Wednesday, April 1, 2015Global Administrator With the snow nearly gone, and the temperature beginning to warm up (finally!), I think it’s safe to say that spring is around the corner.

Many of us are breaking out the brooms, getting the dust pan ready, and starting our spring cleaning around the house. It’s a necessary step in understanding what we don’t need anymore, what we can purge, and what we need to replenish in our homes.

These same principles apply to eCommerce stores and business owners. It’s time to sweep out old products that aren’t selling and dust off some of your key pages that may need some TLC.

We’ve compiled a list of ways you can “spring clean” your eCommerce store. Some may seem obvious or somewhat tedious, but it may surprise you what kind of issues you may uncover along the way.

Run Tests

This is clearly something that you need to do regularly when running an eCommerce store, but are you running all the necessary tests?
  1. Browser tests: There are so many browsers being used all over the world, and they update on a regular basis. It is vital to ensure your store is compatible with each of them. It creates a poor user experience when features, tools, or products are not working or displaying properly. It can increase your bounce rate and bad word of mouth. It only takes a bit of time to run some browser tests to improve the user experience.
  2. Devices: iPads, iPhones, and Android, oh my! There are 100’s of mobile devices on the market these days. Is your eCommerce store viewable on all of them? It’s very important that your store is mobile responsive. Again, this can have a massive impact on your bounce rate and overall user experience.
  3. Search Results: Run a few keyword searches on all major search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) and note where your key products show up within the search. You may find that your results weren’t as good as you thought they were. It may be time to do an SEO audit of your store and look into what is bringing down your search rankings.
Be the Customer

It’s always a good idea to follow the customer path. From landing on your site, all the way through to check-out; make sure the path is seamless and easy to follow.
  1. In-Site Search Capabilities: Make sure your customers are able to find what they’re looking for with ease & very few road blocks. Ensure your keywords, product descriptions, and in-site search bar are working properly.
  2. Checkout: This process is crucial to the success to any eCommerce store. You want to ensure the process is clear, secure and user-friendly. There are many reasons for shopping cart abandonment and a lot of them happen right at check out. Look for these stoppers and fix them!
  3. Abandonment: You may do all you can in preventing this, but it’s still going to happen at some point. Become the customer again, and abandon your cart. Ensure that the message they receive (and the copy within it) still attempts to complete or extend the shopping experience. You want to bring them back, not push them further away.
Remove Dead Weight:

This is the step where merchants need to do a bit of purging! It’s time to take a look at your books and evaluate which products need to stay and which ones need to go. If there is a product or product line that isn’t doing well or hasn’t sold in a while, it may be time to purge. It’s just taking up space and could become an annoyance to your customers. In addition, depending on your eCommerce platform and the type of plan you have, you can give yourself more room for new and/or better selling products!

Rethink your Design

Redesigning your store isn’t necessary every year, but it is important to remember that your design has a huge impact on your customer’s experience. You should at least be making regular tweaks on your design.

Your analytics and overall purchase numbers are a good indicator of what needs to be updated with your store. Look at your abandonment rate, where users drop off, and what products are more popular than others. A/B testing is a great way to analyze for designs, if you have the means to do so.

We learn at a very early age that chores are never fun, but eventually come to appreciate their importance. The same goes for your eCommerce store. These tasks can be tedious, time-consuming and downright boring! However, the truth is that they’re extremely necessary and crucial to the success of your store.

A great way to assist in streamlining some of these processes is to integrate your eCommerce store with your accounting or ERP system. Not only can integration help in making your overall business process’s more efficient, but it can provide great analytics to make your eCommerce spring cleaning that much more effective!

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