At the rate business-to-business buying is migrating online, it's hard to imagine it moving any faster. However, new research suggests this could be just the beginning of an e-procurement explosion.
A growing millennial workforce
According to B2B marketing firm Sacunas, a new class of millennial buyers (aged 20-35) has been the driving force behind the growing B2B e-commerce movement. A recent survey by the firm shows that more than half of millennials in charge of procurement primarily use search engines, supplier websites and social media platforms to conduct research and make purchases for their companies. Of those who do - a whopping 82 percent access these channels via their mobile phone.
While this may not come as much of a surprise (millennials never knew a pre-Internet world), the next figure might come as a bit of a shock. According to the Sacunas survey, just one-third of businesses have handed over the reigns for sourcing and procurement to millennials so far. Plus, even among millennials, younger buyers were more comfortable making purchases through less traditional online channels, such as social media.
This suggests that as disruptive as the move to the Web has seemed so far, we might only be seeing the tip of the iceberg.
Engaging the millennial buyer
As the millennial workforce gains career experience and begins to take over more procurement responsibilities, wholesalers must be prepared to meet their demand for a seamless online buying experience. Central to this mission will be businesses' ability to accept commercial card payments. As millennials bring expectations colored by years of B2C e-commerce experience to the B2B checkout area, they have proven time and again to prefer paying with plastic.
Not only will equipping your e-commerce site with business credit card processing technology give you an advantage when it comes to closing deals with new millennial buyers in the first place, but being outfitted with the proper technology is key to making sure your business can take advantage of the lowest possible interchange rates.
In an effort to mimic the familiar B2C checkout environment, many wholesalers choose payment processing solutions they don't truly understand. Although simply outfitting their e-commerce site with a payment gateway designed to process consumer credit cards allows customers to pay with purchasing cards, it forces companies to leave what could amount to thousands of dollars on the table in the form of interchange fees.
Merchant payment gateways tailored for B2B purchasing, on the other hand, use Level 3 transaction data to ensure every payment qualifies for the lowest possible interchange rate. With this essential software, your company will be well-positioned to not only survive the rush to e-procurement, but flourish in it.
Contact Vantage B2B today to learn more about our business ecommerce checkout solutions.