Designing a B2B eCommerce website is one of the more important things you should do if you want to achieve success. It’s a common fact that in this day and age research is very important. The very moment a potential business partner is unable to find your website is the moment your chances plummet. You will seem less trustworthy, and less professional. It will also make matters much more complicated than they need to be. With a proper website, a potential partner will know, at a glance, what you do, what you stand for, and any other relevant information you provide.
On the other hand, having a poorly designed website may be worse than not having one at all. A bad b2b website will make you seem like an amateur, it will make you seem cheap, it may even leave the impression that you’re not successful enough to afford a professional website design.
So, what you want is a professional looking website, specified not for consumers, but for other business, which will give you the best and most optimized return on your investment. Bellow, you will find some tips on how to achieve just that.
Remember your audience
First of all, remember, this is a website directed towards a business, not to consumers. The design and content should reflect this. So yes, the design should be original and eye-catching. But, at the same time, it needs to still maintain a much higher level of professionalism. Connecting with the audience is all well and good, but here, it’s also about presenting yourself as a serious company, much more than you would with B2C websites.
This is all reflected in the wording of your article and sales, of the images that you show, the branding, the font… Whether you have an in-house designer or choose to hire a good web design agency, remember to point these issues out.
What is your goal?
This is tied closely to the previous point. Namely, a good business to consumer websites will always focus on direct, immediate sales. B2B websites, on the other hand, will focus on creating a partnership, a long-term relationship with buyers.
Keeping this in mind, a website like this need to focus more on branding and on resources. Its contact information must be clear and much more detailed than a regular website. You should place some educational resources there as well. Since the B2B websites operate at a “slower pace”, the potential partner will take his time and research not your business, but the very business you are in yourself. Having a couple of educational resources at their fingertips will be sorely appreciated. Infographics, e-books, articles, everything will certainly come in handy.
A proper website should allow the visitor to reach his goal as fast as possible. The ease of finding the content you want is paramount. Set up the website in such a way that any potential client can find your contact information and your products in a matter of seconds.
Have a hierarchical design system and remove any fluff and unnecessary links. They will just distract the reader from the main goal.
Content and Language
Avoid any “salesy”/snake oil language. Be clear, be direct, don’t beat around the bush. Of course, your “about us” page, with a little history of your organization, can be more relaxed. But the actual content must remain on point. The user needs to “get” your point in a matter of seconds.
Also, something that really makes B2B different from B2C is the usage of industry terms. You won't need to censor or dumb down any of your writing. In fact, you really don’t want to business with someone who doesn’t understand a lick of your industry’s jargon.
Ads and SEO
Something that should really be part of any website is proper SEO and ad targeting functionalities. Optimize any content, articles, and formatting to coincide with all traditional SEO rules. While this is a bit outside the scope of this article, things like proper keyword placement, formatting, backlinks in article etc, are things you should keep in mind.
As far as ads are concerned, retargeting is always a good idea. These work by, essentially, placing a tracking cookie on a potential partner’s computer (with their consent, of course) whenever they visit their website. Later on, this cookie may place and redirect your own ad towards them on some other website. So even if they haven’t reached a decision yet, this will subconsciously “nudge” them towards your business.
We hope this article has been informative, and that you have something of a clearer picture of what you need. With a properly designed website, targeted at the right people, with the right content, were certain you will get exactly what you need.