Ask the Expert: Web Sites

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BtoB: What lessons can b-to-b Web sites learn from their b-to-c counterparts?
Loranger: B-to-b Web sites are lagging behind their b-to-c counterparts. Our studies show that the success rates of b-to-b and b-to-c Web sites are 58% and 66%, respectively. In general, b-to-c Web sites are doing a better job of giving people the information they need, when they need it, with fewer obstacles. Organizations that cater to business customers are holding on to business models that do not work in today's technological age. Prospects use the Web to educate themselves about your products and services. Not showing the price, locking up product information and resources behind registration and contact forms creates an antagonistic Web experience. As people continue to be accustomed to online transactions and self-serve information retrieval, b-to-b organizations that don't meet their users' expectations will be left behind.
BtoB: What is the one mistake you see b-to-b Web sites making most often?

Loranger: One of the biggest mistakes companies can make is not providing adequate pricing information. Organizations have many reasons for not revealing pricing information on their Web siteā€”the service is complex; distributors don't want the prices shown; they don't want their competitors to know; etc. While these reasons might be real, customers don't care. They see the lack of pricing information as unreasonable; it's a pain point that deters people from wanting to engage with the company. Prospects want basic information about the products during initial research, and they can't get that without knowing the price. In many instances, the exact price is not as important as knowing the price level.
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