Just about any business has customers that either love them or don’t want to spend time looking for an alternative.  Those customers will shop on your site whether it’s great or terrible.  However, if you want to maximize the site’s usage or grow your business, then you need to keep the site simple and easy to use.
  

  1. Easy to Adopt: If you are going to get customers to use your new website, then it needs to be easy for them to begin doing so.   
    • Prime The Site:  Go ahead and prime your site by creating accounts for each of your regular customers or migrating them from any existing system you may have.   Have your sales team reach out to them and schedule a time to go over the site and show them the benefit in using it.   This will help increase adoption and make sure you get an immediate impact from the site’s launch.

    • Don’t Require Signup or Make Signup Simple:  Guest checkout has been known to increase sales by huge margins.  As a result, It’s best if you do not require signup in order to purchase.  However, if that is not possible make sure you request the least amount of information that you need to verify a customer during the account signup process.  The salesman that it gets assigned to can always follow up with the customer for more information that you may need or want to use in the future.

    • Approve Accounts Quickly: It is recommended that you allow instant new account approvals if at all possible.  However, if you cannot then there should be a quick and simple process in which accounts are promptly approved.

    • Don’t Hide Products: If new customers cannot see your product offering until after they register and are approved for an account, it will significantly decrease the amount of new customers that you receive.   Search engines won’t see the products and you’ll lose traffic to the site not to mention that much of the new traffic that you receive will simply move on to a competitor that does show their products.
  1. Easy to Shop:  A lot of the same principles of simplicity of use in a B2C eCommerce website also apply to a B2B website.

    • Make Checkout Quick and Simple:  It’s a very simple recipe.  The fewer clicks and less user interaction that it takes to move from your product page through order completion, the higher the percentage of users that will complete it.

    • Ensure Pages Load Quickly: If your site is fast loading, customers will visit more product page resulting in more products sold and a higher number of customers completing checkout.

    • Make Sure You Are Available: The website is an extension of your sales team, not a replacement for them.   People still want to deal with people.   Make sure that your contact information including the Sales Representative that they should contact should they have problems is readily available.

    • Quick Order and Re-Order Capability:  In a typical B2B relationship, your customers often know what product they need to order or have already order that exact product in the past.   As such, it is important to make it easy for them by allowing them to create lists of commonly order products that they can choose from, allow re-ordering from previous orders, and also allow them to quick order by simply entering the SKU.  Easy ordering means happy customers and happy customers buy more frequently.