When is it time for a new e-commerce website?
Your website is never truly finished. Tweaks and integrations can bring your store in line with the latest conversion rate e-commerce trends. But when is it time to consider an entirely new online store?
If the lights went off in a bricks-and-mortar store, they would be fixed immediately. If a window display fell down it would be a priority to get the mannequins propped back up. If a customer could not gain entry to the store, accessibility to the store would be adjusted until they could.
Crashes, errors, and ease of access are all issues faced by e-commerce stores daily. Selling online needs a strong, vibrant, functional store that is updated regularly and inline with current trends, and most of all, easy to use.
So when should you invest in a new e-commerce store?
Mobile access denied
“50% of global internet users shop on their mobile phone.” Responsive design is now an industry standard, with many brands leading website projects with a mobile first approach. Large, clear, swipeable product images, with a simplified mobile navigation panel, leans towards a smooth and slick shopping experience for mobile customers. How long your mobile website takes to load and how easily your mobile store is to navigate will all affect your conversion rate. Without a functioning mobile store, you are missing out on 50% of the market.
Easy user experiences
Have you put yourself in your customer's shoes and navigated the journey from landing page to checkout on multiple devices? UI is a huge industry, and for good reason. 38% of customers surveyed chose to leave a website that they found the layout unattractive or difficult to use. How people navigate your store has a direct impact on conversions and ultimately your bottom line.
The way customers use websites changes quickly. Market leaders, such as ASOS, may roll out changes that you would like to emulate. Before rolling out big changes to any website, A/B testing is now commonplace. A/B testing in its simplest form is exposing a percentage of your customers to your new store, or changes, and analysing the interaction between buttons, menus and other functional elements. It can provide invaluable data to how you customers use your site and how to optimise your website for conversion.
Your website should undergo A/B testing regularly to tighten up your conversions and test new features to stay ahead in the e-commerce market. Does your current website offer you the capacity to get ahead of your competition?
Lost amongst your competition
Search engine optimisation, the white whale of e-commerce marketers. Along with penalties from Google for slow loading times, and difficult to crawl websites, your website needs to be audited and updated regularly. The first blogs you wrote may not still be relevant and contradicting onsite content, your business focus may have changed or expanded or your competition is simply beating you to the coveted first place.
Your website needs to be in line with current SEO techniques, free of clunky or slow loading features. Content is still the easiest way to earn traffic, do you have a blog or feature channel? Can your website support video? Don’t rely on your social channels to provide SEO via content. The top 3 traffic sources for e-commerce stores are: 43% of e-commerce traffic comes from Google search and 26% comes from AdWords and social account for 1-2% of online sales.
You have no control
After a few years growing your business with your first website, you many have lost contact with your original suppliers, operating an older clunky system or being held to ransom by a design agency to do simple updates. Conversion optimisation initiatives need tweaks and change to be applied and tested as the market shifts and moves. Other integrations are key to success such as customer management systems, loyalty programs and email automation software. Is your website flexible and able to provide you with the tools to increase your online sales? Can you update product pages easily in-house? Are integrations with top e-commerce solution providers easy to do?
Ancient design or antique templates
Design trends come and go, from minimalist to brutalist, all have been popular over the last 3 years. As they are emulated and become commonplace, the trend becomes redundant, is your website guilty of being a design fad? Or have other stores templated your look and they all feel the same?
If you’ve built your business on a pre-built template, it may become unsupported or simply unreliable. When making changes to the code and adding workarounds for new tech, your code may be a Jenga tower waiting to fall. New technology integrations such as chat bots and a move towards a content first approach need to be reflected in the architecture of your online store.
It's not you, it’s me
Or simply, you don’t like your website. In 3 years a brand can change a lot. And as your business has grown, so has your ambition and strategy. What may have covered an UK audience may not fare well internationally or your traffic numbers are steady declining whilst your marketing efforts are increasing.
If you feel your website is holding your business back, it’s time to look at your options. What platform is best to support your growing business? What integrations do you need to continue to operate? Should you consider a rebrand? How can you migrate from my current supplier easily? How can you make your customer journey easier and sell more online?
If you’re ready to ask these questions, we can help you answer them. We Make Websites have 7 years experience helping businesses sell more online. From migrations to integrations to full design and build projects, we have you covered.