July 8, 2014, 11:50 AM

B2B companies are taking a good look at mobile

A survey of 100 companies at last month’s IRCE e-commerce conference found strong interest among B2B sellers in mobile commerce investment.

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Mobile commerce continues to show up as a preferred investment area among e-commerce companies, and even more so among those involved in business-to-business transactions.

A survey of 100 companies that sell online, both those that sell to consumers and businesses, found that respondents overall cited mobile commerce most often as one of three areas of planned investment, followed in order of preference by investment in web commerce, social media and, in a tie for fourth place, Internet search and e-mail marketing. E-commerce technology provider EPiServer conducted the survey at last month’s Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition in Chicago.

But mobile commerce was cited as a top investment area more often by companies involved with B2B e-commerce than by those in retail e-commerce. Among the 100 companies surveyed, 37 said they were involved solely in B2B e-commerce, 36 said solely retail e-commerce, and 27 said they operated across both channels. EPiServer, which generally caters more to B2B than to retail e-commerce companies, conducted the survey in person on site at IRCE.

Among those respondents that were solely B2B, 26 cited mobile as one of their top three investment areas, followed by 19 that cited web commerce, 19 social, 10 e-mail marketing, and nine search marketing.

Among the 64 companies that said they conducted B2B e-commerce along with retail e-commerce, 41 cited mobile as one of their top three investment areas, followed by 35 that cited web commerce, 29 social media, 19 e-mail marketing, and 19 search marketing.

Among respondents who were solely involved with retail e-commerce, the largest group, 19, cited web commerce as one of their top three investment areas, followed by 17 who cited mobile, 12 social media, 10 e-mail marketing, and 10 search marketing.

The survey also indicated that B2B e-commerce companies have a ways to catch up to retail e-commerce companies in terms of their percentage of sales through mobile commerce. Among B2B-only companies, 20% said they receive 20% or more of their sales through mobile devices, compared with 44% for retail-only companies and 44% for companies involved in both B2B and retail e-commerce.

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