B2B Hurts: Buyers Are Frustrated By Several Technology Pain Points

Email is not the most popular channel, but B2B buyers use it when researching and buying products, according to Never Settle: Expect the Basics and Innovation in B2B eCommerce Capabilities now, a study by Avionos.  

They could do worse—97% of buyers experience some kind of pain point during the buying process. And most of these are caused by technology failures.  

B2B buyers rely on these channels when getting information on suppliers and their products:  

  • Google — 51% 
  • Existing supplier relationships — 51% 
  • LinkedIn — 39% 
  • Word of mouth — 39% 
  • An email from the supplier — 36%



Roughly the same percentage lists email among the technologies they want suppliers to offer in retaining their long-term business: 

  • Real-time messaging (e.g. Slack, Microsoft Teams — 41% 
  • Online ordering — 39% 
  • Email — 37% 
  • Videoconferencing (e.g., Zoom, Ring Central) — 35%

But all of these channels must be extremely reliable, for 85% will turn to a competitor if a supplier’s channel can’t keep up with their wishes. This is down from 90% in 2021 and 88% in 2020. 

But 81% prefer a supplier with excellent ecommerce and customer portal capabilities even if their product is moderately higher priced than a competitor’s.  

In 2022, 72% of B2B buyers have experienced frustration over a vendor/supplier’s resistance to changing their operations to better fit buyer needs. 

The leading pain points are:

  • Difficult to integrate with our own solutions or processes — 46%
  • Not evolving as fast as my industry and customer needs (e.g., new capabilities and applications make doing business with them easier/more convenient) — 41%
  • Difficult to connect with support teams knowledgeable about my issues — 38%
  • Aren’t sufficient on their own for the tasks I need to perform, so I end up going through other channels (e.g., calling a sales rep) — 34%
  • Add extra steps to the sales process (e.g., requiring multiple logins to different systems) — 25%

Moreover, these steps have become more challenging over the past year:

  • Delivery/fulfillment, including order tracking — 47%
  • Working with sales representatives — 45%
  • Working with customer service — 40%
  • Product configuration/quoting — 39%
  • Understanding product information and pricing — 34%

Here are the top six deal-breakers when buyers are vetting possible suppliers:

  1. Record of supply-chain issues (e.g., order delays)
  2. Lack of transparency into fulfillment processes
  3. Inadequate cybersecurity measures
  4. Too few delivery/shipping updates
  5. Inability to purchase directly from a distributor
  6. Difficult search functions that make it hard to find products

Moreover, B2B buyers rate understanding product specifications and configurations as their top challenge at the research state, and this is unchanged over the past three years. 

What can sellers do to make the buying experience more positive? The respondents answer:

  • Ensuring online product information is up to date and accurate — 51%
  • Making ecommerce websites and/or apps more user-friendly — 38%
  • Making it easier to contact a human for technical support — 37%
  • Making ecommerce websites and/or apps mobile-friendly — 28%
  • Offering digital invoicing — 27%
  • Streamlining online checkout — 27%

Avionos surveyed 150 U.S. employees involved in purchasing at B2B organizations with over $250 million in annual revenue. They were divided equally across the financial services, manufacturing  and CPG (45) industries. 



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