Small businesses can no longer afford to launch a website and leave it untouched for years to come. Today, your website is seen as your virtual business store. You should treat it that way and continually refresh its look and feel. The goal of an e-commerce website is to provide a shopper with a pleasurable shopping experience which leads them to making a educated purchase of one of your products. As business owners, we need to hook customers by making this process as simple and enjoyable as possible. Is it time to give your sad, old website a makeover? Here are five top tips that will convert window shoppers into repeat buyers on your online store.
Gain feedback from your customer base.
Getting feedback from your customer base should be a regular exercise for your business in order to ensure continued success. Talk to them face to face, learn from their actions and interactions and conduct regular user testing to ensure you are making the appropriate changes to suit your consumer demands. Find out exactly what your customers like and dislike about your current website, then make sure that their pain points feed into your redesign project. If you are not a graphic designer, then don’t follow the Design It Yourself method. Crowdsource your web design on 99designs or find a freelancer who is willing to work within your budget. Then go back to your consumer base and ask for even more feedback. Remember, they are the ones who are putting money into your business – so involve them in every step of the process for maximum feedback.
How is your branding?
Is it time for a branding overhaul? It’s best if you consider this before you embark on a redesign. Think about how your branding stacks up against your direct competition. Do your logo design and marketing materials clearly communicate your points of difference? When it comes to brand strategy, don’t skimp on the details. Be sure to do your research and clearly define what you want your brand to be, both now and into the future. Rebranding doesn’t have to be expensive. It does, however, need to be considered, planned and well executed.
Focus on Killer Content
Every single element of space on your website is prime real estate. Make sure that every image, word or symbol is relevant and targeted to your audience. Think about the message you want to communicate to your audience before locking down a web designer. How should your page communicate with your audience, how does it look in comparison to your competitors? Are you focusing your onpage content on the needs of your target audience? Finalise your tagline or slogan and position this message front and centre. Use this message as a basis to guide your content production to appeal to your customers. Remember, content is a long-term investment so it’s worth doing it right the first time. If you cannot craft quality, informative content yourself then look into hiring a freelance or part time copywriter on Elance.
Responsive design is key
It’s never been more important to focus on the mobile experience of a website. Small businesses across the world need to embrace the shift from laptops to handheld devices and consider a mobile friendly website design. A responsive website works well across most handheld devices and browsers, and every website today should aim to be fully responsive. If you factor in the number of customers you’d acquire by supporting mobile as part of your redesign, you’ll soon forget about it as a cost and consider it as a customer acquisition win! So don’t leave your visitors squinting on a smaller screen size. Make mobile a priority in your website redesign process.
Optimise, optimise, optimise
Once your new website is live, it’s easy to think that all of the hard work is over. That’s definitely not true. You’ve now got a canvas to start split testing and optimising! Think big and consider what you want to test and why. What is going to drive sign ups and conversions? Focus on the areas that will make the biggest impact. Try a trial version of Optimizelyto A/B test different pages performance against each other. One small web design tweak could immediately result in additional sales, and your shopping cart or registration processes are both great places to start. Once you’ve got the test results, share them with your wider team and always make sure that they feed into your next website redesign project. Continue to tweak your site to increase user experience and your customers will keep coming back for more.