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Amazon Business’ 2022 State of Business Procurement Report Highlights Opportunities in E-Procurement

Amazon Business

The second annual study reveals strong interest in online procurement across commercial, education, government, nonprofit, and health care industries, along with increased focus on corporate social responsibility

Amazon Business released its second State of Business Procurement Report, which shares business-to-business (B2B) trends and new insights from U.S. procurement professionals across industries and organizations of every size. Amazon Business, launched in 2015, helps leaders digitize and automate procurement with powerful management controls and analytic tools—all within the familiar experience of Amazon. For the report, which examines the rapid transformation of B2B e-procurement in recent years, Amazon Business surveyed buyers who hold influential procurement roles across commercial, education, government, nonprofit, and health care industries in the U.S.

The report highlighted a number of trends, including:

  • 91% of B2B buyers state a preference for online purchasing.
  • 58% of B2B buyers now make purchases that have to be delivered directly to an employee’s personal residence, accommodating an increasingly distributed workforce as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 84% of B2B buyers say their organizations plan to increase how much money they spend with Black- or other diverse-owned businesses.
  • 63% of B2B buyers say that improving sustainability in their purchasing practices is a top goal.
  • Increases from last year’s report indicate a continued prioritization of corporate social responsibility (CSR) objectives.

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“Procurement professionals continue to contend with a variety of challenges in a rapidly evolving landscape. We’re constantly looking for opportunities to improve the buying experience for our customers, and our 2022 State of Business Procurement Report provides actionable insights to procurement strategies and serves to aid decision-makers as they continue their digital transformation journey,” said Aster Angagaw, vice president of commercial, public, and strategic sectors at Amazon Business. “We’re proud to equip buyers across industries, organizational sizes, and revenues with the tools needed to meet their business goals and improve operations.”

Amazon Business can help business buyers overcome common pain points like accessing a wider range of suppliers and managing distributed purchasing. Purchasing optimization solutions like purchase order and invoice, storage and sharing, approval workflows, expense management, guided buying capabilities, and replenishment solutions enable operational efficiencies across entire organizations, not just in procurement. Amazon Business’ Smart Business Buying solutions empower purchasers to get what they need, when they need it.

Business buyers maintain a preference for digital procurement, and distributed deliveries are becoming the standard

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated digital transformation efforts in the procurement space, and the 2022 State of Business Procurement Report shows that the preference for digital is holding strong. In fact, 68% of buyers said they plan to make at least 40% or more of their purchases online by the end of the year—up from 56% of buyers in the 2021 B2B Evolution in E-Commerce Report. Additionally, only 2% of respondents this year said they purchase exclusively offline.

However, distributed purchasing and deliveries across more locations are becoming a standard part of procurement. Today, more than 1.7 million small and medium-sized businesses around the world sell in Amazon stores. According to this year’s report, supporting remote work is buyers’ third most important procurement goal, behind only purchasing with local businesses and those with sustainability-related certifications. Also, 46% of buyers are responsible for making purchases for multiple offices; of those, 24% are tasked with supporting offices in multiple countries.

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Buyers are price-conscious, but increasing support for diverse-owned businesses and more-sustainable supplies is the main driver of purchasing decisions

Even as businesses are facing growing concerns related to inflation, supply chain disruptions, and economic downturn, investment continues in smart business buying. The report shows that the majority of B2B buyers’ budgets are increasing or holding steady over 2021, and only 22% of respondents expected a budgetary decrease this year.

However, while respondents said that cutting costs and increasing efficiency were the areas most important for overall improvement, three of the four most important procurement priorities center around contributing to organizational CSR goals, including supporting sustainable, diverse, and local businesses. The report found that 91% of buyers take seller certifications into consideration when purchasing. This mirrors consumer purchasing behavior, where decisions are increasingly made based on a buyer’s values.

Still, organizations face a particular challenge in achieving sustainability goals. While 69% of B2B buyers work at organizations that require an increase in purchases from sellers following sustainable practices, 55% of buyers with sustainability goals say it’s difficult to source suppliers that follow sustainable practices. This presents opportunities for buyers to further leverage seller certifications as part of their Smart Business Buying strategy, closing the gap on sustainability-focused goals.

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