Are You Thinking of a Website Redesign Without This Critical Strategy?

The online retail market is vast. Over $145 billion of sales occurred online in 2009, according to the 2012 Statistical Abstract of the United States by the U.S. Census Bureau. A lot of retail websites’ virtual cash registers are ringing as you read this article.
How does your website’s conversion rate stack up against all that competition?

Many website owners have been fooled into believing that a website redesign will improve conversions and revenue. It’s common to assume that a slick new design that follows the accepted “best practices” of the day will increase consumer trust and your conversion rate.

That’s a false hope — and not the only problem with website redesign projects. Unfortunately, the creative process used by most agencies and marketing departments doesn’t consider risk mitigation.

To understand your risk exposure, think about the number of individual changes that are made during a redesign multiplied by the depth of change for each element on your site. Imagine for a moment the laundry list of changes and updates proposed during a creative meeting: logo update, page templates restructured, more white space applied, font sizes increased, button colors changed, images moved, image sizes changed, shopping cart icons condensed or expanded, etc. When does the discussion around the risk of all these changes happen?

In most cases it doesn’t.

Retailers usually go into a redesign without a proper process in place to test the page templates and landing pages that are being changed. They also lack a system to monitor and justify those changes against key conversion metrics. Mitigating these risks can only be done with a rigorous conversion optimization strategy. It requires a process that includes understanding your target audience, prioritizing test hypotheses to solve issues obstructing conversions, setting up controlled split tests and analyzing insights from data to make informed changes.

Related Content
  • Wholland

    One aspect that is often overlooked during a web redesign is analytic history. A site will often have a wealth of statistics about consumer interaction with a site over time. Those results shouldn’t be ignored during a site redesign but rather used as a guide. You never want to change elements proven to assist in conversion.

    Wendy Holland
    Marketsmith Inc.

  • Bob Webster

    You have to step back even further. One of my primary challenges in a website redesign is to get clients to proceed with well identified business objectives. You can’t identify risk factors without knowing where they fall in their objectives which feed marketing strategy and into key conversion metrics.