COVID-19 Accelerates Digital Shift in B2B Purchasing

The COVID-19 crisis has impacted businesses across industries and around the world. To better understand how B2B buying habits and preferences are being affected by the pandemic, PROS worked with Hanover Research to conduct a global survey of 210 purchasing professionals. These B2B buyers shared their perspective on what was challenging them about working with their current vendors and what was (in some cases) driving them to seek new vendors. This survey was conducted between May 28th, 2020 to June 3rd, 2020.

B2B Buyers indicate that the crisis has driven mixed impact on spending with 40% reporting that the events have accelerated purchasing, 14% have seen no impact, and 45% have seen deceleration in purchasing.

Procurement and purchasing leaders had already been steadily shifting purchasing from traditional reliance on sales reps to self-serve ordering through digital channels, but this survey shows that COVID-19 dramatically accelerated this shift. Since COVID-19, B2B buyers primarily purchasing through digital self-serve channels has increased by 28% (from 29% to 37% saying that more than half their spending is happening without the aid of a sales rep).

Challenged by slow, inefficient responses and inconsistent pricing in certain vendors, seven in ten buyers are shifting to suppliers that are offering competitive pricing and better digital experiences. In fact, pricing inconsistency is such a challenge, three out of five buyers say that they would switch to a vendor that offered dynamically, personalized pricing

Businesses that are able to deliver on frictionless digital experiences that drive buyers to personalized offers  with competitive, market relevant pricing will be able to gain competitive advantage despite the overall economic slow-down.

If you’re interested in seeing the full survey results on how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting B2B purchasing, check out the COVID-19 B2B Buyer Trends Report.

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