March 5, 2001, 12:00 AM

Jupiter expects b2b buyers to move online despite market`s slow pace

Jupiter reports that most b2b buyers will eventually move online even though purchasing agents are planning to conduct just 20% of their transactions online by 2002.

Jupiter Media Metrix reports that most b2b buyers will eventually move online even though purchasing agents are planning to conduct just 20% of their transactions via the Internet by 2002. According to a new Jupiter b2b report, 60% of purchasing agents say the chief barrier to buying online is that their preferred vendors do not transact via the Internet. Despite current barriers, however, Jupiter analysts found that buyers transact online once suppliers meet their product and education needs.

Some of the key findings include:

• Jupiter analysts found that two distinct b2b markets will surface--one for buyers seeking existing suppliers, and one for buyers seeking new suppliers. Due to the dissimilar needs, values and requirements of the two markets, sellers will have to target one market at a time and be armed with an understanding of the specific needs of that buying audience.

• 55% of purchasing agents say lack of knowledge about Internet markets prevents them from moving online. Lack of trust (45%) is the next most common reason given for the slow growth of online b2b transactions.

* 71% of the queried purchasing agents cite lower product costs as a primary benefit of transacting online while 56% cite faster product finds.

• 85% of online b2b transactions will be made between existing buyers and sellers, compared to 95% among offline purchases.

Jupiter analysts recommend the following for online b2b sellers:

• Treat existing suppliers and new suppliers as separate markets. Each has distinctly different wants and needs.

• Address the issues of logistics and education. Buyers who want to go online view them as two essential pieces of the equation that will result in their move online.

• Recognize that most buyers prefer to continue doing business with their current suppliers and they won`t transact online significantly without them. Wise sellers will leverage existing relationships before seeking new ones.

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