A shopping platform with top-notch user experience can do wonders for website traffic, conversion, and even customer retention. But when business isn’t looking the peachiest, though the problem may not always lie in your website, it only makes sense to put your platform under a magnifying glass to make sure all gears and bearings are in the right place.
Sometimes it’s just a thing or two on the website that needs a little fixing-up, but other times, it’s a conglomerate of issues that have been left to fester for a while. And often when that’s the case, a complete revamp is needed to untangle the knots.
So how do you know when it’s time to change up your e-commerce website? Here’s a checklist of red flags to look out for.
1. Low Conversion Rate
An underwhelming conversion rate also means a high abandonment rate. For some reason, your customers are browsing on your website but aren’t checking out. This could be due to various reasons ranging from weak marketing initiatives to the website’s performance or design.
No matter what it is, it’s worth taking a deeper look to see if your website is what’s been holding you back. Sometimes, even a hidden CTA button, bad color palette, or badly designed checkout page can butcher your conversion rates.
2. Negative Feedback
Complaints aren’t always indicative of bad decisions on your part. Like we’ve highlighted in our article on making sudden changes in UI, sometimes users display averse reactions to good changes. But, if the complaints aren’t purely reactions and are based criticisms, they might be worth taking a serious look into.
If the feedback you’re getting on your website is mostly negative, it means a good chunk of your users are bothered enough to complain about your platform. Whether you’re reading them through reviews, comments, emails, or social media rants, this could be a bad sign.
User satisfaction should take precedence when it comes to maintaining your website, simply because your users are who you’re selling to. If they are telling you that your website is difficult to navigate or use, it is pretty much a direct sign to acknowledge it and put it into action.
3. Lack of Mobile Friendliness
When your website doesn’t offer a positive and consistent experience across desktop, tablet, and mobile, your customers are limited in their shopping experience. They’d have to move from one device to another if they can’t have a pleasant browsing experience on the device they’re already on. And if they don’t think it’s worth the switch, they’d likely abandon their session and move to your competitors’ sites.
How could this affect your metrics? According to Statista, mobile accounts for approximately half of web traffic. Google has also been identifying mobile friendly websites on their search results and ranking mobile-optimized sites higher since 2016. These reasons alone should convince you that in order for a business to thrive in this mobile-first era, mobile optimization is a top-level necessity. Websites that aren’t optimized for mobile interfaces will inevitably lag behind, and you don’t want yours to be one of them.
4. Ineffective Design
Bad design may sound like a minor issue, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. A jarring interface can deter customers from staying on your website for long enough to complete a successful session. This can become a major reason for weak conversion rates.
A lack of intuitive design may include bad navigation or visual harmony. This can be caused by layouts that lack scannability or hierarchy, hidden search bars or CTA buttons, unreadable text, confusing copy, and even the lack of a zoom-in button or hover effect on a product image.
Allowing all these weak points to remain scattered throughout the design can not only render your platform ineffective, but also be detrimental to your sales metrics.
5. Brand Disconnect
Having a solid brand image is essential to building customer loyalty, but what does this have to do with your website?
Your website is the face of your brand. It’s what holds the most weight in your brand’s distinguishability and recognizability. Unlike secondary and tertiary channels like social media and external websites, your official website is where customers primarily rely on to get a feel of your brand as well as acquire information on your business. In other words, your website is expected to accurately reflect your brand’s personality and image.
After any level of rebranding, your website should also be updated to make sure it reflects your new brand. Is it appealing to the right audience? Are the colors, typefaces, and illustrations consistent throughout? These are some of the questions that you can ask yourself in deciding if there is a gap that needs to be bridged.
6. Updating is Difficult
If your website is built on a platform that is troublesome to make even the smallest changes on, you might want to consider a different route before there’s too much piled up to resolve. One of your options is to switch from custom development to an e-commerce content management system (CMS) like Shopify or Magento.
How exactly do CMS platforms make maintenance easier? For starters, to use a CMS, you don’t need to know anything about code. Creating and managing a website is as easy as it gets: All the tools you need for customization are provided and ready-to-use on the platform. All you might need to do is get an experienced developer or agency to help you set it up.
7. Long Loading Times
If your website seems to creep like a snail, there are several possible reasons as to why it loads slowly. Sometimes, a user’s connectivity is the culprit, but if it’s happening for your website and not others, they’d quickly figure out that the slow loading has something to do with your platform. And surely, you shouldn’t let them wait long enough to give up on your service.
Technical issues such as a misconfigured cloud architecture (which happens even on CMS platforms), or simply a lack of optimization for images or videos, could be the thorn in the bush. In times like these, consulting a web developer who knows their way around web applications could be of great help.
Let’s Make it Happen Together
Your business goals aren’t out of reach. We’re here to help!
Snappymob is a team of experienced web and mobile development experts who has helped businesses from startups to large corporations take flight around the globe. You could be next in line!
Need a fresh new look for your e-commerce website? Reach out to us and we’ll explore the possibilities together.