July 22, 2014, 11:41 AM

Many B2B buyers prefer the web for researching and purchasing

Nearly a quarter of purchasers in a recent study said they typically complete work-related purchases online because that’s “where I consistently find the lowest prices.”

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30% of business-to-business buyers say they make half or more of their work-related purchases online, but 56% say they expect to buy that much online three years from now, Forrester Research Inc. says in a study it conducted of more than 100 earlier this year with Internet Retailer.

Among the reasons B2B buyers like to buy online: The web is a consistent source of the “lowest prices,” a reason cited by 24% of study respondents; and the web is “the most credible source of product details,” as noted by 24%.

Forrester analyst Andy Hoar, who specializes in covering B2B e-commerce, presented these and other findings during a webinar last week sponsored by hybris software, an e-commerce technology provider. The webinar was hosted and moderated by Internet Retailer.

The web is also popular among B2B buyers for researching work-related purchases, the study found:

● 74% research half or more of their work purchases online;

● 45% of B2B buyers say they typically start their research for work-related purchases on web sites because they find the broadest selection of products online;

● 25% say they typically start their research online because the web channel is the easiest to use.

Although laptop computers are the most common device use to research work purchases, at 80% of respondents, nearly 50% of B2B buyers say they use smartphones or tablets, the study found.  Respondents could list more than one device. The breakdown for researching work products:

● Laptops, 80%

● Desktop computers, 51%

● Smartphones, 46%

● Tablets, 42%

● Other, 9%

● Don’t know, 2%

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