User experience (UX) used to be just relegated to the B2C sphere. However, when digitisation started to permeate into everyday lives and everyone had some access to digital platforms, mobile ordering apps became implemented by almost all major businesses. It provided a huge deal of convenience to customers. However, B2B software is notoriously bad to use owing to the different mindsets between B2B and B2C businesses. However, B2B customers expect the same level of seamlessness and convenience that B2C apps offer. The mobile ordering app experience is often neglected in the B2B sphere, but maybe that should change.
Why UX matters in B2B ordering apps
B2B commerce is a fast-paced landscape and that requires efficiency in order to compete. Time is of essence and having an app that doesn’t use up a lot of time is of utmost importance. Where B2C transactions are often seen as driven by emotions and impulsive buying decisions, B2B purchasing decisions are grounded in practicality, cost-effectiveness, and ease of use.
See, UX isn’t only about aesthetics; it’s about providing customers with an intuitive, seamless, and productive journey while navigating your app. A seamless experience can significantly impact customer satisfaction and loyalty. Rather yet, more commonly, when customers are conscious of bad design, their frustration can quickly translate into dissatisfaction and loss of loyalty.
Good UX is dependent on how easily users can do the things they want on the app as well as how little they have to work to do it. This means that there needs to be easy-to-use functionality that is both flexible and accessible. This means that the app needs to be aesthetic, but aesthetic for practical reasons. While a pleasing interface is enticing to the eyes, disjointed eye candy is just as frustrating. That is one of the reasons for the shift to minimalist designs; simply put, things are easy to see and it prevents overstimulation.
Flexibility is a matter of providing functionality that automates many processes to provide a seamless experience for customers to do the things they want to do – like search catalogues – while also allowing them to adapt the functionality to their specific needs. A cause for annoyance or frustration for users in mobile ordering apps is when they can’t do the specific things that they want to do, like easily reorder previous purchases with only minor changes to the order.
Accessibility is a matter of providing functionality that is easy to understand and utilise. The easier it is to grasp the functions offered by the app without the need for an extensive manual, the more accessible the app is. In addition, accessibility provides functionality to people of varying capabilities and options. Clear aesthetics and text is one part of that. Options that assist various different groups of users helps with accessibility. But it’s more than even that. How can the app be used? Can it be used out in the field and at home? All of these are encompassed by an admittedly vague term such as “accessibility”.
At the end of the day, the users of B2B ordering apps are just as human as the users of B2C ordering apps. While themes and functionality might be differently focused, both groups of customers want a seamless UX. So how does a B2B business go about making their ordering app better in this regard?
Tips for designing user-friendly B2B ordering apps
Here’s some advice for improving UX in your B2B ordering apps:
- Conduct in-depth user research – People’s needs change dynamically over time and the need for new functions always changes. User research allows you to design your apps to cater to your market in the present and the future. Feedback from users is important after a software update. This research can prompt app development in a way that addresses customer preferences and pain points. While more functionality is usually always welcome, prioritising developments within the pipeline is pertinent. UX plummets when customers can’t utilise the most basic of functions regardless of the more optional, fully-fledged functions.
- Consider UX across devices – While having an app that is only available on one platform is doable, you’re prone to alienating many of your customers, and when your app only works effectively on one platform you alienate portions of your users. What may work for the desktop interface may not work for the smartphone interface, and it is important to understand these differences. Furthermore, while congruent functions are important, optimisation is even more important. Optimisation is the hidden factor in UX, often unmentioned unless it severely affects UX. Because of how differently software works across operating systems and languages, make sure that they indeed work effectively on different platforms.
- Offer seamless onboarding and support – Getting the hang of a new app is always a point of filtration for new users. Make it easy for new users to get on board and offer services to help them do the things they want to on the app. This means that having an effective support team to answer questions will lower the barrier of entry. Guides that take the form of hoverable helpboxes, videos, or step-by-step tutorials are also amazing ways of offering assistance to new users and even to old users discovering a new feature.
- Create intuitive interfaces – Navigation and use of the app needs to be intuitive. Unintuitive interfaces require more mental energy to navigate and impede efficiency. Make sure that everything is clearly labelled and unambiguous. Make use of negative space to improve UX by highlighting features users are more likely to use in the next step of their buying process. For instance, the checkout button should be the most easily visible button once a customer has reviewed their cart. Furthermore, search functionality is one of the most basic requirements for ordering apps nowadays and crafting a good search experience is paramount to getting users to use the app.
- Build trust with secure and efficient checkout processes – Secure and efficient payment processes are needed to instil confidence in customers. Cybersecurity is key in the digital era, so this should be a given. However, multiple payment methods are important to create a seamless checkout experience. Additionally, transparent pricing builds trust with your users. What is seen before checkout should match up with what customers expect and should sum up expectedly with no other additions.
In the sphere of B2B sales, optimising efficiency is crucial, and the Onsight B2B ordering app excels in streamlining the sales process. Whether you’re a distributor, wholesaler, or in food, health, beauty, or homeware, Onsight offers a versatile solution. Showcase products, create orders on the go, even offline, with compatibility across various devices. Sign up for a free trial now.