Industrial Buyers Looking for Specific Product, Price Information Online

Thomas survey shows over 50 percent of buyers will reject insufficient supplier Web sites

Thomas survey shows over 50 percent of buyers will reject insufficient supplier Web sites

New York — June 3, 2004 — Industrial suppliers risk losing buyers if the suppliers' Web sites do not provide sufficient product and pricing information, according to the results of a recent survey by Thomas Industrial Network.

In the survey of the online sourcing habits of industrial buyers, 52 percent of the responding buyers said that they would move on to the next supplier Web site if specific product information is unavailable.

Demonstrating the scope of the problem, 55 percent of industrial buyers report a lack of specific product information on supplier Web sites, and 59 percent have found a lack of pricing information.

The survey also revealed that industrial buyers say they save their company time and money with online sourcing. Specifically, 21 percent estimated they saved their company over $501 per month through online sourcing, while 18 percent said they saved their company more than $1,000 a month.

In addition, 51 percent stated that their company saves at least 51 hours per month via online sourcing, while 21 percent estimated that their company saves as many as 500 hours per month from online sourcing, and 13 percent of respondents estimated that their companies are saving more than 1,000 hours a month.

Search engines and online industrial directories were the top two resources that buyers said they turn to time and time again, with fully 85 percent of industrial buyers going on the Web for their sourcing needs.

"Industrial purchasers are going to the Web more than to any other resource, and they're telling us that if they can't find what they need quickly and easily, they'll move on to the next Web site," said Eileen Markowitz, president of Thomas Industrial Network. "Survey respondents report real savings and increased productivity that demonstrates that online sourcing has had a real impact on [return on investment], and that industrial suppliers need to make their Web presence a top priority."

The survey was conducted randomly among 1,441 of Thomas' online, opt-in users. Survey respondents represent manufacturing and engineering segments, as well as wholesale trade, distribution, service providers and government agencies.