What Do Designers Need Most from Your Website?
Mpowered Podcast, Episode 09 Show Notes
Welcome to Mpowered, the podcast brought to you by Material Bank and created by ThinkLab.
In this bite-sized episode, we tackle the question, “What designers need from a website?” Host Erica Waayenberg, head of research and content at ThinkLab, answers with what designers want –including straightforward and self-serving elements, inspiration and visualization tools, and information transparency.
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If you have a question or topic you’d like us to tackle on air, we’d love to hear from you. Simply direct-message Material Bank on Instagram with your success story or question through the messaging function.
Welcome to Mpowered, the podcast brought to you by Material Bank and created by ThinkLab. Consider this your new weekly dose of bite-sized, actionable insights to help you succeed as a B2B rep. I’m this week’s host, Erica Waayenberg, head of research and content at ThinkLab.
We’ll be answering one key question each week, many of them submitted by you. Want to join in? We’ll share details about how to submit your question at the end of this episode.
Our question this week: What do designers need from your website?
Market Research on Interior Design Product Discovery
ThinkLab data shows that 95 percent of designers start their product discovery search online.
As B2B buyers get increasingly used to self-serving and to seemingly unlimited access to information in their lives as consumers, they expect more from the B2B world digitally.
But don’t worry. This self-serve information seeking doesn’t diminish the value of the rep. We know that a great rep often makes the difference between preference and distaste for a brand. However, your digital presence on your website and other platforms will likely make a difference on where designers and architects start.
So, here’s some advice on how to make your site perform. What designers are looking for on your website is fairly straightforward. They want to self-serve inspiration and information that allow for specification decisions to be made quickly and easily.
Let’s take a moment to examine each of these elements with a bit more context.
Inspiration. When a designer or architect is coming to your website looking to be inspired, imagery and visualization tools are what they need most. What can you do? Build a robust and searchable gallery of high-res images they can pull for their boards. Bring attention-grabbing imagery that expands their view of application possibilities to the forefront with fresh hero images on your homepage.
And while you’ve got their attention, make the product detail pages work harder. Providing product visualizers where they can select their finishes —or view a material in the context of a space, or on a product, to understand the scale and repeat —and then be able to download the cut sheet with those selections documented and visualized is a huge help.
Information. Now that we have the inspiration portion of the equation covered, let’s dive into what type of information they are seeking. Deciding what product is best fit for a client requires a lot of fact finding to make the most informed decision possible. Architects and designers are considering aesthetics, performance, and functionality, in addition to considerations for project budget, timeline, and sustainability objectives. It should come as no surprise, then, that architectsand designers crave information transparency.
- detailed dimensions
- lead times
- the ability to customize or not, and more.
They want straightforward answers that are easy to find, and their hope is to find them in a consistent manner across your site.
Think of product information in the same way you think of nutrition facts. The beauty of nutrition facts is its simple, consistent, and transparent format. You know right where to look to find any specific bit of information you’re seeking, and it helps you to make an informed decision. If every product detail page included all of the information in a downloadable asset, that supports a designer’s decision-making process. You are streamlining their process and creating fans of your brand.
So don’t be discouraged if architects and designers are not reaching out to you at the first sign of a new project. In fact, if you’ve set up your website to be robust as a resource for them, you may not hear from them until they’re a bit further down the road. But when you do, you’ll have a much more viable opportunity in hand, because you have enabled them to have already gone through the vetting process and conceptual reviews with their clients on their own terms.
I’d like to take a moment to thank you for listening and invite you to listen in each week for more tips and tidbits to empower you as a rep. If you have a question or topic you’d like for us to tackle on air, we’d love to hear from you. Simply direct-message Material Bank on Instagram or LinkedIn. Drop us a note with your success story or question by clicking on the message button.
Special thanks to Material Bank for partnering with us to provide bite-size, valuable insights for B2B reps in the interior design industry.