B2B eCommerce is an industry that’s often overlooked. Hiding in the shadows of the glitz and glamor of B2C companies, B2B is the major driving force in the digital commerce landscape.
Estimated to reach a market value to 21 trillion by 2027, it’s a sophisticated multi-tier market that offers significant value to a variety of different consumers.
But for that to happen, business owners need to invest in a powerful B2B eCommerce experience for purchasers. While plenty of B2B businesses have now shifted towards creating a user-friendly website experience, there are those who still haven’t embraced the concept.
To say the least, their layout is shoddy and filled with holes.
Investing in UX, therefore matters a lot. Through creating experiences that matter, not only does the consumer benefit, but so does the store owner.
From page speed, to optimizing a site for the mobile version, how the URLs are structured on your site, to content quality, and the speed of checkout – all these factors are vitally important, and can mean the difference between a website that converts and one that doesn’t.
To get you started on the right track, we’ve developed a list of five important aspects you need to focus on if you’re looking to improve the UX of your website.
Focus on Mobile First
The millennials are taking over!
Jokes apart, the modern B2B customer now involves the ever-exclusive millennial generation. Under 35 years of age, the millennial buyer, more often than not, is looking at not just the user experience of your desktop website, but also its compatibility across devices.
Mobile responsiveness matters. We are all connected now more than ever. Because of this, it’s become vital for businesses to improve the user experience for mobile phones. Through it, customers looking to purchase a product can prospect items from the mobile version of your website from anywhere. Once they’ve locked in on a purchase, they can visit your website from their desktop and purchase from there.
The purchase experience is not just limited to mobile phones. It’s become such a vital aspect that besides mobile responsiveness, companies are now investing towards Progressive Web Applications (PWAs) that make the mobile experience a thousand times better.
Besides improving the user experience, the most important aspect of investing in mobile responsiveness is that Google gives preferences to websites that offer a mobile interface as opposed to those that don’t.
With more than half the global traffic coming from mobile devices, it makes sense. Fortunately, most modern eCommerce platforms’ themes come with a mobile responsive option – allowing you to create an eCommerce store with relative ease.
Optimize for Load Speeds
Slow websites are a bother to deal with. The slower your website loads, the more your bounce rates increase.
With time, it can lead to a loss of customers on your website, something which can impede your website management efforts.
The end goal is simple, you need to be proactive.
For B2B sites, it can lead to declines in a customer conversion rates, which means that if your site has a lot of unoptimized data, then your conversion rates can take a serious hit.
For recurring customers, this is an even bigger issue since a slower loading site can impact the performance of a website greatly. What if customers return to your site and it takes forever to load? It’s a waste of time. Out of frustration, they just might leave your website for a competitor.
Here are some quick tips to get you started in fixing the issues related to speed on your B2B eCommerce website.
- Install a content delivery network which makes delivering the content to the end-user faster by saving a copy of your website on their servers.
- Select an appropriate eCommerce platform. It will have all the right tools for performance optimization that you can use to ensure that your website is performing the best as it possibly can.
- While there are plenty of image optimization tools present on a variety of different platforms, you should ideally optimize your images and compress them yourself. This is an essential first step in optimizing the speed of your website.
- B2B websites have a variety of different database tables. Whatever you do, make sure that all the products on your store are indexed in the best possible manner. The end goal is that all your products should be organized in hierarchies and showcased in the best possible manner.
Optimize Your Content for Uniqueness
If you’re running an eCommerce store, content is going to be the most important investment you’ll ever make.
Time and time again, we’ve seen websites and eCommerce stores alike gain more traffic, readers, and conversions through content marketing.
But here’s the thing:
A lot of people write content but few optimize it for search related keywords aka search engine optimization (SEO). But as the internet has evolved, it’s now not just about keyword optimization, meta descriptions, and optimizing your web copy.
While those things matter, optimizing your content for improved performance matters a lot as well.
To that end, you need to put yourselves in the shoes of the consumers. What are their pain points? What are their preferences? What’s the user-intending to accomplish by viewing your content?
When you create content, keep all of these considerations in your mind. With these, you can improve your content to be more user facing than static.
The more focused you are on the user experience with your content, the better your chances are at gaining more conversions for your store.
Integrate a Site Search Functionality
Whatever your busines model is, you’re catering to human beings at the end of the day. You need to think in terms of the customer and what they might want to accomplish from visiting your store.
If a user comes to a site, you need to make sure that he finds the product. Not having a search site feature shows a poor focus towards the user experience.
The site search functionality helps customers find products that are relevant to their purchase. Combined with the ability to add filters like categories and product type, and you have a full-fledged product that helps improve the online experience.
Advanced site search functionalities are a must have, yet it’s very underrated with statistics saying that only 15% of businesses have a focus towards it.
With an effective site search functionality, you’re removing user frustration from not having the ability to search for their intended product.
If you’re looking to improve the user experience, there are certain considerations you need to follow up on. Ask yourself whether people are satisfied with your current layout, or do you have enough products available to justify adding the site search functionality? Even if the opposite is the case, it’s always best to have a site search bar available to users.
Ideally, you should conduct a customer survey to see if there are in fact, gaps in your search functionality. Lastly, you should focus on using an eCommerce platform that provides a built-in site search engine. This will save you the time and money required to hire professionals who add this feature to your site externally.
Perform A/B Tests
When you’ve established an eCommerce presence, you can’t just sit back and relax. There are many other considerations that you need to take into account.
The biggest mistake that B2B store owners make in this regard is not testing their site. As a result, they see a decline in their userbase in the event things go wrong.
Ideally, B2B store owners should run split tests on their website to see what aspects of the website are working and which are not. A/B testing is the best way to improve your processes for the better.
To start out with A/B testing, we would recommend you identify a pain point with your site. Once you’ve identified the pain point, it’s time you perform an A/B test that solves that pain point. If one works and the other doesn’t, then it means you stay with the one that works.
When you constantly iterate your website processes for the better, overtime, you will notice improvements in your website traffic and conversion rates.
From the header to the footer and everything in between, start testing every aspect of your website today.
Getting Started with Improving the B2B User Experience
There are two simple methods you can use to get started with UX:
Reach out to your customers, or survey them regarding the user experience and what they want from your store. This helps you better understand a population of the customers and allows you to tailor the user experience for the better.
If you don’t have a dedicated customer base, survey the site yourself to identify problems within the UX of the site. When you have a basic idea of the problems on your site, you can better tailor the user experience for the customer.
We hope you find this article helpful!