The intention of a B2B website is not always the same as it is for B2C. Of course, it is still a tool that is used to attract and convert customers. But, in B2B, a conversion does not always mean a sale.
Since the buyer’s journey for a B2B transaction has more stages than that of the typical B2C, any action that moves a potential customer from one step to the next can be considered a conversion. Since this process is about moving a buyer closer to the final decision phase, each conversion step must be done correctly and strategically to properly guide people down the sales funnel.
The sales decision process is far longer for B2B purchases, since it is typically an investment for a business rather than a single item sale. So, keeping an initial visitor engaged and interested throughout the journey can be tricky with so many steps. Therefore, B2B companies must create a site that not only appeals to their customers but one that is highly-focused on converting visitors to the next stage.
Here are four of the top design features B2B organizations can use to boost conversions directly from the website.
According to Magneto’s report, 93% of B2B decision makers would prefer to make a final purchase online rather than through a sales representative. Additionally, 72% prefer self-service options when it comes to accessing orders and accounts.
B2B websites must allow for a more independent experience from the introduction to check-out. Be sure to look into a website hosting platform with the capabilities to allow customers to interact when and how they want without the added step of calling or contacting the business directly.
Pay attention to the CX details that are typically associated with B2C e-commerce sites and see how they could apply to your B2B site. For example, inviting customers to create accounts provides access to purchase information (such as invoices and shipping tracking) while also giving your company key data for marketing segmentation.
Your site should also support multi-channel experiences and integrations, such as mobile purchases and ERP integration for a more connected shopping experience that can positively impact conversions.
Customer Journey-Focused Content
Content marketing is often a major player in a B2B business’s promotional strategy, as it offers many benefits to brand perception. But, some brands also forget about what their audience actually wants when creating new content.
According to DemandGen’s report, the content that B2B customers look for varies greatly depending on their position along the buyer’s journey.
For instance, during the initial phases, they are far more interested in content that explains the product’s benefits and function, such as infographics, podcasts, and e-books. However, once they move towards the evaluation stage, later on, they tend to prefer more data-driven content such as analyst reports, case studies, and virtual events like webinars.
Your B2B site should be highly focused on providing content for each and every phase. Make sure that content is sprinkled throughout your website and addresses all of your customer’s pain points and preferences so they are able to do some independent research regarding your product/service.
Also, be sure that no matter where your buyer stands along the journey, they are able to find the information they are seeking. This can be traced back to you conducting proper keyword research for each phase and creating content accordingly.
Responsive and Reactive Layout
Using a website that adjusts for each individual customer through responsive and adaptive design can create a truly delightful UX since it provides the user with exactly what they need.
For instance, first-time visitors to Dropbox’s guidebook are greeted with this initial choice on the homepage.
By allowing visitors to choose the options that best suit them, customers are guided directly to the content they will need without conducting a search on their own. Additionally, it lets them skip pass irrelevant posts and information. This creates a far smoother and smarter UX that customers will appreciate.
Another way to make your B2B site more responsive is to include interactive content, such as quizzes, assessments, and calculators. Not only are these tools extremely useful for helping customers determine how your product or service can help them, but it also makes the shopping process more personalized, which can spur higher conversions.
Once again, B2B conversions are not necessarily focused on a purchase. Getting a first-time visitor to provide their contact information in exchange for a newsletter signup or access to a whitepaper can be considered a conversion because it opens up opportunities to now reach this customer and help them move along the buyer’s journey.
Seeing a B2B buyer who was previously evaluating your product sign up for a free trial period is another.
However, none of these conversions can happen unless your website makes it very clear what the next step is. Muddy navigation or unclear value propositions makes for a frustrating UX, and sadly, many B2B sites are so vague about their services and information that their customers grow frustrated and exit quickly.
Every webpage should have a place and a purpose in the conversion process. Include captivating CTA’s throughout your website that helps to guide your buyers towards the next step, and makes sure that their placement is strategic.
You can easily keep track of which CTA’s are converting the best with various extensions provided in Google Analytics so that your design team can adjust and design accordingly.
The key is to create a website that has a crystal-clear value proposition and allows customers to quickly understand what your business has to offer. First impressions matter when it comes to online sales and you only have a few seconds to make one. Be sure that the purpose of your website is quite apparent from the beginning with well-placed CTA buttons that guide visitors through your site.
The look, feel, and flow of a website is highly important for a B2B company. Every detail should be evaluated to see what role it plays in the conversion process, and design features like self-service options, optimized content, reactive pages, and converting CTAs can all help to provide your visitors with the kind of experience that they are looking for.