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B2B buyers under the age of 35 are 131% more likely to make corporate purchases online than those over 35, but suppliers’ websites aren’t fully capable of handling their evolving demands, according to a recent report by the Acquity Group.

The 2013 State of B2B Procurement Study, which surveyed corporate buyers with annual budgets in excess of $100,000 on their habits and preferences, also found that that younger B2B buyers research more before purchasing than their older counterparts.

Below, additional key findings.

Online B2B Shopping by Generation

Gen Y B2B buyers are more likely to shop online than their older counterparts, with a consistent trend of online purchasing increasing in younger generations:

  • 90% of buyers age 18-35 make company purchases online.
  • 68% of buyers age 36-45 make company purchases online.
  • 45% of buyers age 46-60 make company purchases online.
  • 29% of buyers age 60+ make company purchases online.

Research Practices by Generation

  • Those surveyed over the age of 60 were most likely to research before purchasing less than 10% of the time, and those 26-45 were most likely to research before purchasing 50% of the time or more.
  • Buyers under age 60 spend longer (one to two hours on average) researching before making a major purchase of $5,000 or more, while the buyers over the age of 60 spend 30 minutes or less on research prior to making a major purchase. 

Supplier Websites Lag

  • 70% of B2B buyers surveyed said they would spend more of their budgets online if their suppliers' websites were easier and more convenient use. 

The Rise of Amazon Supply 

  • Amazon Supply, which launched in April 2012, is gaining traction among business buyers.
  • 63% of buyers age 18-35 have purchased from Amazon Supply at least once, and 40% purchase frequently from the service. 
  •  45% of buyers of all ages have used Amazon Supply at least once. 

About the research: The study was based on a survey of 207 buyers with annual procurement budgets of $100,000 or more across a wide range of industries.

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image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is a digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Media, a marketing agency specializing in content and social media services for tech firms. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji