Do I really need to upgrade my online store?

By Josh Satler

 

You’ve had a website for five years. It still works for all intents and purposes. There are flashy images, copy and recently updated products. It was very cool in 2010 and you still feel it is “acceptable” in 2015.

Usability

You even invested in an SEO plan and made sure your website was compliant with Google.

So do you really need to upgrade?

In 2015 an increasing amount of eCommerce purchases are being made from their smartphones. When customers visit your site from their phone they navigate with two fingers. As you probably know from experience this can be very frustrating if a site is not set up correctly. As a result, if customers have to work too hard they give up or lose interest.

There are three major reasons to make your website responsive.

1. Google:  the massive search giant that is judge, jury and executioner of many online businesses. Their Algorithm update, known as “Mobilegeddon,” specifically targeted websites that were not responsive, ie not friendly to the user experience on mobile. That is a huge no-no in 2015. What worked previously doesn’t matter. The website should direct people to the appropriate page when they find it in mobile search or social and the user should not have to take time begging his/her fingers to make the screen large enough to be readable.

Another component of the Algorithm update was that Google explained it will penalize non-mobile friendly websites in the search engines from now on. Double whammy. That directly impacts your bottom line because fewer people discovering your website  = fewer customers.

2. UX (user experience): This is 2015. It’s an uberiffic world. People expect sleek design and things quickly and painlessly. Do you believe your archaic website can compete in that environment? Do you believe that prospective customers have patience for websites that don’t do what they need it to do when they want it done? Of course not.

Oh, and back to big G… Google still factors bounce rate into their Algorithm and if a user enters your site and then promptly leaves, that’s a negative signal. Additionally, that user is likely never coming back and could tell their friends and family about their experience.

3. Aesthetics: Technology has evolved so rapidly that nothing from 2010 will look as clean and crisp as 2015. Perception counts for a lot online (you have only a few seconds to impress your user), so is this really an area you can afford to neglect? If you have a brick & mortar store and say to yourself  “it’s ok, people will just walk in,” then look at your orders. See how many come from the city you live in because our free shipping world has trained people to prefer trying on clothes in the comfort of their home and being able to send back what they don’t want. That is greatly preferred to the time it takes to go to your store and try things on in a fitting room.

So it may be apparent that it’s time for a new website which typically carries the thought of “ok, so how much is this going to to put me back?” It once cost an arm and leg. The news gets better now. Costs have come down significantly over 5-10 years ago. Today many eCommerce stores are built on platforms like Shopify or Magento, and traditional websites are built using WordPress or other open source softwares.

No websites should exist online that are not mobile friendly. None should exist that don’t impress potential customers when they visit it on a mobile device, tablet or from their PC.

So, what are you going to do?

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