BEST PRACTICES FOR A SUCCESSFUL ECOMMERCE REDESIGN
Building an eCommerce business is not a one-and-done deal. No matter how good your website is when you start off, it will eventually outgrow your business needs and goals, and that is where ‘Redesign’ enters.
Why Redesign Your Site in the First Place?
As soon as the thought of a complete website overhaul crosses your mind, your first action should be determining the real need for that redesign. The reason for an eCommerce redesign should be better than ‘it just felt like you need to’.
To determine a good reason, you need to spend time analysing your website and data. Since your website has been up for a few years now, you will have some invaluable information about how your website is performing, how your visitors interact with your site, what your prospects do after landing on the site, and more. Reviewing your website and looking through your data analytics will give you actionable insights, such as best performing page, worst performing page, SERP ranking, pages per visit, returning customers, clicks from social media networks, and more. Depending on those insights, you can decide which areas can do better with minor modifications, which pages may need to be reconstructed completely and what parts need no modification at all.
Analyse Customer Behaviour
A successful redesign comes from acting upon the behaviours, needs and wants of your visitors – aka potential customers. Before you feel tempted to wonder how your website would look after the planned overhaul, you need to determine what your prospects expect it to be like. Initially, you might not have much data to be able to understand how your prospects behave on your site, what they exactly want or what is keeping them from taking the required action. During the redesign phase, however, you will gain access to copious amounts of data through your Google Analytics –- specifically different types of reports like Checkout Behaviour, Site Search, Exit Pages. These reports will help you better understand your prospects and their behaviours. With detailed data analytics in hand, you can fully understand the pain points and barriers that your visitors come across while exploring your eCommerce site.
This will further help you make informed decisions about what needs to be improved in your website in order for it to perform better and deliver a frictionless experience.
Optimise Above-the-Fold Content
Anything and everything that goes above the fold is IMPORTANT. If you fail to take the time to optimise content across this area, you will likely lose your potential customers or confuse visitors, and might even see a drop in your search engine rankings.
The moment a visitor lands on your eCommerce website, whatever appears at the top of the page will affect whether they want to stay on your site and take the required action or leave to land on your competitor’s website. If you properly optimise your above-the-fold content with the right visuals and textual elements, you can create an enjoyable experience for the visitor which will encourage them to scroll the page to read more content, and even become a subscriber or customer.
Start by making crystal clear – what exactly you are offering, right at the top. In addition, provide a clear value proposition to explain what makes your company stand apart and why your visitors should care to buy from you. A simple, intuitive navigation, a well-placed CTA, quality images and benefits of choosing your business are some other elements that would go a long way to hook your potential customers and get them to take the required action.
Test As Often As Possible
This is one of the most important but also most overlooked steps in a redesign process. Before you start testing, you must make sure all the redesign work on you site is complete and there is nothing you want to change or fix as of now. Once your redesigned website is in an exact form that your new visitors would experience it, you can start with testing, examining each and every aspect of the site- from content to navigation, code and SEO. You can have some co-workers to use the website and provide feedback.
Besides, remember that testing is an ongoing process. Every time you make a change or add a new functionality to your site, you must put it through full-scale testing to see if it works the way you want.
How often should you redesign your eCommerce site?
This is an important question because you cannot just redesign your website every time there is a decline in online sales or there is a new design trend that many of your competitors are adopting. Redesigning your website altogether too frequently, when you could have managed with a few changes in your copy or improvements in the layout, can negatively impact not only the user experience, but also your SEO ranking. On the other hand, go years or decades without giving your website an overhaul, people might assume that you are out of business or don’t value your web presence – looking for other companies to do business with.
So, how often should your website get full-scale redesigns?
It is generally recommended that you get your whole website redesigned every 3-5 years. But before you jump ahead with a redesign, you need to make sure there are no gut feelings and HIPPOS (highest paid person’s opinions) involved. Go through all necessary metrics like conversions, bounce rate, average session duration, interaction per visit, number of new visitors, etc., and assess how your website is performing. If the majority of these metrics are underperforming, despite you best efforts, it might be time for a redesign.
We hope the abovementioned pointers give you a place to start with your redesign process instead of just hammering on random areas that might not even need attention. By now, you must also be able to make out that whatever you redesign goals, it is imperative to put yourself in your average visitor’s shoes, so you can come up with a customer-centric approach and not just a redesign idea that looks great to you, your design team, your friends or a few other people you know.
At Web Circle, we make website redesign an easy and cost-effective process for eCommerce business owners with our time-tested Magento web design services. We have a certified and experienced Magento web development team that works closely with our clients to identify challenges facing their eCommerce website and build a well thought-out approach to overhaul their website for better performance and shopping experience.