Help your e-Commerce business succeed with great web form design and responsive B2C website development that addresses user behaviour and buying habits!
Best Practices for B2C Website Design
What Makes a Good B2C e-Commerce Website?
There is a distinct difference in our approach to web design for B2C (business-to-consumer) projects versus our web design philosophy for B2B (business-to-business) projects. One of the key differences in user behaviour:
- B2B purchases are more likely to request additional information and arrange a meeting or phone call before making a purchase on behalf of their business.
- B2C target audiences are much more likely to make an impulse buy based on a well-designed website or call to action (CTA). These impulse buys (or conversions) happen without ever making contact with the website owner or salesperson.
User behaviour and buying habits are just two of the many details we consider in our approach to B2B and B2C website development projects.
For nearly 15 years Parachute Design has been a Toronto Web Design Company specialising in B2C e-Commerce website design and online marketing for clients in all industries. Through this experience, we’ve compiled a tried and true guidebook of website design B2C best practices to which we continue to add new chapters. Let’s take a look at the role of a website in B2C e-Commerce plus a few of the most important practices we rely on for successful B2C website design.
B2C Web Form Design is Critical Success
As we know, general consumers are much more likely to make a B2C online purchase, even significant ones, without ever speaking to a salesperson. Typically, consumers absorb high-level information from a website through page content and user reviews and then decide relatively quickly whether or not to make a purchase. In web analytics terms this is called a conversion – when a user converts to a customer.
Because we usually do not have the opportunity to speak with most online consumers directly, we need to ensure that the B2C web design interface is clear and inspiring. This includes the call-to-action that drives customers to the appropriate place on the website (in order to convert) or help guide them through the conversion process.
Also, unlike B2B website users, B2C users are somewhat less hesitant to hand over their personal information during the checkout process. With this in mind, our Toronto web designers pay very close attention when creating the web forms that the business will depend on in order to gather information about the consumer.
When designing web forms for B2C websites, we can often prompt customers to share a little more information if we are creative in building a B2C website design that inspires consumer confidence in the business or product we’re marketing and provides a persuasive, smooth user experience.
B2C Web Form Design Best Practices
Below are some of our best practices and recommendations on how to design better B2C web forms and create a more persuasive and more positive user experience on your B2C website:
- B2C forms should be as simple and direct as possible. B2C users tend to have a shorter attention span than B2B users; you can hold their interest longer with subtle effects as long as you don’t interrupt the form completion process!
- Whenever possible, combine fields on the B2C web form design making the form easier for consumers to fill out. Another practice our Toronto web designers like to employ in our web design for B2C is auto populating web form fields with information from an earlier stage in the conversion process, or even based on geo-location.
- Break longer forms up into multiple stages or even pages to give users a break and renew their focus.
- Use the most common web form labels and conventions to ensure the web form is predictable for your audience and allows the web browser to automatically fill out the form fields from saved data.
- Rather than forcing users to manually enter their personal information, wherever possible, design form fields as lists so that the customer can quickly select the information from a list instead of having to type it out.
- Create a clean B2C web form design that not only allows users to easily scan but also indicates which fields are required in order to complete the form.
- Always ensure that your B2C web form design adheres to the latest web browser standards to avoid any functionality issues that may result in user frustration and/or loss of a B2C online purchase.
In order gain more insight into the type of customer they’re attracting and how to improve their marketing strategy going forward, more and more B2C companies are investing in third-party client relationship management tools such as HubSpot or Salesforce to generate their web forms. Additionally, web form services such as these are relatively straightforward for a B2C web designer to implement and add custom design styling too. These services also offer automated follow-ups for hiccups in the user experience, such as shopping cart abandonment.
If your web designer is not on board with implementing outside API’s to help improve your B2C website marketing and seamlessly apply your custom web design, you’re falling behind the pack!
Insist on Responsive Web Design for B2C Websites
Responsive website design is a must-have for any website at this point in time, however, it is ever more critical for B2C websites that are marketing their products or services to the average consumer who is spending more and more time on one or more mobile devices. It is important to not only offer a completely responsive user experience to B2C website visitors (who are often on the go) but also now plays a fundamental role in how well the website will rank in organic search.
In the event that your B2C website design does not display efficiently on a mobile device, or does not offer a responsive experience for virtually any of today’s hand-held devices, you run the risk to losing website traffic (due to poor search results) and even loss of sales, as users that do find your website become frustrated and go elsewhere.
Focus on the Call to Action in B2C Web Design
For the most part, B2C website users land on your website ready to research your product or service in-depth, or better yet, ready to buy. Ensuring that the call to action within the website design is effective and entices those all-important click-throughs is a key factor in creating a winning B2C website design.
The CTA should be designed to inspire action, but should also be crystal clear in indicating at what will happen after the button is clicked. Should the user feel that they’ve been duped into visiting a page or external website by way of the CTA, they’re likely to create a negative impression of your brand, product, or service, which is detrimental to successful website conversions. When offering a CTA that clearly indicates exactly what will happen next, we help strengthen the relationship users and customers have with the brand, ultimately creating a better environment for success now and in the future.
Look Past the Home Page and Invest in B2C Landing Page Design
We’re all different and unique in many ways. Interests and buying habits vary not only from person to person but also within an individual over time. To design a B2C website that is visually appealing and communicates effectively to all website visitors is impossible. When we accept this fact we are able to look beyond the home page design, which acts more as a catch-all for less focused website traffic.
HubSpot recently published some very interesting consumer research on website design and user experience. HubSpot’s research showed that 76% of customers feel that the most important factor in a B2C website design is ease of use. Consumers want to feel as though the website makes it easy to find what they’re looking for.
If we buy into this study (which we do, completely) and create targeted, SEO-optimized landing pages for all of the topics we want to discuss and market on a website, we can immediately give three-quarters of the public what they’re looking for. It’s not necessary to funnel all web traffic to the home page and is simply more effective to channel users directly to the area of the website that correlates with their search. This B2C web design philosophy not only makes it easier for users to find what they’re looking for on your e-commerce website but also helps to broaden and amplify the website’s search engine rankings.
Don’t just take our word for it though. Have a look at our Village Juicery case study to see how we put these best web design practices together to create a visually stunning website.
About Parachute Design
If you’re interested in learning more about how we employ these best practices for B2C website design, and how Parachute Design can help improve your B2C website or to have us prepare a formal proposal for your business, please complete our online quote request form, or call our B2C website design experts in Toronto at 416-901-8633.