Three quarters (75%) of manufacturing 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. 81% of manufacturers have witnessed a decrease in efficiency due to order errors, while 79% saw a drop in productivity and a further 75% saw a decrease in profitability. The survey of 560 global B2B buying professionals, of which 155 were manufacturers, found that 40% of organisations have witnessed a decrease of more than 11% in sales, productivity, efficiency or profitability due to errors during the purchasing process. 16% are seeing a decrease in excess of 25%.
The majority of manufacturing buyers place orders weekly (42%), often daily (24%), which means the opportunity for errors to occur is high. 44% of individuals experience errors with online orders at least once a fortnight, while nearly a third (27%) encounter issues. With the majority of all 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 incorrect information was the top reason for problems occurring during the online buying process highlighting the need for e-commerce platforms to accurately reflect stock, pricing and delivery details. 29% felt that incorrect inventory information is causing errors, while another 29% said it was incorrect product displayed. Other reasons for errors include incorrect data entry (28%), incorrect shipping information (28%) and incorrect product selection (28%).
For all B2B buyers across sectors, 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.