6 B2B Website Design Trends for 2021 [+ UI Design Examples]
We reveal our predictions on what the biggest B2B website design trends will be for 2021.
Published: 20 Nov 2020
7 minutes read
Obviously, we know that it’s not quite 2021 yet, but we’re ready to write this year off and start looking forward to what the new one may bring. The team at Axon Garside have sat down, butted heads and compiled a list of what we predict will be the top B2B website design trends for 2021.
We've come up with 6 - check them out below.
Interested in seeing how many B2B website design trends we got correct this year? Check out last year's predictions.
1. Dark mode
It’s hard to see past the broader adoption of dark mode/night mode. The setting is already standard on most phone operating systems and across a wide range of social media apps.
The main benefit of a dark mode is reduced strain on your eyes. Pretty important as we spend an increasing amount of time looking at screens daily. Some argue that dark mode makes websites look sleek and ultra-modern.
But we can’t help but feel if done poorly, sites built with this trend in mind are likely to age like milk. Designers of these sites will have to take a whole range of usability factors into consideration: mostly around scannability, contrast and readability.
Dark UIs tend to work well as long as they're executed successfully within the right context - entertainment-related UIs such as games, streaming services and smart TV apps, for example.
But dark mode is expanding beyond these areas. We're currently seeing an increase in B2B website designs adopting darker colour palettes or a toggle button to dark mode (which we feel could work better in the context). There are already some businesses giving it a damn-good crack like Ronin Amsterdam below.
2. Virtual Interaction
Now, we're super excited about this one.
Another B2B website design trend we expect to see in 2021 is the shrinking of the barrier between the visitor and the website. If 2020 taught us anything, it’s how to innovate with digital and remote communications.
Overnight, in-person events turned to webinars. Meetings turned to Zoom calls. Call centres emptied and chatbots reigned supreme.
But this innovation reached its peak with HubSpot's completely virtual INBOUND conference earlier this year (see below). Simply brilliant.
(Hubspot's Digital Inbound 2020 Event)
We don’t expect every event to be as detailed and comprehensive as HubSpot’s Inbound 2020, and (touch wood) physical events will return. But until then, HubSpot's digital conference could be leading the way in more interactive, intuitive B2B web design.
We predict that we’ll keep much of the digital skills we've learned this year and find ways to integrate it even further into our website. Webinars launching directly from homepages.
One of our clients - British Red Cross - has already been getting great success from chatbots. Traditionally used extensively across B2C websites, B2B websites will continue to increasingly adopt chatbots and provide automated, virtual interactions to deliver more leads & engagements with fewer resources.
The possibilities are endless. We're excited!
3. User-Generated Content
One of the biggest aims of a successful B2B website is to build trust in your business and help you substantiate claims that you are, in fact, the best in the business.
Because of this, the adoption of more user-generated content is a B2B website design trend which we can almost guarantee for 2021.
There’s no stronger way to build trust in your business and legitimise your claims of excellency than letting your customers do the talking.
Better integration of user-generated reviews and testimonials, more creative use of client stories in your blogs, and increased partnerships on virtual events will be the new normal in 2021.
Minimalism ebbs and flows in and out of these B2B website design trends on a yearly basis but we expect 2021 to see a return of (or rise in) a minimalist/flat design style.
Minimalist UI designs typically focus on removing anything that could potentially be distracting, or that doesn't meet users needs, or goals. Websites designed in this way usually feature more negative space, large images, contrasting colour and bold typography - see the example below.
At Axon Garside, we're passionate about creating websites that work for users - helping them reach their goals as quickly as possible. With loading times still such an important factor in Google’s rankings and B2B buyer’s patience, there are real, demonstrable benefits to going minimalist with your design.
5. Rise of the Mobile-friendly SVG
Google has long been focusing on a mobile-first approach. They’ve been using mobile-first indexing to rank websites since 2018, so this is nothing new… or at least it shouldn’t be. But, at the same time, B2B websites have become more focused on rich content, video and multimedia.
This has caused a disconnect.
Traditional media formats (.jpeg/.png/.gif) are known to be awkward on mobile devices - requiring large file sizes and long loading times.
SVGs or Scalable Vector Graphics are capable of scaling up or down according to your needs with no loss of quality. The rise of SVGs should help provide a more consistent experience for mobile users whilst also improving your Google ranking.
If you think this doesn’t impact B2B websites then it’s worth remembering that:
- 80% of B2B buyers use a mobile at work
- More than 60% of B2B buyers reported that mobile played a significant role in the purchase of a service or product.
We highlighted this point last year but we think it still rings true for 2021. Frankly, until each visitor gets an almost unique experience when they launch your website, personalisation is going to improve year on year.
CMS platforms like HubSpot already allow quick and easy deployment of smart content which tailors sections of your website to the audience viewing it.
AI is expected to play a big role in how increased web personalisation evolves in the B2B space. The most notable being the “Amazon” experience (which reportedly generates an additional 10% to 30% in revenue for the eCommerce giant), where your viewing history informs your viewing present, is available to all businesses and rapidly becoming an expected part of the B2B buying experience. See below.
Example of "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought" feature (amazon.co.uk)
What we can learn from these 6 predicted B2B website design trends is that now more than ever, innovation is key. And so is optimising your site, with what you already have.
Luckily, we wrote a guide on how to do exactly that. Check it out below.