Is your eCommerce website a bit out of date and stale? Knowing when it’s time to update your online store isn’t always an easy task. It takes a lot of work to create a site that has good usability, so once you achieve that the last thing you want to do is risk messing it up. However, you also can’t ignore a site for months on end and expect your returning visitors to be excited about what you have to offer.
There are millions of eCommerce sites on the Internet, with about 1.3 million eCommerce businesses in North America alone. Add in global sites, and the numbers climb exponentially. If you want to stay competitive, you must make sure you keep your website fresh and on trend. If you don’t, you can be sure your competitors will.
It’s hard to know where to start with website updates, but fortunately, a few minor tweaks can make eCommerce sites shine. Here are eight things to look at that will make your eCommerce website the absolute best it can be.
1. Write CTAs That Convert
Are your calls-to-action converting site visitors into customers? If not, then it’s time to update them. While writing effective CTAs is an entire science, some of the things you can focus on include placement on the landing page, the wording of the CTA and even the color of your CTA button.
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Remember, short and sweet is often better than a lengthy CTA. You want to draw your site visitor’s attention to your CTA button and entice them to do something, such as request information or join a newsletter. Action verbs and first-person wording — for example, “get my free book!” — all help with higher conversion rates. Take the time to test different combinations until you find the one that works best for your conversions.
2. Engage Consumers
If your site doesn’t engage your customers, then you need to figure out how to pull them into your site and make them want to hang around. Add valuable content they can’t find anywhere else, for example. Think about how you can get site visitors to take some form of action or engage with you or other visitors.
New Chapter does an excellent job of pulling in site visitors by offering information their target audience would be most interested in. For example, they provide a daily supplement regimen based on your health needs. They also offer discounts and exclusive offers to entice customers and engage them in the process.
3. Choose the Right Shopping Cart
Is the shopping cart on your site the best-suited one for your product or service? There are two basic types of shopping carts: out of the box and open source. One isn’t necessarily better than the other — the key is choosing the one that works best for your particular needs. Pay attention to the features you want, as well as the ones that will be attractive to your customers, and choose your cart system accordingly.
4. Invest in Better Photos
When you’re first starting out, you may be forced to take your own photos or resort to stock photos to stay within a budget. One way you can update your eCommerce website is by updating the images, particularly of your products. When you can afford it, hire a professional photographer to take pictures of your products — or at least your hottest sellers.
Hebe Designer Boutique is an excellent example of a site using beautiful photographs to highlight their clothes for their online clothing boutique. If you look at some of their other products, you can tell the photos aren’t quite as professional as others. This shows they’re updating their site to reflect a more professional approach over time via their photography.
5. Follow Up on Abandoned Carts
One study showed that the average cart abandonment rate is about 77 percent. There are many reasons users decide to leave a site and abandon a shopping cart, including:
- Lack of mobile responsiveness
- A lengthy checkout process
- Excessive shipping costs
Any slight change you can make to create a smoother, more intuitive checkout process will likely result in lower cart abandonment rates.
6. Tell a Story
Tell your site visitors a story, so they feel they truly know your brand and what you stand for. This allows you to make a statement and show how you’re different from your competition. It also reminds potential customers about your purpose as a brand, allowing them to see if your values align with theirs.
Notice how Moreporks has a strong story to tell both on their blog and about the name of their brand. Their info page details that a Morepork is a species of New Zealand owl, and the blog is filled with stories that highlight their products.
7. Update Your Design
From year to year, new design trends come into play. What looked great last year might show today that your site hasn’t been updated in a year. To avoid this type of issue, stick with classic, clean lines. The focus should always be on your products and less on keeping up with design trends.
8. Complete a Store Checkup
9. Update Your Design
The design is about so much more than the simple aesthetics of your site. While the way your site looks is crucial, the way it functions is equally as important. Updates shouldn’t be something you only do occasionally, but on an ongoing process to continually improve your website and make it better than it was the month before.