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Surprising New B2B Online Purchasing Decision Data Announced by Enquiro 2007 Survey

September 18, 2007

JUST THE FACTS: From the Enquiro Online B2B Purchasing Survey 2007

Summary Results of B2B Survey

  • …even we were surprised by just how important respondents to our survey indicated that online research was to their purchase decisions
    • There was a clear spark of interest from a trade show, colleague, or friend and then they went to SEARCH
  • The match of a good vendor website and a recommendation from a peer or colleague was a clear winner
  • Price and Product Information in clear text is the #1 thing purchasers want in all phases of the buying process
    • They want this in clear, simple text
    • Less important were rich media, online video, and podcasts
    • Simpler is Better
  • Google Dominates B2B search with 77.7% of the market
  • B2B Verticals like, Knowledge Storm, and Thomas Net were important later in the buying decision process to compare alternatives
  • 50% of B2B online interactions convert to a sale. This was a surprise that it was so high
  • Where on the page are B2B buyers clicking? (This is confirmed through other recent eye tracking studies)
    • 74.4% organic listings; 18.7 Paid Ads
    • 27.1% on the Top Organic Listing
    • 52.6% on the Top 4 Organic Listings

Methodology of Enquiro Survey

  • Published by Enquiro Search Solutions, Inc.
  • 1086 participants
  • 37% were looking for Supplies (i.e., industrial or office supplies, furniture, tools, etc.)
  • Participants by price of the purchase they were considering:
    • 63% <$1,000
    • 23% $10,000 to $50,000
    • 13% >$50,000
  • 46% were the economic buyer’s they had spend authority for the purchase
  • 49% were in the research phase gathering data and refining their requirements



  • There was a significant increase over previous studies in people who made their purchase online after researching online
    • 51% made their purchase online
      • 55% for <$10,000
      • 31% for >$100,000 (That is still a large percentage on big purchases)
      • For PARTS, 69.8% preferred purchasing online
  • Influence of the vendors website had the same importance (5.5 on a scale of 7) as a word-of-mouth recommendation from a colleague
CONCLUSION: As awareness is formed, a large percentage of prospects will use online resources to find out more information and they will use search to locate the vendor’s website. Search visibility is essential at intersecting the prospect at this point.


Detailed Results Just the Facts

  • 85.3% reported they would go online before making a purchase
    • 92% in the Awareness phase
    • 91.6% in the Research phase
    • 66.4% in the Negotiation phase
    • 81.3% in the Purchase phase
  • Over 70% of B2B purchasers started out from a Search Engine
    • 51% from Google, Yahoo, or MSN directly using search
    • 12% from B2B Search Engines (, Knowledge Storm, Thomas Net)
    • 12% used the search engine to find the Vendor of choice website
  • General Search Engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN) dominate early in the purchase cycle
    • 65.3% in Awareness phase
    • 51.8% in Research phase
    • 42% in Negotiation and Purchase phases
  • Only 12% of purchasers had their vendor of choice website bookmarked at the start of their search
  • By the Purchase phase, 80.7% were able to type the vendor website URL directly into their browser or had it bookmarked
CONCLUSION: You must capture the buyer’s attention early in the Awareness or Research phases so you are bookmarked by the final phases


  • Google dominates B2B search
    • 77.7% launched search in Google
    • 13.8% in Yahoo
    • 6.6% in MSN


  • Vertical B2B search engines had a strong place in the purchase process. Typically purchasers started on the general search engine, then used the vertical later to compare alternatives
  • The top three vertical search engines are
    • 73% – business supplies and services creates a large percentage of users
    • KnowledgeStorm 22% – technology purchases, enterprise hardware and software
    • ThomasNet 5% – industrial and manufacturing solutions accounts for lower percentage in this study


  • Major website factors for B2B purchasers
    • Price (at least a price range)
    • Product Information
    • Downloadable product/service information, particularly in the final stages
    • Comparisons
    • Company approach to Customer Service


  • Support Information was of secondary importance
    • General company information
    • Case studies and testimonials
    • Downloadable white papers
    • Knowledge bases


  • Multimedia was not that important
    • Podcasts
    • Webinars
    • Video
    • Online chat


  • Top Site Factors by phase were:
    • Awareness Price
    • Research Price with Extensive Product Information a close second
    • Negotiation Downloadable Product/Service Information to pass around to colleagues
    • Purchase Price again with Product Information a close second
      • In this final phase the Company Approach to Customer Service was bumped up to a tie with Product Information


  • Importance of Search Engine Rankings (Repeatable numbers from other recent eye tracking studies)
    • 74.2% click on organic listings first
    • 18.7% click on Pay-per-Click ads first
    • 27.1% click on the Top Organic listing first
    • 52.6% click on one of the Top Four listings first
    • Only 6.9% do not click on a first page listing


  • Top Factors in Click Through to a site from a search listing or ad
    • Ranking
    • Title bold relevant terms
    • Description scanning clusters of words (Much less important than title)
    • Brand if all the above don’t work, user will not see brand. But brand can close the deal and capture the click through if it is seen


  • 70.7% of B2B buyers are searching to
    • Learn more about a product/service (pricing, availability, requirements, features)
    • Compare products/services against each other


  • 95.8% of users found all or most of the information they needed to make a decision from online
    • 61.3% were Fully Successful; they found everything they needed online
    • 34.5% found some information but used other resources before making a buying decision
    • Only 0.9% of people reported they never found what they were looking for


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