Guest post by Eleanor Hecks.
Business to business (B2B) brands sometimes adopt new trends a bit more slowly than business to consumer (B2C) companies. However, they also aren’t as fast to embrace fads that go out of style in a month or two.
Statista took an in-depth look at B2B marketing spend this year. They noticed a 14% increase in digital formats and a decline for traditional channels. With more companies turning to digital marketing, a stellar website is the essential core.
Start with tried-and-true design standards, and then look at the trends impacting your customers and your industry. For example, a B2B ecommerce website might offer augmented reality where customers can upload a photo of their space and see how different office furniture fits.
Here are the top trends you can expect to see more of as we move into 2022, and some examples of sites embracing these design methods.
1. Simpler Navigation
For years, designers worked to create intuitive navigation that works as well with mobile devices as desktop computers. Expect to see a continued focus on navigational hierarchy.
Hamburger menus were once discouraged but are making a comeback as the majority of people use their cellphones to access the internet. People want to click on a logo and go to the home page or scroll up and down easily.
When you land on Magnetica’s page, you see an arrow encouraging you to scroll down to additional information. As you leave the first panel, you’ll see a blue box with an upward arrow appear in the lower right corner of the screen. The box follows the user throughout their journey on the page, and they can click on it at any time to go straight to the top of the page without the need to scroll.
2. Dynamic Content
Personalization is increasing expected in B2B marketing as much as it is in consumer promotions. No one wants to feel like a number. Some of the ways of serving up specific content include targeting people by geolocation, tracking them with cookies or marketing automation software, and having them register so you can greet them by name and past browsing or buying behavior.
3. High-Quality Photos
Some trends never really go out of style, but with the advances in screen resolution and faster connectivity, designers are more willing to use higher resolution images on their sites. People want not only beautiful images but ones that are unique to your product or service.
The trend of full-width design is also here to stay, so you’ll see images stretching all the way from one side of the screen to the other. At the same time, make sure your design adapts for smaller screens.
WAC Lighting uses some of the most gorgeous photos we’ve seen. Note how they showcase the variety of their products. They serve both businesses and consumers, making them a business to many (B2M) company. One way this B2M vendor serves up content for all their audience types is by sharing photos of both residential and commercial spaces.
Another positive impact of faster connectivity is designers feeling free to add a bit of animation to their designs. Still, you likely won’t see full animation, as it takes too long to load even for fast connections.
Instead, expect to see the continuing trend of some elements remaining static while others move. As the person scrolls, a swirly arrow may point the way. A logo may have some moving parts. Some figures animate and walk across the screen while others remain still.
Designers can truly get creative and test the waters with different types of animation.
5. Enhance UVPs
Advances in website design enable business to show off their unique value proposition (UVP) in more creative ways. Think about what makes your company stand out from the competition. How can you present the benefits to your customers in a visually compelling way?
Use your UVP in a headline with an H1 or H2 paragraph style. Get creative and try different font families, weights, and colors. The key is to grab user attention and make them notice your UVP first.
Grammarly does a good job highlighting their UVP. The headline reads “Great writing, simplified.” They place it in the upper left portion of the body, which is where most English speakers begin their reading journey.
Note how the text is heavier, bolder and bigger than anything else on the page. It draws the eye and is the first thing most people notice when they land on the page.
6. More White Space
One trend we expect to see in 2022 is a move toward even more simplicity. Most sites have one main goal, and designers are learning to put the emphasis on moving the buyer through the journey without adding distractions.
Expect less navigational options, fewer images, limited text, and a single call to action.
What Trends Will Top the List in 2022?
No doubt, there will be some surprising design trends for B2B websites for 2022. However, the six above are highly likely. You’ll also notice technological shifts toward developments such as voice search, augmented reality, and easier information sharing.
If you focus on building a customer-centric site that serves the needs of your clients, you’ll find your design is always on trend for the right people.
Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She was the creative director at a prominent digital marketing agency prior to becoming a full-time freelance designer. Eleanor lives in Philadelphia with her husband and pup, Bear.