This is just nonsense. No, there is no group of customers “in the know” who know the secret handshake to make these web sites work for them. The only “secret handshake” they have is the phone number of their sales rep.
These sites are just bullshit.
I work for a big company, I do engineering, we select tech and vendors and design solutions and systems. By your theory I should be “in the know”. And yet more than half of these vendor sites confuse and frustrate me just as much as the next guy. And, yes, I react just like the author —in a heartbeat I’m gone to the web site owner’s competitor.
I think what we see here is different interests within one company. “The company” which owns the web site and pays its employees, just wants you to buy its products, and send them money., Ideally you would do so without further bothering them.
But sales — which often controls the content of the site directly or via marketing — doesn’t want that. They want you to come to THEM and buy via THEM — to justify their expensive asses and costly toys. A customer who buys directly from the web site, or sends an order, is useless for that.
So effectively sales commits treason on its employer and sabotages the web site in a way that benefits sales but hurts the company.