As of 2021, the e-commerce industry will account for almost one trillion dollars $933 billion in sales. The demand for high-quality e-commerce stores has never been higher, and the trend doesn’t look to be slowing anytime soon.
So, as an e-commerce retailer, you need to make sure your website is working hard to convert new customers and deliver a more robust bottom line. But, if you haven’t done a site audit in a while, it’s likely time for a makeover. We’re going to look at eight signs that your e-commerce site is due for an upgrade.
Why Your Website Design Matters
There are several key reasons why you should invest in a high-quality website, including:
- Higher Conversion Rate – How long do new visitors spend on your site pages? If your website isn’t captivating, you’ll likely lose a lot more people than you’ll convert.
- More Sales – E-commerce is all about getting visitors to buy products online. If your site isn’t working well, you’ll have a weak bottom line with little growth.
- Stand Out From the Competition – If you’re not upgrading your site, your competitors are. You need to adapt to a changing marketplace to stay ahead.
8 Signs That You Need a Website Makeover
Not Generating Enough Leads
In most cases, you’ll be able to make direct sales on your e-commerce site. A direct sale is when a customer buys a product without interacting with a salesperson. Although direct sales will account for most of your bottom line, you’ll likely need to engage with some users to get them over the finish line.
What you need to know is your lead capture rate. This rate measures how many website visitors become leads, aka potential customers. Sometimes, a lead is just someone who has a few questions about a product. In other instances, you might have to offer a deal or discount to close the sale.
Ideally, your lead capture rate is relatively constant and unchanging over time. However, if this number is trending down, you likely need to make some changes to your landing pages. That said, you also have to compare your capture rate to your sales numbers. For example, if you’re getting fewer leads, but your sales remain steady, you don’t have to worry as much.
Updating landing pages might be scary but it can be a game-changer. If you don’t have design skills, or if you are on a limited budget you can still create modern-looking landing pages with one of the many landing page tools. Or, if you use Elementor on your website they also have some great landing page features.
High Cart Abandonment Rates
As an e-commerce store, you’ll get a certain percentage of visitors who abandon their shopping cart before purchasing. This happens for various reasons, and you’ll always have a non-zero number. However, if you’re noticing a higher number of abandoned carts, it’s time to start paying attention. According to recent data, the top three reasons why customers don’t finalize a purchase are:
- Hidden Fees – Make sure that you’re upfront about any extra costs or shipping expenses so that they’re not a surprise later.
- Forced Account Creation – Not everyone who shops at your store wants to create a user profile and account. If you don’t have a guest checkout option, you’ll see more abandoned carts.
- Complicated or Time-Consuming Checkout Process – Unless your products are in high demand, customers likely won’t want to click through more than a couple of pages. So, if you have five or six steps to complete a purchase, you’ll lose out on many sales. One strategy to alleviate this issue is to put the steps upfront and show progress throughout. This way, customers know what to expect and prepare before starting the process.
When was the last time you updated your company logo? What about a branding guideline for your product listings and web pages? If it’s been a few years, now might be the time to refresh your image.
Even if you like your current logo, coming up with a newer version can’t hurt. You can always do A/B testing and see which one your customers prefer. A/B testing your logo doesn’t have to be expensive, you can design a logo with online apps for free, and test out some new designs that will help give your brand a fresh look.
Another point to consider is whether your site is branded well enough. For example, your logo a, brand imagery, and color pallet should be on all product listings and, ideally, in each product image. This kind of reinforcement helps build awareness and recognition, which will keep customers coming back.
Over the last few years, mobile users have overtaken desktop users. As of 2020, over 60 percent of all web visits were from a mobile device, and that figure is only trending upward (it was 57 percent in 2019).
So, you need to make sure that your e-commerce site is optimized for smaller screens. Otherwise, users will be less likely to complete a purchase on their smartphone or tablet.
Fortunately, web-building platforms like WordPress or Wix allow you to optimize for mobile devices automatically. That said, you may need to develop unique site layouts for each user type. This way, you can streamline the shopping process for all users, no matter where they are or what they’re using to shop.
Lack of Responsive Design
This sign is an offshoot of the lack of mobile-friendliness we described above. For the uninitiated, responsive design is a site’s ability to adapt to the screen on which it’s displayed. This feature ensures that the same assets will adjust to a new layout, no matter if a user is on a 27-inch desktop computer, a 12-inch tablet, or a six-inch smartphone.
Responsive design offers better consistency than just having a desktop and mobile-friendly website. Because it adapts to the screen, users will have the same experience all the time. This consistency also ensures that previous customers can purchase items on any device or while on the go since they know what to expect every time.
There are two ways that your product images can be out of date. First, they may show older versions of the products, so they’re missing design elements or features. These outdated photos can lead to lower customer satisfaction because what they see is not what they get. This problem usually occurs when you use dropshipping companies and don’t keep your own inventory.
The second way your images might be outdated is if they’re static or “stale.” Modern consumers want better shots of the products in use, not just pictures of the item against a white or black background. While static images can be helpful to illustrate package design or dimensions, they don’t do much to entice users to buy the product.
Realistically, you should take new photos of your products every couple of years or whenever there are updated packaging or design elements. Then, not only can you avoid the problem of outdated imagery, but you can incorporate the new pictures into your marketing campaigns.
Slow Load Speeds
How long does it take for your site to load when a new visitor comes to it? If your site takes a long time (i.e., five seconds or more), you’ll lose a lot of customers. Here are the top reasons why you need your e-commerce website to be as fast as possible:
Lower Bounce Rate – Sites that load within two seconds have an average bounce rate of nine percent. If that time goes to five seconds, the rate quadruples to 38 percent. Each second causes more people to leave your pages.
Better Rankings – Google and other search engines will index your site based on various factors, including load speed. So, the faster your pages load, the better you’ll rank in SERPs.
Higher Conversion Rate – Customers can bounce off your site at any time. If it takes too long for each page to load, you won’t convert many visitors.
Difficult to Navigate (and Find Products)
Finally, one acronym to remember when designing your site’s layout is KISS (aka Keep It Simple, Stupid). However, this is different than KISSmetrics, which is a tool to measure various page elements. Overall, simplicity is crucial when building an e-commerce website. You need to make products stand out, and customers need to navigate quickly and efficiently.
As a rule, users focus on the top left of the page first, then make their way down. So, be sure to put all valuable information in that spot (i.e., the product image or CTA button). You can use heat maps to better understand how users navigate your site and then adapt from there.
Overall, you should conduct a site audit annually, assuming that your sales numbers are steady. However, if you’re still new or see your numbers dip, you should do an audit every six months just to be safe. Remember, there’s always room for growth and improvement.