How to Redesign an eCommerce Website: (without Losing SEO Ranking) A-Z 2020 Guide
The website redesign is a process as intricate as cooking a perfectly risen souffle: there are so many ways to get it wrong and there is only one way to get it right, which is brimming with nuance.
In souffle baking, just like in website redesign, a mistake is awaiting us each step of the way, and that can jeopardize the entire operation.
You can get a perfectly collapsed souffle if you:
- use cold eggs for beating,
- use a non-metal bowl to whisk eggs in,
- use ramekins that have the wrong shape,
- whisk egg whites before preparing the base,
- forget to sprinkle the sides with sugar for easy climbing,
- put the souffle on the top shelf of the oven, or
- open the oven for even a second out of curiosity.
Likewise, upgrading your website is an equally complex process that encompasses dozens of vital nuance factors, each of which may ruin the whole web redesign process.
Let’s see how you can cook up a perfectly working eCommerce website that actually has better KPIs compared to your old design, and does not collapse on all metrics at launch - after all that investment.
Is It Worthwhile to Redesign An eCommerce Website?
If done right, website redesign has the potential to produce an incredibly impressive ROI.
If done wrong, the metrics of your old website may actually start declining and needing more talent and investment to fix.
This is why we recommend starting on a website redesign plan only if you fall into one of the categories described in the following chapter.
Otherwise, take this advice:
Don’t mess with success”
Arguments Against Redesigning Your eCommerce Website
‘If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.’
A marketing Guru Neil Patel suggests you never redesign your website. You tweak and test. Continuously.
Well, it kind of makes sense. Neil knows a thing or two in digital marketing and SEO, true that.
But when is tweaking and testing not enough and you need a fully-fledged website redesign for eCommerce? Let’s see.
Your Website is So Mobile-Second
Mobile-first website design is something that’s as much of a given nowadays as a cup of coffee on the way to the office.
Commercially speaking, the mobile-first principle is a fundamental prerequisite of website design with $2.9 trillion in mobile commerce sales forecast for 2020 and over 52% of global traffic going through mobile devices.
If your website is not responsive and tweaks are not enough to make it so yes, you do need to redo your site from head to toe: or from header to footer, to be more precise.
Well, anyway, start sooner rather than later: you may be disadvantaged and get your eCommerce store some bad karma while procrastinating.
Rebranding In Progress: You Are Revamping Your Concept
If you have decided to rebrand your business like this with the entire user persona review, logo upgrade, and a totally new bank account, you might as well need to redesign your website
It’s not about color palette or adding a new logo or changing the old company mission to the new one.
If you think you are no longer relevant for your clients, and your concept is outdated, colors alone will not fix the issue. You may need to redo a site map, rethink the brand tags and keywords, and read just your product categories altogether.
In a digital nutshell: the rebranding process will trigger an eCommerce website redesign in 99% of user cases.
The Website CMS or Platform is Wrong or No Longer Fits the Bill
One of the most common reasons why couples break up is that they grow apart over time. One of them starts to grow & develop faster and another one is satisfied in a comfort zone.
If this is how you feel about your website CMS or the theme template, you’d better act soon. If you feel your CMS slows you down and is no longer a good fit, put an end to this suffering soon. The great news is: you cannot hurt an abandoned CMS’s feelings.
Specifically, in eCommerce, the engine you use means a lot for your conversion rates. Some plans are limited to only a hundred or so items and cannot do more. If your first website experience has served its purpose and took you from zero to a real eCommerce entrepreneur, just ensure your second website will have an engine powerful enough to serve you for years to come.
eCommerce CMS widely used for no-coding website design:
- WordPress + WooCommerce
- Open Cart
It goes without saying: the bigger fish in the pond can afford a custom made website design, which will provide the highest speed and most unique design while remaining as agile and user-friendly as templated solutions.
Figures Scream Redesign: Low Conversion Rate, Slow Loading
Those are just two of the most basic reasons that may pop out and alert an online store owner to the need to upgrade a website.
But overall there are dozens of data statistics a savvy digital marketer may interpret as an urgent call to action, like User Experience, Bounce rate, Cart Abandonment, CTR, Time on Page, and many others.
Make sure that minor tweaks won't do the trick by requesting a couple of audits from independent sources. They won't be wasted anyway – if you decide to go into a full-fledged eCommerce site redesign or opt to tweak and test here and there.
To Reduce Your Marketing Costs
A properly engineered eCommerce store has the potential to operate successfully with minimal to moderate marketing expense.
A great online shop will be providing the tightest conversion at each stage of the funnel without leaking much traffic along the way.
Such a structure will squeeze the most out of the traffic it gets by doing a lot of A/B testing to fine tune every little part of the design, each line of microcopy and every button.
In case you feel you are investing way too much into marketing with little to no, or even negative return, join the club: you have a website that needs redesigning.
Challenges of eCommerce Website Redesign
Pitfalls await around every corner when you decide to start website redesign for eCommerce.
Below are just a few of them, most of which are related to keeping the SEO rankings you have earned with the old website and preventing the imminent drop that too many novice redesign projects face.
