COVID Changed E-Commerce Habits — Probably for Good

As companies wrestle with supply issues, a new MDM white paper explores how distributors are searching for flexible financing options to buoy operations.
Credit Key white paper

The COVID-19 pandemic has ebbed and flowed over the past two years, and during that time e-commerce and B2B buying habits for many have shifted from traditional, loyalty-based practices to quicker, more flexible buying and financing options.

That’s according to a new whitepaper from MDM and B2B lending company Credit Key, whose research shows that manufacturers and distributors are increasingly seeking out new financing options to secure supplies and inventory.

Data compiled during the third quarter of 2021 shows that companies across myriad sectors already have in-depth experience using credit to purchase essential equipment, and their need for flexible financing will likely continue — even if COVID becomes a distant memory.

According to the whitepaper, when asked how important it is to be offered a variety of payment options when purchasing supplies for business, 55.7% of borrowers who responded to a survey said it was “highly important,” while more than 57% also said they used a business credit card for purchases.

Respondents also cited high interest rates (41.8%), limited credit lines (38.2%) and difficulty securing approved financing (32.2%) as the top answers when asked about challenges they faced before seeking newer credit options. When asked if they are always looking for new financing options that meet their business needs, more than 80% of respondents said they either “strongly agree” or “somewhat agree.”

Businesses also are less likely to return to face-to-face buying habits, opting instead for tech-driven digital experiences that flourished during the pandemic, according to the whitepaper.

“As a distributor, providing such a digital experience is no longer optional — even as the ‘real world’ continues to open back up,” Credit Key noted in a recent report outlined in the whitepaper.

About 80% of B2B customers want distributors to offer B2C-styled digital experiences, and more than 60% of top distributors already offer e-commerce services on their websites, according to the white paper.

“For many distributors, offering installment financing has led to a 30% increase in conversion rates, as well as a 58% increase in average order value,” the whitepaper states. “Providing these options has a positive impact on purchase frequency and overall customer lifetime value, as well.”

Download and read the whitepaper here.

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