Dreamstime Images
Dreamstime L 113987228

Top B2B Procurement Trends for 2022

Oct. 19, 2022
New Amazon Business report highlights the key trends, challenges and priorities that today’s B2B buyers are working through and addressing in the current business environment.

Download this article in PDF format.

Amazon may have gotten its start as a consumer-focused B2C company, but over the last seven years the e-tailing giant has slowly been making its way into the B2B space. By some estimates, in fact, the company’s “Amazon Business” arm has been growing by about 50% annually since it was launched in 2015. According to eMarketer, the company’s B2B sales will continue to experience high growth for the next few years and more than double its product sales by 2025 to exceed $59 billion (up from about $28 billion in 2021).

In Amazon Business’ recently-published 2022 State of Business Procurement Report the e-tailer highlights the key trends that are currently driving buyers’ procurement strategies, the challenges they’re dealing with in today’s business environment, the pace of digital acceleration in procurement and what it sees as the most important future trends.

To better understand the needs, challenges and priorities of its business buyers, Amazon Business surveyed 440 buyers across the U.S. This is the second time the company has conducted this survey, which includes input from respondents in the government and in the nonprofit, education, healthcare and commercial industries. 

“Procurement professionals continue to contend with a variety of challenges in a rapidly evolving landscape,” said Amazon Business’ Aster Angagaw in a press release. “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.”

What B2B Buyers Want

Not surprisingly, Amazon Business says optimizing costs and increasing efficiency remain high priorities for procurement, and that purchasing in line with organizational values continues to grow in importance. “Business buying looks more like personal shopping than ever,” the company says in its report, “with B2B buyers increasingly taking advantage of e-procurement—also known as Smart Business Buying—technologies to find, compare, and purchase supplies in their price range that are aligned with their core values.”

Other key findings from the report include:

  • 91% of B2B buyers prefer buying online and nearly one in 10 buyers (9%) expects to complete upward of 80% of their purchases online by the end of the year.
  • 58% of B2B buyers now make purchases for delivery directly to an employee’s personal residence.
  • 47% of B2B buyers are managing bigger budgets this year versus 2021.
  • 84% of B2B buyers say their organization plans to increase the purchasing budget reserved for Black or other diverse-owned businesses.
  • 63% of B2B buyers say improving sustainability in their purchasing practices is a top priority.
  • 55% of B2B buyers with sustainability goals say it’s difficult to source suppliers that follow sustainable practices. Among this group, 81% of buyers agree this difficulty is holding their company back from achieving procurement sustainability goals.
  • 89% of B2B buyers say if it was easier to identify sustainably-certified products, they would be more likely to purchase more sustainable products.
  • By the end of the year, 68% of buyers plan to make at least 40% of their purchases online—up from 56% of buyers in 2021.

Supporting Sustainable, Diverse and Local Businesses

With the cost of goods rising and annual budget increases fairly routine, most of the business buyers that Amazon Business surveyed said that purchasing budgets will stay the same or increase this year. Nearly half (47%) of B2B buyers said their purchasing budget was higher than last year, it adds, and 31% of respondents said budgets remained the same. Only 22% of respondents expected a budgetary decrease.

The commercial sector is experiencing the greatest budgetary gains, with 59% of commercial organizations expecting to manage higher budgets in the coming months. The sector experiencing the largest budgetary decline is education, with 38% of respondents reporting that their budget has decreased since 2021.

Amazon Business says procurement is also playing a greater role in corporate social responsibility (CSR) and helping to push the related goals forward. For example, it’s increasing its support of diverse-owned suppliers and working to procure more environmentally sustainable materials and suppliers.

“However, while respondents said that cutting costs and increasing efficiency were the most important areas for overall improvement,” Amazon Business points out, “three of the four most important procurement priorities center around contributing to organizational CSR goals, including supporting sustainable, diverse and local businesses.”

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Supply Chain Connect, create an account today!

About the Author

Bridget McCrea | Contributing Writer | Supply Chain Connect

Bridget McCrea is a freelance writer who covers business and technology for various publications.