From ordering food to buying the latest clothing trends, the internet has made it possible to do almost everything online. But household consumers aren’t the only ones who learned to rely more on the internet to purchase what they needed. Companies and organisations have also started to leverage the internet to buy their software solutions. A recent digital B2B survey revealed that organisations have started to change their way of timing their enterprise software solution purchases.
The purpose of the SAP-sponsored survey conducted by Futurum Research was to identify industry shifts in business-to-business (B2B) buyer expectations and preferences. The results show that more than 80% of organisations have turned to digital methods.
Sharon Ruddock, head of the SAP Digital Commerce group, shared that B2B buying has reached a turning point. An increasing number of companies are now opting away from traditional enterprise-buying habits and looking for digital channels that deliver speedy, transparent and straightforward solutions. In a statement, she said that SAP is working to ensure that the customers can engage in the online marketplaces provided by SAP. It is guaranteed frictionless and convenient as much as possible.
In a statement, she said:
“With our digital resources, including SAP Store, SAP App Center and SAP.com, customers can easily discover, try and buy software solutions online.”
The top drivers of the shift towards digital B2B buying
The survey revealed that 49 per cent of the respondents that their movement to the cloud was the leading motivator that made them prefer to make digital purchases.
Forty-eight per cent of the responses said that changing over to digital purchasing is essential in supporting the needs of the organisation’s digital transformation efforts.
When it comes to cutting costs and operational efficiency, the results of the survey showed that these two factors played a significant role in driving digital B2B buying. Forty-three per cent of the respondents said that cutting costs was their primary motivator, while 36 per cent chose operational efficiency.
The results also revealed that customers pay more attention to transparency and freedom when it comes to their buying process. Almost 90 per cent of the survey respondents said that product trials are crucial features that impact their digital buying process.
Two-thirds of the respondents said that their main reason for purchasing enterprise software online is time and resource. Forty-five per cent said it is because of convenience.
43 per cent said that the operational speed is a principal motivator for the buying decision. Almost 37 per cent of B2B customers are motivated by simplicity and reduced friction.
Around 85 per cent of the businesses said that one-on-one online product and video demos of the product are equally important when purchasing enterprise software solutions digitally.
4 out of 5 organisations who have participated in the survey revealed that paid proofs of concepts impact their digital purchasing decisions.
Daniel Newman, the CEO of Futurum Research, said that the customers have grown used to the easy online buying process outside of their business. The level of simplicity of that process made the commercial customers want their businesses to have the same level of convenience. He added:
“Enterprise software providers must adhere to this consumerisation of B2B sales or risk losing out on deals as a result of outdated and lengthy purchase cycles. Committing to this evolution, SAP is leading the charge in digital buying, giving customers the assets they need to purchase software simply, the way they prefer – online.”
The results of the current survey are echoing what was reported a few years ago regarding the estimated increase of businesses that will opt for online B2B purchases. This only shows that businesses are openly accepting the coming of the digital age in commerce with arms wide open.