Results of Diva survey reveal that the majority of B2B customers access digital services using computers (e.g. laptop or desktop computers) but the number of mobile users is increasing. 9 % of respondents mainly access digital services with a mobile device (e.g. smart phone, tablet PC) while the rest (91 %) primarily use computers. Even though the number of mobile as a primary access method is still quite low, only 10 % claims that they never use a mobile device with B2B digital services.
We took a deeper look at the factors that explain mobile use among B2B customers using logistic regression analysis, and results show that age and occupation explain mobile use of digital services among B2B customers while quite surprisingly gender and educational level do not impact mobile use. Age has a negative impact on mobile use implying that the probability to use mobile device as a primary device for B2B digital services decreases by 2 percent for each additional year of age. Thus younger B2B customers are more likely to use mobile device as a primary device for B2B digital services.
In our research occupation was found to be the strongest predictor of mobile device use among B2B customers, and top managers are the most likely to use mobile devices as primary devices for B2B digital services. Results show that the likelihood of the top management using mobile device as their primary device for B2B digital services is 1.64 times greater than the likelihood of middle management using mobile devices. To compare, top managers are 5.62 times more likely to use mobile devices with B2B digital services compared to officials and employees.
We were also interested to find out how individual’s technology propensities influence primary use of mobile devices among B2B customers. We adopted measures from academic research where optimism and innovativeness are proposed as motivators of individual’s technology readiness while insecurity and discomfort are inhibitors of technology use (Parasuraman & Colby, 2015). Results show that individual’s innovativeness is a positive predictor of mobile device use of B2B digital services and insecurity has a negative effect on it, but optimism and discomfort do not explain the primary use of mobile devices among B2B customers. These results imply that B2B customers who mainly access B2B digital services via a mobile device are open minded towards the possibilities new technologies can provide to them. Moreover, it appears that those B2B customers still accessing digital services primarily via a computer are more skeptical than mobile users towards technology in general.
Heli Hallikainen, Project researcher
Tommi Laukkanen, Professor
University of Eastern Finland, Business School