Half of shipping's purchasers start most of their buying processes on the Internet
By Ryan Skinner (email)
This is the third part of the ten-part FoIS series that I introduced yesterday, presenting the results of a unique survey about Internet use in the shipping industry. The survey was created by this blog, together with ShipServ for its Connect10 conference earlier this year.
For those interested in receiving the full responses in a .pdf report after the full series has been published, send me an email requesting it.
The second question of the survey was:
How many of your business purchases today start with the Internet?
The buying process in B2B transactions generally begins by determining the need, creating a specification, identifying potential suppliers and comparing their offerings. Google has quite simply become one of the most common ways to identify suppliers of given products, as people's use of the Internet at home has impacted how they use the Internet at work.
A 2007 survey from Enquiro found online influencers such as vendor web-sites and search engines outperformed offline influencers like trade shows and paid consultants. Another study found the overwhelming majority of technical buyers begin a research process with a broad Internet search by product category.
On the opposite end of the purchaser is the supplier. Because so many purchases start with Internet research, Forrester, among others, has found that findability (the ability for buyers to find sellers' sites and the product and information they seek within that site) can be a question of millions of dollars in lost profit for businesses.
- Roughly 50 per cent of shipping purchasers begin the majority of their buying processes on the Inernet
- One in seven shipping buyers begin more or less every purchase online.
Tomorrow what I call FoIS (the Future of the Internet in Shipping) continues with part four, in which we see how respondents answered the question: "What percentage of your business purchases today are completed over the Internet?"