Changes in B2B Buyer Preferences — and What It Means for Distributors

Jun 21, 2022 6:30:00 AM

B2B Buyers want more flexible buying options and a checkout experience similar to B2C.

There’s no denying the drastic changes the B2B world has seen over the last two years.

On top of the pandemic (and ensuing global shutdowns), the ongoing digital transformation has led to a major shift in buyer expectations in all B2B industries. With this in mind, Credit Key recently partnered up with MDM Distribution Intelligence to learn more about how this shift will impact point-of-sale engagements in the years to come.

Here’s a sneak peek at its two key findings. You can access the full report with all the insights here.

B2B Buyers Want Automation and Self-Service

The traditional B2B purchasing process is quickly fading into the annals of history.

Today’s B2B buyers expect to be able to accomplish most of the purchasing process with minimal hands-on assistance from their vendors.

This, again, is due to both the pandemic and the shift toward digital transformation. Even while it’s become safer to conduct face-to-face meetings again, the ease and efficiency of self-service has caused a permanent shift in buyer preference.

Some key areas this shift has impacted include:

  • Pre-purchase guidance: Buyers expect information about products, services, and policies to be readily available and accessible at all times.
  • Purchasing: Ecommerce functionality has become non-negotiable in the eyes of today’s B2B customer. This means enabling self-service for account registration, purchasing, and delivery scheduling.
  • Financing: Nearly one-quarter of buyers expect simpler, more efficient finance application processes when making purchases for their business.

Vendors should also look to forge partnerships with teams that will help streamline the parts of these processes that do require a human touch. Credit Key, for example, takes care of the entire credit application process — with your team assuming absolutely none of the risk.

Buyers Want Practical and Convenient Options

Going along with the importance of self-service, today’s B2B buyers want to have options at critical points in the purchasing process.

A multi-channel experience is essentially table stakes at this point, as nearly all B2B vendors offer mobile-optimized eCommerce websites. For buyers, this means being able to pick up where they last left off with a brand, regardless of where and how they’re engaging.

Today’s B2B buyers also want options when it comes to making payments. In fact, over 90% of our respondents say it’s “important” or “very important” to be offered a variety of payment options when purchasing from suppliers.

Finally, modern B2B customers expect vendors to offer multiple forms of financing. Among the most commonly-used options: Business credit cards, business lines of credit, and BNPL options (like Credit Key).

In providing more buyer-friendly options here, vendors solve a number of issues for many of their customers — such as those with limited credit histories or that otherwise can’t find affordable financing.

(And, if you don’t provide the options your customers are looking for, they probably aren’t going to do business with your company. In many cases, they won’t be able to.)

Credit Key: Solving Two Problems at Once

Credit Key provides both the automated self-service and the customer-friendly options today’s buyers are looking for.

Credit Key’s standalone module integrates directly into a wide selection of B2B eCommerce platforms, keeping users on site. 

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Topics from this blog: B2B Payments Wholesale

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