Buyers of industrial equipment and services look to the Web to source goods, but the distributors they want to locate are slow to build an online presence. That’s according to a survey conducted by GlobalSpec, a vertical search engine for the engineering, industrial and technical communities.
Today, you find far less companies that don’t have a Web site, it’s really more about how they’ve embraced the Internet and online,” said Chris Chariton, VP of marketing at GlobalSpec. “It takes them out of their comfort space a little bit.”
Traditional means of sourcing new suppliers, trade shows, sales calls and catalogs, are being replaced by Web searches. Seventy-three percent of buyers of industrial equipment look for new sources on search engines and online directories. Search engines are the first place to query for new vendors, online industrial directories account for 21 percent of first searches. Online sources exceed initial searches through traditional channels like recommendations from colleagues, manufacturer sales calls, trade magazines, and direct mail.
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“The audience has moved online, and the first place they’re going to look for new sources is the Internet,” said Chariton. “From a time savings standpoint, the engineering and tech audience really embraces the Internet as a place to find information and news sources.”
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When finding a source on the Web, up-to-date content and technical specifications are the most important functions of a site, e-commerce isn’t as critical. Online ordering and the ability to track orders online rank lower on the list of priorities from buyers.
GlobalSpec conducted a survey of engineers, technical buyers, scientific professionals and other members of the engineering, industrial and technical communities in January and February of this year.