CPO Strategy

Online purchasing errors directly impacting business growth

More than three quarters (81%) of B2B organisations are witnessing a decrease in profits due to online order errors, causing significant repercussions on wider business growth, according to new research out today. 84% of businesses have witnessed a decrease in efficiency due to order errors, while 81% saw a drop in productivity and a further 81% saw a decrease in profitability. The survey of 560 global B2B buying professionals found that 44% of organisations have witnessed a decrease of more than 11% in sales, productivity, efficiency or profitability due to errors during the purchasing process. Some are seeing a decrease in excess of 25%.

The majority of B2B buyers place orders weekly, often daily, which means the opportunity for errors to occur is high. 44% of individuals experience errors with online orders at least once a fortnight, while a fifth encounter issues weekly and 9% experience issues on a daily basis. With the majority of B2B buyers preferring to buy online (75%) it’s critical that e-commerce platforms can reflect current and accurate sales information, such as pricing, shipping and stock as a way to help reduce errors.

The research found that user entry was the top reason for problems occurring during the online buying process. 28% however, felt that incorrect product information is causing errors while 28% said it was incorrect purchase entry. Other reasons for errors include incorrect inventory display (27%), incorrect shipping information (25%) and incorrect pricing information (23%).

Online order errors appear to be most frequent in Benelux with 55% of buyers experiencing problems at least once a fortnight and 25% on a weekly basis. 48% of businesses based in Germany, Austria and Switzerland also experience errors once a fortnight and nearly half (46%) of British or Irish businesses face the same problem. Yet order errors in the US and Canada appears to be less frequent, with the majority (51%) witnessing order errors at least monthly.

B2B buyers purchasing automotive parts appear to be the most susceptible to errors when making purchases online, as 54% experience problems at least once a fortnight. This is closely followed by those purchasing building materials (53%) and food & beverage products (52%).

Michiel Schipperus, CEO and Managing Partner at Sana Commerce comments: “B2B organisations have embraced e-commerce as a route to market and as a way to remain competitive and reach new markets. But our research highlights the need for e-commerce platforms to deliver accuracy across all buying channels. Ensuring that the e-commerce system is integrated into the organisation’s ERP platform to provide a single source of truth at the point of purchase goes a long way to ensuring that customers have the correct information needed to make an informed purchase decision and reduce order errors.”  

The survey of B2B organisations in Europe and the US was undertaken by independent market research company Sapio on behalf on Sana Commerce. The survey sample covered food and beverage, electronics, building materials, medical supplies and automotive parts. For more insights download the report here.

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