5 B2B Buyer Expectations in 2023

Business buyer expectations change as we enter the new year and firmly leave the pandemic behind. With the rapid digitization and development of B2B commerce in the past years, we are entering a new age where more and more business buyers are skipping interactions with salespeople and going straight to the purchase – online.

If you are a B2B seller in this day and age, these ever-changing buyer expectations may be giving you a headache. You may be wondering how you can keep up with optimizations in your online shop and how you can best respond to new expectations without having to overhaul your entire marketing strategy.

This article will review some upcoming trends in B2B buyer expectations that will emerge or continue in 2023. More importantly, we will discuss what you can do about this as a seller, so you can potentially increase your sales and keep your customers happy.

1. Self-service

Regarding B2B e-commerce, self-service is both a preference and an expectation for business buyers. Gartner's ‘Future of Sales report suggests that 33% of buyers desire a seller-free sales experience. This percentage increases even more for millennials to 44%. As millennial decision-makers are set to dominate the workforce within these few years, and certainly in the next one, sales reps become one of the many digital channels that buyers can access instead of the most important one.

With the increased expectation and preference for self-service, sellers should consider embracing new tools and channels to engage their buyers and to offer them the flexibility to choose how to purchase. This includes putting up information packages of products and services online so buyers can access them independently of contacting a sales rep.

Sellers can also implement simplified checkout processes and multiple options to satisfy buyers immediately. On top of that, sellers can create dedicated FAQ sections not only for products but also for checkout options, which buyers can access in their own time.

2. Transparency

Regarding e-commerce in the business world, buyers want and expect transparency in terms of shipping options and other charges. They also want it early in their process journey, and unexpected costs calculated at the final stage of checkout are more likely than ever to drive customers away.

To make the most of your checkout experience and retain buyers, you should be transparent about your costs and charges at every step. Communicate with them clearly and offer assistance when needed so that your buyers can figure out what they want to do.

3. Multiple payment methods

Thirdly, buyers now do not only want multiple payment methods when they buy online – they expect it. Research by PPRO reveals that 42% of US customers say they would not complete their purchase if they did not have access to their preferred payment method. And with whatever payment avenue, they expect the same ease and efficiency they get when they make B2C purchases in their own time.

Many B2B sellers have long been offering multiple ways for buyers to fulfill payment obligations. Some popular examples include using traditional debit and credit cards, such as VISA, MasterCard, and American Express. There is also the use of digital wallets like Apple Pay and PayPal, and in recent years, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

However, that may not be enough. Sellers should also consider alternative payment methods that provide unique benefits to cater to their entire customer base. This includes using B2B Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) solutions with specialized payment providers, such as Biller. BNPL, for example, can help businesses facilitate cash flow smoothly for both buyers and sellers – meaning you will benefit, too, not just your buyers.

By diversifying your payment gateway, you meet the expectations of a wider set of buyers from different backgrounds with different preferred payment methods. Over time, this can increase your brand reach and exposure, leading to more sales and conversions.

4. Social proof

Another expectation that buyers have when making digital purchases is the presence of social proof. The most important endorsements in the B2B e-commerce world probably come from other users and customers of your brand instead of you. If your buyers do not find social proof on your online shop, they will look for some.

Providing honest testimonials, reviews, comments, and ratings on your website can be a great way to boost your social proof and get customers to trust you. Building this social proof into your site also means that buyers looking for them do not have to look very far, and they can stay in your shop the whole time. This has the potential to prevent them from leaving and finding competitor names.

Social proof also helps you build a good business case for the multiple decision-makers usually involved in making the single purchase decision. It cuts down on your buyer's work to get others to support their decision to choose you and your products. Therefore, taking the time to include reviews and testimonials on your website can help shorten the sales cycle.

5. Good, personalized experiences

Finally, one element that B2B buyers have always expected – and will always continue to expect – is a good shopping experience. Certainly, it is subjective. However, for many business buyers, personalized convenience is the cornerstone of a good experience, followed by strong customer support across multiple platforms. Let us explain.

A report by McKinsey & Company stated that 39% of B2B buyers believe the most challenging part of buying online is the struggle to build a relationship with their supplier. Many buyers wanted a personalized buying experience with more relevant brand messages. With B2C sellers regularly collecting user data and using it to personalize their average buyer’s journey, more and more customers are expecting the same of B2B sellers.

Buyers also expect multi-channel support when they want to make a purchase, which is another factor that constitutes a good experience. In a report also done by McKinsey's B2B Pulse on omnichannel usage in sales, B2B buyers regularly use ten or more channels to interact with suppliers. This is double the number of channels they used to use in 2016.

For modern business sellers, responding to customers using their preferred channel is crucial to building a strong relationship with them. It is also important to set up data collection systems to help you deliver the right messages to the right people who employ your services or buy your products. Staying on top of what your buyers want can prevent alienating or causing them frustration, potentially leading to increased conversions and trust between yourself and your buyers.


A little goes a long way when it comes to optimizing your B2B online shop. Studies by Gartner have shown that by 2025, 80% of B2B sales interactions will take place on digital channels. This makes it more important than ever to consider your buyers’ expectations and continually optimize the ways.