7 things to consider for your eCommerce site redesign

Stepping it up

Why worry about eCommerce site redesign? After all, your online store is live. You’re in business — have been for some time — but things could be better…

Your website could be pulling more traffic, and have better engagement and higher sales. In other words, not enough people are visiting — and those who do aren’t converting at a very impressive rate.

You know this can’t go on forever. You know something has to change.

The good news: It’s probably not your product.

 

More likely than not, your website could use an upgrade, an overhaul, a redesign.

Related: Why updating your website matters for sales

7 things to consider before an eCommerce site redesign

Want to make a great website? This article will break down the seven things every business owner should consider before executing an eCommerce site redesign.

  1. Target audience.

  2. Ecommerce type.

  3. Call-to-action.

  4. Technical SEO.

  5. On-page SEO and content.

  6. Software tools.

  7. In-house redesign vs. outsourcing.

Let’s go.

1. Target audience

Who is your target audience? Most likely, you’re selling to someone, not everyone.

That someone is part of a group of people with a distinct problem or goal or worldview.

That someone is your target audience — a concept that’ll inform most everything about your brand and, by extension, your website.

To better understand and isolate your target audience, ask yourself:

  • Who are my competitors targeting?
  • What common characteristics do my customers share?
  • What is the age, location, gender, income and education of the person most likely to buy my product?

When analyzing your target audience, these product-centric questions are a good start for your eCommerce site redesign.

Related: A beginner’s guide to targeting users and developing a customer profile

2. Ecommerce type

What kind of business are you running? Broadly speaking, there are three types of eCommerce websites: Omnichannel, multichannel and the online store.

Omnichannel creates a seamless customer experience across all channels by taking digital interactions (social media and eCommerce purchases, for example) and integrating them with interpersonal interactions (e.g., in-store staff, sales managers, customer success managers).

Multichannel works to have as many touch points as possible (e.g., a small arts and crafts company that maintains an Etsy shop, running social media promotions and participating in art fairs). The goal here is to put your message and product in front of as many people as possible.

An online store is solely an internet presence.

Where does your business fall? More importantly, what type of online marketplace do you want to be moving forward?

eCommerce Website Redesign Store

3. Call-to-action

What do you want visitors to do? Whether you’re selling in-person or online, if you want the sale, you must factor that into your eCommerce site redesign.

Compelling calls-to-action, or CTAs, will increase your website’s conversion rate, turning visitors into customers.

Whenever you want the audience to take an action, you need to present a clear, concise, relevant CTA that stands out.

As a general rule, your CTA copy should be short and urgent:

  • Buy Now
  • Shop Now
  • Check Out Now

You should also continuously split test the language, colors and placements of your CTAs. This is part of the optimization process. The more you test, the higher your conversion rate will be.

Related: 8 costly call-to-action mistakes you’re making on your website

4. Technical SEO

Is your back-end healthy? The “back-end health” of your website will determine many factors, including how Google and other search engines index your content.

It’ll also affect the overall speed of your website (i.e., how quickly each page loads). This is important because online — as opposed to in-store — shoppers are typically more impatient and fickle, especially on mobile. In fact, studies show that 53 percent of people will leave a mobile page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.

Related: Are slow website load times costing you money and pageviews?

5. On-page SEO/Content

Is your front-end healthy?

The “front-end health” of your website will also determine how search engines interact with your content (e.g., blog articles, reviews and testimonials, product descriptions), which will impact your ranking on SERPs or search engine result pages.

As you think through your eCommerce site redesign, consider repurposing your old content with updated information and keywords.

Also, work to eliminate any duplicate content while interlinking your pages. The former can hurt your SEO while the latter will make your website stickier and more addictive to visitors.

Related: Beginner’s SEO guide: Search enging optimization for small business websites

6. Software tools

eCommerce Website Redesign Tools

Your eCommerce site uses many tools, which likely include a shopping cart, a CMS, a live-chat function, a video hosting platform and various other plugins that help nurture and sell your visitors.

An eCommerce site redesign means thinking about the value each tool delivers.

 

Technology, after all, moves fast. If you get comfortable and stagnate, you’ll undoubtedly miss conversion opportunities. Think forward. Do your research. Keep changing.

Related: What the mobile technology explosion means for small business websites [infographic]

7. In-house redesign vs. outsourcing

Thinking about your eCommerce site redesign is one thing. Executing your plan is something else entirely — and it can feel daunting if you’re unsure about how to start. Basically, you have four primary options when it comes to carrying out your plan.

Boxed solution

This is the fastest, cheapest option, which will have you creating your own pages from basic templates offered in the software. While a boxed solution makes it easy to drop in content, it also limits the look and feel of your website, not to mention its performance.

Related: Ecommerce website design tips for do-it-yourselfers

Custom, outsourced solution

This is, by far, the most expensive option. A custom, outsourced solution gives you complete control over your website’s performance and aesthetic, which is important for brands that want to differentiate themselves in the market. Getting started means hiring an agency and providing that team with a brief that outlines your goals and requirements.

Branded software

This is a fairly economical option that’ll still give you a lot of control. It falls somewhere between a “boxed solution” and a “custom, outsourced solution.”

Use an in-house team

This is an internal redesign. It leverages your in-house employees and resources to carry out the project. Many companies with in-house talent take this route because it gives them control and transparency throughout the process.

Whether your eCommerce site redesign is done in-house or through a third-party, always have a timeline, complete with deadlines and deliverables. This will keep the project from ballooning into something unmanageable.

Editor’s note: Looking for an affordable, professional do-it-for-me eCommerce design option? GoDaddy Website Design can do the redesign for you, so you can focus on sales.

Ecommerce site redesign is a big step

It takes planning, research and discipline — and now you know where to start. Consider each step as you redesign your eCommerce site to ensure your customers can find you and easily use your online store.

Image by: solarisgirl on Visual Hunt