent) of buyers spent at least 50 per cent of their corporate procurement budgets online in the last year.

Acquity Group's study

(Source: Acquity Group's 2014 State of B2B Procurement Study)

Especially as millennials enter the workforce, the expectation of procurement professionals is that they will be able to engage with suppliers online and that that experience will be quick and streamlined. "These users spend their days on Amazon, Facebook or purchasing movie tickets online," said Barr. "They have an expectation of what the consumer experience looks and feels like and find that the B2B experience is sorely trailing."


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