This article was written by one of our partners, We Make Websites, who are specialists in ecommerce website solutions.
Post Black Friday and January sales, how well did your ecommerce website perform? Is it fully connected to every area of your business? Were you able to take full advantage of the seasonal gold rush? More importantly, are your customers happy?
Customers judge the credibility of a brand based on their online experience, and although the prospect of a full website project may seem daunting, an underperforming online store can be damaging for a business. Here are a few key indicators that it is time to invest in a new ecommerce website.
1. Mobile Experience
Mobile commerce is steadily rising year on year, with the online fashion industry seeing the biggest areas of growth. Without a fully functional and easy to use responsive mobile store, your brand may be missing out on this market share.
Modern mobile design is clean, efficient and minimalist. Large, clear, swipeable product images, with a simplified mobile navigation panel, lean towards a smooth and slick shopping experience for mobile customers. Shopify store owners already benefit from a mobile ready storefront, and additions such as Amazon Pay or PayPal make checking out on mobile even easier.
2. Search Performance
To stay ahead of the competition, ecommerce websites need to be in line with current SEO techniques and free of clunky or slow loading features. Features built using outdated development practices can incur penalties, such as causing delays in load times or 404 errors. Along with penalties for slow loading times and difficult to crawl websites, audits need to be conducted regularly to keep up with current Google practices and releases. Keywords or phrases should be updated in line with brand objectives and landing pages optimized for any PPC campaigns.
3. Navigational Nightmares
A well designed and thought out navigation bar is the backbone of an ecommerce site. It should connect all stages of a user's journey, from search to shopping cart.
Poorly thought out customer journeys can impede users, causing them to bounce and potentially shop with competitors. A functional search tool that relates to product categories with relevant and easy to use filter options is now a customer expectation.
For more information and insights from an ecommerce developer’s perspective, check out our article: How navigation bar design can create great customer experiences.
4. Conversion Drop
Tumbling sales and low conversion rates should set off alarm bells for any online business owner. Key metrics to watch include bounce rates, average page time and exit rates, as these are indicators of customer engagement levels. Ongoing conversion optimization coupled with A/B testing is key for ecommerce businesses looking to succeed. Small tweaks, such as optimizing landing pages or calls-to-action, can result in significant growth.
5. Difficult Integrations
To meet growing customer demand, integrations are key to match up an active storefront with a busy warehouse. From website to marketing, customer service to warehouse, the whole business should be in sync, working toward the one goal of customer satisfaction.
Older systems and platforms may have trouble integrating with newer technologies, and without a robust API, brands may not be able to scale at the speed required. At key stages of growth, operational functionality is key to keep new and returning customers happy.
6. Fast Growth
Or simply, the brand has outgrown their current web offering, from both a performance and aesthetic aspect. The online store that helped to reach the first $1 million may not be the best choice for a $10 million target. As a business grows, so does ambition and strategy. What may have covered a local audience may not fare well internationally, or traffic numbers are static whilst marketing efforts and costs are increasing.
If your business is having any of the issues mentioned above, it may be time to look at redesigning or replatforming your online store. We Make Websites have 8 years experience designing and developing ecommerce websites using the Shopify Plus platform. From migrations to integrations to full design and build projects, we have you covered.