For building product manufacturers, an architect-friendly website is a must. It sounds obvious, but is your building materials website appealing to these critical clients? Here’s how to know.
Your building materials website should:
- Be easy to navigate.
- Be organized and easy to use.
- Showcase your products, including detailed information and photographs.
- Provide an FAQ page.
- Provide a contact page with several ways to reach key people.
This isn’t a wish list. These requirements are about building relationships and trust.
Relationships (and Websites) Matter
According to one American Institute of Architects (AIA) survey, 88% of architects say building relationships with manufacturers is important to their professional success. This isn’t a surprising number, given that the products they specify directly reflect upon their professional reputation.
When an architect specifies a brand, manufacturer or product, they’re giving it their stamp of approval. Make sure your website is worthy of it.
“Separate studies done by AIA and Concora both heard from respondents saying many manufacturers overestimate how satisfied architects are with their online offering,” explains Kurt Hoechstetter, technical sales director at Concora. “Often times, if architects can’t find what they’re looking for in three or four clicks, they’re likely to look somewhere else.”
Make Sure Your Building Materials Website Captures Architects’ Attention
The best way to capture an architect’s attention is by solving a problem. Look at your products and your building materials website through their eyes.
“I think sometimes it can be easy for manufacturers to forget that their product is only one of several thousand that go into a commercial project, and the people they’re trying to influence are often really on a mission to solve a particular design challenge,” Hoechstetter says. “They want to be able to easily find what they need to know in that moment, document it, and then move on to the next challenge. The easier the manufacturer makes that process the better.”
Make Architects’ Jobs Easier
You’re the ultimate authority on your products, and your website should reflect it. Your site must showcase quality products, offer reliable information and be easy to navigate.
Consider a product page, for example. “In order to stimulate the imagination of an architect or a designer … a manufacturer [can] use shots of products in the wild,” Hoechstetter says. “The story you tell should really put a product in context, because that’s what’s going to trigger the architect to understand more fully how the product can be used.”
Answer common questions on an FAQ page, and don’t forget: There’s no replacement for good old-fashioned customer service. Make sure your contact page information is up-to-date and someone knowledgeable is available to answer client questions promptly. This will help solve the immediate problem and help build trust for the long haul.
Final Thoughts: A Good Website is an Architect-friendly Website
Your building materials website can be architect-friendly by providing everything they need. When architects specify, they’re vouching for your brand’s reliability and quality. Therefore, it’s your job to ensure they are fully armed with information.
The best way to do that is to provide a comprehensive website that’s chock full of valuable information and easy to use. If you meet these needs, you’ll create happier architects and earn more specifications in the future.