Top 3 Strategies for Maintaining B2B Buyer Loyalty

In Acquity Group’s 2014 State of B2B Procurement Study, issues of buyer loyalty frequently came to the surface. While price plays a significant role for a majority of buyers, ease-of-use and a range of other B2C perks have a strong influence on procurement officers’ purchasing behavior.

The stand-out features that B2B buyers look for in a strong online shopping experience go hand-in-hand with the appropriate digital implementation.

  1. Convenience, Convenience, Convenience

Procurement officers at major corporations expect the same type of convenience that successful B2C companies offer their consumers. Acquity Group findings show 61 percent of B2B buyers would increase the number of online purchases from suppliers if it were easier and more convenient to purchase directly from their websites. Seventy-one percent would switch from their current supplier if the digital experience were more convenient.

But what does “convenience” really entail? Some specific responses from survey participants reflecting factors that would lead them to switch suppliers or shop more online include:

  • A better electronic search process (53 percent)
  • Additional self-service features, such as tracking warranty notifications, and the ability to print invoices (67 percent)
  • Easier to purchase items directly on the website (61 percent)
  1. The More You Know: Building Trust with the Buyer

A significant margin of B2B buyers —nearly two in three—who prefer to purchase directly from manufacturers do so because they believe that manufacturers have better knowledge of the product than distributors.

While growing confidence in making major and varied product purchases online speaks well for the overall B2B eCommerce landscape, the quality of information buyers are able to access is a crucial differentiator for where they spend their money. Google searches and third-party sites are beginning to play a more prominent role in the decision-making process, but ultimately, a clear assertion of credibility can be extremely valuable in drawing conversions.

  1. Keep Transactions Secure and Delivery Costs Low

Perks such as free delivery and highly secure transactions also rank high among B2B buyers, with 58 percent stating they would be more likely to make major purchases online if offered free delivery.

Nearly half of buyers (49 percent) would be more likely to purchase if they were guaranteed greater online security—an increasing concern in the business and retail world. Younger generations of buyers are particularly attuned to security concerns, with 75 percent of Millennials aged 18-25 indicating that improved security features make major online purchases more appealing. Suppliers and manufacturers that take steps to fill the void with enhanced security and other familiar B2C features stand to capture the attention of a large chunk of less-than-satisfied customers.

To read more on the findings from Acquity Group’s 2014 State of B2B Procurement study, click here.

To shed light on the growth and trends in B2B online purchasing, Acquity Group, part of Accenture Interactive, conducted its second annual State of B2B Procurement study to see how the preferences and habits of buyers at B2B companies have changed in the last year.

The study surveyed 500 buyers with annual purchasing budgets of $100,000 or more about their online purchasing habits and preferences. Inquiries ranged across areas including research, loyalty, frequency of purchase, customer service, and online offering and feature preferences. Buyers’ preferences and behaviors were also analyzed based on demographic qualifiers including generation, budget and industry. Response percentages were further evaluated on a quantitative scale to assess actionable metrics for B2B distributors and suppliers.

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