When it comes to B2B e-commerce, customers favour high-quality customer service over delivery speed and competitive pricing, according to new research.
The survey of 1,000 UK B2B consumers, conducted by full service e-commerce agency, PushON, found that almost one hundred percent of people procuring business products, including computer software, furniture and office supplies, value customer service above all else.
The findings could present an opportunity for B2B retailers who are struggling to compete with the likes of marketplace giants Amazon or eBay on cost. In fact, the research found that 52% of business customers would buy from a smaller retailer if they offer a good level of service.
Similarly, 40% would buy from a smaller B2B retailer if they felt they were experts in their field and could provide specialist advice and support.
The report also highlights that B2B customers value customer service more when buying big ticket items such as computer hardware or furniture – 87% stated this as ‘really important’.
Sam Rutley, managing director of PushON, said: “These findings show that for online retailers, customer service is king. “This is something we know has always been important for bricks and mortar stores, but evidently is also imperative for e-commerce businesses serving B2B customers.
“Valued more highly than competitive cost, smaller retailers are presented with an opportunity to compete with online retail giants such as Amazon through a wider offering.
“Whether it’s implementing a customer portal, a live chat function, or a responsive ‘call now’ button, B2B retailers should continue to listen and respond to the needs of their shoppers to stay ahead of the competition.”