On Sept. 29, Amazon Business released its 2022 State of Business Procurement Report, which is based on an Amazon survey of 440 business product buyers across the U.S. to gauge their eCommerce buying habits.
Perhaps most notably, the study found that 91% of B2B buyers prefer online purchasing over traditional offline distributors or brick-and-mortar stores, a reflection of the rapid digital transformation of the distribution sector accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report offered analysis from industries including education, healthcare, commercial and government. Overall, 73% of B2B buyers indicated they maintain a preference for omnichannel — buying from a mix of online and offline channels. Some buyers are more hesitant than others to fully adopt online procurement, according to the report, because they feel they’re missing out on personalized interactions that come with traditional procurement methods. For example, the report showed that just 18% of buyers in the education industry are only using online channels for their purchases, while more than 30% of buyers in healthcare and government, respectively, are purchasing solely via online methods.
It’s clear that nearly all buyers are taking advantage of online channels to some extent, though. 68% of buyers said they plan to make at least 40% or more of their purchases online by the end of the year — up from 56% of buyers in Amazon Business’ 2021 B2B Evolution in E-Commerce Report. Additionally, just 2% of buyers are purchasing exclusively offline, the new report said.
While buyers remain as price-conscious as ever due to detriments such as inflation and supply chain disruptions, the report found that corporate social responsibility is one of the main drivers of purchasing decisions and procurement goals. The data showed that 91% of buyers take seller certifications into consideration when purchasing, and the top four procurement priorities in 2022, according to the report, are improving sustainability in purchasing practices, supporting local businesses, supporting remote work for employees and increasing diversity in purchasing practices. Organizations face challenges when it comes to achieving sustainability goals, though: 55% of buyers with sustainability goals say it’s difficult to source suppliers that follow sustainable practices.
Other trends highlighted in the report include:
- The majority of B2B buyers’ budgets are increasing or holding steady over 2021, with only 22% of respondents expecting a budgetary decrease this year.
- 58% of B2B buyers now make purchases that have to be delivered directly to an employee’s personal residence, accommodating an increasingly distributed workforce as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- 84% of B2B buyers say their organizations plan to increase how much money they spend with Black- or other diverse-owned businesses.
- 63% of B2B buyers say that improving sustainability in their purchasing practices is a top goal.