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In my last blog, I mentioned two of the pivotal things B to B marketers have to ask themselves: 1) Does your site play a role in developing the sales dialogue with prospects and 2) will you transact commerce on your site. This time, I wanted to talk about the design elements of the site that come into play.

On this blog, I have talked many times about how important it is for e-tailers to really know their customer and to use that knowledge to inform their on site merchandising strategies. It is no different in the B to B world.  If form follows function, then your website must deliver the functionality, navigation and content that helps your customer or prospect to find products, price them, order them and learn about new products or trends. Do you have robust on site search capability? Do you personalize recommended products or content on your site? While many B to B customers may spend time in front of a laptop at work, they are still mobile. Is your site designed for use on mobile devices? Do you test the design and navigation of your site to determine what works best for your customers? Does your site offer online chat and access to your customer service organization

Gone are the days when businesses could basically put up an online version of their catalog and hope for the best. Today’s B to B sites have to address the needs of their buyer wherever they are, whenever they want to access you. Fast easy access to products, prices and ordering are a must. Think of what you personally expect out of a great online shopping experience. Write those things down, and then take a look at your B to B site. If you were your own eCommerce customer, how would your site experience measure up? If you are anything like me, your to-do list just got a lot longer.