Brand Equity Diminishes as Reviews Dominate in B2B Marketplaces

According to research by SavvySME, online B2B marketplaces have diminished the value of brand equity as buyers prioritize reviews and other measures of product value.

B2B marketplaces no longer play second fiddle to traditional means of procurement. 

Previously associated with low-value transactions, McKinsey’s B2B Pulse research found 77% of businesses are willing to spend $50,000 or more in a single transaction on digital channels.

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The SavvySME B2B Marketplace Report 2022 analyzed the most important features to the buyers on its platform. 

Only 3.8% of businesses found known brands critical when making purchasing decisions on the marketplace. 

Conversely, in-depth reviews and community ratings were important decision factors for 30.8% and 11.5% of buyers respectively. 

Eric Sutfin, SavvySME Influencer in Marketing discusses why reviews and testimonials are prioritised in the online buying process.

“Just like how in sales, it can take up to eight times for information to be retained by customers.. In the buying process, we will ultimately use that same process of garnering and building trust with a brand before buying from them. This is built through things like reviews and testimonials, and ultimately through using multiple touchpoints to be able to reach them.”

Quentin Aisbett, SavvySME Top Influencer in Online Business shares how businesses should approach building reviews for their products and services.

“Typically each business should have up to 3 or 4 sites where they want to generate reviews. I’d be looking at the most influential site, understand how you compare in the eyes of the consumer to your competitors and if you’re lacking, focus on building reviews there first.”

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The second most critical factor was the range of offers. 23.1% of buyers found the breadth of offers and deals on the marketplace was critical to their purchasing decisions. 

The global procurement manager of a major automotive original-equipment manufacturer (OEM) shared how the options on marketplaces have made them more competitive

“I’m glad our CPOs pushed the marketplace idea for indirect procurement. It has increased our competitiveness, both in unit prices and in our choice of suppliers—and it has expanded our knowledge of suppliers and markets.”

Of note, competitor behaviour came in at more than double the significance of brand equity, with 7.4% claiming competitor behaviour as being an important factor when purchasing on the marketplace as compared to 3.8% who prioritised familiar brands. 

Most Critical Factors in Business Purchasing Decisions

B2B Marketplace Feature Percent of Businesses
In-depth reviews on products 30.8%
Largest range of business offers and deals in one place 23.1%
Comparison tables 15.4%
Community ratings 11.5%
Buying guides / advice 8.0%
Show you what similar types of businesses are buying 7.4%
Brands you know 3.8%

Source: SavvySME B2B Marketplace Report 2022

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