Spring is in the air, and if you’ve already considered the pile of boxes and junk waiting in your garage, you probably know that it’s the time of year for cleaning. Spring is all about taking a new start – throwing out the old, updating the worn and fixing the non-functional.
But we’re not talking about your garage anymore. Spring is also the perfect time to give your website an overhaul – especially if your website is the key to your business. Your ecommerce site might be bringing in the sales, but these spring cleaning tips can help you ensure you’re getting all the customers you need – and not losing any in the shuffle.
Open a browser, any (and all) browsers
You might be a die-hard Firefox fan, or a diligent Safari surfer. But what about your customer? Chances are, your customers all use a variety of different browsers and even various versions of the same browser. That’s why it’s important for you to know how your website and e-commerce program is working on any given browser.
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Auditing your site using just one browser is like sorting out just a tiny corner of your garage; it might look great from one angle, but could be a total mess from another. Try your site out on a number of browsers and test the functionality. For added peace of mind (or ego boosting), compare your functionality to that of your competitor.
Grab a few devices
If you thought your iPhone and Android were the only players in the game, think again. Your customers might be using these devices, sure, but they’re also using a whole host of other mobile phones and tablets. Perform the same type of “audit” you just performed on various browsers, only do so on a variety of mobile devices.
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If you’re low on gadgets, just ask your customers or even friends and family to give you their feedback on your mobile functionality. You’ll likely get a good cross-section of devices from which to assess the collective experience.
Act like a first-timer on your e-commerce website
Just like any creative project, when you get to close to your e-commerce website, you might miss things a “new” person would catch. That’s why it’s important to take a step back and approach your website like a newcomer would. Disable all your cookies or clear your browser cache and navigate to your site as a first-time customer would.
Poke around and sign up to receive updates or a newsletter, put a few items in your cart and just audit the functionality. Does your e-commerce website seem user friendly and intuitive from a first-timer’s perspective? If not, it might be time to make some changes. For even better results, find a true newbie and ask him or her to play around for a while.
Test the search button
If your website has search functionality enabled (and it should), test out its capabilities. Search like a novice user might, using generic terms or alternate product names. If you find no results more often than you’d like, it might be time to make some changes to your website’s search function.
Think about it; most of your new customers won’t know your exact product names, and will likely be searching using generic terms. Your e-commerce website should be optimized for just such a user.
Change your mind
Do you have cart-abandoners on your site? Maybe so. What are you doing about these customers who need just a little prodding in order to buy? Test out what happens when you leave un purchased items in your cart; if it’s time to be more aggressive to cart-abandoners, maybe it’s time to start.
Consider sending an email with a discount code or other incentive to those who leave un purchased items in their cart.
How does your e-commerce website handle customer service inquiries? If you’re not sure, try out the functionality all around, from using the “contact us” link on your site, to responding to an automated email, to chatting with an employee online. It’s important to offer several ways for your customers to get in touch with you, so make sure your virtual bases are covered.
Feeling a clean-sweep coming on? If it’s time to text, update or just totally overhaul your website, give us a call; we’ll have it sparkling and ready for ecommerce traffic in no time.