Here’s a statistic that businesses that sell to other businesses would benefit from understanding: on average, 57% of the buying decision is made before the first contact with the representative.1 Customers consult their business network, read comments on review sites, visit the website, then contact that business.
That’s why the supplier’s website was cited as one of the most influential sources of information for purchases by 69% of Canadian businesses. That’s more than the business network, mentioned by 61% of respondents. This shows the importance of your B2B (business-to-business) website.
Some parts B2B website design are more important than others. Some are even critical. The following areas are where you should concentrate your B2B website strategy to get the most out of your investment.
The people visiting your website are busy. They have a lot of work to do too! Give them the information they’re looking for, and do it fast. That involves hard data on you and your offering: price, technical details, contact information and video demonstrations. Your customers are interested in a solid offer, not some vague promise.
Your B2B website should definitely contain the following information:
- A list of products or services
Presenting yourself as an expert in your field is not enough. Firmly state what your clients will receive in exchange for a portion of their budget.
- A clear description of how to use your products or services
Unless it’s really obvious, you want your customers to have a very clear idea of what they’ll do with your product or service. The keywords here are very clear.
- Contact information
If your website doesn’t include your email address, how will a customer who’s working outside of regular business hours contact you? Your physical address is also important, if only to establish trust.
Other Useful Content
Over half of businesses believe this information is useful when it’s time to make a purchase:
- A toll-free phone number for customer service
- Company presentation
- What differentiates your products or services from your competitors’
- Relevant information ready to be printed
Make a Good Impression
There’s no second chance to make a first impression.
It’s critical that your website works properly. That may seem obvious, but take the skeptic’s view. Did you really test each link and each form? A broken website dramatically undermines your credibility – and your chances to make a sale.
Your website should reflect the image of your business that you want to project. It should be pleasant, rich and simple. This last point is crucial.
Navigation and the way information is organized should be obvious from the first glance.
Why is this so important? People place a lot of importance on their intuition when the time comes to make a purchase. Simple blocks of technical information will not win them over. Remember that even though you are selling to a business, it’s a human who’s making the decision.
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1 Unless otherwise indicated, the statistics cited in this article are taken from a 2013 BDC study on Canadian entrepreneurs: Business to Business Marketing: BDC Viewpoints Study, which you can find at http://www.bdc.ca/EN/Documents/analysis_research/business_to_business_marketing.pdf