An e-commerce website is more than just a platform for selling your goods and services. The website is an innovation of digital technology which is in a constant state of evolution.
Thus, improvements and upgrades are necessary to keep up with the advances in technology and to assure your visitors of an amazing user experience every time they visit your online store.
Why Are Improvements On Your E-Commerce Website Necessary?
Imagine driving an hour to visit a popular steakhouse only to wait 30 minutes for a table, another hour for your steaks to arrive, and another 30 minutes to get your bill.
No matter how fantastic the steak was, you’ll probably think twice about going back or recommending the place because the overall customer experience was forgettable.
The same could be said about your e-commerce website.
If customers aren’t happy about their shopping experience, they probably won’t go back or recommend it to their friends and on their social media accounts. Worse, they might share their horrible experiences on social media and give their friends reasons why they shouldn’t go to your website.
5 Ways To Improve The Performance Of Your E-Commerce Website
Your e-commerce website is your place of business on the Internet. Just like the steakhouse, customers want to be thrilled and excited and have a memorable experience when they visit your store.
For the same reasons, brick-and-mortar businesses schedule renovations of their outlets, you must also continually upgrade and improve the design and functionality of your e-commerce website.
Here are 5 ways you can give your e-commerce a makeover that will make it a winner with your customers.
1. Update Your Plug-ins… but Choose Wisely
Plug-ins are software programs that are designed to provide specific functions to your website. You might know them as extensions or add-ons.
There are plug-ins you can use to improve the performance of your website. You can find plug-ins that can speed up your website, conduct data cleaning functions, and fortify site security to name a few.
The important thing to remember is to choose wisely. Some plugins are designed with complex programs and can slow your website down. You might be enticed to choose one plug-in over another because it has features that other plug-ins don’t have.
But are those features necessary for your e-commerce website to function optimally? Or are they more fluff than important stuff?
You don’t need the bells and whistles. Choose plugins that will help improve the performance of your website without having to go overboard with unnecessary features.
2. Improve the Optimization of Your Site
Optimization is a process that uses tools and strategies to improve the performance of a website, enhance its visibility on the Internet, generate more inbound traffic, and move up the search rankings.
Without proper optimization, search engines will have a hard time finding your website on the Internet. Likewise, users might experience slow loading times and difficulties accessing your e-commerce site.
These 2 concerns – online visibility and user experience – can be addressed by applying SEO and Technical Optimization strategies.
SEO or Search Engine Optimization involves optimizing the content on your website such as the copy on its web pages and blogs by using high-ranking and popular keywords.
Keywords are the words and phrases used by Internet searchers to look for information. Search engine web crawlers track down these keywords, index them, and retrieve the content for the SERP.
Technical Optimization is also called Technical SEO and involves undertaking actions that improve the technical aspects of your website such as page loading speed, mobile responsiveness, and user experience.
Applying both types of optimization processes will improve your ecommerce website’s chances of getting found by your target market, generating traffic, and converting interest into sales.
3. Prioritize Site Speed and Ease of Use
Whether they’re shopping online or at a physical store, customers have razor-thin patience. Shoppers don’t want to wade through traffic, agonize at long checkout queues or spend extended minutes looking for an item past a wall of aisles.
They want to get in, get out, and go home.
If your online store takes a long time to load, has a confusing interface, and is hard to navigate, shoppers will click out and visit another e-commerce site.
Your shoppers want to land on your e-portal, find what they’re looking for, pay for their purchases, and click out. And there are ways you can do this.
- Compress high-resolution images and other visuals to keep your pages loading fast.
- Create comprehensive product descriptions for your users. Make sure the copy is expertly optimized and well-written with complete information.
- Focus on clean and simple design; don’t use elements that might distract or confuse your visitors.
- Include caching features so that repeat users can immediately find the information or content they need. If a page isn’t deleted properly, it will slow down the loading of a new page because the user’s browser will double-check if it really doesn’t exist. This improperly-deleted page is called a broken link and must be effectively removed or it will slow down your site’s loading time.
- Make sure the menus, sharing buttons, and CTAs are working properly, designed, and located in areas on the page that ensure visibility.
Assuring your site visitors fast-loading pages, ease of use, and quick navigation will contribute to a wonderful user experience.
4. Sign Up for CDN Services
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) consists of servers and data centers that are located in different parts of the world.
As more people gain access to the Internet, bottlenecks become inevitable. Servers can get log-jammed with users. If your web host gets into this situation, your customers will have difficulty accessing your online store.
With a CDN, a proxy server can accommodate the excess traffic and ensure a faster loading time for your web page. Signing up for CDN services is a must for e-commerce businesses that accept international orders.
5. Frequently Perform a Website Audit
As a by-product of technological innovation, a website needs to undergo regular checkups and maintenance work.
Similar to a car, if you don’t have it inspected by a qualified technician every few miles, it will break down frequently – sometimes in the most inconvenient situations.
Your online store doesn’t close up shop. It remains open 365 days a year. Every second is an opportunity to make a sale. For this reason, you want your website to be running optimally all the time.
A website audit must be performed by a qualified web developer – preferably the one who designed your website. An audit will measure the performance of your website and identify design flaws and the areas that could potentially become problems in the future.
The tips we’ve presented in this article – optimize the site, improve mobile responsiveness, boost site speed, and remove broken links – can be validated by a website audit.
In addition, an audit can assess your ecommerce site’s current level of security. Are the anti-malware and antivirus software, and firewalls, strong enough to ward off cyber attacks? Is your SSL certificate updated and is it the certificate you need for your type of e-commerce site?
Security is a very important consideration for online shoppers when patronizing a website. For example, if your website doesn’t have SSL certificates, Google would mark it as “Not Secure” and discourage shoppers from exploring your portal.
SSL or Secure Sockets Layer is an encryption program that protects data transmitted from browser to server.
An e-commerce website is a one-stop shop for online shoppers. It’s the central hub of your business on the Internet where a customer is taken through the entire buying process: Product research, selection, payment, and after-sales service.
For those who dream of having a career in retail, an e-commerce platform is the ideal business model.
However, an e-commerce website cannot run on its own. You have to manage it properly and take the necessary steps to make sure the online store delivers a wonderful shopping experience to your customers.
You must put some time into overseeing its performance and implement the necessary improvements to keep the website in fine running order. As an entrepreneur, your time is best spent on managing the day-to-day functions of your business.
Leave the maintenance and management of your e-commerce website to the pros.
If your website is powered by WordPress – as 70% of websites are – sign up for one of our Extreme WordPress Care packages. We’ll handle the maintenance of your website so you can spend more time growing your business.
Of course, we’ll conduct periodic audits on your e-commerce website and take care of all the plug-in and system updates.
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