2010 Ecommerce Store Tune-Up

On March 5, 2010, in Tune Ups, Web Design, by Larry Ruiz

When is the last time you gave your store a tune-up?

There are several areas in which improvements are necessary for any online store. I’d start with social media, being the most obvious one.

Online store going social:

If you have a customer support number listed on my site, why would you need a stupid Twitter account?

Things have shifted 180 degrees in the past few years. Consumers no longer engage your brand where you want them to engage you. Instead, they hang out where they wanna hang out and expect you as a brand to be there. In this case, we’re talking about social networks, but you shouldn’t stop there. Consumers might be blogging and ranting about your brand or product on their personal websites, micro sites, blogs… and they expect your response. They expect you to listen to the noise of the world wide web and filter the data about your brand and respond to their needs no matter where they are.

Few years ago, “social media experts” were pointing out that this will be expected from the companies in the future. Well, that future came sooner than you thought because you’re living it right now.

New design and layout:

But I like my current design!

Your opinion about the design DOES NOT matter. Designer’s opinion about the design doesn’t matter. Customers’ opinions matter. They bring in the money and your design and layout has to be tailored to fit their needs and preferences. It is highly likely that your design isn’t up to date with current web design trends and best practices.

Internet users change. They learn new tricks. They adopt themselves to the new usability standards as more and more websites start using them. What was considered usability best practice five years ago may not be such a bespoke solution nowadays.

Changes in the world of SEO:

When we made the site, an SEO consultant told us it was perfect.

It might have been. But SEO is one of the fastest changing industries on the web. Google introduces hundreds of changes to it’s ranking algorithm every year! Just as an example, several years ago, it might have sounded like a great idea to sculpt PageRank using no-follow, but nowadays it produces the completely opposite effect!

Long-tail shift:

We are ranking well for the most important keywords in our niche.

Yea, but did you compare the amount of traffic these keywords are sending you today to the same day years ago? Even considering the fact that the number of internet users has grown a lot in this period you will have to notice that average internet users started to shift to the use of longer keywords. As average user of the internet is slowly becoming a power user, he learned how to use search engine much more effectively to find exactly what he wants. This led to growth of longer search queries.

If you want to take your share of search engine traffic, you will have to start creating content. Content marketing is already extremely ROI effective marketing method if used properly and will only grow in the future. Have a read on why do you actually need a blog on your e-commerce website.

“Smart” navigation’s, product recommendations, sharing features:

It is highly likely that your old e-commerce solution is missing some of the really smart features that new bespoke e-commerce solutions have. Have a look at some of the bespoke online stores nowadays. They know exactly what else you might wanna buy after you add a product to your shopping cart. They are using effective new ways of organizing and filtering products. They are using smarter site search engines. They are enabling their visitors to easily share their products with their friends on social networks of their choice.

If you haven’t given your store a tune-up in a while and you’re thinking about doing it all now, it’s easy to get carried away, so please make sure you don’t “overdo it”.

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