Core Differences in B2C vs B2B Web Design

B2C vs B2B

B2C vs B2B Web Design

Designing a high-performing website is essential for setting your business up for success. But while most business owners think that next-level web design is all about aesthetics, practice shows that function plays a much more crucial role in ensuring high conversion rates.

For this reason, you must learn how to identify the best web design strategies to implement on your site. Of course, many of these tactics will depend on your company’s branding strategy, industry, and niche. But the one crucial factor you mustn’t forget is your target audience.

Depending on whether you’re trying to convert end consumers or professional buyers, your web design choices may differ to a great extent. So, without further ado, these are the core differences in B2C vs. B2B web design to consider before revamping your site.

B2C Sites Highlight Savings

Cost sensitivity is one of the most noteworthy differences between B2B and B2C buyers.

While data shows that end consumers are cautious with their finances — with 69% holding back on non-essential spending and 90% adopting cust-saving behaviors — the situation with professionals is quite different. According to research from CloudEagle, the average amount businesses spend on software solutions ranges from $1000 to $3500 per employee per year.

So, when designing your website, understand how your audience approaches price and savings. While end consumers may look for deals and discounts, business users will more likely be willing to spend more if it means getting the perfect product for their needs.

For a great example of how a B2C website uses design to ensure its pricing strategy appeals to its audience, check out the Sokisahtel homepage. Knowing that its buyers are likely to consider costs before investing, Sokisahtel utilizes price anchoring and bright red “Sale!” badges to draw web visitors’ attention to the fact that shopping with this brand is a financially sound choice.

B2C vs B2B

Source: sokisahtel.net

On the other hand, a B2B business like Steelcase likely won’t mention cost on its homepage. Knowing that its customers want style, performance, and reliability, a brand like this will choose to focus on function and quality over savings. That explains why prices aren’t even included on product pages. Instead, Steelcase prompts its prospects to get in touch with a dealer to get a quote for each item they’re interested in.

B2C vs B2B

Source: steelcase.com

B2B Sites Present the Professional Side of Their Teams

Showing off the team behind your brand’s products is becoming more crucial than ever, and not just because it adds credibility to your brand’s claims. Showing the human side of your organization also boosts brand authenticity, which is what 51% of end consumers want from the businesses they support.

And if you look at businesses like Milkjar, you’ll see this is exactly what they do on their About pages, sharing the names, headshots, and stories of the people involved with making the products their customers love so much.

B2C vs B2B

Source: milkjar.ca

In the B2B sector, however, the angle is more focused on the expertise each team member contributes to the company (and its customers).

The Key One Realty Group homepage shows an excellent example of how B2B web design can help highlight the professionalism of a team. This brand has an Experts in Your Area homepage widget that allows web visitors to click on a real estate specialist’s image and see their properties and contact information.

Moreover, the Meet the Team page goes into even more detail, listing each employee’s role, contact details, and LinkedIn page. They are far more business-oriented details than the lighthearted employee headshots in the previous B2C example.

B2C vs B2B

Source: keyonerealtygroup.com

B2C Sites Aim to Trigger Emotions

Consumer behavior research demonstrates that 95% of consumers make shopping decisions based on emotions. With this in mind, B2C web design often aims to trigger emotions, be those emotions of urgency and FOMO or aspirational feelings of wanting to enjoy the effects promised by a solution.

For example, if you check out the Love the Night Sky homepage, you’ll notice it features inspiring imagery and copy. More importantly, they use emotions that appeal to a specific group of hobbyist astronomers who want to turn their backyards into fully functional observatories.

B2C vs B2B

Source: lovethenightsky.com

But the fact is, emotional purchase decision-making is far from what happens during the B2B buyer’s journey. According to data from Gartner, businesses spend 45% of their time researching solutions, with high-quality information increasing the chances of a high-value, low-regret deal threefold.

Furthermore, TrustRadius found that 100% of B2B buyers want to self-serve a part or all of the buyer’s journey. So, if you wish to appeal to this group of buyers, understand it won’t be through emotional imagery and messaging. Instead, it will be via insightful, relevant, and empowering information.

