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COVID-Affected UK Businesses Turn to Digital Selling

Valerie Howard,

While ‘digital commerce’ isn’t a new concept, the pandemic created an explosion of online buying. As lockdowns commenced, many businesses were forced to make their entire workforce remote, and the way sellers interacted with buyers changed dramatically. So much so that businesses that aren’t able to quickly adjust for this shifting buying behaviour will struggle to survive.

The Buying and Selling Shift

For the past several years, procurement and purchasing leaders have steadily been shifting purchasing from traditional face-to-face sales representatives to self-serve ordering through digital channels, but the pandemic turned this buyer convenience into a buyer need. According to our recent COVID-19 B2B Buying Trends Report, 37% of businesses have been primarily purchasing through digital channels since the start of COVID-19, a 29% increase from prior to the outbreak. That figure is expected to rise to 40% post-pandemic. However, not all business suppliers were prepared for this fast shift and two-thirds of buyers expressed that they faced challenges in working with at least some of their vendors through COVID-19.

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