A new report on business-to-business ecommerce has found that many online retailers have websites that put off potential customers.
Poor website design is losing valuable trade for ecommerce businesses, according to new research by ecommerce agency PushON. Its findings reveal that a quarter of business customers would shun a company that had poor website usability.
Of 500 UK business decision-makers surveyed, 25% said a website's usability is the most important factor when deiciding where to purchase supplies from online - more than user reviews (21%) or product offering (18%). However, 35% said cost was the most important factor.
Other common issues that B2B customers face when shopping online are a lack of customer service (32%), issues with visualising products (20%) and problems with bulk orders (20%).
"Our research has shown that the majority (80%) of B2B customers would be more inclined to purchase products for their business online than in a physical store," said Sam Rutley, managing director at PushON.
"However, our research has also uncovered that, worryingly, a large number of e-retailers do not appear to have their online offering ready for this yet. In a world where online commerce is rapidly overtaking the physical store, business owners need to ensure their websites are up to scratch if they are to remain competitive. Websites need to offer a good online customer experience and our research shows that they need to be easy to use and navigate, offer strong customer service, as well as clear, concise product information."
Other key findings of the study include:
- 80% of decision-makers buy products for their business online because it's quicker and easier than shopping in a bricks and mortar store;
- 62% would be more inclined to buy products for their business from a multi-national retailer such as Amazon;
- However, 40% said they would buy from a smaller retailer if they felt they were experts in their field.
Sam Rutley added: "There is no point having an online proposition if the front end provides an off-putting experience for anyone using it. In today's competitive and challenging retail landscape, customers expect their B2B shopping experience to match the B2C experience. Now is the time for B2B e-retailers to review their offering in order to maximise their sales opportunities."