While price is still the most significant factor in many purchasing decisions, data sheets, online forum discussions and total cost of ownership are all important factors to industrial buyers making purchasing decisions today, according to a new report by TriComB2B and the University of Dayton's School of Business.
The report, The Considered Purchase Decision: What Matters, What Doesn’t, and What It Means for B2B Marketing and Sales, which is based on a survey of 443 industrial sector influencers and decision makers in North America, examined B-to-B end-user purchasing behavior to determine how purchasing decisions are made and what that means for B-to-B companies.
Here are five key takeaways from the study:
Never overlook the importance of price. A majority of survey respondents (59 percent) indicated that 60 percent or more of their purchase decisions were dominated by the purchase price. Because of price's high importance, the report recommends higher-priced suppliers consider clarifying pricing components for customers, "allowing for a fair comparison to lower priced and potentially less feature-rich offerings."
Don't over-rely on your corporate brand. Given a choice of product benefits, product features or the supplier's corporate brand, 75.3 percent of respondents said the corporate brand was the least important factor. On the other hand, just over half of respondents considered product benefits the most relevant factor in their decision.
Fine-tune your technical data sheets. Seventy-eight percent of respondents said data sheets were either important or very important to their purchasing decisions, a full 32 percentage points higher than the next-most commonly cited choice, supplier websites.
Incorporate cost of ownership into your message. Fifty-one percent of respondents said total cost of ownership was a consideration in at least 60 percent of purchasing decisions.
Pay attention to online forums. According to the report, 82 percent of discussion forum followers say the information there is an important part of their purchasing decisions, so companies may want to monitor what's being said there or take part in the discussions.