How websites influence purchasing
Why websites play such an important role in the buying process
These days, if you want to reach your target audience you need one very important thing: a website filled with exciting content, case studies and videos that speak directly to decision makers. It also needs to lead visitors straight to the pages that best suit their needs. If it doesn’t, you need to improve things fast.
How B2B buying works
In a 2014 Google survey, some 3,000 B2B buyers were questioned about how their procurement process worked. Despite being a few years old, the research nevertheless illustrates powerfully the amount of change to have taken place within the last few years.
How the B2B buying process has changed:
- almost 90% of B2B buyers use the Internet as their primary source of information
- the number of visitors to B2B sites has doubled in the past two years
- almost half of all employees involved in purchasing decisions are Digital Natives under 35 who grew up with the internet, search engines and mobile devices
- 42% of B2B buyers use their mobile device to search the internet (up 91% compared to 2012)
- 70% of B2B buyers watch videos prior to buying - nearly half of them watch for over half an hour, and 20% for over an hour
- before making contact, B2B buyers have already ran 12 searches
Online information first
Buyers almost always reach for the Internet when it comes to gathering preliminary information. Your SEO will need to bang up-to-date if they are to find you.
A good ranking is not enough by itself though – since half of all searches are now conducted on smart phones your site should employ Responsive Design. Videos also represent a great way of increasing your appeal and explaining complex B2B products and services.
Make your content relevant
When designing your site, you need to bear in mind that today’s buyers have spent a lot of time researching a product before they make contact with you. Consequently, when they do, you can be relatively sure they are already represent a highly qualified lead. This means that your company website needs to contain the right content if buyers are even going to consider you. If not, you might be out of the race before it has even begun.
Lead the Buying Centre to you
Corporate buying centres comprise a number of different people: the gatekeeper, who uses available information to make a pre-selection, later users, influencers, price-conscious buyers and ultimately the decision maker. Your website needs to address all these and provide them with a well-thought-out informational structure that’s relevant to their needs.
Later users need to be made of aware your solution’s technical advantages. Decision-makers, however, often focus on "human factor." You can demonstrate this through confidence-building corporate values or genuine references and feedback. Buyers, however, tend to pay the most attention to cost benefits. If you lead your visitors to appropriate pages using the right keywords and appropriate calls to action, you will also generate more leads.
A technically out dated website that loads painfully slowly will not reflect positively on users when it comes to making a purchase. Even if they are not conscious of it, potential customers will perceive your business negatively.
Make your brand emotional
Although decision-makers would say it’s better to leave emotions out of the procurement process, the gut still plays a decisive role. That’s why it’s important that your brand conveys emotion. In addition to a coherent message and imagery that connects with your audience, it is also helpful to use videos to tell exciting stories about your brand and your products.
Case studies are also a good way to showcase previous projects and provide references. Presented in an exciting way, they are often more valuable to decision makers than product data and features. It is particularly important that they are credible and convey the lack of risk involved in making a purchase. You want decision makers to come away thinking: well if they could do that for them, they should be able to do the same for me.
Without a good website, you won’t make a sale
To be successful you will need a technically up-to-date website that’s smart-phone friendly and search engine optimised. It will also need to contain high value content information in a range of formats. This will not only help get you found but also help convince your audience of your ability to meet their needs.
zuk. has designed and created cutting edge web projects for numerous B2B companies – both German and international - across many different industry sectors. Get in touch if you would like to know more about what we can do for you.
We'd love to hear from you:
zuk. B2B Communication Guides
Brüsseler Strasse 89-93 • 50672 Cologne, Germany • Phone +49 221 92417-0
Liebfrauenstrasse 9 • 54290 Trier, Germany • Phone +49 651 97892-0