Most people think that only B2C (business to consumer) eCommerce retailers need fast, effective, and relevant site search and navigation solutions. However, the market is shifting. A recent study by United Parcel Service Inc. has revealed that more and more B2B (business to business) purchasers of industrial supplies are turning to eCommerce solutions to fulfill their needs. 63% of industrial supplies buyers say they are now purchasing online, which makes eCommerce the most popular purchasing channel in the industry. It’s not just B2C retailers who need to provide a competitive shopping experience. “The findings underscore the need for industrial suppliers’ e-commerce sites to offer a positive customer experience, much like B2C companies,” reads the report.
Need even more proof? Here are the percentages of the respondents in the study who ranked these criteria as either “very important” or “extremely important” when it came time for them to choose a supplier:
– Product availability: 93%
– Online product information or e-catalog: 78%
– Online purchasing on supplier’s web site: 74%
– The supplier’s overall web site features: 70%
In addition, respondents preferred ordering off of a Web Site (40%, which outscored the second most popular method by 8%) to any other purchasing channel. So, what does all of this mean? Mostly, that B2B suppliers are quickly learning just how important their online presence and eCommerce shopping experience is to their continued success. With their customers preferring to use the web over more traditional means such as print catalogs, it’s not just enough to have an online shopping option—they now need to have an online option that is significantly better than their competitors. Their eCommerce solutions need to be fast, easy to navigate, and easy to search. B2B suppliers now need to have a consumer-grade online shopping experience if they want to win over the growing segment of their market that prefers to shop online. With over 1,600 customers, Nextopia provides industry leading site search & navigation solutions to both B2C and B2B retailers (including customers in the industrial supply industry). With the future of all business moving to the internet, it’s more vital than ever to make sure—no matter what you sell—that you provide your customers with the ability to find the products they’re looking for quickly and easily. Otherwise, they’ll go to someone else who can.