The website design that worked for your ecommerce store in the beginning likely won’t work as well once you’ve grown past a certain point. Preparing for an ecommerce redesign takes time and effort, but the result can be higher conversion rates and a better customer experience (CX).
The way your site looks can attract new buyers or send people bouncing away from your site. You must consider elements such as aesthetics, layout, functionality, and your competition. A redesign requires almost as much research as design work.
How Do I Start a Website Redesign Project?
According to Statista, global retail ecommerce is around $5.5 trillion and expected to reach a 50 percent growth rate to $7.4 trillion by 2025. There’s still plenty of room for growth for online businesses, but you have to set yourself up for success.
An excellent redesign project requires attention to detail and a bit of preparation. Here are the things to consider before you write a single line of code.
1. Audit Your Current Site.
Before you rework anything on your website, you should spend some time looking at what you already have. What do you love and hate about the layout and usability of your pages?
Armed with knowledge, you’ll find it much easier to make tough decisions about what to cut and what to keep.
2. Study the Competition.
Who are your closest competitors? Some businesses might focus on other local brands, while others compete with a more global audience. Take the time to note what your competitors do really well and what they’re missing.
Perhaps one has an intuitive shopping cart and another shares 360-degree videos of their products. What would you like to implement on your site? What are they lacking and how can you fill the gap and get an edge over them?
Look at the keywords they use, the site layout, how fast the site loads, and what they feature on their homepage.
3. Consider Virtual Reality.
The implementation of 5G in most communities means companies are looking toward ways to immerse users in better mobile experiences. For example, the iPhone 12 makes it possible for users to tap into virtual reality (VR) experiences.
The way business owners market brands will change thanks to 5G and faster and more reliable internet for mobile device users. For example, you’ll likely see more apps such as what IKEA offers, where you can plop a piece of furniture into an existing room and see how it looks with your other items. Figure out how you can make your site mobile responsive and tap into the power of VR to pull users into an experience
4. Ramp Up Your Hosting.
A new site often means you need a bit more power. If you’re adding videos, virtual reality options, and even just growing and taking up more space and bandwidth, you’ll need more powerful background hosting to keep things ticking along smoothly.
When people land on your website, you want it to load as quickly as possible or you risk losing them to a competitor. A seamless ecommerce experience requires the best hosting you can afford. Talk to your current company about upgrading to a designated server if possible.
5. Choose the Right Colors.
Your brand likely already has a color palette, but is it working for your users? Consider the psychology of colors and how well the ones you’re using work to elicit certain emotions. For example, the color red stands for passion and warmth but can also mean danger and aggression.
Each color choice and hues within can have a different impact on your audience. You must also understand the culture of your average buyer. Black might represent death in one culture and elegance in another. Even within the same country, different people can see colors in various ways.
Come up with the best color combinations possible based on your buyer personas and demographics. You can always tweak them later and do some A/B testing to see which ones your users respond best to.
6. Brainstorm Features
Think about what features you want your new ecommerce website to have. Talk to the other staff in your business and find out what customers ask for most often. Survey your clients and see what they’d like to have you add. Most people shop more than a single site and they may have ideas you haven’t thought of adding.
Study the major retailer sites such as Amazon, Walmart.com and Target. What do they do well and how can you implement some of their better ideas into your ecommerce store?
7. Set Up Staging.
One fear a lot of smaller businesses have about a redesign is interrupting sales for their current site. Losing revenue for even a day can be catastrophic to some companies.
To ensure you don’t miss a beat and your transition is seamless, set up a staging area for the new site. You might even want to put it in a separate folder or on a dummy site for building purposes.
Once the site functions the way you want, you can move it over to your main server, test it and take it live.
Use Testing and Feedback to Build Your Website
Once you have your ideas in place, you’re ready to build a framework and test it out. Add new features and try them along the way until you have the perfect site for your needs.
The more preparation you do for your ecommerce website redesign launch, the smoother the process will be and the better your CX.