Fewer than one in 10 buyers rated as “excellent” their purchasing experience on B2B e-commerce sites, a recent B2BecNews survey of more than 100 B2B buyers finds.
Meeting B2B buyer expectations with a comprehensive e-commerce site along with excellent customer service and delivery programs is still a challenge for many manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers, says new research from B2BecNews.
For example, fewer than 10% of buyers rated their experience using B2B e-commerce sites in the past six months as excellent, compared with 45% as good. More important, 35.1% and 10.8%, respectively, listed their experience as only average or fair/poor, according to a survey of 111 buyers in diverse industries that range from automotive and computers to industrial and medical supplies.
Many B2B e-commerce sites also still don’t offer many of the advanced e-commerce features buyers want. For example, another recent B2BecNews survey, of about 150 manufacturers, reveals that many manufacturers are still working to deploy more sophisticated e-commerce features—and to use social media to market and communicate with customers.
Less than half of all manufacturers (43%) in that survey have a website that’s optimized for mobile, only 21% have deployed an app and only 34% have links to social media. Manufacturers, it seems, also are slowly deploying more sophisticated purchasing and order management tools that business buyers need for making more custom purchases.
The manufacturers survey also found that only 43% of them offer bulk pricing tools on their B2B e-commerce site and only 38% have deployed features that let business buyers request a quote or negotiate pricing. Even fewer manufacturers, at 28% and 20%, respectively, have e-commerce tools that enable customers to configure orders or automatically reorder parts and supplies.
Distributors overall are embracing B2B e-commerce faster than manufacturers, according to the manufacturers survey and a separate B2BecNews March 2018 survey of more than 120 distributors.
About 60% of distributors have an e-commerce site compared with about 40% of manufacturers, according to the B2BecNews distributors and manufacturers surveys.
But like many manufacturers, not all distributors are deploying the most advanced e-commerce features buyers want. For example, business buyers with very complex and specific products want to integrate their core back¬end supply chain and financial systems directly with a distributor’s for faster and easier ordering. Buyers also want tools that let them configure products, do negotiated or bulk pricing or automatic product reordering.
Today, only about 44% of distributors can integrate their e-commerce systems with a customer’s enterprise resource planning software or applications for managing supply chains and financial systems, and less than 20% have a product configuration tool or the ability to customers automatically reorder products.
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