A successful e-commerce platform for business customers takes into account that it must satisfy the user journey of different users. Creating the perfect user experience therefore needs to cater the needs of the person(s) deciding for the product as well as those approving the budget.
A responsive and visually appealing design with a user-friendly interface, and a robust website search engine are without question the foundation of any successful B2B webshop. As B2B purchases are mostly decisions done by a group of persons, each member’s needs must be met to make a product worth buying. Where in B2C visual stimulation and a low price will convert visitors to customers, B2B is more about educating the buyers and providing a safe and efficient user journey.
In a nutshell:
- You need to know your buyer personas
- A/B tests are the tool to figure out what works best
- Make sure all security criterias are met
- Content is king
- Don’t revolutionize - better just optimize
B2B webshops in manufacturing still often lack those basic principles. Experts on digital could use this to gain a competitive edge! If you want to find out more about the state of digital innovation in manufacturing, read our latest study!
In spite of knowing exactly what they need to purchase, professional purchasers rarely place orders on the first website visit. Offering a personalized, authorization-only version with quick order templates and the relevant product palette will maximize the customer lifetime value. Here are our practical tips to enhance the UX of your B2B webshop.
Address your buyer personas:
The easiest way to nudge users into exploring your webshop is to let them feel addressed in the most personal way. Having an audience-based navigation for example, can on the one hand help improve conversion - but only if you make sure that website visitors can quickly identify themselves. Conversion will drop if the navigation is blurry and if there is not sufficiently unique content to justify a new section.
Let users decide what works
In order to find out which UX works best, conduct small tests with trusted customers. Have them use different versions of your shop and share their feedback with you. In a next step, perform A/B tests with a broader audience based on those results.
Security on B2B webshops
Don’t neglect security: make sure your platform is secure enough for your customers as you collect much sensitive information! Talk to your IT experts or partners for a review before going live.
Content is king
User experience is not only about design or coding. The content you provide your customers is critical, especially when it comes to product information. In B2B, webshops can have educational purposes. Offer exact product information in different ways, for content is taken in in multiple ways by different people. Think about written text as well as lists, tables or even video.
Improve, don’t revolutionize
Customers like familiarity, so make sure you improve based on feedback and don’t scare away customers with radical changes. If you stick to major principles that are based on your corporate identity, new visitors will easily build up trust in this new commerce channel.
To sum it up, B2B websites need to work well for both end users and decision makers during long purchase cycles. With a clear navigation, appealing content and simple design, nearly all of the UX principles of B2C apply to B2B as well. The product desirability however, is not the decisive factor any more.
Do you want to learn more about what drives the digitalization of B2B commerce? If you are in manufacturing, you shouldn’t wait to read our latest study!
Intershop and Copperberg bring you an extensive 40+ pages report with analysis and practical tools for manufacturers to benchmark and move up the digital maturity level to gain a competitive edge. More specifically, it reveals the current maturity levels of manufacturers’ online sales and services capabilities, the ambitions they have, challenges, and opportunities they see to digitize sales- and buying processes further to achieve sustainable growth.
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