The online world moves fast. A website that was shiny and new one minute seems dated and clunky the next. This leaves every e-commerce site owner asking the question “should I be thinking about a redesign?”
If you find yourself asking this question, chances are the answer is “yes.”
If redesigning your store seems like too much work, there’s always a web design company nyc out there that you can hire to take care of it for you. Whether you choose to go down this route or decide to do the job yourself, you first need to be able to decide when it’s the right time.
This post will list the most common reasons businesses choose to redesign their online stores. But first, let’s briefly talk about the benefits of redesigning any website.
Why Would You Redesign Your Website?
Every online business owner should have two things on their mind at all times — traffic and conversions. These are the two main reasons you would choose to redesign a website or online store.
Web design matters to varying degrees depending on the type of business, so some companies may find that an outdated website doesn’t affect their bottom line that significantly. However, if you’re running an online store, your conversion chances depend considerably on your website’s look and feel.
For example, changing your CTA buttons’ color and placement can increase the number of users who choose to click them. If your calls to action blend into the page a little too well, it’s time to make a change. On the other hand, you should try to evoke emotions in your consumers as every great brand does. In that way, you improve UX.
Web design allows a great first impression. Unfortunately, a lot of website design mistakes are also possible, so avoid making them.
Redesigning your online store can also help with search engine optimization. Google and other search engines update their algorithms regularly, and keeping up with them is crucial if you want results. We don’t expect you to know all the latest tricks when it comes to ranking your website in search engines, which is why it is probably best to hire professionals to handle this area for you.
When Is the Right Time to Redesign Your Online Store?
Let’s not beat around the bush. In an ideal world, you should update your online store or website every three years or so. In fact, Orbit Media has determined that the top marketing companies update their websites roughly every two years and seven months, on average.
Anything longer than this, and your site will begin to appear outdated to the average user. That said, doing a full website redesign every two and a half years will not be easy for many smaller companies. This is why we’ve decided to create a list of six red flags signifying an outdated website.
Check them out below.
You’re Using Outdated Tech
Every few years, the tools that people use to browse the internet change and evolve. In 2014, you could have easily gotten away with having the same design for both the mobile and desktop versions of your site, but that’s not the case anymore.
A responsive website is a must nowadays, and not having one can significantly hurt your bottom line.
Another example of outdated tech is Flash. This technology was the bleeding edge in the early 2000s, and sites relied on it many years later. However, Flash was designed when desktops reigned supreme.
When mobile became dominant, Flash began its slow but inevitable trip to obsolescence. Browsers finally stopped supporting Flash at the end of last year, so if your site is still using it in any capacity, a redesign should be at the top of your list of priorities.
You’re Restricting Potential Growth by Using a Template Site
There’s a saying that fits template sites perfectly — “a goldfish can only grow as big as its bowl.” Template sites are excellent solutions for small businesses with limited resources, but at some point, your business is going to need a bigger bowl.
Leaving your free template site behind, or at least opting for a paid alternative, can bring a world of advantages. These include adding more pages, having richer graphics and animations, hosting more demanding web apps, and having no design restrictions.
Building a website from scratch can be particularly beneficial for online stores. It will allow you to use your own payment gateways, instead of paying a commission to your template landlord.
It’s Time to Target a New Audience
Your store doesn’t necessarily need to be outdated for you to choose to redesign it. It can be a purely business decision, allowing you to target a new market by utilizing different visuals and content.
If you’ve decided that marketing to millennials is no longer viable, and want to start attracting more baby-boomers, you’re going to have to change some things in your design. The same goes for different cultures and locales.
Each demographic you choose to target will have different preferences in search keywords, interfaces, text tone, visuals, and even navigation and site infrastructure. If the market shift you’ve decided to make is significant, your website redesign will need to match it in scope.
You Want to Rebrand
Perhaps it’s not your target demographic that you’d like to change, but your own image. Maybe you think it is time to change your brand’s vision and message, and you want your new website to reflect that.
Even something that seems to be a minor change at a glance, like changing your color scheme, may call for a complete online store overhaul. Any subtle change in your brand’s aesthetics will need to be consistent across all platforms, starting with your website.
Updates Have Become Too Much of a Hassle
The days of keeping a web designer on your payroll to be able to add a new item to your store are long gone. The rise of content management systems (CMSs) shows that today, people who can’t code want to control the content of their websites.
Search engines have, unsurprisingly, caught on to this trend. Therefore, sites that update regularly are given higher rankings. Redesigning your site to make it easier to update will benefit your SEO immensely.
If you’re still worried that changing something on your site will send it crashing down into the abyss, it is time to make some upgrades. You’ll be amazed at how easy and practical it is to post content or add items to your store using a CMS.
You’re no Longer Meeting Your Business Goals
The last, and perhaps most important red flag, is one you probably could have predicted to find on this list — your online store is no longer doing its job. If your bounce rate is too high, and conversion rate is too low, or you’re simply not getting the traffic you used to, the design of your site could be the problem.
As we mentioned in the introduction to this post, good web design can attract new visitors, as well as improve conversions. If your site is not showing results, you need to revisit your design choices.
Tomas is a digital marketing specialist and a freelance blogger. He is focused on new web tech trends and digital voice distribution across different channels.