B2B web site, Front-end verses Back-end

Aurèle Zannou – 13 October 2016

When you begin designing a website for your B2B business, soon enough, you and your team will be faced with the question: should we put more energy on the functional structure of the website or its appearance?

The Front-end in B2B

The Front-end of your website is the visible part your users see in their browser. This is mainly content (text, images or video), but also the interaction between users and the content.

There are two main components on the front end of your website: the design of visual elements and the skeleton. The design can be very specific to your company’s industry, especially if it’s in B2B. The choice of colours and images should best represent your products and services. The structure, form and sequence of the content must also be provided according to the priorities of your services and / or user preferences.

The Back-end in B2B

This is usually the most important design stage. Without completely taking away emphasis on the front-end, it will still mobilize a large part of available resources for your project, especially considering that the work in the back-end is the heart of your website.

We can, without going into great detail, segment it as follows:

  • The data server or commonly, the “hosting”
  • The data base (usually relational)
  • The applications or web services

Back-end work seems more sensitive because it directly manipulates the information on your site; data validation, form validation, collection of information (preferences / habits) etc. All of this takes place at the backend level. It becomes even more important for transactional sites due to Trust and safety considerations.

The trend in B2B

If you’ve visited B2B competitors’ web sites or even those in different fields of business from your own, you may have noticed that the design is usually rather minimal and sometimes quite dour. There is a tendency to put little enthusiasm into visual elements versus the back-end, the main reason being that the target audience is small, and often limited to SMB’s.

But this reasoning is becoming less valid. Regardless of the effort you may put into the back end, the fact remains that it isn’t visible to the user. The first point of contact between your services and your clients is the front-end! Even if your web site has a 5-star Back-end, if it looks sloppy, the end user could still end up disconnecting after only a few seconds. This could happen no matter how interesting your offers may be.

 

So for your B2B website design project, keep in mind that your site doesn’t have to be stripped down to the point of making it flavorless. Don’t just present your services with text and static images. Instead, make them dynamic!

  • Add a carousel (not one with Walt Disney transition effect, though). A simple fade in/fade out effect is perhaps more than enough
  • Add video, as this will help reduce the abandon rate
  • Offer your services and solutions according to the geographical location of the user: they will feel more catered to.
  • Go beyond the simple passive contact form: rather than waiting until the user clicks on the contact tab to fill out a form, ask how you can help in their search as if they were physically in your company. This is possible thanks to automatic chat systems.

These are just a few points that can be useful if you are undertaking a new website design for your B2B business.

Contact us for more information!

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