The pandemic has changed the world. While a shift towards digitalisation was already occurring pre-pandemic, COVID-19 has hugely expedited businesses and consumers from offline to online – one that will have a permanent impact on how customers shop and how businesses are run.
With this post-pandemic ‘new normal’, it is vital to stay updated on emerging buyer trends and behaviours to successfully thrive through the future. Whether a supplier or a B2B buyer, here are 6 must-know buyer trends to help you stay ahead of the game.
1. Exploration of new products
With the shrink of market demand of existing products, buyers are constantly seeking new suppliers and products to generate new businesses to offset the plunge of their existing product range during pandemic. According to HKTDC Research, 40% of buyers are engaging more suppliers compared to the pre-pandemic era – sourcing a wider variety of products to appeal to more consumers.
2. Preferences for Eco-friendly Products
Seeing the trend that businesses and consumers are increasingly aware of minimising carbon footprints and changing polices as well as regulations on reducing environmental impacts, buyers are seeking producers who utilise sustainable processes and materials. Research shows that awareness of sustainability and ESG is one of the top 3 emerging trends that affect buyer sourcing practices.
3. Personalisation is here to stay
‘One-size-fits-all’ is no longer a term that is attractive to customers. Businesses are constantly looking for methods to build rapports with customers with strong relevance. Product and service customisation are becoming more important to buyers than ever. Forbes noted that over 50% of consumers had shown great interest in purchasing personalised products and indicates that this trend is the future of businesses and retail.
4. Buyers to increase purchase sizes
Due to the pandemic, buyers are experiencing longer sourcing times and higher shipping costs. According to the HKTDC survey, almost half of buyers have increased their average value per order, and many are increasing their purchase size as well. According to The New York Times, high shipping costs and delays will continue for an extended time – a situation that will lead buyers to maximise orders to reduce transportation costs.
5. Hybrid Fairs – The Future of Sourcing?
The general consensus remains that digital fairs will not substitute physical fairs since they lack the physical component of being able to examine and evaluate products. On the other hand, hybrid fairs are designed to enhance fair experiences by digitalising and targeting the limitations of physical fairs. With nearly 60% of international buyers preferring hybrid fairs once travel bans are lifted, it is clear that hybrid fairs will be the future of sourcing for all parties.
To stay on top of the hybrid fair trend, an integrated world-class exhibition model with sophisticated technology and an intelligent business matching platform such as Exhibition Plus can help open your business to the world. You can learn more about hybrid fairs here.
6. Choosing a credible sourcing platform is key
HKTDC Research finds that buyers found online sourcing to be incredibly effective. However, it hinders buyers to verify products and suppliers physically. Most buyers worry about the risk of fraud and product authenticity posted by suppliers – emphasising the importance of a trustworthy sourcing platform. With a common reliable sourcing platform like HKTDC Sourcing, suppliers and buyers can stay worry-free and conduct deals on a safe online platform.
Even though the pandemic is slowly edging towards normality and travel restrictions are gradually being lifted in many countries, digitalisation has become necessary for businesses to stay afloat. Even with face-to-face fairs emerging again, finding a credible online sourcing platform is essential to facilitate greater expansion and more lucrative business opportunities.
hktdc.com Sourcing is an established B2B sourcing platform that reaches over 2 million international buyers and features over 130,000 quality suppliers. Buyers can search for verified suppliers, while suppliers can feature their products to a wide audience. You can learn more about hktdc.com Sourcing here.
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