In essence, the report is about how purchasers purchase. What do they look for, how do they find it, what steps do they go through; and most of all, what trends can be discovered? There are three very interesting things that stand out.
- More than 2 out of 3 purchasers will research the products they are interested in using a company’s web site.
- Once they have made a decision, purchasers are a little more likely to buy from a company’s web site than over the telephone.
- 1 in 3 purchasers, have gone outside of their “comfort zone” and purchased online if the web site made them feel comfortable.
The report identifies two phases of buying; research and purchasing.
During the research phase, buyers want to find out as much as possible. DistiStock already gives them much of this information. Examples are stock quantities, lead times, links to datasheets, minimum order quantities, pricing information and more. This is one of the main reasons so many industry buyers use DistiStock. If a web site can be thought of as a catalog, then DistiStock is a catalog of catalogs, indexed by part number. Getting to the specific details buyers are interested in is easy with DistiStock’s filtering and sorting abilities.
The UPS report reveals that across the industries represented by the 1,501 participants, there was reason to have a strong B2B (Business to Business) web site, not just a typical consumer site with a basic shopping cart. The difference is in both the quantity and quality of information. B2B sites provide information for everyone involved in the product procurement. It ranges from the design engineers interested in technical details, all the way through to the warehouse receivers who want to know when the shipment will arrive.
DistiStock provides the information it can, but at some point your company comes into the picture. If you want to know how, take the following information into account.
- 68% of purchasers do their research on a distributor’s B2B web site.
- 40% prefer buying directly from the website compared to 32% who prefer buying over the phone.
- 87% want to know the final cost, including shipping.
- 85% want to know an estimated delivery date.
DistiStock is the point of entry for many buyers.
This is very important if you’re an independent distributors without an elaborate web site and a big IT department. Give as much information to DistiStock as you can, either by registering with the SDSG program and uploading your inventory, including pricing, or by at least making sure that your uploads to other sites include the type of information that buyers want to see.
The big authorized distributors, Allied, Arrow, Digi-Key and so on are very generous with the information they provide. Follow their example if you’re one of the smaller companies. They know how to do business.
Regardless of whether you do nor not, there is one thing that the UPS Report makes clear. More and more people in decision making positions are using the web. It’s a very good idea to make sure that your web presence is up to industry standards.