date: 29 November 2018
While the e-commerce website are blooming lately, more and more businesses are embracing the digital shift. New transactional websites, new social networks, new web interface, etc. This also means that the usual ways are doing business and sales are evolving. Selling is no longer happening exclusively in store; we can now (almost) buy everything in the comfort of our living room. But how do websites adapt to this change?
In fact, in the commerce business, there are two broad categories; B2B and B2C. The term B2B refers to the business relationship between two companies. Precisely, it means “business to business” and it includes all the economic, technical and relational activities between two companies. On the other hand, the abbreviation B2C refers to the business relationship between a company and its consumers, as the term “business to consumer” clarifies.
From one point of view, these two ways of doing business have a few things in common. For example, both obviously need a complex sales process and a digital sales strategy tailored to their needs. On the other hand, even if it’s commerce in both cases, the sales process are different. Therefore, their website’s design must reflect it. The same design cannot be effective for both. Different approaches, different sales process, and therefore different website requirements.
For B2B websites, it’s important that its interface is as simple and practical as possible. B2B sites are particularly interested in efficiency. Since sales needs between two companies are often very precise, it’s essential that the information can be easily found and that the navigation through the web interface is optimal. However, it’s not necessary that the interface is visually pleasing, just simply ergonomic. Also, B2B marketing is based on the development of a strong bond between the two parties, which the website must reveal. The process of buying and selling must, therefore, be personalized since the business relationship between two companies is not limited to a single purchase.
A sale made between two companies is more complex, long and often more expensive than between a company and a consumer. It’s even much more important to conclude the sale since it required more effort, time and information. B2B sales are focused on the long term and rationality. For example, between a supplier and his client, it’s possible that the relationship was built after several years. This often means that several transactions are made between these two companies during a week. The inventory management process and the online ordering process must be optimal.
About B2C websites, the purchase process is very different. First, the relationship between the business and the consumer is often not very strong; the link is actually rather weak, due to a large consumer’s base. For example, we can say that if it’s not this consumer, in particular, it will be another without any problem. B2C sales are much more emotion and speed oriented; purchases are more impulsive and require less effort. This is why the interface of the website plays a leading role; since the sale plays with our emotions, the interface must do the same. An attractive, dynamic and interactive interface is much more likely to please us and ultimately convince us to buy.
In B2C, the goal is to offer the best online customer experience possible. This way, you can distance yourself from your competitors by attracting more consumers and sales afterward. The interface must be up to date, at the cutting edge of fashion and technology, without being complex to use. Yes, it must be different and innovative, but it must be simple to use and understand for all its users.
It’s your turn: tell us how the interface of a transactional B2C website plays a role in your purchase process. Do you really consider it? Or do you prefer focusing on the product itself rather than on the website’s design?
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