An ecommerce website redesign project can be an expensive, sometimes complicated, and time-consuming process. Whether you’re just making basic changes to your site’s aesthetic, or adding new functionality to your store, there’s a lot to consider, from site trends to customer preferences.
However, as daunting as redesigning your store might be at first, it can also pay huge dividends in the right circumstances. After all, an attractive, easy-to-use, and intuitive store can drive a lot more sales, revenue, and customer loyalty than an outdated site. 38% of customers even say they’ll stop engaging with a site entirely if the contents or layout is unattractive.
The key to success with a website redesign project is making sure you plan effectively. Today, we’re going to cover everything you need to know to ensure your web redesign strategy pays off.
The Benefits of Investing in Ecommerce Site Redesign
First, it’s worth establishing why redesigning your website can sometimes be a good idea.
Redesigning your store, or creating a new website from scratch is a time-consuming process. You need to research your market, find the right professionals to work with, test your store upgrades, and even find the right budget for your project. However, the benefits of a redesign can often far outweigh the disadvantages. Provided you’re redesigning your site for a good reason (we’ll cover this in a minute), updating your store can help with:
- Increasing customer loyalty: A well-designed store doesn’t just make your site more attractive to new customers, it can also improve your chances of retaining existing clients too. If your site is difficult to use, unattractive, or missing crucial features, 88% of customers say they would likely avoid coming back to it. Investing in a website redesign could therefore help you to reduce customer churn, and increase brand loyalty.
- Strengthening your brand: Your website is an important part of your brand identity. It has a direct impact on everything from your image, to how you share your personality with customers, and even how you differentiate yourself from your competitors. With a website redesign, you can make sure the core values and benefits of your brand stand out for your target audience. Plus, you can ensure your brand is consistent across all channels.
- Improving SEO: Redesigning your site can also give you an opportunity to implement new methods of improving your SERP rankings. You can experiment with technical and on-site SEO methods to make sure your site ranks for all the right keywords. Simply improving the user experience of your site also helps to ensure customers stay on your site for longer, reducing bounce rate, and improving your authority in the eyes of Google.
- Boosting sales and conversions: Updating your website is a fantastic way to improve your chances of increased sales and conversions. An attractive site makes your brand appear more trustworthy, so customers will be more likely to buy from you. Plus, if you focus on enhancing the user experience on your site, you’ll make it easier for customers to purchase your products and interact with your company.
5 Signs It’s Time for an Ecommerce Website Redesign
Clearly, investing in an ecommerce website redesign can deliver a lot of benefits. But, as we mentioned above, it’s important to get the timing right. Since redesigning a site costs time and money, you shouldn’t be doing it on a monthly basis, or you’ll end up draining your cashflow.
Additionally changing your site too frequently can lead to a more confusing experience for your audience. Customers don’t want to re-learn how to navigate your store every time they visit it.
So, how often should you redesign your store? The answer to that question depends on a number of factors, from your chosen industry, to how quickly your ecommerce platform features update, and even the feedback you get from your customers.
Here are a few clear signs that indicate a website redesign might be a good idea:
Your Bounce Rate is Rising
The term “bounce rate” refers to how frequently customers click onto your website and hit the back button quickly, without doing anything else. A high bounce rate can be caused by numerous factors, from poor SEO strategies, to slow-loading pages. However, it can also often be a sign that you need to redesign your website. If your bounce rate is higher than 70%, it’s worth examining whether people are abandoning your site because of slow loading times, poor user experience, or overall bad design.
You’re Missing Crucial Functionality
Does your current ecommerce store live up to your customer’s expectations? A website redesign could be an excellent way to add extra functionality to your site, from targeted landing pages to increase sales, to a blog or news section for SEO. It’s also an opportunity to make sure your site is working well across all platforms and devices. If your site fails to load quickly on mobile devices, or it makes it harder for customers to place orders on the move, you could miss out on sales.
Sales and Profits are Falling
Speaking of missing out on sales, if your profit margins are consistently dropping, this could be yet another sign that it’s time for a website refresh. Your website needs to look great and perform well to convince customers to convert. If customers can’t find your CTAs (Call to action buttons), track down the right products in your catalogue, or use your checkout without stress, your revenue will suffer. A website redesign could be a good way to ensure your site is generating the best possible ROI.
