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Does an Underperforming Ecommerce Site Require a New Website Design?

This is a very common reason to get a new website and can be a completely wasted opportunity to improve your business. Changes are clearly needed if your website is under-performing but you first need to find why it’s happening. If your ecommerce takings have suddenly slumped it might have nothing to do with the design and functionality of your website.

Poor customer service and brand image might be deterring customers from even going to your website. A seasonal change like great beach weather might mean less people in general are shopping online. In this instance Google Analytics can provide the answer for you. If you compare the amount of customers visiting your site to a previous period where the website was performing adequately you will hopefully have a better idea of the slumps cause.

Google Analytics Screen Shot

If the visitor levels drop in conjunction with revenue taken then you will have to look to other areas of the business for the underperformance. If you don’t believe the issue to be customer service or lack of marketing then organic list rankings and online competitor activity might be good places to start.

If the visitors are the same in both periods then it could be that you need a new website design. In this instance contact your web agency or developer to start looking at solutions to these issues. Another reason could be that customers aren’t finding what they want on your site. Look at your product ranges and see if your online presence reflects your best sellers in your retail outlets. You could also type products and brands into Google Shopping and see which are trending online. Finally you could look at your bounce rates for search terms and product pages in Google analytics. A visitor is classed as ‘bounced’ when they leave a website without viewing additional pages first. Time spent on product pages is another good indicator.

So to summarise all of the above; a new website design may solve specific issues and improve revenue but if you have problems in other areas of the business these improvements will be short lived. A website should be treated in a similar fashion to a physical retail outlet. If its underperforming you wouldn’t necessarily jump at renovating it before you consider other more cost effective solutions.

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