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The B2B future shopper report

An in-depth guide to the habits and preferences of B2B buyers across the UK, US and China

In a world wrestling with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s no surprise that that B2B buying online is on the rise.

Buyers want the best possible experience for their needs, which means a fluid blend of channels. They also want to see more B2C experiences blended into B2B. At the same time, many B2B buyers admit a comfort and liking for traditional channels.

These differences make B2B markets often complex places where one size, channel or approach no longer fits all, and the cost of ignoring this is high.

Exploring the habits and preferences at every stage of the B2B purchasing journey, Wunderman Thompson’s B2B Future Shopper Report 2021 presents a detailed and big picture view, covering channel choices, technology, purchasing pain-points and desired solutions.


Aimed at businesses and suppliers seeking to shape their strategy and sell more vis B2B channels, key findings include:

The pandemic has caused B2B spend online to soar

It’s also raised expectations around the B2B experience, influenced heavily by more attractive B2C experiences.

  • 49% of B2B purchases are now made online
  • 62% of B2B buyers would like to have dedicated smartphone apps through which they can purchase

The opportunity is vast, but challenges prevail – and high supplier switch rates speak volumes

At the same time, those B2B organisations that advance their digital experiences, technology and tooling stand to move ahead fast and remain in front.

  • 53% of B2B businesses have switched suppliers for all purchases in the last 12 months, up from 18% last year
  • 52% of firms experience frustration with online B2B buying
  • 89% of companies in the UK and US find buying online more complicated than offline

In today’s challenging climate the old rules no longer apply

  • 93% of companies set to retain changes in their purchasing behaviour learnt during the pandemic
  • 46% of global B2B buyers say that product customisation ranked highest as a purchase factor while cost savings is far down the list
  • 18% of B2B spend, on average, across US and UK is through Amazon Business, making it the top purchase channel

For more insights and analysis, download Wunderman Thompson’s B2B Future Shopper Report 2021

Wunderman Thompson

published on

04 November 2021



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