The fact that technology never stops evolving is a double-edged sword. Innovations have allowed ecommerce merchants to sell to consumers via mobile devices, personalize product recommendations, and accept a flexible variety of payment gateways—all of which help strengthen bottom lines.
The flip side of this is the effort required to keep up with the latest advances. Just when you feel you’ve implemented a new tool or tweaked your website for the better, a new trend emerges.
As a result, the answer to the question “Is it time to revamp my ecommerce store?” is almost always yes. There’s always something you can do to improve your methods of doing business.
User Experience Is Key
First, consider your user experience (UX). When people visit your website, can they find what they need without hassle? Are you facilitating smooth forward and backward navigation? Are there any changes you can make to your layout or menu options to help speed up the customer’s journey?
Conduct an audit on your own website, paying close attention to navigation and design. Analyze visitor behavioral data to see where people are dropping out of your sales funnel—then turn to your website to see why that might be. Any hiccups or hurdles customers are experiencing may be enough to cause them to abandon their efforts, so this is a chance to eliminate friction and improve the overall UX.
While the simplest ecommerce definition is “conducting transactions online”, merchants must be aware of all of the processes that must occur before customers are ready to click “Confirm Purchase.” Only then do they take advantage of the opportunity to optimize the purchasing journey from start to finish.
Said simply, it’s always a good time to refine your UX.
Optimize Checkout to Reduce Cart Abandonment
It’s incredibly frustrating to discover how many consumers put items in shopping carts only to abandon the checkout process before completion. Shopping cart abandonment hovers somewhere around 70 percent these days. If your shoppers are bailing out before making a purchase, take a closer look at why they may be doing so to improve your site.
According to one survey, here are a handful of the top reasons for abandonment during checkout:
– Website required users to create an account (35 percent)
– The checkout process was too long or complicated (27 percent)
– Customers could not see or calculate their costs up front (24 percent)
– The merchant did not accept enough payment methods (8 percent)
The best ecommerce checkout processes are simple and flexible. Allow customers to check out as guests instead of scaring them off by requiring account creation. Show consumers where they are in the process with a progress bar. Be transparent with costs early in the process. Integrate a variety of secure, flexible payment methods with your platform so customers can conduct transactions their way.
Update Your Site Design
Website design has more to do with your bottom line than you may think. You want your web store to look great—perpetuating your brand personality—while also remaining highly functional. For example, fast loading is non-negotiable, as load times over a few seconds start to deter customers, especially on mobile.
Is it time to revamp your ecommerce store? Yes. But don’t panic yet. If you keep abreast of the latest trends and best practices, you’ll only have to make small tweaks as you go.