May 20, 2014, 10:52 AM

B2B web shoppers want custom pricing and better site search

But a new survey shows there is still ample room for growth for B2B e-commerce.

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Custom price lists, site search and customer account management top the list of what business-to-business online shoppers want, according to a recent survey of B2B e-commerce professionals from e-commerce software vendor Oracle Corp. 

45% of respondents in a recent survey from the vendor say custom pricing represents a “key capability” for B2B online buyers. That compares with 45% who cited “advanced on-site search/navigation” and about 43% who cited customer account management. Further down the list were mobile web sites and apps, quote submittal, and purchase orders, each at 40%.

Oracle in January and February surveyed 50 B2B e-commerce professionals, with 76% of respondents saying they work on the business side of their businesses and the rest focusing on technology. 35% of the respondents work on consumer goods and 15% in high tech. Other represented areas include industrial, communications and electronics. Most respondents, 54%, work in companies with no more than $250 million in annual revenue. 71% of respondents are in North America.

Most respondents, about 60%, cite “pricing complexity” as their main challenge. That is followed by web site complexity (about 52%) and back-end complexity (nearly 40%).

Respondents also described their “top areas of focus for 2014.” The leaders include “growing market share,” “customer loyalty and retention,” “increased promotions” and crafting “cross-channel” experiences. The survey also suggests that B2B e-commerce operators have recently increased investments in such areas as web analytics, e-mail marketing, customer relationship management and search.

Oracle also found that:

• 57% of respondents “already have or are starting to implement mobile commerce.”

• 49% have started or will soon start social commerce programs.

• 45% cite customer loyalty and retention as a top focus area, up from 8% last year.

Still, the survey report “finds there is still room for growth,” in B2B e-commerce Oracle says. That’s because only 39% of respondents report that 20% or more of their revenue comes from online.

 

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