December 1, 2020

New Data Shows Lackluster B2B Commerce Experiences Drive Away Buyers

Elastic Path, the leading provider of enterprise API commerce solutions, today launched a new report that reveals most B2B sellers believe they are investing enough in modernising their digital commerce systems, yet nearly half are losing customers due to a lackluster commerce experience.

The report, Solving the B2B Commerce Puzzle, shows that while 91% of respondents agree their company is investing enough money and resources into improving the digital customer experience, those investments are not making the intended impact. Forty-five percent of respondents have lost a customer due to the quality of their commerce experience, and 80% anticipate a negative impact on customer acquisition in the next year if they do not improve. This illustrates that many B2B sellers are investing in ineffective systems and practices.

Most B2B e-commerce sites today are simply B2C-like digitised catalogs. The world of B2B buying and selling, however, is almost nothing like its B2C counterpart. Longer sales cycles, multiple channels of interaction, and contract-driven product assortment and payment options require technology that can handle the complexity inherent in B2B commerce. Legacy platforms designed for B2C sales will never enable this type of selling.

“In the B2B spaces, it’s either innovate or die,” said John Bruno, VP of Product Management at Elastic Path. “B2B commerce is due for a revolution. B2C commerce tools do not work for B2B businesses, and they never will.”

B2B Buyers Have Come to Expect More

The report comprises data from hundreds of B2B commerce decision makers and shows that in the B2B commerce arena, seamless buying experiences offering the right combination of digital tools and human interactions are more important than ever for buyers.

As B2C sellers make strides in improving the commerce experience for consumers, B2B buyers expect the seamless online and mobile purchasing experiences they use in their personal lives, plus the ongoing consultative support they trust from their vendor representative.

“When customers are given the buying experiences they expect, they buy more and remain customers for life,” said Harry Chemko, CEO of Elastic Path.

“This study makes it clear that the missing piece of the B2B commerce puzzle is a purpose-built system designed specifically to enable the complexities of B2B buying and selling. B2B sellers should abandon the B2C-like methods hamstringing sales and implement solutions that empower the business to meet increasingly higher customer expectations.”

Additional Findings

82% of respondents agree that a failure to improve their commerce experience will negatively impact customer retention in the next year.
57% of respondents believe the digitisation of commerce will cause their companies to decrease the number of salespeople they employ, while 66% of C-suite respondents feel the same.
53% of respondents that have achieved profit margin growth in the last few years strongly agree their growth is due to investments in digital buying and selling tools, while 61% percent of C-suite respondents feel the same.
52% of respondents believe Amazon business poses a threat to their companies.

Elastic Path collected data for this report from 300 B2B e-commerce decision makers, with 25% of respondents being in the C-suite.