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B2B Website UsabilityFinally a B2B website usage study focused on B2B website usability and how actual decision makers use the website to move through the purchase process!

KoMarketing Associates and Dianna Huff’s study What B2B Buyers Want from Vendor Websites sought to understand total B2B Website Usability. The study reveals that buyers approach B2B websites with one motive – to “qualify a vendor in order to begin the process of moving toward a purchase.” Does your B2B website have what it takes to qualify you as the appropriate vendor, in the eyes of a buyer? Can your buyers move smoothly through the sales process while on your website?

In this blog post we will summarize the 7 major findings from the study and what you can do today to improve your B2B website to propel your visitors forward into the sales process in order to increase purchases.

#1 – Buyers look at products and services first.

Huff/KoMarketing first asked survey participants, which primarily consisted of decision makers such as CEO’s, Managers, Consultants, Analysts and Directors, what they look at first when they come to a website. The results include:

  • 90% want to see Products and Services info.
  • 61% want to see our About info
  • 37% want to see Marketing Collateral such as white papers, case studies, articles and so on
  • 36% want to see Testimonials
  • Less than 25% want to see social media buttons or a blog.

Ultimately, as the survey states, the buyer is looking for validation that they should continue to invest their time looking at your website.

Key Takeaways for Your B2B Website:

1. Integrate the important information into your navigation.

2. Give easy access to Products and Services in particular.

3. Include company information, including About and Testimonials, in your top navigation.

4. Make your logo in the header clickable to your homepage.

#2 – Buyers need marketing collateral and pricing.

First, let’s start with the top four B2B website design “Must Haves” as indicated by buyers:

  1. Pricing information (43%)
  2. Technical information (38%)
  3. Case studies, white papers, articles, blog posts (38%)
  4. Shipping information (37%)

On the flip side, marketing collateral and pricing are the most lacking items on vendor websites. The most lacking content that hurts B2B website user experience includes:

  1. Case studies, white papers, articles (54%)
  2. Pricing (50%)
  3. Product reviews (42%)
  4. Details about technical support (42%)
  5. Testimonials and client list (31%)

This information is important because buyers use it to pre-qualify you as a vendor. Are your services or products within their general price range? Do you meet their basic requirements? This study also points out that as a B2B website you need all the information clearly posted in order to send you a RFQ or to send the order to their purchasing agent.

Key Takeaways for Your B2B Website:

1. Include some indication of pricing, even if it is general price ranges.

2. Post case studies, white papers and articles for visitors.

3. Give visitors all the information they need to do business with you, including contact information.

#3 – Buyers prefer to use email and phone to contact you.

Do these survey findings of how buyers prefer to contact a vendor surprise you based on how frequently you are contacted by prospects?

  • Email – 81%
  • Phone – 57%
  • Contact Form – 39%
  • Live Chat – 17%
  • Schedule an Apointment Tool – 11%
  • Social Media Platform – 9%

As Huff/KoMarketing reminds us, remember the age demographic of your prospects. If they are between the ages of 36 and 64 (like the majority of respondents in this study) they will have a natural preference to phone.

Key Takeaways for Your B2B Website:

1. Put your phone number in your website header so it is prominently displayed on each page.

2. People are contacting you through a variety of methods; give them all these options.

#4 – Buyers hate long contact forms.

It seems that there is a love hate relationship for contact forms. We saw in the above results that nearly 40% prefer to use a contact form yet visitors are very sensitive to the contact form.

More than 80% say that they won’t fill out an “excessive form”. Did you know that 60% prefer not to give their phone number and another 53% don’t want to give you their postal address? So what information are buyers willing to give you in a contact form?

  • First Name (only 9% say they prefer not to disclose)
  • Email Address (only 13% say they prefer not to disclose)
  • Last Name (only 14% say they prefer not to disclose)
  • Company (only 19% say they prefer not to disclose)

Even if your form is excessive over half of respondents said they would still fit it out if it means they get something for free such as a trial, research, white paper or webinar.

Key Takeaways for Your B2B Website:

1. Only ask for information you absolutely need in a contact form.

2. Monitor completion rates for your contact form to make sure people are filling it out. Try eliminating unnecessary fields if too many people abandon the form.

3. Consider offering a promo when people complete a contact form; an exclusive link to a white paper is a low price to pay for a new lead.

#5 – Buyers will leave a website if they see this.

Most of the elements that annoy the survey respondents come as no surprise to us. If you have any of the following elements on your website you should seriously consider if their value is worth the risk of annoying visitors and driving potential customers away!

  • Video or audio that plays automatically
  • Animated ads or popups
  • Lack of message (can’t tell what the company does)
  • No contact information
  • Tiny text
  • Intrusive live chat
  • Stock photos

The study also sought to understand why these type of elements annoy visitors so much. The main reasons include that it wastes time, interrupts train of thought and reduces credibility.

Key Takeaways for Your B2B Website:

1. Make it incredibly clear what your business does – 49% will leave a site due to lack of message.

2. Display your contact information prominently – 37% will leave a site because there is no contact info.

3. Generic websites (including DIY sites and sites with stock photos) will reduce your credibility. Make sure your website looks professional and portrays your brand.

4. Develop case studies and white papers before social media, as 31% of respondents said marketing collateral establishes credibility whereas only 10% say social media establishes credibility.

#6 – Social media won’t impact buying process.

This study uncovers a purchaser’s indifference towards a B2B’s presence in social media:

  • 37% say it isn’t a factor
  • 30% say it’s important, but not a deal breaker
  • 26% say they are neutral towards social media

#7 – B2B buyers are using desktops although mobile is growing.

Huff/KoMarketing disclosed similar mobile traffic rates as what we are seeing for our B2B clients. Approximately 25% of traffic is through mobile whereas the average website is experiencing closer to 35%.

How’s Your B2B Website Usability?

How did your website fare through the eyes of purchasers? After seeing how actual decision makers evaluate a B2B website like yours, does your website need some attention? There are two ways we can help you:

1. Website Design – all of our website designs incorporate these best practices and help you brand your business the way it deserves.

2. Search Engine Optimization Campaign – if you are looking to grow your traffic while also improving your website then an SEO Campaign is perfect for you. While we work at making your website easier for the Search Engines to crawl and show in Search Results we also improve your website for visitors so it is easy to navigate and find the information they need. We also focus on properly branding your website and increasing leads.

Contact us today by calling 1-888-262-6687 or by emailing to talk about how to make your website more successful at converting visitors into purchasers!