When Amazon launched its new service aimed at business buyers last month, a trend that has long concerned electronics distributors resurfaced: online retailers taking aim at business-to-business (B2B) markets traditionally served by distributors.
It's little wonder that e-commerce giants are drawn to the B2B market, since it's a gigantic target. Oliver Wyman, in a recent publication, put the figure at $7.2 trillion. “The question is not whether Amazon and Google will be a threat in B2B, but rather which customers, purchase occasions, and categories will be attacked first,” the report said.
Willingness to buy online can be traced to age. That is, younger buyers are far more likely to use online buying platforms than older people, research from the Acquity Group finds. Only 29% of those over the age of 60 report making B2B purchases online, a figure that rises to 45% for those aged 46 to 60, to 68% for those 36 to 45, and to a whopping 90% for those 18 to 35.
The infographic below from Sullivan illustrates a similar trend. It is based on the results of a survey of mid-to-senior level executives responsible for buying business products and services on behalf of their organizations. It found that:
- 88% of executives buy their business products online.
- 92% said they wished purchasing business products online had the same ease as buying consumer goods online.
- 49% said that, although they intended to buy one brand of a product, they have ended up buying a competitors product instead because it was too hard to buy online.
What do you think the role of traditional e-commerce giants will be in the electronics industry? Let us know in the comments section below.
— Hailey Lynne McKeefry, Editor in Chief, EBN