For example, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory website targets scientists, not enthusiasts. So, its primary focus is to present visitors with information. You’ll notice that the design is far less modern (it could even be described as outdated) than the Love the Night Sky homepage. However, the information presented is far more granular, with the main content blocks displaying upcoming NRAO events, job and research opportunities for scientists, calls for proposals, and data from different telescope observations.

B2C vs B2B

Source: science.nrao.edu

B2B Sites Prefer Verified Social Proof Over Candid Reviews

Social proof is hugely important for the modern sales funnel. Research shows that 99.75% of B2C buyers rely on reviews and testimonials when deciding what solutions to invest in. The same is true for B2B buyers as well.

However, where B2C and B2B buyers differ is that the latter group places much more emphasis on verified social proof over candid reviews. According to a 2018 report from G2, 92.4% of B2B buyers are more likely to purchase a product if they can read a trusted review about it.

With this in mind, when designing a website that is meant to appeal to B2B users, do your best to add verification to positive customer testimonials. For instance, Lanteria does a stellar job on its homepage, where it highlights ratings from three industry-leading third-party review sites (G2, Capterra, and Trustpilot), knowing that these hold weight with its target audience.

B2C vs B2B

Source: lanteria.com

On the other hand, if you’re targeting B2C buyers, focus on authenticity. Knowing that the most trustworthy format of social proof is user-generated content, Mannequin Mall does its best to show off user-submitted product images and videos on its Female Professional Dress Form product page.

B2C vs B2B

Source: Mannequinmall.com

B2C Sites Streamline the Checkout Process

What do buyers look for when shopping in 2023? If you look at the research, you’ll find that convenience ranks high for most B2C buyers (preceded only by price and availability), with 33% prioritizing it to approach their shopping.

So, when designing a website for end consumers, simplifying the shopping process as much as possible should be a focus — especially as a long and complicated checkout process accounts for as many as 18% of all cart abandonments.

UX design features like one-click checkout, upselling, and cross-selling are all excellent options to include on B2C ecommerce sites, where the point is to make shopping as streamlined as possible.

For example, look at the Supergoop Play Everyday Lotion product page. You’ll notice it includes all the UX elements that can make this happen. The page not only looks great but also allows users to choose their preferred size and subscription plan. When adding items to their cart, a pop-up informs them how much they have yet to spend to qualify for free shipping. Plus, there are three express checkout options to make the purchase as quick as possible.

B2C vs B2B

Source: supergoop.com

This design strategy, however, is very difficult to do right on B2B websites. It’s not impossible. However, knowing that every B2B purchase decision involves anywhere from six to ten decision-makers, it’s easy to conclude that spending time and money on developing and implementing such UX features could be a waste of resources.

B2B Sites Highlight Post-Purchase Support

Lastly, as you explore the core differences in B2C and B2B web design, notice how businesses aiming to convert professional users always emphasize post-purchase support.

This shouldn’t be much of a surprise. If you look at G2’s Software Buyer Behavior Report for 2023, you’ll find that most software buyers focus on ROI, scalability, and implementation when choosing what solutions to invest in. However, the one consideration equally important to SMBs and enterprises is the quality of customer support.

For instance, if you check out the Sprinto homepage, you’ll see that professional support is pointed out as one of the main benefits offered by the company, a design choice made because the brand understands how important this is to its target audience.

B2C vs B2B

Source: sprinto.com

Of course, this doesn’t mean that support is never highlighted on B2C sites. In fact, some brands like Zappos have built their reputations precisely by putting their customers’ needs first. But in these cases, brands tend to explore different ways to show they are customer-oriented — usually in the form of customer assistance features. Those can include live chat support, extensive self-support libraries, or advanced fit calculators like the one on the Steve Madden Lando-F Loafer product page.

B2C vs B2B

Source: zappos.com

Final Thoughts

Designing the perfect website that appeals to your target audience and converts depends on knowing what your prospects want from your business.

With that in mind, it’s a good idea to reflect on the abovementioned core differences between B2C and B2B when optimizing your site. Moreover, do your best to align your design choices with whom you’re trying to reach. That way, you’ll be able to choose features and aesthetic directions that will genuinely reflect what your future customers need and want and will have a higher likelihood of driving your business’ success.

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