B2B Sellers Need Digital Boost to Meet Expectations of Modern Buyers, Report says


Online marketplaces and digital channels are the most popular buying methods, but need improvements to meet buyers’ expectations, according to research by Oracle and Mirakl

REDWOOD SHORES, Calif., – May 3, 2018 In a recent study of 200 B2B buyers conducted by Oracle Commerce Cloud and Mirakl, results show that there is a clear gap between experiences offered by B2B sellers and B2B buyer’s needs for purchasing. The Next Generation of B2B Purchasing Report 2018 studied not only the behavior of today’s B2B buyers but also the differences in attitudes across three generations—Baby Boomers, Gen-X and Millennials.

B2B sellers are missing opportunities as B2B buyers are becoming more comfortable with digital buying experiences. In fact, the report’s key findings conclude:

  • 87 percent of business buyers across all age ranges are already purchasing in online marketplaces, more than any other channel.
  • 73 percent of respondents state they like to purchase in digital channels but only 11 percent chose digital channels as their preferred choice overall, indicating there is a demand for better digital experiences.
  • 14 percent of respondents prefer person-to-person sales as their top purchasing channel, although it’s still the least utilized channel with 70 percent of respondents engaging with a person to purchase. This indicates that B2B buyers want a mix of channels to purchase from.

“The B2B purchasing channels offered today are not cutting it for today’s business buyers. As a result, buyers are still relying on outdated purchasing channels and businesses are left with missed sales opportunities,” said Jeri Kelley, senior product strategist, Oracle Commerce Cloud. “It is imperative that B2B businesses of all sizes invest in a commerce platform that can provide an integrated experience across multiple channels and scale to meet the ever-changing needs of B2B buyers. Those that can drive integrated experiences will thrive.”

“This report clearly validates all age ranges are moving a portion of business purchasing to marketplaces like Amazon and Alibaba,” said Adrien Nussenbaum, CEO and co-founder, Mirakl. “As part of their digital transformation agenda, leaders at B2B companies need to incorporate a marketplace strategy to remain relevant to all ages of buyers and accelerate eCommerce.”

Additional Key Findings

  • Millennial, Gen-X and Baby Boomer B2B buyers are all purchasing in online marketplaces already: 97 percent of Millennials, 81 percent of Gen-X and 83 percent of Baby Boomers generally buy through online marketplaces.
  • Age group still plays a role: Millennials are 14 percent more likely to make business purchases through online marketplaces than Baby Boomers, and 16 percent more likely than Gen-X.
  • Business buyers in North America prefer marketplaces over any other channel: 38 percent of respondents prefer purchasing on marketplaces over other digital channels, RFP/tender process, eProcurement systems and person-to-person channels.
  • The less negotiation, the better: In each age group, approximately 70 percent of business buyers value the fewer negotiations and improved sales processes associated with marketplaces and online buying channels.
  • Outdated purchasing channels still used despite preference: Only 8 percent of overall respondents prefer eProcurement systems for B2B purchasing but 71 percent of respondents continue to purchase through this channel. In addition, 59 percent of respondents overall do not prefer RFPs but 84 percent continue to use this channel as well.

To find out more about the Oracle Commerce Cloud and Mirakl Next Generation of B2B Purchasing Report, 2018, visit Oracle at the O-Zone Customer Experience Lounge and Mirakl (booth 300) at the B2B Online Conference, May 7-8 in Chicago, IL.

About the Report
The data in the Oracle Commerce Cloud and Mirakl Next Generation of B2B Purchasing Report, 2018 is based on a survey of 200 B2B buyers across Europe, Latin America and North America. The report was conducted by WBR Insights. All respondents are directly involved in their company’s buying process and represent companies with more than $500 million in annual revenue.

Additional Resources