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    All You Need to Know About Rebuilding a Website for eCommerce

    By Latoya Bryan

    Most eCommerce store owners wish to rebuild or redesign their websites at some point. The changes they desire may focus on how their websites look and function, or they might want to revamp their websites to align with changing consumer preferences. Fortunately, rebuilding a website can help address various challenges that an eCommerce business might face with its existing website. 

    website redesign project plan

    6 Reasons for Rebuilding an eCommerce Website

    There is no single reason why eCommerce website owners go the rebuilding or redesigning way. For example, you might want to give your website a complete overhaul because your competitors now offer much better websites than yours. Alternatively, you may think about a rebuild because your existing website’s upgrades take a lot of time and involve spending a considerable amount of money.

     

    Here are some of the other common reasons eCommerce stores look for website redesigning services.

     

    1. High Bounce Rates

     

    Websites can have high bounce rates because of different reasons. For instance, a website that is slow to load might result in high bounce rates. Low-quality content may also have the same effect. 

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    When it comes to eCommerce, the average bounce rate varies from 20% to 40%. If the bounce rate of your website is up to 70%, you may think of it as subpar. If it’s over 70%, your website definitely needs immediate attention, and a rebuild might be the way to go. Even if your website’s bounce rate is within acceptable limits, a website redesign can help maintain the low bounce rate over a longer course of time.

     

    2. Poor User Experience

     

    If your existing eCommerce store feels and looks outdated, there’s a very good chance that it provides a poor user experience (UX).  Consider these numbers collated by Baymard Institute.

    • Just 1% of consumers feel that eCommerce platforms are successful in meeting their expectations on each visit.
    • More than 90% of consumers don’t complain about poor experiences, and they leave without providing feedback.
    • 88% of consumers feel there is a decreased possibility of their returning to a website after a single bad experience.

     

    Incidentally, the same data also highlights that a well-planned frictionless UX design holds the potential to increase conversion rates by up to 400%. So, if your eCommerce website falters on this front, a redesign might be in order.

     

    3. Not Mobile-Friendly

     

    According to Statista, 58.99% of the world’s website traffic in the second quarter of 2022 came from mobile devices. So, if your eCommerce website is not mobile-friendly, you may expect a significant chunk of your target audience to look elsewhere. 

     

    A Shopify post about mobile commerce statistics and trends suggests that 42.9% of eCommerce sales will take place through mobile devices by 2024. It also highlights that:

    • 77% of adults in the United States own smartphones, whereas 53% own tablets.
    • In 2021, around one-third of all internet users in the U.S. made purchases using their mobile devices every week.
    • 49% of American consumers have used shopping apps for comparing prices.

    Fortunately, you may cater to people who use mobile devices to make online purchases fairly easily by making your eCommerce website mobile-friendly or responsive

     

    4. Not Optimized for Search Engines

     

    A well-carried-out eCommerce website rebuild brings with it the potential to improve search engine rankings. However, if your existing web pages rank well for various keywords, a redesign might affect your website’s rankings negatively, especially is not handled in the right manner. For instance, setting up 301 and 302 redirects is crucial when redesigning a website as this step passes on information about URL changes to search engines, and it also ensures that visitors have a seamless user experience.

     

    When done right, search engine optimization (SEO) can work rather well in boosting a website’s ranking on search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

     

    5. Low Conversion Rates

     

    If your website’s conversion rates are below par or have dropped dramatically, it’s crucial that you get to the core of the problem. While great web design does not result in direct conversions, you can be sure that poor web design has a negative effect on conversion rates. This is because consumers would relate how your website looks and functions to your overall business. 

     

    If you have an outdated website that provides a poor user experience, you may expect poor conversion rates. What helps is that the reverse holds true as well, because the better the experience your website delivers, the more the likelihood of people making purchases.

     

    6. Inappropriate Branding

     

    You might want to change your eCommerce website’s branding based on changes that you’ve implemented in the physical world. Besides, customers pay due attention to branding that’s cohesive. Consider this – you have updated the branding of your company, which reflects in its signage, stationery, and even social media. However, your website still retains the old branding. From the point of view of a customer, this can not only be confusing but also an indication of your business not being professional enough to update its website accordingly.

     

    Whatever the reason behind the rebuild, storeowners are usually convinced that getting revamped websites will solve their problems in one go. At this point, you need to keep in mind that the reason you have an eCommerce website is to sell easily and make it easy for consumers to buy.

     

    If your website makeover goes right, you might see an increase in traffic, leads, sales, and profits as well as improved operations. However, it is worth noting that a website rebuild can be a pain in the neck and might result in unforeseen risks and costs.

