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Designing a User-Friendly B2B Ecommerce Website

Business-to-business (B2B) ecommerce is a growing and competitive market, where customers expect a seamless, convenient, and personalized online shopping experience. However, designing a user-friendly B2B ecommerce website is not the same as designing a consumer-oriented one. B2B customers have different needs, expectations, and behaviours than individual consumers, and they require more complex and customized solutions. Therefore, B2B ecommerce websites need to cater to these specific characteristics and challenges, and provide a user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) that can satisfy and delight them.

Best Practices for Website Design that Caters to B2B Customers

Website design is a crucial element of any ecommerce website, as it affects the first impression, engagement, and conversion of customers. For B2B ecommerce platforms, website design should follow some best practices that can address the unique characteristics and challenges of B2B customers:

  • Simplicity and clarity. B2B customers are busy and goal-oriented, and they want to find and buy the products or services they need quickly and easily. Therefore, B2B websites should have a simple and clear design, with minimal distractions, clutter, and unnecessary elements. The design should prioritize the most important and relevant information, such as product features, benefits, prices, and availability, and use clear and concise language, headings, and labels.

  • Consistency and familiarity. B2B customers are influenced by multiple stakeholders, such as end-users, influencers, gatekeepers, deciders, and buyers, who may have different roles, perspectives, and interests (see our article about the core features of B2B ecommerce platforms for more on the different roles in B2B purchasing). It’s important that B2B ecommerce sites have a consistent and familiar design, with a uniform layout, style, colour scheme, and navigation throughout. The design should also follow the common conventions and standards of web design, such as placing the logo on the top left, the search bar on the top right, and the cart and checkout buttons on the top right corner. Consistency and standards are an important principle of user interface design.

  • Adaptability and responsiveness. B2B customers have longer and more complex buying cycles, and they may use multiple devices and channels to interact with B2B ecommerce businesses. B2B ecommerce sites should have an adaptable and responsive design, that can adjust to different screen sizes, resolutions, and orientations, and provide a seamless and consistent experience across all devices and channels.

Importance of Intuitive Navigation and Easy Access to Information

Navigation is a key aspect of any ecommerce website, as it affects the ease of use, efficiency, and satisfaction of customers. For B2B ecommerce, navigation should be intuitive and easy, as the more complex purchasing process and sales cycles of B2B customers may require more information and guidance throughout their buying journey. Intuitive navigation and easy access to information are important for B2B ecommerce platforms.

Reduce cognitive load and frustration. B2B customers have to deal with a lot of information and options, and they may get overwhelmed, confused, or frustrated if they cannot find what they are looking for, or if they encounter broken links, errors, or slow loading times. Intuitive navigation and easy access to information can reduce the cognitive load and frustration of B2B customers, by providing them with clear and logical categorization, labelling, and organisation of products and services, and by ensuring that the navigation is fast, reliable, and error-free.

Increase engagement and conversion. B2B customers have to go through several stages before making a purchase, such as problem recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision, and post-purchase evaluation. Each stage may involve multiple interactions, touchpoints, and sources of information. Therefore, intuitive navigation and easy access to information can increase the engagement and conversion of B2B customers, by providing them with relevant and timely content, guidance, and support throughout their customer journey, and by facilitating their decision-making and transaction processes. Take a look at our article on the key commercial features for B2B ecommerce websites for some ideas of how to make your customers' lives easier.

Features that Enhance the User Experience, such as Advanced Search Filters, Detailed Product Descriptions, and Comparison Tools

User experience (UX) is the overall impression, emotion, and perception that customers have when interacting with an ecommerce website. For B2B, UX should be seamless, convenient, and personalised, as B2B customers expect a high-quality and personalised online shopping experience. The following features can help with this:

  • Advanced search filters. B2B customers have specific and varied needs and preferences, and they want to find the products or services that match their criteria and requirements. Advanced search filters can enhance the UX for B2B customers, by allowing them to search and filter products and services based on various attributes, such as category, brand, price, rating, availability, or custom fields, and by displaying the results in a relevant and useful way, such as by relevance, popularity, or price.

    Wired In have extensive experience with the Algolia customisable search engine for ecommerce sites, so talk to us if you’d like to improve your site search experience.

  • Detailed product descriptions. B2B customers are rational and goal-oriented, and they want to know the features, benefits, and value of the products or services they are considering. Detailed product descriptions improve the UX for B2B customers by providing them with accurate, relevant, and up-to-date information about the products or services, such as specifications, dimensions, materials, performance, quality, warranty, or reviews, and by highlighting the unique selling points (USPs) and competitive advantages of your products.

  • Comparison tools. B2B customers are influenced by multiple stakeholders, and they have to evaluate and compare different alternatives before making a purchase. Comparison tools can make this much easier, by enabling customers to compare and contrast products or services based on various criteria, such as features, benefits, prices, or ratings, and by displaying the differences and similarities in a clear and visual way, such as by using tables, charts, or graphs.

Contact Wired In if you’d like to discuss how we can help develop your site to make it easier for customers to compare product information and improve the buying experience.

We've been working with Wired In Commerce for many years, during which their technical skill and knowledge have played a key role in helping us develop essential business management systems and website projects.

While we've faced occasional hiccups in timelines, which can happen in any collaborative effort, the Wired In Commerce team has always strived to keep the lines of communication open. They have shown a willingness to navigate through challenges, and it's clear that they value the relationship with their clients.

What genuinely makes our experience positive is the team itself. They're not just skilled professionals but also amicable and earnest individuals. This blend of technical prowess and approachability has been a big reason for us maintaining the relationship for the long term.

John North, Managing Director, Nutribl/Troo health Care

Ecommerce Sites From Wired In

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