How to Optimize Your Ecommerce Value Proposition
By Tom Wintaugh
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The importance of a great shopping experience for B2B customers cannot be overstated. In a highly competitive market, businesses that invest in B2B web design to create a seamless, user-friendly experience are giving themselves a key advantage for attracting and retaining customers. Why? Exceptional B2B ecommerce website design focuses on addressing the unique needs of B2B customers, which can differ from those of B2C shoppers. By incorporating elements such as intuitive navigation, responsive design, and a focus on B2B UX, you can create a website that stands out from the competition precisely because it is so aligned with what customers are looking for. In this blog, we’ll explore essential elements of B2B web design and share valuable tips for creating a user-friendly and visually appealing website.
By making your customers’ time more productive, you make your business more effective. All of your design decisions should flow from this one central insight. Even more than retail customers, B2B shoppers have a heightened need for fast, thorough, and effective online shopping. Read more about what B2B buyers are looking for in this blog. Respecting this type of customer's technical and buying needs is crucial for retaining their business.
To create an effective B2B website that resonates with your target audience, consider using these broad design tips as a jumping off point for imagining an updated B2B website:
1. Focus on usability.
Ensure that your website is easy to navigate. As soon as they arrive, B2B buyers need to understand at a glance how to find the categories and products they are looking for. Simplified category organization, a lack of clutter, and clear calls to action can help buyers understand exactly where to click. Think about the amount of time it takes to find and purchase popular products. What are the roadblocks to product discovery? What aspects of the checkout process could be streamlined? Does product content answer typical customer questions in advance? Prioritizing usability will enable B2B customers to find the information they need quickly, leading to higher conversion rates.
2. Prioritize mobile responsiveness.
B2B buyers like being able to research and purchase while they are on the move. With more users accessing websites via mobile devices, it's crucial to have a responsive design that adapts to various screen sizes and devices, providing a consistent experience across all platforms.
3. Incorporate B2B UX best practices.
B2B buyers are typically part of a longer sales cycle which might include other decision-makers and unique information needs. Help them move through this process quickly by offering tailored UX elements such as personalized product recommendations, bulk ordering options, B2B checkout quotes, and pre-negotiated pricing terms based upon their account information. We discuss how to use site elements like automated price quotes here.
4. Provide up-to-the-moment visibility.
Don’t make buyers wait until morning—or Monday—to see what’s in stock. Incorporate live inventory visibility into product pages. Displaying how many products are left in your warehouse lets them buyers know important information about what’s available and when, as well as creating urgency around items which have limited supplies. Read more about elements of strong inventory management here.
5. Offer subscriptions and repeat orders.
Many B2B buyers need to place recurring orders for items their business uses throughout the year. Save customers’ time by making it easy to streamline reordering.
6. Use compelling visuals.
High-quality images, videos, and graphics can do an enormous amount of heavy lifting to convey your brand's message and showcase your products effectively. Avoid clutter and ensure that your visuals complement your website's overall design.
7. Optimize for search engines.
B2B buyers have many options—make sure they can find your offerings by implementing SEO best practices. We complied a great ecommerce SEO checklist here Quite simply, by helping your website rank higher in search results, you make it easier for potential customers to find your business online.
8. Treat all of your clients like VIPs.
Your business customers expect to be at the front of the queue. Supplement self-serve account info like order history and tracking with customized support such as chatbots, after-hours live support, or “shop as customer” features, giving all of your shoppers the VIP treatment.
By focusing on B2B web design that prioritizes user experience, responsiveness, and visual appeal, you can create an ecommerce website that is optimized to your B2B buyers. A well-designed website is crucial for businesses looking to succeed in the competitive B2B landscape, and by investing in B2B web development and applying these design tips, you can ensure your website delivers a seamless and enjoyable shopping experience for your customers. Ready to get started? We developed this easy 5-step website assessment tool to help you determine your current store’s effectiveness.
This blog was originally published on August 23, 2018 and updated on April 28, 2023.
Elisa Williams is a journalist and communications strategist who combines storytelling with solid research and analysis. A contributing author to the Miva Blog, Elisa has written for a wide array of consumer, business and technology publications, including Newsweek, Real Simple, Computer Life and Inc. Her marketing and content development work includes supporting technology companies that specialize in ecommerce, financial services and big data.
Miva offers a flexible and adaptable ecommerce platform that evolves with businesses and allows them to drive sales, maximize average order value, cut overhead costs, and increase revenue. Miva has been helping businesses realize their ecommerce potential for over 20 years and empowering retail, wholesale, and direct-to-consumer sellers across all industries to transform their business through ecommerce.