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The Future of B2B E-Commerce

Posted on 11.16.2014

While e-commerce receives the bulk of mainstream publicity, business to business (B2B) commerce is thriving and both sellers and buyers are looking for ways to keep the industry rolling.

Accenture and hybris software have released the results of a new study titled "Building the B2B Omni-Channel Commerce Platform of The Future" detailing the habits of B2B purchases and how B2B sellers are increasing their efforts to better their online experience. The study was completed by Forrester Consulting and surveyed 930 B2B online product buyers and 526 executives selling to businesses across the U.S., Canada, France, German and the U.K.

One of the many findings from the survey was the top four features B2B buyers would like to see on the supplier’s website, which included enhanced search functionality (60 percent) as well as ratings and reviews of products and services (58 percent).

What makes these findings so interesting is that the study found that suppliers are listening to their buyers, as 48 percent of the suppliers surveyed stated that within the next 18 months they plan on improving the search functionality of their website and 42 percent are planning to increase the personalized product or service recommendations for buyers.

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Another interesting finding is that B2B sellers are already looking beyond e-commerce and omnichannel technologies to the future. One of the technologies that B2B sellers (62 percent) sited was automated pricing options while "wearables" were also a popular response (49 percent) due to their potential in distribution centers to increase efficiency of the supply chain process.

“Business buyers are coming online with high expectations across the board,” said Brigid Fyr, managing director for North America omni-channel commerce, Accenture Interactive, part of Accenture Digital. “With three out of four buyers stating they would buy again from a supplier with an easy-to-use website, sellers have a large opportunity for growth by focusing on making the entire purchasing experience as easy as ordering a book online or downloading music onto a smartphone.”

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