Differences between B2B and B2C web design


Business features affecting the appearance of a company website

No matter what kind of business you are involved in, the goal of developing a website is to generate profit. Newest, advanced technologies allow forgetting about primitive design, clunky pages, and confusing interface. Instead, it gives a chance to produce a mobile responsive, user-friendly business site, applying the latest design tendencies. But ask yourself whether the solutions you choose for your site will be successful enough?

You must be extremely careful considering this question since everything depends on who your customer is. Even if increasing sales is your initial objective, remember the line of distinctions between business-to-business and business-to-consumer concepts. Before starting the creation of a project, it is vital to consider the factors that divide the B2B and B2C sectors in economics and marketing:

  • buyers;
  • needs and expectations of clients;
  • purpose and results;
  • the cycle of a commerce transaction;
  • the number of people who make a decision.

In the B2B sector, the main customers are other companies and organizations. Therefore, from a company website, they expect useful technical content, guarantees, detailed descriptions of the offered services or products. The transaction cycle is long. And the decision about cooperation can be made by several people (by workers, managers, owners). While a B2C buyer is a concrete person expecting a high-quality product, a favorable price, discounts, as well as quick receipt of goods. The transaction cycle is short. And the decision depends mainly on one person. Each of these points will influence the web pages.

What are the key differences between B2B and B2C sites?

For B2B business, design trends of pages must be in priority. However, lots of entrepreneurs develop deficient sites, as they fail to determine the right approach. The conversion rates will be low if pages contain not valuable information. The users must be well informed. It is possible to satisfy customers by adding FAQ, explainer videos, illustrations, blogs, infographics, testimonials. The task is to make complex processes understandable. For buyers in the B2C sector, usability is above all. So let’s take a look at how design approaches may diversify depending on the business type.

Fixed vs. Personalized pricing. On a site for customers, the price of a product or service is fixed as pricing is straightforward and upfront. It is possible to indicate the exact sum. It is the same for everyone unless buyers have some discounts. Indicating B2B price is harder. Mostly it is negotiated and depends on dozens of factors. Usually, the costs are customized depending on the needs of a business. Designers and developers have to make complex pricing algorithms easy to understand.

Minimal vs. Bold design. The visual aesthetic is a broad topic. But some principles must be considered in the first place. B2B buyers, examining offers on a site, look for proof of value and more detailed information. Although the design industry is more about creativity, the number one rule for developing B2B web design is to keep a professional tone. It is vital to avoid silly components. Minimal design can be a winning option. It should correspond to the branding of an organization. But sometimes, using human-focus elements to soften the cold nature of B2B sites is a necessity. Of course, companies and organizations are considered the main customers here. But it is still crucial to build trusting relationships with people through a warm and welcoming site environment. In the B2C approach, there is some space for entertaining elements like animations, eye-catching fonts, or bright colors. Pages must entice to buy services or goods immediately. It is not typical for B2B, but the core criteria for B2C.

Specialized vs. Emotional content. A website must clearly present what a company proposes to B2B customers. For this, a content strategy must be focused on descriptions and useful articles related to the business niche. Content must speak to different segment groups as the B2B target audience is usually mixed. Also, for a business-to-business site, the most essential part is to present the efficiency and expertise of specialists. Communicating with the B2C audience, every type of content, whether it is a text, video, picture, must be simple and present benefits of the brand. What important here are the feelings of users. Through stories, it is possible to pull emotional triggers and stimulate actions. 

Call to action. The purpose of the CTA button is to guide users to conversions. The absence of CTA may complicate this process. But are there any distinctions between two different business models? Since there is no instantaneous purchase decision, B2B sites must give a variety of options not only to buy, order, or contact, but also to learn more, go deeper with research, study pricing. CTA should be short, visible, and not intrusive. In the case of B2C sites, indicate urgency, as if users must buy it right now. Instant action is what you need. Sign up, buy now, get started, add to cart, try for free — the text should be persuasive. Make this button action-oriented. For example, Netflix has done a great job with a call to action button. They used convincing text for starting a free trial, as well as stop it if you are not satisfied: “Join Free for a Month” and “Cancel Anytime”. Such an approach cause trust and loyalty.

Final words. It does not matter is it a large corporation or a small business, web design must be developed depending on who the buyers are. B2B or B2C site, it must grow your company. And to get the perfect business tool, consider the design requirements for these two models of business. You, as an owner, must be sure that users will be in love with your site, and communication with the audience is effective enough.

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