Predicting B2B Website Trends for 2022
Updated: Jan 6, 2022
As much as we all hate to admit it, the end of 2021 is around the corner. That means it’s time to start thinking about refreshing your B2B website. It might be as simple as addressing the visual elements of your page, to change it up a little. Or maybe it's about adding in new features to build a better experience for your visitors, while engaging, converting, and building out your CRM and client list. Whatever your reasons are, we're hearing that 2022 boasts some big predictions that can make your B2B website stand out.
A Design That Enhances UX
When talking about web design, there’s a fine line between having a website that stands out and drives conversions but also loads quickly and is easy to use. In a perfect world, you shouldn't have to choose. Especially since website design trends constantly change, and what was the cutting edge at the one point, is now considered stale and overdone.
And we all know how consumers feel about a dated-looking website. It's not good.
Therefore, you need to lean into some new tech and design tricks to make your front end remain innovative and easy to look at while making sure that it’s still user-friendly, loads quickly, and is secure.
Your Visual Design
If your website is a chore to look at, then it will be harder to convince visitors to visit the first time, not to mention bringing them back again. And, let's be honest, there's really no excuse for a poorly-built website anymore.
Given that, we're seeing that 2022 will be the year of bold colors, minimalism, and organic or fluid shapes. Take a look at everything that's going on with your website, and toss out the things that make it look cluttered and busy.
We suggest you lean into design choices such as text-only or full-height hero images, bold and crisp fonts, and try to add in intelligent and interactive graphics. You can also explore combining images with overlaid graphics, to make key features stand out, which helps with Google's web vitals, aka SEO.
Something we also think you should keep in mind is making sure that the visual look and feel of your website is mindful, accessible, and inclusive.
Try to add in stronger color contrasts between text and backgrounds, focus indicators when navigating by keyboard, no extraneous elements and images, and ensure your image’s alt tags are functional. Future repeat visits are pretty much guaranteed if a visitor feels like they matter.
Personalized Content Based on Geolocation And History
This is low-hanging fruit but it will become more and more important in tandem with the trends we’ll discuss below.
It’s no secret that websites are tracking browsing history and locations, and it’s relatively common on eCommerce sites to display recently viewed items or abandoned cart items. But not many B2B websites are following suit.
Regardless of what their activity is on your website, a B2B consumer is a still consumer at heart, and consumers expect white-glove treatment, aka. personalization. Websites should be displaying dynamic content based on past user behavior.
By supplying custom personalized content, targeted forms, and other features that can be only accessed in a specific geographic location, you'll help that second or third visit happen. It's a win-win.
AI Assistants And Chatbots
Chatbots aren’t anything new, but take our word for it - they'll become more important going into 2022. The ability for AI assistants and chatbots to learn, collect data, and solve difficult issues, has only gotten better. So, if you're a one-person operation, or have a small team, you don't need to worry about staffing actual humans on processes and FAQs that can be automated and streamlined.
On the other hand, here is the more important piece - you’re enhancing your visitor’s experience, by engaging and upgrading their interactions. In fact, when it comes to simple and quick questions, 74% of users would prefer speaking to a chatbot. This is why AI will help you next year - customer service.
There's no longer a reason to wait around for a human in a live chat when an AI has the answer at its digital fingertips.
Depending on your platform, a chatbot should be easy to implement. Hubspot, for example, offers free chatbot builder software for partners, while other sites offer widgets and chatbot builder platforms you can use and integrate via API.
Considering that the projected worldwide market size of chatbots for business communications is anticipated to be more than $1.3 billion by 2024, we strongly recommend you get started finding an AI to help your business.
A New Kind of Mobile Friendly
As ubiquitous as smartphones have become, not every website prioritizes the mobile experience. In fact, only 80% of the top websites are currently mobile-friendly. Makes you wonder what the other 20% are waiting for.
According to Ericsson’s research, the global mobile data traffic is projected to grow 4.5x larger by 2026, in the ballpark of 226 billion. When mobile phones currently account for 70% of web traffic, that’s a huge gap. One you can definitely capitalize on.
We know that not every B2B SaaS out there can afford both time and expense to develop a native app. So focus on making your mobile experience engaging and responsive. There's no excuse not to do it.
You should be designing your website to be mobile-first, including making sure that it’s thumb-friendly, which means:
Placing navigation bars,
And contact us buttons within reach of either thumb when holding a phone.
That's usually a design feature that's overlooked. Don't skip this step.
Or, there's something else you can try.
Try Out Progressive Web Applications
There’s no need to deal with an app marketplace, and your PWA can be developed relatively quickly. In fact, you can turn any existing website into a PWA, and several big sites actually are. A great example would be Twitter.com. If you visit the site on a smartphone, you’ll be able to install it on your home screen and use it as a native app. We like that.
