2014 February

Business Buyers Increasingly Use The Mobile Web

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Business-to-business (B2B) buyers are increasingly using mobile technologies to buy products and services for their organizations, according to recent US research.  The Forbes Insight survey of 511 senior executives found that 70% use mobile devices when researching products and services and a significant percentage make direct purchases from suppliers through mobile websites and apps.

“Senior executives are constantly on the move and using tablets and smartphones as they travel. They want their suppliers to provide mobile websites and apps that are as good as or better than the corporate website”, says Michael White, Managing Director of marketing technology firm Motarme  “This requires a significant shift in the way B2B companies promote themselves. They will have to provide mobile-ready websites and apps that enable potential customers to complete transactions quickly and simply.”

Key findings from the Forbes Insight report include:

  • More than a quarter of executives responded they were using mobile devices to research purchases exceeding $100,000 .
  • 9 out of 10 executives in the survey used their smartphones on a daily basis and are increasingly using tablets for business tasks.
  • 70% said they used smartphones or tablets to look up product information upon first learning of an offering.
  • A majority of respondents said they would prefer to use smartphones and tablets if vendors made it easier to buy on mobile devices.
  • Problems with mobile apps or websites often prevent them from buying directly.  The most frequent problem is mobile apps or websites that are too difficult to navigate or use.

“The findings of this report continue a trend we’ve been seeing over the past 3 years”, says White.  “According to US sales research agency SiriusDecisions, 67% of the business buyer’s journey is carried out online.  What’s different today is that executives increasingly do this web research while they are on the move, using smartphones and tablets.”

What should  businesses do about the change in buyer behaviour?  As a first step, White recommends that B2B companies check whether their website and online marketing campaigns are mobile-ready. “You should check how your corporate website and promotional campaigns look on mobile devices. There are technologies such as Responsive Web Design that adapt how your website displays depending on which device a visitor uses.  You can also take steps to ensure your email marketing and online advertising are suited to mobile. The key step is to make mobile a priority for your sales and marketing teams”.

For more information on the survey results, refer to the Forbes Insights report “The Connected Executive: Mobilizing the Path to Purchase” -

https://images.forbes.com/forbesinsights/StudyPDFs/Google_Mobility_2013.pdf

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