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Global Laboratory Product Purchasing Trends : End-User Perspective

  • December 2014
  • 101 pages
  • Frost & Sullivan
Report ID: 2619877


Table of Contents

Research Objectives

The primary goals of this research are to establish the size of laboratory budgets for purchase of products in seven categories and to establish baselines for developing trends (2014 to 2015):
•Reagents and kits
•General laboratory supplies
Additionally, this research investigates the factors that drive selection of laboratory products and how these laboratory products are associated with factors driving selection.


Readers of Lab Manager magazine were invited to participate in an online survey in September 2014. To qualify for survey participation, readers must play a role in their laboratory’s purchasing process, be familiar with their laboratories’ product budgets, and represent a laboratory that either uses or plans to use products in one or more of the seven specified laboratory product categories.

Reporting Notes

•For the purpose of this analysis, respondents identifying as ‘manufacturing’, ‘environmental testing’, ‘chemical or petrochemical’, and ‘food, beverage or agricultural’ are combined as the ‘Industrial’ category. Further, ‘biotechnology’, ‘pharmaceutical’, and ‘contract research organization’ are combined for the ‘Biopharma’ category. Lastly, ‘state government’ and ‘federal government’ are combined for the ‘Government’ category. The ‘hospital or clinical lab’ selection is renamed ‘Patient Care’.
•Respondents indicate a wide range of job titles such as researcher, scientist, investigator, director, manager, or technician. For convenience, they are generally referred to as “researchers” in this study, but this term should be understood to include all respondents.
•In total, x percent of respondents work in the United States. The second most represented country is Canada at x percent. Nevertheless, this is called a global study because the survey was open to respondents from all countries.
•Monetary values are reported in US dollars.
•Percentages in charts and tables may not add to x due to rounding.
•A similar study was conducted among the same targeted respondents in 2012 (n= x ) and 2013 (n= x ); therefore, where applicable, year-over-year will be presented to determine any early trend developments.

Labs Continue to Demand Retail eCommerce-like Purchasing Experience

Overall, laboratories are placing greater importance on attributes related to the eCommerce experience, such as information transparency in online catalogs, quick delivery, product specific application features, shipping costs, quick and easy ordering, competitive pricing, and cheaper shipping costs. Many of these attributes gained importance in the 2014 drivers matrix over 2013 results.

Desired Changes to the Purchasing Experience Center Around eCommerce

Labs want the same experience when purchasing lab products online that they have with online retail purchasing. Several labs reported they will switch to other online purchasing websites when their first choice does not provide the information or purchasing process they prefer. Transparency in pricing, greater detail on products, and communication on backordered products are just a few of the features that can ease purchasing.

Use of Various Purchasing Channels Continues

Despite factors related to online purchasing growing in importance, eCommerce is unlikely to completely replace other purchasing methods. Combined, ‘manufacturer via online’ and ‘distributor catalog via online’ were the preferred purchasing channels of % of the total respondent base in 2013, growing only slightly to x % of the base in 2014. This suggests there is still a significant base of users that prefer other purchasing channels.

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