In some ways, B2C and B2B websites have similar challenges. Both succeed or fail based on user experience issues. Pages that take too long to load, are difficult to navigate, and websites that just don’t look good or operate at a high level suffer from high bounce rates and low search engine performance regardless of who their audience is.
“We employed the latest web design best practices and our data-centric process to reconsider what a commercial B2B website should look like and how well it could function for logistics expert NFI.”
That’s pretty much where the similarities end, however. B2B firms have longer purchase cycles that require extensive nurturing of leads, heterogenous target audiences that exist up and down corporate hierarchies, internally and externally, and large numbers of decision makers who’ll want extensive information to support their choices.
Building one site that solves so many disparate needs in a manner that is consistent, intuitive to use, and easy on the eyes takes a methodical approach that is supported by qualitative and quantitative feedback. At Hanlon, we employed the latest web design best practices and our data-centric process to reconsider what a commercial B2B website should look like and how well it could function for logistics expert NFI.
NFI solves business problems for other companies, but when it came time to design a website they relied on Hanlon to streamline their digital operations:
Challenge: Synchronize a Large Corporate Bureaucracy
NFI has been in the business of getting things from point A to point B for over 75 years. In that time, it has grown from a pure trucking company into a leading edge provider of end-to-end supply-chain solutions. As their sophistication grew, so did their challenges. With over 20 business divisions, they required a base of digital operations that could efficiently coordinate their large and spread out teams.
Solution: Build a Highly Accessible Platform that Scales Quickly and Easily
NFI’s site was built on WordPress, one the most popular content management systems (CMS) available thanks to its vast pool of resources, excellent adaptability, and a highly scalable structure that enables easy updates and rapid expansion when the time comes to add on to a website.
Accessibility is supported by a robust on-site search feature. Keyword searches bring up all relevant pages, blog articles, news stories, or other on site content into a unified, highly accurate results page. Because NFI also serves a bilingual Canadian audience we also built in a machine-based translation management system that efficiently converts the experience to French.
Outcome: Everyone at NFI Can Get Coordinated in Just a Few Clicks
Challenge: Support an Extended Purchase Cycle
As a B2B company, NFI’s customers take a lot longer to make a buying decision than consumer-centric firms. Hence, it’s incredibly important for them to nurture leads slowly but progressively with social proof such as awards, certifications, historical data showing their experience, and recent news and events detailing their current activities.
Solution: Provide Immediate Access to Detailed Information, Engaging Content, and Social Proof
Among the most influential pieces of content anchoring the homepage is a constantly updating ticker that displays the number of trucks NFI has on the road and the total distance in miles they have traveled. It also displays other company statistics that prove in hard figures just how impressive their resources and experience are like the over 41 million square feet of warehouse space they manage.
To illustrate just how proud they are of their achievements, we embedded a short corporate video titled “The NFI Difference” next to the ticker. It showcases their neatly organized warehouses, gleaming trucks, global logistics capabilities, and digitally empowered, energetic team members. A scalable platform like WordPress makes that vital content equally easy to access and add to.
For those looking for more specific information, we built out specific pages covering every service NFI offers, every industry they work in, and case studies from some of their most notable partnerships. Even those who don’t delve deeper into the site can’t help but notice the logos on the homepage indicating several of their prominent awards and designations, such as official provider of logistics for the Philadelphia 76ers and their status as an Inbound Logistics Top 100 Trucker.
Outcome: Visitors Are Left With No Doubt that NFI Has the Experience and Expertise to Tackle their Problems
Challenge: Track Leads and Conversions Across Multiple Divisions
Having a beautiful and functional B2B website is great for coordinating internal teams and touting your bonafides to a target audience, but without a steady stream of hard data to collect and analyze, you’ll never know how to optimize your approach.
Every business today needs sophisticated lead and conversion management to prevent dropped leads, actively collect visitor information, and more efficiently direct their marketing resources. With 20 divisions, NFI also needs to know exactly why a web browser is visiting them so that it can provide a tailored response via email or other outreach channel.
Solution: Integrate Cloud-based Customer Relationship Management Into All Pages and Forms
For NFI, we selected CRM and marketing automation powered by Salesforce Pardot, which tracks website visitors, integrates into forms, and analyzes the data in one convenient dashboard. It’s the leading cloud-based CRM solution for finding and nurturing leads, optimizing conversions, and maximizing return on marketing investment.
Every division of NFI has contact forms and downloadable materials with Pardot’s lead and conversion tracking features built right in. Unlike B2C sites that typically only request basic contact details, NFI’s forms are customized for numerous applications and collect detailed information that enables rich data collection and fine targeting of responses.