     

    3 Crucial Questions You Need to Ask Yourself

    website redesign proposal

    Several eCommerce store owners who’ve used website redesigning services have horror stories to tell. For instance, you might get a redesigned website that stalls and sales drop to zero for a few days, before the development team eventually fixes the problem. If you’re looking at avoiding heartache down the road, there are a few important questions you should answer before starting the process of rebuilding your website.

     

    1. Can You Afford the eCommerce Rebuild?

     

    The affordability factor does not limit to the actual cost of rebuilding/redesigning an eCommerce website, although that can be significant too. For example, if you run an extensive eCommerce store, its overhaul might cost thousands of dollars.

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    One of the main risks you face with an eCommerce rebuild is the fact that the process can wipe out your sales. So, can your business handle a few days without selling? If eCommerce is just a part of a larger business, it can tolerate the drop while the redesigning is underway. However, if your business is entirely web-based, chances are that it might not be able to handle a complete shutdown for a few days.

     

    If you still need to go through with the rebuild, you need a concrete website redesign project plan. You should have a plan on how you will reverse the sales after the downtime. The process may involve multiple tests and checks, or it could be fairly simple and take little time. In any case, it helps to be prepared.

     

    2. What If the Rebuild Requires More Time and Money Than Expected?

     

    Several eCommerce website rebuilds take longer than planned and this brings with it extra costs. This is because there’s a possibility of overlooking important aspects during the process and they might come back to bite your business. Think about if you can really afford the process in case it lasts twice as planned and costs double the original estimate. Remember that your website might remain inaccessible for a prolonged period and you may have to dig deeper into your pockets.

    website makeover

    Instead of one big rebuild that may take several months, you could think of smaller processes that roll into one. This might help prevent the extended downtime that could result in losses. What this also means is that limited changes will end up costing lesser. Besides, you’ll be in a better position to track the process, and you can step things up or put them on hold depending on your budget.

     

    3. What Will the Rebuild Fix?

     

    It is important to know what problems you will be fixing with the planned website makeover. Bear in mind that a website rebuild can be a risky and expensive proposition, so you need to be sure that it will benefit your eCommerce website a great deal. This means that the rebuild should fix problems that other simpler and less expensive processes cannot solve.

     

    Remember that the problems that warrant a redesign are not minor things such as homepage rearrangements. They should be significant changes like switching to a one-page checkout, redesigning the showcasing and listing of products, and adding backend testing frameworks to all store components. These are major changes that could bring significant benefits to the store.

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    When you look at the bigger picture, it’s better to focus on one significant change than the entire project. This way, you’ll prevent wasting time and money that go into addressing unimportant elements. 

     

    When the focus is on one problem, the decisions made will be clearer, and this ensures quick and effective handling. The most important thing is to make sure that the rebuild actually handles the main problems your eCommerce website has been facing without giving rise to new challenges.

     

    Selecting a Web Design Company

    While there is no dearth of web design companies that offer eCommerce website rebuilding/redesigning services, selecting one requires paying attention to different aspects.

     

    Discusses Your Needs

    All the top web design companies realize that each website redesign project comes with its unique requirements and challenges. As a result, the first step is to discuss your specific needs, objectives, and goals. If you receive a website redesign proposal or quote from an agency before it understands your business and what you’re after, you might want to move to the next option.

    ecommerce website project

    Understands and Focuses on Your Target Audience 

    Target audiences play a key role in web design.  This is because a website that finds favor with one demographic might not work equally well with another. Consider this – you like an animated children’s eCommerce website and wish to use its design aesthetics to rebuild a website that sells medical instruments. While you might end up with a website you like, there’s a good chance that it will not have the desired effect on your target audience.  

     

    The web design agency you select should understand your target audience and rely on its knowledge to create your website’s layout. Developing buyer personas is often part of the parcel, because this step aids not just in redesigning a website but in the creation of content as well.

     

    Audits Your Existing eCommerce Website

    It’s important for a web design company to understand the main reason you want an eCommerce website rebuild. This could be overall rebranding, an outdated layout, or the need to provide new functionalities. When agencies jump right into the redesigning stage, there’s a good chance that they’ll fail to address the problems at hand. As a result, you need to partner with an agency that takes time to analyze how your existing eCommerce website looks and functions before it moves on to provide suitable solutions.

     

    Conclusion

    Cutting the long story short, an eCommerce rebuild might work well, but you may expect some chaos along the way. It is likely that you might spend more than you budgeted and the process might take longer. Besides, the impact might not have the fireworks or be as big as you imagined. So, it’s good to keep your expectations in check. 

     

    Choosing the right digital agency to work on your eCommerce website’s rebuild is important and you should ideally compare a few options before narrowing down on one. The agency you select should have the technical expertise to work on eCommerce website projects, it should have knowledge about your industry, and it should also be one that previous clients rate well.

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