design, digital marketing, digital strategy, ecommerce, website top tips, websites

Understanding the differences between B2B and B2C web design

Unfortunately, you can’t just design your new website based on your own likes and preferences, or based on something you’ve spotted elsewhere. You always need to bear your target customer base in mind in everything you do, from web design to digital marketing.

You may not realise it, but websites aimed at businesses and those aimed at consumers are actually quite different in the way they are designed. Here are some crucial things to think about when creating a new website for a particular market…

What are the motivations of your target customer?

Understanding the motivations of the visitors who will use your new website is key to coming up with the perfect design. If you can work out how your target customer reacts to online content and digital marketing and crucially, what they are looking for and expecting when they visit your website, you can provide the perfect service. For example, B2C customers often respond emotionally to products or services, this is how they gauge value from what you’re offering. B2B customers may see things differently, looking for benefits that are relevant to their industry or a particular fit-for-purpose solution. However, these are only generalisations – you need to do your research and find out what motivates your particular audience.

Balancing aesthetics with functionality

A good website will always strike the right balance between looking incredible and working well, no matter who the audience is. However, there are a couple of things to consider when designing either for consumers or other businesses. Some businesses completely forget about aesthetics when designing a functional, no-messing-about B2B website, when there is actually no reason at all that a B2B site can’t be innovative and striking as well as functional. In fact, it could help you to gain a competitive edge if your website does stand out from the rest, aesthetically speaking.

Both B2B and B2C clients will always want information about your services first and foremost, and they want this information fast and in a clear format. Make this your top priority, along with providing a smooth, enjoyable and logical user experience no matter what audience you’re aiming at.

Closing the sale vs. nurturing the relationship

Retail websites aimed at consumers usually go all-out on the urgent calls to action, encouraging visitors to ‘buy now’, ‘click here’ or ‘call now’. Business relationships tend to require more nurturing and a longer-term relationship built up over time, meaning that these urgent calls to action simply won’t be appropriate if you’re aiming at the B2B market. B2B customers may require more information in order to stick with your website, as well as a sense of added value in the form of free white papers, research and guides relevant to their industry, or more personal, one-to-one service.

What do you think the biggest difference is between B2B and B2C websites? How have you tailored your website to suit your target customer base?

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