Conversion is the ultimate objective of any B2B website – just as it is for B2C sites. Here we look at several techniques to help keep your customers front and centre so you can convert them into great prospects.
Two types of end user
The first step in understanding how to convert your customers is understanding who they are and what they want. Every B2B website ultimately has two types of audience: the end user and the decision-maker. Both should be taken into account in your ecommerce strategy, but what’s the difference between the two?
The end user is the person who’s conducting research on your B2B website on behalf of their company. They have a set of requirements and will need to be given all the necessary information to fulfill those requirements.
They will need to be shown what products and services you offer, how those meet their needs, and all the relevant specifications, details and options. All this information needs to be easily retrievable so they can justify the purchase to their decision maker.
The decision-maker will need to consider cost, benefits, scalability, reliability, and the ROI of the purchase. Once those requirements have been met they can make an informed decision as to whether your product or service is the right choice for their business.
It goes without saying that the details of the services you offer should be easy to locate and as transparent as possible. But they also need to be built in a way that takes long purchase periods into account.
Slack uses attractive animations to clearly highlight product benefits
Factoring in long purchase periods
Businesses tend to shop around for a product or service to discover the best one for them. They may take time to make their decision – business decisions are rarely impulsive after all – and they may have a complicated sign-off process.
With this in mind, it’s crucial to ensure the prospect not only stays interested, but also that the business as a whole understands what your USP is. This obviously comes down to your product and how reliable it is, but this information should not be hidden. It should carry a strong hierarchy and should be the forefront of the website.
The usability of your site should also reflect this. A good quality website that’s fun to use will be very memorable for the end user, and will also give them faith in your products.
Quid goes for a personal touch, driving the user towards a conversation
So what do I do?
Taking all user types and journeys into consideration is key to making your website a success, but what else can you do to convert prospects and win their business?
Show that you understand your users. When you understand your user, you complete a part of UX that’s highly beneficial to your business – but also to your user. By intuitively meeting all your users’ needs when they land on your site, you prove you have considered their requirements very closely, and you earn their confidence. Your website essentially acts as your flagship store and should be as well-thought-out as your actual product or service offering.
Simplify. There is no need to push boundaries on your B2B website. Many users first come to your site for information alone, so discovering it should be fast and easy. By making the site clear and simple to navigate, you show your end users and decision makers that you are reliable and transparent.
Stay current. Keeping your site current and on-trend gives you an edge over your competitors and makes your digital presence more memorable. But ‘current and on-trend’ doesn’t have to mean reinventing the wheel. Take Dstillery, for example, an American marketing agency using video to make its site look cutting-edge and clutter-free. The most important thing is to keep your site fresh and to reflect your hunger to stand out from the crowd.
Dstillery’s high-impact video and text is cutting-edge and simplistic
Consider how you deliver information. The information an end user requires must be easily retrievable and transparent. Using pricing tiers or tables to compare your services with your competitors can give you the leading edge by showcasing your USP. Information should be easily printable or forwardable or shareable, making it easy for the user to leave your site with a summary of your what your product or service entails.
A clean and simple approach to pricing and features
Keep conversion in mind. Don’t make it difficult for the user to open a conversation with you. Consider having one or two main call-to-actions very high up on the page which always stands out.
Zendesk’s high-contrast call-to-action stands out
This way, no matter where the user is on the site they know how to further their journey. B2B websites are designed to generate sustainable leads, and on the road to conversion, those leads should be able to start a conversation with you.
B2B websites require the same time and consideration as B2C sites. Their primary function is converting leads, and so it’s key to provide all the relevant information your end user will be looking for. Be assistive, be transparent and you will reap the rewards. Because keeping your users’ needs front and centre is the secret sauce for conversion.