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According to new research commissioned by Sana Commerce, 94% of B2B buyers encounter customer experience challenges, and the issue persists on both online and offline channels.

A third of buyers are frustrated by functional elements of ecommerce purchasing, including visibility of product features, ease of checkout, and ease of repeat ordering. Fifty-three percent report often placing orders for items that are ultimately not in stock. But perhaps most surprisingly, 39% of buyers cite that their poor relationship with suppliers is one of their top challenges.

The report examines how and why buying relationships are so critical to B2B purchasing. It takes a look at the state of B2B customer experience through the lens of the most knowledgeable and trustworthy source: the customers themselves. It also offers a glimpse into how the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to the realities that B2B organizations face today.

Recent data shows that poor supplier relationships are currently such a plaguing customer experience challenge that as many as 84% of B2B buyers would buy from a supplier that they had a great relationship with – even if the terms of business were less preferential.


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However, digitally savvy buyers today are having mixed experiences, which is impacting their loyalty and weakening current supplier relationships. This could explain why, while many B2B buyers are turning to online channels to order and reorder from current suppliers, as many as 74% are going online to evaluate new suppliers instead.

It’s clear that the risk for customer churn is high, and it’s up to B2B organizations to decide if their online channel will play the role of friend or foe on a relationship-centric B2B battlefield. Offering a quality customer experience lies at the very core of success.

Sana Commerce commissioned Sapio Research to survey 1,282 B2B buyers worldwide employed by a manufacturer, wholesaler, or distributor. Respondents spanned industry sectors including construction and industrial materials, electronics, machinery and supplies, automotive, food and beverage, medical devices, and home goods.

Read the full report from Sana Commerce.

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