The willingness to embrace emerging practices separates winners and losers in B2B commerce. Take user experience (UX) design, for example. Although UX design is a relatively new practice in B2B, leading brands recognize that it\u2019s a staple in B2C and buyers now expect similarly intuitive digital experiences when they shop B2B brands.\nBut bringing UX design into the B2B space isn\u2019t as simple as slapping some visually interesting images on your commerce site or simplifying users\u2019 ability to browse your products. To make emerging practices like UX design work for your brand, you need to understand both the needs of your buyers and how other brands have used the practice to achieve measurable business outcomes.\nThe benefits of UX design for B2B brands\nUX design offers a window into the adoption of emerging practices in B2B commerce. Right out of the gate, it\u2019s important to know that UX involves much more than aesthetics. While user interface (UI) design works to improve the look and feel of the commerce experience, UX design focuses on optimizing the digital experience for specific types of users. By targeting the accessibility, ease of use and quality of user interactions, UX designers play a key role in shaping the commerce experience across digital channels.\nWith that in mind, there are significant differences between the B2C and B2B user experience. For example, while consumers frequently browse products on B2C commerce sites, B2B buyers usually know what they want before they visit your site. So, for B2B brands, a big part of UX design involves making it easy for users to find the products they\u2019re looking for, rather than streamlining browsing capabilities or other features that primarily apply to the B2C user experience.\nBut improving buyers\u2019 ability to locate products isn\u2019t the only benefit B2B brands realize with UX design. From streamlined order processes to the inclusion of high-res product photos that reduce return rates, B2B brands can turn to UX to achieve a range of real-world outcomes. And UX design isn\u2019t simply about what users see \u2013 it\u2019s about anything they interact with, which can include voice and other elements.\nGoing forward, more and more interactions will be powered by non-visual elements. So, as you incorporate UX design and other practices into your commerce strategy, it\u2019s critical to consider any digital interaction users have with your brand.\nBest practices in B2B UX design\nLike other innovations, UX design is a nascent strategy in B2B commerce and brands are still learning how to use it to optimize digital interactions. But even so, it\u2019s critical to incorporate key lessons into the implementation of any new approach \u2013 lessons grounded in buyers\u2019 needs and other brands\u2019 real-world experience with the practice. In UX design, we can glean several best practices from the things we already know about the B2B buying experience as well as the application of UX design in the consumer sector:\n1. Identify various types of users\nUnlike many consumer brands, B2B brands deal with multiple personas and types of buyers. For example, visitors to a parts manufacturer\u2019s commerce site might include sales and service reps as well as store owners mostly interested in reordering standard products.\nThe catch is that each type of user requires its own unique user experience. For B2B brands, the first step toward embracing UX design is to identify the various types of users that require optimized user experiences.\n2. Invest time in UX research\nMost B2B brands have the advantage of long-term relationships with their customers. Those relationships can form the basis for UX research \u2013 an iterative process that continuously optimizes users\u2019 digital interactions.\nBeta testing, focus groups and other research methods play an important role in B2B UX design. But methodology aside, you need to spend time listening to your customers to determine how to improve the user experience for each type of user that visits your commerce site.\n3. Constantly evolve UX to new technologies and needs.\nThe needs of various types of users drive UX design. But users\u2019 needs aren\u2019t static \u2013 they change over time. Consequently, your organization\u2019s UX experts need to constantly evolve user interactions and experiences across channels.\u00a0\nAdditionally, UX design needs to evolve with technology as well as the use of technology in the B2C space. As new technologies (e.g., AI and intelligence) emerge and integrate with the consumer shopping experience, you\u2019ll need to adjust the user experience to accommodate buyers\u2019 expectations.\nFlexibility and successful B2B commerce go hand in hand. As a CIO, it\u2019s a given that your B2B commerce platforms must be capable of adapting to buyers\u2019 needs. But your commerce system must also evolve with and incorporate emerging technologies like UX design. By prioritizing flexibility in commerce, you can lay the groundwork for effective UX design and other practices that align digital interactions with buyers\u2019 expectations.