Expertise and customer service are still key sales drivers at independent B2B businesses.
The Attracting and Retaining B2B Customers in a World of Choice report by e-commerce agency PushON found that when asked why they would buy from a smaller business over a retail giant, 40 per cent of respondents nominated expertise and the offer of solid advice and customer service support.
The second most important factor was improved online security for monetary transactions (37 per cent) followed by a desire for a small business to provide more in-depth product information (35 per cent).
According to the research, almost two thirds (62%) of business owners are more inclined to buy products for their company from Amazon over an independent online store.
PushON surveyed 1000 businesses found that for around half of the respondents, convenience was the main reason for shopping with a large online retailer, such as Amazon, for products such as computer software, furniture and office supplies.
Fifty-five per cent of those surveyed also believed that Amazon offered greater choice than independent counterparts.
However, 52 per cent of respondents said they would buy their office supplies from a small online outlet if they have previously experienced a good level of service from them, while 45 per cent said they wanted to support smaller business when making purchases.
The survey also found that:
• 93 per cent of B2B consumers prefer to shop online
• 98 per cent believed the quality of customer service support was an extremely important factor in their choice of online retailer
• 42 per cent of business customers purchased their furniture online because it is quicker than shopping in a physical store
PushON managing director Sam Rutley said: “When looking at the results of our survey, there are clear areas of the customer journey that can easily be improved to match or surpass Amazon’s offering.”
Source: As published 16 October 2018 in officeproductsnews.com.au