2D Sales Drawings
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B2B Industrial suppliers, both manufacturers and distributors (especially distributors in the case of one key insight in the conclusions below), need to see Forrester’s recently shared results of their 4th annual study, “Insights Into The Behavior Of The Modern B2B Buyer” in a Digital Commerce 360 webinar, “How B2B Buyers Shop, Think & Behave“.
Here’s our take on the key points for industrial B2B supplier eCommerce:
The Buying Process
Forrester makes the point that, “it is not about “filling the funnel”, it is about guiding buyers through a journey.” They say the “sales funnel” is at best a simplifying analogy but it doesn’t represent the complexity of today’s buying process. The key point – don’t force your simplification on the buyer, it is THEIR journey so adapt to their preferences! This excellent research updates us all on those preferences for 2017 (and beyond) so we can help guide customers on their journey.
Where Do Online Buyers Start?
Knowing where they start, and understanding why, lets you ensure you are part of the process. 38% start “where they find the broadest selection“, 24% start at “the most credible source of product details and info“, 22% start at the “easiest to use“. The point is they are trying to be efficient by going to the least number of sites.
How Many Research and Buy Online?
64% now research at least half of their work purchases online and 38% make at least half of their work purchases online. By 2020 55% expect to be buying at least half online. WHY are they shifting their buying online? For 38% its more convenient and for 22% it’s faster. Collectively these two reasons, convenience and speed equal efficiency for 38%+22%=60% of buyers! Therefore industrial suppliers need to ensure their eCommerce is as efficient as possible.
Where Do They Finish?
Obviously you want to be “where they finish” so you get the order! 26% finish at the most credible source of product information, 17% at the easiest to use site, 15% where delivery is fastest and 14% where price is lowest. Where they start of course correlates with where they finish – here’s a table showing the percentage of customers that start and finish at particular types of websites:
Conclusions and Recommendations
For modern B2B buyer behavior, Forrester concludes that where they start is driven by the broadest selection and where they finish is driven by the most credible information! Therefore B2B industrial suppliers should ensure as broad a product selection as they can online and provide credible and comprehensive product detail pages, for example, including product CAD models where applicable.
We also have 4 further recommendations:
If you’d like to know more about making your industrial eCommerce convenient and fast using digital catalogs, configurators, eCommerce, 3D CAD models and/or 2D CAD drawings all integrated with your website, CRM, ERP, etc. systems please call us or click either button below.