The B2B Ecommerce Web Design ‘Template’ for 2013

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designer drawing website development wireframeA simple Google search for ‘2013 ecommerce web design trends’ reveals only the standard stuff we all probably already know – responsive web design, focus on search, minimalist web design, infinite/long scroll pages, etc. Of those few posts that do review and provide links to specific websites in order to corroborate their findings, most of them are heavily B2C focused. For this reason I’ve chosen to direct my attention to B2B ecommerce websites. Occasionally you’ll see a site that does both or that does B2C, but most of the sites listed below are B2B ecommerce companies.

There’s a definite ‘structure’ that most B2B sites take and the typical features we found, even on the most up-to-date sites include:

  • Prominent right-hand side search at the top of the screen
  • Sliders/slideshows
  • Mega menus
  • Picture-driven navigation
  • Social media integration and social feeds
  • Language/country selectors
  • Icons and custom graphics
  • ‘Sticky navigation bars’ (more common on B2C sites)
  • Live chat/customer support/request a call back
  • Back to the top button (for long-scroll pages)
  • Large imagery and wide design
  • Wishlists

That’s by no means a definitive list or the only type of B2B website out there, but it is the basic shape that most companies/design agencies choose to use (with the more common features being nearer the top of the list). One point: originality/creativity don’t appear to be high on the list…I’m not saying this is right, it’s just an observation. Of course, only the bravest ever dare to do something different.

Even with all the research and with my focus on targeting big companies that SHOULD have up-to-date designs, it still amazes me that so many of them have websites that look as though they’re from the 1990s. Honestly, your website is your business brochure. Online is the main way people do their research nowadays. Why do you want to be stuck with a design from LAST CENTURY? After all, if your site looks outdated, so does your business.

Below you will find a selection of websites that illustrate common trends and ecommerce web design features popular this year. – Jewson has a prominent slider/slideshow, prominent search, wishlist/list functionality, a mega menu, prominent social icons and a heavy focus on images and web design based on corporate branding and colour scheme.

Jewson – As with Jewsons, Liverpool Victoria have designed their site and included imagery in line with their corporate color scheme. They’ve got a picture-based category search below the quote request section, a link in the bottom corner of their screen for website feedback and a mega menu.

LV – Another common feature of very large, international sites is the landing page that allows users to FIRST select the country or region they are from, before they get directed to the appropriate website. They’ve also got a prominent far-right search, a slideshow, a feature that allows the user to choose their country and a section where people can read or write reviews about the company.


NetNames – This company has custom iconography, a callback request button, a wide slideshow, full width page design, a country selection feature, search facility, a mega menu, integrated social and a client slider.

NetNames – Nespresso’s website is bold, has a prominent slideshow/big background image, picture-driven navigation, a country selector, a quick order section, and a store locator.

Nespresso – Xuber has a country selector, integrated social, prominent search (though this time it’s in the middle!), a login area, a slideshow, YouTube integration, a news feed, a blog feed AND a twitter feed! These guys really know how to drive people to their social accounts. I just wonder how effective their social media marketing is?

Xuber – huge side-screen slideshow, minimalist design, landing page with country selection option, picture-driven menu, dealer locator, search, news integration, a newsletter sign up, social links (Facebook, Twitter and YouTube integration).


Micro – prominent slideshow, news feed, event feed, clients showcased, Call-to-actions on the slideshow, location/language selector and a prominent right hand side search.


Lafarge Tarmac – – minimalist design, slideshow, prominent search and an overall picture-focused design.


Merck Animal Health – – Merck has a picture oriented slideshow, a news feed, video on the homepage and a prominent search feature. There’s not much to distract from the main menu or from their core message and the very minimalist design seems to be working for them.

Merck – Once you get past the landing page – a very clever page that directs you to either the site for consumers, the enterprise version of the website, the small business version or the partners version). Once you get to the site, they’ve got picture-driven navigation choose your country, landing page to direct customers to appropriate part of site (consumers, enterprise, small business and partners), picture navigation and most of the features that appear on other B2B websites.

McAfee – store finder link, mega navigation, icons/custom graphics and a great color scheme with touches that highlight the calls to action on the page. Yes, this isn’t an ecommerce web design post, but this is a great example of a site that’s using colours to direct the user’s eye. That and text size/formatting.

EE – A bold slider, a prominent search feature, a twitter feed and a blog feed.


Fujitsu – picture-driven navigation/slider, country selection feature, custom icons and graphics, feed of news, mega menu with pictures and the classical right-aligned search function.


John – picture navigation/slider with picture navigation, dealer locator, country selection feature, feed of news and a prominent search.


IBM – A slider with pictorial navigation, a twitter feed, a news feed, a country selector, prominent-right-hand search and just about everything every other B2B side does!


Carbon Trust – And last but not least…Carbon Trust. This is a good time to remind anyone that doesn’t have a Cookies notice to get one. It’s a pain, we know, but it’s not really worth the risk. Carbon Trust has a great text resizer feature, prominent search, well-integrated social, a slideshow with big and bold statements, a simple, minimalist site/design, a twitter feed and a news feed.