Business customers often switch to the Internet for bargains
The multi-channel behavior of business customers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland was examined by the E-Commerce-Center Handel (ECC Handel) and the software provider Hybris. It has been shown that the Swiss resort to personal advice significantly more often than Austrians or Germans in the information process before buying online. Around 41 percent of the Swiss stated that they obtained information in a consultation before ordering online. In Germany it is only 28.8 percent.
There are also some clear differences in the reasons for switching channels to the Internet. Austrians and Germans show themselves to be bargain hunters and, at 52.7 percent and 47.7 percent, respectively, switch to the Internet significantly more often than the Swiss (33.3 percent) in order to purchase the desired product at a lower price. In addition, Austrians are much more likely to find out more about customer ratings on the Internet and then order online right away. In addition, the study has shown that in Germany and Switzerland the procurement of information and the purchase are more often with one person and the purchase decision is therefore more often made in person. In Austria, the opposite is the case: for almost 46 percent of those surveyed, information research in personal contact is separate from the final purchase decision, which is then often made online. “The study results show that there are clear parallels in the B-to-B area to the cross-channel information and purchasing behavior of consumers,” explains Mark Holenstein, Vice President Central Europe at Hybris. “As in the B-to-C area, every market is different with regard to business customers, but providers are always on the right track with regard to customer churn if they rely on a multi-channel strategy and thus customers on every channel as requested and able to satisfy. “
Many Swiss consider the internet unsafe
The opposite way – from the network to face-to-face discussions – is also characterized by information behavior across all channels. Across all countries, around a third of the respondents stated that they obtained information in at least one other channel before buying the product through personal contact. The reasons for this vary: while just under ten percent of German customers rate the Internet as too unsafe to make a purchase, 18.7 percent of Austrians and almost one in five Swiss people decide against shopping in this channel due to the uncertainty on the Internet. In addition, the Swiss and Austrians rate the personal purchase as faster and therefore prefer it. “The study shows once again how important it is to interlink different channels in order not to lose a customer. Retailers in Austria and Switzerland can particularly score points with cross-channel offers, for example by offering to reserve a product online and then pick it up in person. Our results show that Austrians and Swiss are much more open to such offers than German business customers, ”comments Dr. Kai Hudetz, Managing Director of the Institute for Retail Research (IFH), presented the results.