Approaching the design and layout of a new ecommerce website is a difficult task that can quickly unravel by ignoring the most important stakeholder: the customer.
Leading the website redesign of a brand ecommerce site can be like walking in front of a packed golf driving range.
With various stakeholders trying to drive the redesign to meet their needs or carve out real-estate for their initiatives it can feel like taking fire.
But don’t let the wants and desires of others replace those of your online customers who pay the brand’s bills.
Instead, work with these stakeholders’ ideas, but use customer research and data to keep the focus of the site on the customers’ goals and away from internal interests.
Step out of the box
Every website is unique. While there are no doubt UI and UX conventions that should be adhered to in order to help guide visitors through your site, there is no formula out there that can spit out the perfect website.There is no formula out there that can spit out the perfect website. Click To Tweet
Ignore the latest Top Ten list of web design trends that promise to turn your site into a conversion factory.
As an ecommerce manager your path to success is through blocking out external noise while researching your customer. Before you even think about wireframes, it is critical to do your research in identifying:
- What customer profile segments make up the majority of your current traffic?
- What pain points exist for new customers trying to learn about and purchase your product?
- What pain points exist for existing customers visiting your current website?
- What questions customer service frequently hear from customers?
- What supporting content is most helpful for your different customer segments?
Identifying your customer and their needs
There are a number of sources to learn more about your customer base that can be employed during the discovery phase of your website redesign. Digging into these four areas will lay the foundation of your research and should be referenced throughout each phase of the redesign project.
- Web Analytics
- Customer Service
- User Testing
- Internal Resources
Identify Internal Stakeholder Needs
Your internal team members have needs, recommendations, and design ideas that need to be heard and if the data agrees, acted upon.
Internally, ideas are going to be thrown around loosely and the multitude of visions for the site will cause the project to unravel quickly.
Developing buy-in across departments isn’t easy and may require compromises, but it is necessary to actually launch the new site. Once the site is launched, testing and refinement offer opportunities to revisit any Stuck Points™ prior to launch.
Be armed and dangerous
While supporting your internal teams is important, you shouldn’t do so at the expense of your customers needs.
This is where you, as an ecommerce manager, need to lean in, with all your weight, on the data you have collected.
Arm yourself with answers to these questions:
- What does a typical new user arriving on your site want?
- What does a returning customer who already knows what they want to buy, want?
- What does an engaged email opener visiting your site want?
- What does a user clicking through an affiliate discount code to your site want?
- What does a user who visits your website after learning about your brand from a friend want?
Let your online users drive how content is prioritized and how the website should be laid out.
Your job relies on conversions from customers, so don’t let the noise of outside influences disrupt the ultimate goal of serving those that make or break your goals. Otherwise, you will end up right where it all began with another underperforming website.