From multinational organisations to your local neighbourhood dog walker, everyone has an online presence today all recognising the importance and value of the online channel. And, as time goes by, websites and ‘online’ in general is only set to become an even more important element of business.
Whether it’s used simply for brand recognition, as a message delivery system or a comprehensive sales tool, vital for your business’ survival, online is undoubtedly where it’s at. With 95% of respondents to a recent B2B survey claiming suppliers websites were very or fairly influential to the decision making process, there can be no doubt that a good online presence can make a real difference to your bottom line. So knowing this, why does the B2B sector still lag significantly behind the B2C world in terms of overall online functionality and aesthetics?
Ben Sturt, Merchant’s digital director explains what the issue is: “I think the problem lies in how some B2B organisations view their customers. Many of these companies would recognise the value in presenting an amazing online experience if they were selling designer clothes or mobile phones, but they all too often see what they do as something completely different. We understand the difference between the selling proposition of a B2B organisation and that of a B2C company but that doesn’t stop customers wanting to be given an engaging experience.
It doesn’t matter if your offering is purely service based or industrial widgets, your customers still need to be won over and a site built ten years ago or created from a toolkit for a few hundred pounds is unlikely to be the best way to demonstrate your capabilities and the differences between you and your competition.”
With this in mind we have thought of several proven effective techniques to enhance your online presence and develop a better user experience.
Make sure your site is clear and easy to navigate
Invest in design and functionality
Reflect your brand and play to your business’ strengths
Ensure content is relevant and up to date
Ensure your site is fast and responsive
After ensuring that your site delivers a good user experience it’s then vital that your web environment is integrated with your other communication channels, specifically your digital communications where we can drive traffic directly to the site and monitor visitor interest.