Companies are digitising their business like never before, and Covid-19 has further accelerated this transformation. With online purchases specifically, B2B sellers have been required to expand their online sales capacity to ensure continuous sales. At the same time, B2B buyers demand the same online purchasing features that B2C consumers have. Buying must be easy, transparent and secure.
What are B2B online purchases?
B2B online purchases, or e-commerce, is buying products and services through on the internet with a physical or virtual card payment. The seller makes their portfolio of products, services and product information available online to make it easy for the buyer to make quick and agile purchases.
Typically, an online purchase process includes the following steps:
1. Problem recognition (need for purchase)
2. Searching for information and suppliers online
3. Evaluating and comparing available options
4. Making the purchase with a card payment
What are businesses buying online?
B2B online purchases mostly concern the long tail of spend. These purchases are nevertheless vital for operations and keep the business running on a daily basis. Purchases are therefore frequent, of low spend per transaction and with varying suppliers. Examples of online purchases are:
- Ads and content promotion
- Digital marketing tools
- Desks and chairs
- Monitors, headsets and other electronics
- Office electronics
- Pens, post-its and whiteboards
- Software and subscriptions
- Data storage and security
- Legal and financial advisors
- Training courses and e-learning
- Recruitment agencies
- Health and safety supplies
- Hygiene and cleaning tools
Because these are often long tail purchases, it is important for businesses to have a simple and efficient process to facilitate these purchases. Outdated processes are a challenge to the business
For business operations there is great value in efficiently utilising online purchases. With access to more and better data, purchasers can conveniently choose the best option for them. Hereby can the business better evaluate and navigate in an ever-changing environment.
Online purchases make it easy to be a buyer. The buyer’s location does not matter when completing a purchase. The possibility to seamlessly purchase, also when working remotely, gives freedom and flexibility to the buyer - and they demand it.
Both time difference and closed office hours can be problematic when making a purchase. It limits the time span for the buyer and slows down the purchase process. Online purchases enable businesses to expand their sales and purchases to the whole day and the whole week.
For the buyer, there are especially three major beneficiaries of smarter online purchases.
Outdated processes are a challenge to the business
While there are great opportunities in B2B online purchases, many companies are not ready internally to take advantage of them. Outdated purchasing processes are to blame for complications. They are not efficient for the new online shopping features and result in an unnecessarily long and expensive process. Accounts Payable must often handle invoices individually and experience heavy workloads because it’s easier for employees to purchase by invoice and leave the administrative mess to Accounts Payable. But it results in a complex, costly and manual process.
Make it simple with Mazepay
Mazepay makes it easy for an employee to make an online purchase by removing manual steps and automating the process. It releases the workload from Accounts Payable and improves spend visibility. By automating and providing a seamless payment process, buyers become more agile and can better navigate in an ever-changing environment.
With a process built around single-use virtual cards, we improve businesses spend control and transparency throughout the whole process. It creates a faster, smarter and more secure process.
Mazepay helps businesses drive value, improve cash flow and become more efficient. Get in touch today to learn more about how Mazepay can help you simplify your business and utilise the potential in online purchases.