Successful business-to-consumer (B2C) websites make the process of finding and purchasing a product or service as straightforward as possible. Easily accessible purchasing, insightful product and service details, responsive customer service and an organized user interface are all characteristics of a successful B2C website that visibly puts consumers first.
Here are five features all B2C websites should include:
A Simplified Purchasing Process
Whereas a B2B (business-to-business) website may have multiple steps and follow-ups involved in the purchasing process, B2C sites should make purchasing as simple as possible. An overly lengthy purchase process — such as forcing consumers to register before buying something — can turn potential buyers away.
It’s a good idea to make site registration optional when purchasing, rather than mandatory. Creating an account can provide certain benefits, and you should communicate these well, but the actual purchase and delivery should not be contingent on registration.
Amazon’s one-click ordering is a great example of a simplified ordering process. It provides consumers with the option to quickly and seamlessly purchase a product on a whim. The feature becomes available after a consumer’s first order, which saves their shipping address and payment method.
Overall, the steps between clicking “Buy” and entering your purchase information should be very few, if any at all.
While product specifications may appeal to a certain consumer crowd, many consumers react more effectively to appeals to their emotions. Products should include all relevant technical information and specifications in their description, but should also strike a more subjective chord with the desired demographic.
For example, baby diapers can go beyond showing the mere product. Photos of mothers and their children interacting and smiling on the product page will evoke feelings of motherhood.
B2C companies strive to become the go-to-brand among consumers through emotional appeal, whether it’s by promoting eco-friendly means of manufacturing, lifestyle roles or specific demographics. Some products have such a wide audience range that a deeply-varied marketing campaign is prudent.
Upfront Pricing and Comparison Options
Some B2B websites can get away with vague pricing along the lines of placing “Contact us for pricing!” where the price tag should be. That vagueness encourages conversation, but for B2C websites, it can just seem like a purchasing obstacle. For B2B sites, the price can vary depending on the package or relationship, so it makes more sense.
With B2C websites, the opposite should be the case. The pricing on a B2C site should be very straightforward, with the same price for all consumers (unless they have a coupon or discount code). Shipping can vary, naturally, but beyond that, it’s best to keep pricing uniform for all users.
Fixed pricing can avoid confusion among consumers. With the pricing, product information and customer reviews of a reliable B2C site, customers should have all the information they need to make a sound and satisfying purchasing decision.
An effective feature of some B2C websites is the option to compare pricing between different products. The price comparison feature shows transparency and helps consumers decide more quickly if they’re going to purchase the product.
Clopay Garage Doors exemplifies this well by including a “Compare” button on each of their products, enabling consumers to compare their preferred choices.
Concise and Compelling Headlines
Well-written product details are advisable, though B2C websites need to entice consumers to get there in the first place. This is where engaging headlines come into play. Large, eye-catching images of the product in action with short, captivating headlines are a great way to pique interest. The headlines are particularly important if competitors offer the same product elsewhere online.
You can also use large images and headlines to promote sales, like “Buy 3, Save $30” for a specific product. Whether you’re using sales information or a catchy tagline as the text, a headline and large image can be a great way to captivate consumers.
Prompt and Thorough Communication
One reason for Amazon’s massive success is that the company consistently ranks among the best in customer service. They usually respond promptly and aren’t overly skeptical when customers express discontent. Amazon also provides a variety of communication options, from email and phone to a live chat interface.
Most successful B2C companies emphasize quality and prompt customer service with a consumer-first mentality, prompt communication and a variety of available communication methods. Strong customer service and strong sales go hand-in-hand for a reason.
These five tips can help B2C websites boost their sales and reputations, primarily by assuring customers they are the priority and that the business has nothing to hide.