- Choosing a CMS that’s right for your online store
- Staying close to your old website’s sitemap structure while introducing necessary changes
- Maintaining all of the top URLs
- Doing redirects for URLs that you cannot keep [e.g., With ".html" at the end]
- Keeping the alt tags, descriptions, H2s and H3s, images of alt texts of the popular pages.
- Finding the balance between optimal design and website loading speed
- Choosing the right website developer with the right talent and expertise at an affordable price tag
How To Plan A Website Redesign
If you are wondering how to prepare for a website redesign, below are a few pivotal features that a website developer should take into consideration to produce a better outcome:
- Integrate Social Proof early on the page, above the fold (consumer reviews, videos of satisfied customers, badges, and awards).
- Take advantage of pop up smart forms in an unobtrusive yet helpful manner – to upsell, contact, as an order bump.
- To Mega menu or Not to Mega Menu – is the decision to be made. Amazon doesn’t have it, but Gucci does.
- “Add to favorites” or “add to wish-list” features for quicker conversion
- Reinforce social proof with social media integration (embedding a brand hashtag with client posts is an option).
- Consider a single-page checkout design or otherwise comprehensive process that will be perceived as easy and not intimidating.
- Incorporate loyalty programs into the customer journey and website UX.
A well-planned process will help you decrease the budget for eCommerce website redesign across many cost centers.
Process of eCommerce Platform Upgrade
When developing your website redesign strategy, take into account the following step-by-step process recommendations:
- Define Critical Features (see the module mentioned above)
- Analyze & register in Excel an old website’s pivotal data points to be migrated to a new website (sitemaps, URLs, top pages, top keywords)
- Collect user data & gather information for new marketing insights
- Develop wireframing and create mockups
- Spell out details of the UI design wired for high conversion
- Test and introduce respective changes
- Launch a new website and monitor analytics to spot any ranking deviations and fix them in a timely manner.
Best Website Redesign Practices For Online Stores
It’s Non-Negotiable: Mobile First It Is
Just so you keep in mind that since 2018, we’ve been in a mobile-first era and there is no space for brainstorming or negotiations on that point.
It's a given and you should totally follow this rule if you have the ambition to beat your competitors in your niche – or at least most of them.
May Data Be With You
Put figures behind every decision when you plan your site redesign. It’s the 21st century. Your gut feeling is now rudimentary, and not sophisticated enough.
Then it’s time to fix it.
Nobody Will Know: Getting Inspiration From The Best
Everybody does it. We live & learn. It's OK to look over the fence where the grass is greener, and learn how to water it for the best results in your garden.
Check out the local competition in your niche and get some ‘inspo’ from similar businesses abroad. Look into Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Asia, alongside some local rivals to ensure you check out a diversity of approaches.
Brainstorming & Mind Mapping Time
In the best-case scenario, you would brainstorm the ideas for a new version of your old website together with your chosen vendor for web development.
Get a rep from each revenue-making department at the meeting for the most productive mind mapping session.
Test Like Your Sales Depend On It
…because they do.
Testing allows an online store owner to choose the most efficient design of the tiniest features on their website from the perspective of a user.
You will be surprised how often it doesn’t coincide with your own preference.
How Much Does eCommerce Website Redesign Cost?
Cost of a website redesign depends on multiple factors, such as:
- The number of pages on initial and new versions of the site
- The eCommerce CMS used
- The number of product categories & items sold
- The content available for product pages (images, 360 photos, videos, descriptions, unpacking social media embedded content, etc.)
- Integration of hi-tech solutions, like AR, AI, machine learning algorithms for a suggestion engine
- Website developing provider country of residence or labor source (It’s no surprise that Eastern Europe and Asia are full of technical talent at lower price tag.)
- The involvement of the client in the re-design process (it can both precipitate the entire plan and slow it down: for example a well-prepared brief with references and new marketing insights will be a great starting point for any mobile and web development company; while a lot of decision-makers and lengthy approval processes will blow eCommerce redesign cost and jeopardize meeting the deadline)
Once you know you need the facelift for your eCommerce platform for all the right reasons, start finding out about the eCommerce website redesign price for your specific case by sending out requests for a quote to a few select vendors.
There is no uniform answer to the question: "How much does it cost to redesign an eCommerce website?“ Amazon, with 12 million products, is an eCommerce site and so is a local hand-made boutique with 12 models of beach handbags.
How Can Zoolatech Help You Upgrade Your Online Store?
Zoolatech is a website & mobile development company that specializes in eCommerce web design & re-design.
Deeply rooted in Silicon Valley, we know a thing or two about the future of eCommerce and the recent trends of the web dev.
Based in Kyiv, Ukraine, we manage to hire top technical talent at remuneration levels that would seem like a dream come true in the US or Western Europe.
Consequently, we can offer impeccable web dev at a competitive price tag.
Allow our experienced team to guide you into a smooth web redesign operation with minimal risks and plenty of market expertise to enable high ROI on the plan.
The eCommerce homepage redesign process has its pitfalls and positive aspects: you already have the data to base your decisions on, but you need to be ultra-careful not to drop your existing SEO rankings.
Reading a few comprehensive guides on website redesign like this is a great starting point.
Choosing a savvy experienced web dev vendor to help you with this project is a critical step, the successful completion of which will guarantee a litany of positive outcomes from the mission of upgrading your online store.