Friday, January 18, 2008

Web site review: Classy b2b site works as well as it looks (shock horror!)

In every issue of the Internet Marketing Report print edition, we review a Web site.
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An elegant design that caters to buyers’ needs

B2b site Ledalite is a bright light proving business sites can work as beautifully as they look.

Ledalite, a manufacturer selling light fittings to contractors, architects, etc., has a bright and airy site that puts paid to the criticism that b2b sites can’t look classy and sell.

Quick search and ship

Here are some techniques any company could adapt by being:

• Responsive. Today’s buyers sometimes need stuff immediately. So Ledalite’s QuickShip option makes it easy to find products that are available faster than others. Buyers can search for products and then use the QuickShip option as a filter. Or, if a contractor doesn’t even want to look at products that won’t be available soon, he can limit his search to the QuickShip items.

• Understanding buyers’ needs. It makes it easy for buyers to build in Ledalite’s specifications by providing a project documentation generator with each item. This configures the product, gets spec sheets and makes a spec package in PDF.

• Providing lots of choice. Buyers can search by technology, price, category, lamp type, even by the way the light is cast. If they want to start by searching for a certain look, no problem. Click on a photo in the Image Gallery to see the product in various settings.

Web site review: what needs work
Awesome design but weak customer funnel

Is this beautiful Web site missing a chance to convert more prospects?

Somehow the voice of the customer seems to be eerily missing from this site.
It’s like going into a beautiful building when no one is home.
Even the images of people on its site are in half light.

Ledalite seems to be missing an opportunity to form a deeper connection with its customers by focusing on the products instead of what customers are doing with them.
Get customers engaged

It provides case studies talking about customer successes but it’s hard to hear or see real people anywhere on the site.

Our suggestions:

• Add product reviews or feedback from buyers to bring this site to life and make a connection with visitors.

• Introduce some type of user forum. Surely, this is the kind of site that buyers go back to again and again looking for tips, advice and industry news.

• Bring the blog back from the dead. The blog’s few entries are old and the links don’t work, yet there seems to be plenty of interesting news these days (take the recent ban on old-style bulbs in the UK) that would keep the debate lively.


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