Why Businesses are Shifting to Buying Software Online
The results of the survey, conducted by Futurum Research and sponsored by SAP, identify industry shifts in business-to-business (B2B) buyer expectations and preferences.
“B2B buying is at a turning point,” said Sharon Ruddock, head, SAP Digital Commerce group, SAP. “Companies are moving away from traditional enterprise-buying habits in search of speed, transparency and simplicity on digital channels. SAP is ensuring our customers experience the most convenient, frictionless buying process as they engage in digital commerce on the online marketplaces SAP offers. With our digital resources, including SAP Store, SAP App Center and SAP.com, customers can easily discover, try and buy software solutions online.”
About 1,000 B2B decision-makers from small to enterprise-level companies across 11 major industries responded to the survey. Notable findings include:
Strategic business initiatives are driving the shift towards digital B2B buying.
- Almost half (49 percent) of the respondents cited moving to the cloud as the leading motivation in their shift to digital buying.
- Supporting the needs of digital transformation efforts is also driving this change in buyer behavior, with 48 percent indicating the importance of shifting to digital purchasing.
- Cutting costs and operational efficiency play a large role. Over 43 percent and 36 percent, respectively, highlighted these factors as key motivations for the move to online buying.
Customers want more transparency and freedom in their buying process.
- Nearly 90 percent of respondents said they consider product trials to be an important feature in their digital buying process.
- Eighty-five percent of businesses rated one-on-one online product and video product demos as very important when digitally buying enterprise software solutions.
- Four out of five organizations noted that paid proofs of concept are important factors in making their digital purchasing decisions.
B2B customers are motivated by the ease and pace of B2C shopping.
- Two-thirds of respondents cited time and resource efficiency as a primary reason for making enterprise software purchases online. About 45 percent cited convenience.
- Forty-three percent noted operational speed as a principal motivator. About 37 percent named simplicity and less friction as top motivators.
“Consumers have become accustomed to simple online one-click buying in their personal lives, and now business purchasers want that level of simplicity and convenience to translate to their professional lives as well,” said Daniel Newman, CEO, Futurum Research. “Enterprise software providers must adhere to this consumerization of B2B sales or risk losing out on deals as a result of outdated and lengthy purchase cycles. Committing to this evolution, SAP is leading the charge in digital buying, giving customers the assets they need to purchase software simply, the way they prefer – online.”
About the 2019 B2B Digital Buyers’ Journey Study
SAP sponsored Futurum Research’s study, which included responses from approximately 1,000 decision-makers, business unit leaders, IT leaders and enterprise software buyers. They work for companies ranging from fewer than 500 employees to over 50,000 employees and across 11 major industries in North America, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and China. The study was conducted in the spring and summer of 2019.