Of the B2B organizations surveyed in the U.S., 96% already sell online, and the remaining 4% have plans to. Those who currently sell online say that 42% of their B2B revenue comes from online sales at the moment. 97% of these organizations have a goal to increase this – on average by 31%.
When it comes to the features their customers expect, U.S. respondents rated these much higher than other regional respondents did. Intuitive search and navigation are understood to be important by 90%, whereas the average across respondent countries was 77%. U.S. respondents felt category and product pages (88%), and self-service account management (84%) were more important than some of the other international respondents.
U.S. organizations also realize how important search engine optimization and search engine marketing are (83%). 76% are trying to encourage ranking or scoring of their organizations’ products on social media sites; higher than the multi-national average of 63%.
Almost two thirds of U.S. respondents (65%) want the ability to enable B2B buyers to better manage routine orders whereas that number falls to 55% across the other respondents. Customization of the storefront based on corporate purchasing policy was also rated higher in the U.S. at 58% than the multi-national average (44%).
Intershop’s 2012 E-commerce Report revealed that conquering mobile commerce was the top business challenge facing B2C retailers and the same holds true for this year’s B2B respondents. Mobile channels are gaining in importance in B2B across the U.S. When asked what new touch points organizations plan to use in the next 12 months, mobile stores (33%) and mobile apps (31%) were the most popular choices. These figures were higher in the U.S. than the other country respondents.
Of those U.S. organizations that say mobile commerce will be important in the next 12 months, 78% are planning to create a mobile-optimized store version that allows business buyers to see products, to purchase, to access their account profile and to track orders. 66% plan to create a mobile app that allows business buyers to see products, to negotiate the price, to click and buy and to track orders.
The findings from the survey underline that the transformation of B2B commerce is hitting a tipping point in 2013. The pressure in B2B is to cope with a large number of challenges and fast changing expectations, both from inside and outside their business: Integrating processes and systems, providing consistent cross-channel experiences and embracing mobile and social media, to name but a few.
“B2C has become the test ground for B2B companies to understand how e-commerce technologies can support their sales strategies,” adds Moll. “After all, every B2B customer is also a B2C customer so if you want to understand the future of B2B, that is where to look.”
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