Spring is just around the corner, and it’s a great time to clear out and tidy up your spaces and get ready for the year ahead. For retailers, the season is a great reminder to make your stores look spotless, modern and inviting. This year, why not expand your spring cleaning list to include your eCommerce website? With the rise of the omnichannel shopper, customers want and expect a convenient, friendly and on-brand experience online and in your brick-and-mortar locations.
The convergence of different sales channels makes it only fair to put equal effort into maintaining and fixing up brick-and-mortar and eCommerce storefronts in equal measure. It’s time to take stock of your website. Some of the potential upgrades you spot will likely be cosmetic and face customers directly, while others will go on behind the scenes and keep backend processes focused and tidy. While every eCommerce portal is unique, we’ve compiled a few potential spring cleaning ideas to get you started.
Spruce Up Your Imagery
Are the images on your eCommerce website unflattering to your products? Are they out of date? Poorly lit or framed? Or are there just not enough of them? These are major problems – and ones you can solve during a brisk session of spring cleaning. Customers today spend huge amounts of time interacting with companies’ sites, and if yours isn’t aesthetically pleasing, they may look elsewhere.
Consider the results of Adobe research, which found that people value content that is well designed, sporting intuitive layouts and good pictures. Nearly two-thirds of respondents (64%) consider visual impact important when browsing for personal enjoyment, and even more (68%) value good-looking websites in a professional context. In fact, the survey found that, when the layout or images are ugly, 38% of people consider surfing elsewhere and 35% may change devices. Only 28% said they’d push through bad visual experiences.
Search Engine Journal contributor Holly Gary further explained that every product sold on an eCommerce site should have more than one image. She urged retailers to not skimp on resolution, while also optimizing their websites to load these high-res images quickly. If your page is lacking in pictures, if the imagery has low resolution – or if the photos are just plain poorly taken – sprucing them up is an attainable and impactful spring cleaning goal.
Clean Up the Backend
Sometimes, the mess isn’t in what your customers see; it’s in the processes powering the website. eCommerce is no fad, and there’s a chance you’ve had your website for years now. Whether it’s grown unruly over the years or is just finally showing its age, an older eCommerce site is a potential breeding ground for performance-hampering problems.
Business.com contributor John Surdakowski recently gave a helpful list of issues that can keep eCommerce portals from reaching their potential, such as a lack of mobile features, poor search engine optimization, slow loading times, the lack of a contact form and more. It pays to look at your website at regular intervals, seeing its strengths and weaknesses with fresh eyes. Maybe its performance was once considered top-quality but has been eclipsed by competitors’ pages. Surdakowski suggested completely revamping web portals every two to three years.
Scalability is another key issue. Chances are your web presence has grown in the past few years to keep up with increasing consumer comfort online. In this case, your old website may be straining at the seams to deal with the amount of content on the site or visitors streaming through. In these cases, it pays to switch over to a more adaptable, scalable and modern eCommerce platform. The spring cleaning goes on out of sight, but the improvements will be felt, seen and appreciated by your customers.
The Season is Here
With the holiday season in the books and the new year already flying by, spring cleaning is approaching fast. Don’t let it catch you off guard – start thinking about what you’d like to tune up and improve now, rather than missing out on chances. You’ll look back in disappointment if you don’t get enough checked off your list. Whether it means making your eCommerce site more pleasing to the eye or tuning its performance to perfection, this is the season to make the most of your eCommerce site.