The COVID-19 crisis has impacted businesses across industries and around the world. To better understand how B2B buying habits and preferences are being affected by the pandemic, PROS worked with Hanover Research to conduct a survey of 114 purchasing professionals in North America. B2B Buyers indicate that the crisis has driven mixed impact on spending with 42% reporting that the events have accelerated purchasing, 14% have seen no impact, and 44% have seen deceleration in purchasing.
Procurement and purchasing leaders had already been steadily shifting purchasing from traditional reliance on sales reps to self-serve ordering through digital channels, but this survey shows that COVID-19 dramatically accelerated this shift. Since COVID-19, B2B buyers primarily purchasing through digital self-serve channels has increased by 35% (from 35% to 47% saying that more than have their spending is happening without the aid of a sales rep).
Challenged by slow, inefficient responses and inconsistent pricing in certain vendors, seven in ten buyers are shifting to suppliers that are offering competitive pricing and better digital experiences. In fact, pricing inconsistency is such a challenge, two out of three buyers say that they would switch to a vendor that offered dynamically, personalized pricing.
Ultimately, North American businesses that are able to deliver on frictionless digital experiences that drive buyers to personalized offers with competitive, market relevant pricing will be able to gain competitive advantage despite the overall economic slow-down.