B2B Purchasers & Retail Therapy in the Workplace

Emotional Purchasing

The link between emotions and purchasing is commonplace in consumer purchasing and trends. Marketers count on it. In the world of business, however, the role of emotions is often overlooked in B2B purchasers. According to a recent study, small businesses seem to be especially vulnerable to the effects of emotions on their purchasing.

While emotions are widely studied in the B2C space, B2B purchasing emotions are rarely studied. So, a team of researchers studied small businesses in Sweden to determine which emotions are felt in the purchasing process.B2B Purchasers

Researchers noted that one potential reason small business are particularly susceptible to subjective purchasing is that they may have different end goals than their larger counterparts. For example, a small business may exist to accommodate a different lifestyle or for self development as opposed to business profit.

The group found that once small business owners hit their own financial goal they felt content, which led them to make less strategic purchasing decisions and rely on simple internal processes.


One hypothesis stated that buyers who experienced fear were more likely to seek external expertise. The fear drove them to get help on issues that they felt were beyond their control. The results showed that businesses who sought external help felt helpless and discontented as the strongest correlating emotions with seeking external help.


The study also found that businesses which already achieved their financial goals would only partner with suppliers that subscribed to similar principles. The positive experience there correlated with the emotion of happiness.

The Take Away

So how do the emotions of business purchasing relate to all businesses and e-procurement?

Businesses are made up of individuals. People are behind all purchasing decisions, and those people all make decisions affected by their emotions. Yes, all businesses may have the end goal of profitability, but that may not always be the end goal of individual purchasers who are subject to emotions.

Understanding the relationship between purchasing decisions and correlating emotions can help procurement leaders make better procurement strategies to guide decision making to reach their goals. Procurement software can help businesses to track spending and changes that may indicate less than ideal purchasing habits.

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Source: Salgado Catindig, R., & Kis, Z. (2017). The Role of Emotions in Small Business Purchasing : a quantitative study on purchasing processes and emotions (Dissertation). Retrieved from http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-65595