Procurement Shifts Online as a Result of Pandemic

Across all sectors, including K–12 and higher education, procurement is making a big shift toward online, propelled in large part by the pandemic. Some 85% of organizations report they pushed more of their procurement to digital as a direct result fo the pandemic, and 96% of those expect to continue doing so beyond the pandemic, according to a report released this week.

The report, from Amazon Business, the 2021 B2B E-commerce in Evolution Report, found that, in education in particular, more than a third (34%) now do more than half of their procurement online. (That’s slightly below the overall average of 38%.)

Among the findings, the top priorities from survey respondents in education diverge from other sectors. They include:

  1. Reducing costs;

  2. Supporting remote work;

  3. Increasing supply chain diversification;

  4. Improving sustainability; and

  5. Supporting local businesses within the community.

According to the report: “Nearly half (46%) of education buyers said supporting remote work and learning is a top priority for 2021. Like nearly every other sector, the education industry has experienced fundamental changes as a result of the pandemic, and it’s likely this trend will remain in some capacity. Schools are thinking beyond the traditional classroom and leveraging technology to offer more flexible, remote teaching environments— permanently. Online purchasing has emerged as a convenient and efficient way to track and send school supplies to teachers and students dispersed across geographic locations.”

Further details and a link to the complete report can be found on the Amazon Business blog.

About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidrnagel/ .