While mobile sales have been on a slower rise on the B2B supply side, sales are projected to ramp up as buyers get younger and more consumers expect mobile purchasing to replicate the B2C online user experience.

People use mobile devices differently than other devices, such as a desktop computer. For example, smartphone users often turn to their phones to get quick information, like the name of a restaurant or GPS directions to its new location.

And consider this: Most people literally keep their smartphones attached at the hip.

In the business world, smartphones and tablets are consistently used to conduct in-depth research into products and services, prices and reviews. So, it makes sense that companies would move to integrate direct purchasing within their sites.

According to Acquity, a digital marketing agency based in Chicago, buyers under the age of 35 are 131 percent more likely to make corporate purchases online. About 40 percent of corporate buyers spend at least half of their current procurement budget online, and the firm reports just as many buyers expect to increase online spending over the course of the year.

Unlike in years past, people progressively trust the online procurement portals through which they conduct business. So much so that Acquity reports a majority of corporate buyers feel secure enough to place everything from small orders to major purchases — of $5,000 or more — online.

Increasingly, these buyers are searching for a “familiar experience,” to place those purchases. If they are regular smartphone users — more than half of Americans are — who buy products for themselves, say on Amazon’s mobile website, they are more likely to purchase company supplies through a jan/san distributor’s site if it emulates the e-commerce giant’s user-friendly features.

And if it doesn’t? Nearly half of mobile users say they will turn to a competitors website instead, according to Google.

“People use the same technology (at work) that they use in their personal lives,” Conklin says. “So, a person who checks ESPN sports scores on their phone, also uses a mobile device to look up a new janitorial house. He doesn’t change his habits because of his job title.” 

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