In many ways, selling to another business or directly to customers is similar: You want to showcase your business in the best way possible and convince visitors to become your customers. However, the way this is accomplished can vary greatly. What works best on a business-to-business site could be the complete opposite of what you need when running a business-to-consumer site.
Business clients want what’s best for their business and what will help them be most successful. You should be using an expert tone, appealing to them rationally and logically. This means that not only is okay to use industry jargon in your content, but its actually encouraged. Industry jargon can help prove to visitors you know what you’re talking about and that you understand their needs.
On the other hand, such language is typically a turn off on a B2C website. B2C websites work best when visitors can relate to your content and products. A casual tone with simple language that appeals to consumer emotions is much more effective than confusing and dry jargon.
Substance & Style
Purchases on B2B sites are often the result of careful thinking and detailed planning by knowledgeable people. Just as you shouldn’t shy away from industry jargon, don't be afraid to create highly detailed content for your site. The more information you can provide your audience, the better. However, be warned that this is not an excuse to fill your content with fluff in order to appear detailed. Be as informative as needed, just be sure to avoid filler. This should also be reflected in your website’s design. A clean, functional, and professional look is much more effective for a B2B site than a more stylish and flashy presentation.
A B2B audience might be grateful for a detailed sales pitch and a clean, professional presentation; B2C sites should appeal to emotion rather than a simple checklist of facts. Custom web design and development can build a site that reflects this in both content and presentation. Content should be easy to understand and absorb, while the site itself should have an attractive design and a user-friendly interface. This is especially important for the checkout process. An easy-to-use and familiar checkout process will make a customer feel more secure and confident about his or her purchase.
Relationships & Communities
Conducting business with other companies depends on trust and a good working relationship. A custom web design and development process with this in mind, can create a B2B website that makes it easy to make large, complex purchases from your company. Instead of a simple checkout process like those that benefit emotionally driven purchases on B2C sites, B2B websites should be designed to handle repeat purchases of products, personalized shipping schedules, and an easy-to-use billing process. Expertise and detailed content might help with the initial sale, but good customer service helps turn initial sales into repeat customers.
To say that social media has changed marketing forever is a drastic understatement. Not only does it create an entirely new way to advertise, it allows businesses to easily interact with their customers and build communities around their products and services. By encouraging customers to interact, you can get a better sense of their needs, allowing you to better target them in the future. Additionally, community building can increase your brand awareness and drive traffic to your website.
These are just a few ways that B2B and B2C websites differ in form and function. A custom web design and development process will take these often drastic differences into account and provide you with the best possible website for your business.