Ede, 29 October 2020 - B2b e-commerce is on the rise; the percentage of the employed labor force that placed or approved a business online order in the past twelve months grew by nine percentage points to 48% compared to last year. Office supplies and computers remain popular categories, but larger and specialist products are also often bought online. This is evident from the B2B E-commerce Market Monitor 2020 published today, a large-scale study into the behavior and preferences of business online orderers that Multiscope conducted on behalf of Thuiswinkel.org, PostNL, De Nieuwe Zaak and Currence among 3,899 Dutch employees.
“Just like among consumers, we now also see that the number of business online buyers has risen sharply in the past year,” says Wijnand Jongen, director of Thuiswinkel.org. "Although the impact of the corona crisis has not been explicitly investigated, there is a good chance that it has had an influence on it, also because the research shows that in many product categories the online share of orders has increased."
The role of digital is growing within the b2b sector
Within most B2B sectors we see that the share of online is increasing. The largest growth is seen in the construction industry, where 60% of the orderers placed at least one online order in the past twelve months (compared to 44% in 2019). This puts construction industry past business services as the industry with the highest percentage of online buyers. Other branches with strong growth are the catering and trade.
Just like last year, business online buyers mainly order office supplies and computers online. It is striking that large and more specialized goods are often ordered online this year. Think of raw materials and semi-finished products, which are ordered online by almost half of all buyers. But also machines and installations, which were ordered exclusively online by almost a third, compared to a quarter last year. The role of digital in the chain is increasing.
Business buying experience better than expected
The image is often that in b2b the customer experience lags behind the b2c sector. Nevertheless, the buying experience of more than 70% of business orderers is the same as that of consumers and almost a quarter even have a better business experience. Convenience plays an increasingly important role in online ordering, both through a personal offer, through the method of payment and the way in which the order is delivered.
Invoice and iDEAL most popular payment methods
When asked about their preference for payment method for a business online order, 38% of the respondents indicated that they pay by invoice and 36% pay via iDEAL. The credit card (9%), AfterPay (5%) and PayPal (4%) follow at a great distance.
Incidentally, there is a difference in the preference of business purchasers and the method that is used most often. 40% of the business buyers indicates that the most used method is not their preference. For example, 26% actually pays per invoice and 50% with iDEAL. The main reason for these differences can be found in the seller's offering and the policies followed within the buyer's company. Despite these differences between preference and the methods actually used, business online buyers are generally satisfied with the range of payment options available; 67% is satisfied to very satisfied.
61% compares web shops on logistical aspects
Logistics plays a decisive role in the growth of b2b e-commerce. 61% of the business online orderers compares providers on logistics aspects such as delivery speed, the location where delivery can be made and shipping costs. The most important delivery aspects are low delivery costs and being able to track the product; almost a third of business online orderers indicate that this is important. Return options are also important; 77% let the choice of the webshop depend on the return conditions. In addition, 20% will cancel the order if there is no possibility to return. Remarkable, given that the B2B sector does not have a return right like the B2C sector.
Although sustainability is not one of the five most important aspects of delivery for everyone, more or less one third (37%) of all business online buyers consider sustainable delivery to some extent important. For 34% this may be at the expense of the delivery time and 18% would like to pay a little more for this. Light users are more likely (38%) to wait longer for the delivery if it is delivered sustainably than heavy users (20%).
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