What Do Consumers Want From “Buying Technology”? And Why Does That Matter?

Having done quite a bit of travelling, finding restaurants to eat in, buying birthday presents, and looking for car parks in Manchester in recent days, you take it for granted that websites and apps are available to help you with all of these and many more tasks. And in general,  we expect to find (and then utilise) sites that are intuitive, easy to use and mobile-friendly.

In our corporate business lives however, it is not so simple. Whilst the trend is in the right direction, many legacy systems still in use in the corporate procurement world are anything but friendly. It seems that it has taken some time for the principles of consumer technology to percolate into our procurement processes and technology.

So in our new briefing paper, sponsored by Basware (global leaders in providing networked purchase-to-pay solutions, eInvoicing and innovative financing services), we have looked at how B2B commerce is gradually learning from the consumer world, and where this trend is likely to go next. The paper is titled: The Consumerisation of Corporate Systems – Can business procurement technology learn from the consumer world? And it is available now to download, free on registration. Here is another short extract.


The Consumerisation of Corporate Systems -- Can Business Procurement Technology Learn from the Consumer World?


What defines a consumer approach to online buying?

The developments we have seen in online consumer buying are driven by customer preference. Merchants, whether direct suppliers themselves or aggregators (such as marketplace providers) have learnt that making the buying experience pleasant and easy for consumers is essential if they are to succeed with online ventures.

But what exactly is it that makes a commercial transaction attractive for the user; what is it that defines the core elements of consumer online buying?  By “transaction”, we mean finding and choosing the goods or services required, ordering and paying for them, and taking delivery (although that takes us into the physical world which is not our main focus here).

There appear to be five key topics which define the requirement and suggest the key factors that are also relevant when we talk about consumerisation of business procurement technology:

1.  Buyers want choice - They generally want to see what alternatives there are that they may wish to consider, even if they have some idea of what they want to buy. If they have not made a choice in advance, then they want to be presented with options, perhaps in a prompted fashion, and also via some sort of search facility.

2.  Buyers want information - They want to be able to obtain details about what they might purchase, not just price but specification details. They may well want to compare prices between different options. They often want to check what they previously bought and have the option to make a rapid repeat buy. In many product areas, they value reviews and reports from others who have bought the same product, or information about the top-selling items in that category.

3.  People want speed – That relates to the time taken to carry out the immediate transaction (which is obviously linked to the simplicity aspect); if a website does not respond in seconds, many buyers will move onto another that does. They also expect speed in terms of the ordering process and fast delivery methods.

Download the  paper now, free on registration to find out what we think points four and five are!


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