Customers are Complaining
Today’s customers are pretty vocal when they don’t like something about an online experience. If you allow your customers to leave comments on your store, or you listen to the things they’re saying about you on social media, you might notice regular references to a poor website experience. If your customers are constantly complaining about the performance or appearance of your site, it could be time to seek out a UX design or UI design expert.
Your Brand or Business is Evolving
Finally, sometimes it makes sense to invest in a website redesign if you need to update your business or brand. If your business evolves, you may need to consider adding new features to your website. You can use your redesign to update your shopping cart with new payment methods, offer customers subscriptions and membership accounts, or add new apps and widgets to your store. You can also use your redesign to ensure your branding is consistent across all channels. Your colors, fonts, logos, and all other brand assets should be consistent across every touchpoint you have with customers.
How to Redesign Your Ecommerce Site: 4 Steps
Now you know why and when you should consider redesigning your ecommerce store, it’s time to figure out a plan for success. It’s worth noting that the exact process you follow when updating your ecommerce website design will depend on numerous factors, from your overall goals to the in-house professionals you have in your team.
Here are a few of the key steps involved in updating your online store.
Step 1: Audit your Site and Set Goals
Before you start making significant changes to your store, it’s worth deciding what you absolutely need to change. It’s best to start by pinpointing real problems with usability and performance first. Explore your website from the perspective of a customer, and ask yourself which issues might prevent you from making a purchase.
Highlight anything that doesn’t work particularly smoothly, from the checkout process, to your CTA buttons, and even the images in your product page designs. Once you’ve found the key problems with your site, set goals for what you want to achieve during your redesign.
Do you want to simply create a more user-friendly experience for your customers, or do you want to give your ecommerce business a boost by enhancing site appearance and search engine optimization at the same time? Setting goals will help you to determine what kind of help you’ll need.
Step 2: Figure out Your Budget
Next, it’s worth noting an ecommerce store redesign is always going to require some investment, but it doesn’t have to cost the earth. Your budget will depend on how much of your store you need to change, and how many experts you’ll need to hire to help you.
If you’re using a simple store builder, like Shopify or WordPress, you might be able to make tweaks to your template yourself, or even purchase a new one without spending a fortune. Alternatively, if your ecommerce website design is a little more complex, and requires some coding expertise, you may need to hire website development experts to work with you.
Other points to consider when building your budget include:
- The cost of any plugins or add-ons you’ll use in your ecommerce re-design
- Costs for wireframes, themes, templates, and other tools
- The cost of managing downtime if your store needs to go offline.
Step 3: Find the Right Support
If you’re using a relatively simple website builder, or you have a team of web design experts available in house, you might be able to make changes to your store without accessing any outside help. If not, you’ll need to think about hiring specialists to ensure your web redesign is successful.
You can consider hiring an agency, or working with freelancers from sites like Fiverr or Upwork. Think about whether you need a web design specialist, a web developer, or a combination of the two. A web design expert will work on the appearance and usability of your site, while a developer will manage backend functionality.
While you’re hiring experts to work on your store, you might also want to consider looking for some bonus help with search engine optimization, or graphic design. These professionals can assist with making sure your marketing strategies pay off.
Step 4: Implement Changes Strategically
After finding the experts you need to build a high-quality new store, start implementing changes slowly, and carefully. It’s often best to make alterations one at a time, so you can make sure the steps of your ecommerce redesign process don’t break other parts of your site.
Make sure you have backups of your site available at each stage too, so you can roll your store back to a previous version if something does go wrong. Once you’ve finished making all of your changes, and you take your site live again, pay close attention to any metrics that might help you to determine whether your strategy was successful or not.
Look at how many new customers now access your site using smartphones if you were focused on responsive design. Track SEO performance using Google Analytics if you want to boost your site’s visibility, and always keep an eye on your conversion rate.
Make the Most of your Store Redesign
Effectively updating your store’s design can take significant time and effort, but it can also be a crucial part of making sure your small business continues to thrive in the digital world. The better your website looks and feels, the more potential customers you’re likely to capture.
Remember, the chances are you’ll need to make alterations to your site again in the future. Continue to watch your metrics, pay attention to testimonials, and monitor the trends of the market, so you know when it’s time for another update.
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