Used to designing B2C websites? Well, there’s some bad news — B2B websites are a completely different animal.

Despite the differences, the purpose of B2C and B2B sites are essentially the same. You’re trying to sell your product or service to someone who needs it. However, the difference comes from the other end of your transaction. Consumers and businesses think differently when it comes to purchasing products.

This different mindset means you have to change the way you design your website. It’s important to properly adjust certain design elements for a B2B site. Here’s what you should consider.

Research the Market

Courtesy of Giphy

Courtesy of Giphy

Make sure you’re prepared to design a B2B website. Research the market you’re in before you take your first step in designing the website.

Yes, you’ve already done market research to develop your product or service. However, this market research is different. Check out other websites in your market. What do they look like? What tone are they setting? What kind of language are they using? Is it more professional or casual?

Obtain a sense of what website designs are working in your specific market. What are companies doing that makes other businesses purchase from them?

Once you know this, you can implement your own style and tone — it should just fit with your market. Observe other websites to see what you should be striving for in your market.

Conversion Path

The purpose of a B2C website is to directly help a consumer. Help could come in the form of blog posts, courses or products. There are many ways to appeal to a consumer and a lot of places you can direct them to.

When it comes to B2B websites, you don’t want to distract your user. They most likely don’t have much time and want a clear answer right away. The focus of your B2B website should be on the buying process.

Limit distractions with a clear conversion path. Get rid of links to other pages that will take your user away from their goal. Design a landing page for your product or service that leads to a sale. Make your design simple so the user can focus on the content.

Your B2B site has to solve the problem of the other business. Your design should aid the solution by making it as simple and direct as possible.

Interaction During Purchases

Courtesy of Giphy

Courtesy of Giphy

Your design focus should be more on the checkout process. Businesses will be making big purchases and they want to find someone they can trust. The best way to ensure their trust is to interact with them throughout the entire process.

What does this mean for design? Have a chat option on each page. Make sure someone is available to live chat as the transaction is happening. Be sure contact forms are visible as well. Email addresses, phone numbers and social media accounts should be in plain sight.

Give your user the feeling that someone is always there for them if they have any questions. Both parties want the transaction to go as smoothly as possible. Interacting with users will only help them checkout without any problems.

Be Consistent

The last thing you want your website to be is confusing. You want your message and sales pitch to be clear. All buttons and pages should function properly without any extra steps that could throw off the user. Keep your design simple and be consistent.

Everything about your design should feel familiar to the user. Don’t surprise them with new formatting or fancy design elements. Make sure every page follows the same design patterns. The user shouldn’t feel like they’re visiting a new site whenever they click on a separate page.

Your design should have everything you’d see from a typical website: header, footer, sidebar, navigation bar and content. Use the same layout, white space and content structure on each page. The quicker the user is familiar with your website, the better. You don’t have to necessarily impress them with your design. After all, it’s what you’re selling that really matters.

More Purpose, Less Emotions

Courtesy of Giphy

Courtesy of Giphy

Using human emotion is important when you’re designing a B2C website. You want to stimulate positive feelings the consumers can associate your company with.

Emotions aren’t as important on a B2B site. You’ll want to focus more on your company’s purpose and what you can do for the customer.

To do this you have to recognize the reasons why people are visiting your website. They’re working for other businesses that need something specific done for them. It’s that simple. You don’t have to reach them on an emotional level to convince them to use your company. You just have to communicate your purpose and tell them what they want to hear.

This means your design should be more structured and rigid. Don’t worry too much about making an emotional impact. Just transfer your information as cleanly as possible.

Think Like a Business

If you’re a business looking to purchase from another business, what would you want the website to look like? Start thinking like a business, so you can design the perfect B2B website.