Content Is King for Electronic Components Buyers

Dec. 9, 2015
When it comes to getting connected, the Internet remains a research tool for electronic components buyers.

Buyers of electronic components are most likely to go online to access information about the vast array of items they must source for their companies, according to the results of a Global Purchasing survey released last fall. This means that for most purchasing professionals, the Internet remains largely a research tool and a window to a wide variety of content that can help them do their jobs more efficiently and effectively.

When asked about their on-the-job online activities, purchasing managers surveyed this summer said they are most likely to go online for information—reading and commenting on articles from a variety of sources (61%) and downloading resources such as application notes, white papers, and data sheets (57%). They also listed accessing online videos (51%) and social media sites (51%), as well as browsing the web on their mobile devices (50%), as key online business activities.

Taking a closer look at mobile devices and social media, it’s clear that purchasing professionals are adapting to today’s fast-paced, connected business environment. Most buyers said they use their mobile devices for work, citing an iPhone or similar Android device as the most common (71%). What’s more, 62% of buyers said they have increased the amount of information they access on their mobile devices in the past 12 months, with 37% citing no change in that access, and just 1% citing a decrease.

Social media use among purchasing professionals is growing as well. Although 56% of respondents said their use of social media has not changed in the last 12 months, 34% said they have increased their use of social media, and just 5% cited a decline in use. LinkedIn remains the most common social media outlet for buyers (64%), with Facebook and Google coming in a distant second (24% each). Buyers also cited using their companies’ own social media sites (23%) and YouTube (18%) in their day-to-day jobs.

All the signals point to increased technology use over time, and it seems purchasing professionals are definitely along for the ride.

Global Purchasing asked buyers about their online business habits this fall as part of its annual Salary and Profile Survey.

About the Author

Victoria Kickham | Distribution Editor

Victoria Kickham is the distribution editor for Electronic Design magazine, SourceESB and, where she covers issues related to the electronics supply chain. Victoria started out as a general assignment reporter for several Boston-area newspapers before joining Industrial Distribution magazine, where she spent 14 years covering industrial markets. She served as ID’s managing editor from 2000 to 2010. Victoria has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of New Hampshire and a master’s degree in English from Northeastern University.

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