Other benefits include:
A UX/UI perspective that emphasizes the user experience.
Easier and cheaper to build with common web technologies.
The site remains responsive.
PAWs are smooth, quick, and lightweight.
They work offline.
PWAs are discoverable via search engines.
Progressive Lead Nurturing Forms
If you’re in the inbound marketing space, then you’ve got 2 basic goals:
Drive the conversions of visits to leads.
Convert said leads to customers.
Getting organic traffic to your site can be enough of a challenge in itself, but getting them to convert? That’s a completely different game. Different, but not impossible. In fact, you can capture lead information by making it more interactive via Progressive Profiling, that’s integrated with your CRM tool.
The traditional customer journey requires that you channel your marketing efforts to a specific persona audience that is interested in your product, and draw them in. Then, gather enough information about your new site visitors, so you can get to know them better, add them to your sales/marketing funnel, and find opportunities for conversions.
This is inbound 101.
But, this is where things get tricky. You don’t want to overwhelm your prospects with too many questions, too soon. You know your persona well enough that you know that they’re not exactly willing to share everything upon first contact. Nor do they have time (or the willingness) to fill out a comprehensive form, just to get you to contact them.
Instead of one big form asking for everything, it’s a series of iterative forms that are altered based on the lead information provided at each step. You can customize and nurture the profile journey based on your needs.
Whether it’s just asking for name/business email/company info upon first contact, then asking for a location, company role, and any other valuable data you want to add to your CRM, at a subsequent step, you can customize it however you need it.
Features such as these are already built into several CRM and marketing platforms such as Hubspot or can be downloaded as a plugin for your site.
Voice Search and UI
Voice search has become one of the fastest rising eCommerce trends in 2021, with the help of virtual assistants such as Alexa, Google Home, and Siri. In fact, according to Oberlo, over a third of the US population relied on voice search in 2019, with an annual growth rate of over 9% year over year. This makes it critical, in our view, that you dip your toes into this technology in 2022.
The use of voice search isn’t just limited to smartphones and smart speakers, anymore. Other gadgets such as watches, wearables, TVs, and home appliances are also offering features that allow you to search and navigate the web with your voice, rather than typing. This has made technology that permits audio and speech interpretation as a user interface, into a rapidly emerging technology in web development.
According to recent research, 2022 will see 55% of all households globally will rely not only on virtual home assistants but their other voice-enabled devices as well.
Imagine, a future where you look into your fridge and see you need milk, then ask said fridge to order more via your local grocery delivery service.
Or you, selling SaaS accounting software, for example, will be able to take orders via the PWA and AI chatbot we already talked about earlier. That's the future, right there.
This offers several advantages to both users and businesses as it allows a user to save time and allow them to order more products, get answers to their questions, and search a site hands-free.
According to ComScore, in 2019 51% of US shoppers used voice assistants to help them research a product before purchase. While, at the same time, voice search offers your business a new source for valuable customer behavior analytics, and increased engagement.
In return, websites will need to shift in their design to accommodate this form of search. To truly lean into this trend in the coming years, websites have to:
Adopt natural language with clear and direct answers to questions.
Optimize your website content by pruning any duplicate pages, and updating important information
Install a Web Speech API that allows speech recognition to be implemented onto your site.
Add in schema markups and rich snippets to allow better search indexing.
We expect 2022 to be the year that the ability to voice search a B2B website will be a key differentiator.
Full Motion UI And Micro Animations
How your website looks is important, there’s no doubt about that. It needs to be eye-catching, informative, and easy to use. In most cases, however, your UX design is more critical than you know.
As many as 84% of customers consider the website’s design to be just as important as your product, according to a Salesforce report. But it’s not as simple as you think.
Heading into 2022, you need to raise the web and mobile web design bar past colors and high res pictures.
You need to be offering an intuitive and responsive interface to engage and retain customers. This is where a motion-based UI comes into play. You only have roughly 15 seconds to grab the attention of a visitor, before they navigate away. Micro animations and other motion elements can mitigate the risk of losing a prospect before you can get them hooked.
On one hand, adding animation to your webpages isn’t a new concept. But it is one that is anticipated to grow next year. It can be as simple as small and subtle movements that are triggered by a specific interaction to make your website more engaging and interesting for the visitor.
This cause and effect type of motion can be used for a variety of applications, from making normal tasks and buttons more exciting - for example:
Replacing a dropdown menu with a dial you can spin.
Add animation to the checkout button.
Add a motion to a “learn more” CTA.
Show that your website is processing information.
Finding a subtle way to add meaningful feedback when your customer clicks, scrolls, or asks for someone to contact them, drives engagement. This UI design helps make your website stand out and helps boost your SEO.
If you're ready to take the first step, stay tuned for our next blog on picking the right web design agency for your business.