The line can often be fuzzy between B2C and B2B web design and marketing, but it’s important to understand the subtle and not-so-subtle differences. However, before we look at the differentiators for B2B web design and B2C web design, we need to take a quick look at what makes B2B unique from B2C.
To begin with, the sales cycle is often different for B2B vs. B2C, with B2B sales typically taking longer to nurture. Additionally, B2C sales tend to be, on the whole, much more straightforward and less complex than B2B sales (especially when it comes to services). Lastly, as the B2B sales process tends to be longer and more complex, it requires significant investment in relationship building.
Now, let’s take a look at how these distinctions manifest themselves in web design for B2B businesses vs. B2C businesses.
Don’t Go In for the Kill
As sales for B2B firms generally take longer and require an investment in building a relationship, it’s important to have a B2B website that supports this relationship nurturing. One of the major mistakes marketers make is going in for the sale immediately by asking website visitors to BUY, JOIN, SIGN-UP, NOW NOW NOW. It’s still necessary to have strong calls-to-action in a B2B web design, but they shouldn’t immediately go for the close.
Know What Motivates Your Audience
Generally speaking, a B2B customer is different from a B2C customer and has different motivations. A B2B customer typically responds to clearly defined benefits that are highly relevant to their industry. A B2C customer will often value the perceived emotional benefits of a product or service and how it will make them feel. While these points are generally the case, the most valuable takeaway here is to know what motivates your particular audience. A clear understanding and picture of your ideal customer are essential to create a web design that appeals directly to them and nurtures them along the sales process.
Showcase Your Thought Leadership
Establishing the company as a thought leader is rarely the goal of a B2C company, but it is an essential component of a strong branding and marketing strategy for a B2B firm. A winning B2B web design focuses on building your firm’s credibility and establishing you as a thought leader in your industry. Being seen as a leader in your industry is critical to earning the trust (and business) of your potential customers.
Bring the Cool Factor
A common misconception about B2B web design is that it can’t be as interesting and cool as B2C web design. As a B2B web design agency, we strongly believe that B2B websites can be cool, engaging, and dynamic. However, in addition to interesting and engaging design, they need to be highly functional and create a great user experience. It’s not worth having lasers, sliders, and video on a website if your potential B2B customer can’t easily learn what services you offer and how to contact you.
When it comes to B2B customers, they don’t have time to fool around figuring out how to get a hold of you. B2C customers are often willing to spend more time investigating a company, so there is more leeway for B2C websites.
What Types of Content Pieces Matter?
Since the sales process is longer and more complicated for B2B services and products, it’s crucial to integrate the right types of content pieces into the overall B2B web design. This is a major divergence from B2C marketing and web design. While a B2C website should have a blog to educate customers, it’s imperative to have one on a B2B website. Other types of content that are relevant to B2B audiences are white papers, case studies, before & afters, ebooks, and how-to guides or videos. A great B2B web design supports a variety of different content pieces to nurture prospects and retain existing customers.
The Best B2B Web Design
When it comes to looking for a web design agency to create a new B2B website, the main thing we tell people is to look for an agency that has experience working with B2B companies. While there may be some crossover in B2C and B2B marketing, it’s necessary that a web design firm understand what makes B2B sales and marketing unique.