Country ranks among the worst in online business among companies

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In four years, Portugal has increased the gap with the European average. In the next five years, 60% of business between companies should be digital, says a study by Wunderman Thompson.

Portugal ranks fourth among the European Union countries with the lowest percentage of companies selling on the B2B(business to business) channel and/or on B2G(business to government) through websites, apps, and/or marketplaces.

The conclusion is from”The B2B Future Shopper Report 2023″, a study carried out by Wunderman Thompson, a creative, consulting and technology agency. And, besides being at the bottom of the table, “in the last five years, the country increased the difference in relation to the European average in this area, going from 1.7 percentage points (pp) in 2018, to 5.6 pp in 2022,” details to the Dinheiro Vivo, Gonçalo Rodrigues, consulting director of that agency.

In fact, national companies “lag behind the other European countries, a reality that not even large companies escape”, stresses the responsible, referring to the study that states that this situation is observed in Portuguese companies of all sizes.

And, although there is a positive correlation between company size and the representativeness of sales in digital channels, large Portuguese companies have an even bigger gap in relation to their European counterparts than small and medium-sized companies, details the manager.

At a global level, the study states that, within five years, about 60% of business-to-business (B2B) purchases will be made via the Internet. Currently, this type of purchase is around 49%. The automotive, textiles, clothing and footwear, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, food and beverage, and beauty and health care sectors were the ones identified as the key areas that present a high dynamism in B2B commerce.

The public sector also stands out due to the need for transparency and compliance in public procurement, where digital media plays a central role, and here Portugal is no exception. The Wunderman Thompson study also revealed that, globally, B2B buyers are not as loyal as one might predict.

About two-thirds of buyers said that inflation made them more willing to change suppliers, while about half said that the impact of the pandemic, especially with the increase in remote work, made them less loyal to suppliers with whom they had face-to-face relationships.

Economic factors, such as better contract terms, prices and discounts, were identified as the main reasons for switching suppliers, along with the variety of products made available and operational factors, such as delivery time and ease of return.

In order to reverse this trend, the study points to the need to be competitive, but stresses that price should not be the only answer. Other factors relevant to the B2B purchasing decision include product quality and variety, operational capability (delivery, returns and purchasing process), supplier reputation, recognized expertise in the products or services, and ability to provide value-added services.

Similarly, the survey revealed that about 70% of B2B buyers indicate that they are more likely to buy from companies that innovate. Says Gonçalo Rodrigues, as “who is not seen, is not remembered”, more immediate solutions may be to ensure a good strategy of traffic generation through creative content and a website that reflects the main competitive factors of the brand, as well as its products and services, appealing to purchase or contact.

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