Brands should audit their ecommerce site regularly, but especially as the calendar approaches the profitable fourth quarter, an audit is something you cannot afford to miss. This blog post will cover what an ecommerce site audit entails, what brands should look for and how ecommerce tools can help keep a site optimised all year round.
Consumers today have high expectations for website performance. Slow page loading times, broken links, and confusing checkout processes will cause customers to close their browser tab and shop elsewhere. In fact, nearly 70% of consumers say they are less likely to make a purchase (or even less likely to return in the future) if the page loading time is slower than expected.
By assessing a website’s design, functionality and user experience, brands can identify areas for improvement and make the changes necessary to keep customers coming back. Regular audits also ensure that merchants spot issues before they negatively affect SEO ranking or the number of customers who complete the checkout process.
What Is an Ecommerce Site Audit?
An ecommerce site audit is a comprehensive analysis of an online store that looks at every aspect of a business appears and functions to customers, from website design to checkout process. It is conducted by an ecommerce expert who will take a close look at how the site is performing and make recommendations for improvement. These performance indicators can include everything from SEO, page loading times, mobile optimisation and much more.
An ecommerce site audit can be a valuable tool for improving a brand’s online store. It can help brands identify areas that cause friction for their customers and give businesses a starting point for improvement. An audit can also help spot potential problems that could impact a brand’s business in the future before customers notice and click away.
Why Should You Conduct an Ecommerce Site Audit?
For DTC brands, a website is everything, and customers want a stellar experience every time. And these improvements pay off. Research shows that every 10% investment in UX strategy yields an 83% lift in conversion. As brands prioritise the user experience on their websites, they improve sales and retention.
But websites are constantly evolving, so sometimes it is necessary to take a step back and look at what is not working. To ensure that an ecommerce site is running optimally, it is important to conduct an ecommerce site audit regularly. Here’s why:
1. Keep your site up-to-date
An ecommerce site audit will help identify any areas of a site that need to be updated, such as out-of-date content, broken links or outdated design elements. Keeping a site up-to-date is essential for providing visitors with a positive user experience and ensuring that search engines continue to rank the site highly.
2. Identify any potential security risks
An ecommerce site audit can also help identify any potential security risks, such as vulnerabilities in a site’s code or outdated security protocols. By addressing these risks, brands can help protect their sites and customers’ data.
3. Improve a site’s performance
An ecommerce site audit can also help identify problem areas that might be slowing down loading speed or causing customers frustration with their experience. By making these improvements, brands can help ensure that their sites look and function beautifully and continue to perform well in search engine rankings.
4. Identify friction in the buying journey
An ecommerce site audit gives cross-functional teams visibility into the shopping journey. When siloed teams update a brand’s ecommerce site or product pages, the changes may cause unintended friction points that cause cart abandonment. Identifying friction and resolving it increases conversions.
5. Identify cross-selling opportunities
An ecommerce site audit gives brands data to increase cross-selling and upselling. A brand can see what categories or products shoppers viewed but did not purchase. This market insight can help merchandisers properly display products customers are likely to purchase and increase overall average order value.
What to Look for in an Ecommerce Site Audit
When building an ecommerce site audit, there are a few key things brands should look for:
- Page load speed matters for both potential customers and search engines. If the site is slow to load, merchants could lose customers and search results ranking.
- Broken links lead customers to a dead end. Instead of continuing to look for the missing page, they will likely leave your site altogether.
- Mobile-first design is paramount for today’s consumers. Over 80% of consumers in developed countries have a smartphone, and they use it to shop and connect with brands.
- Identify missing product images, titles and descriptions. Every product on a brand’s page should look consistent and appealing.
- Streamline categories and pages. Too many items on one page bog down a site, but too many categories increase the number of clicks it takes a customer to find what they are looking for.
- Pop-up optimisation. Brands should inventory and evaluate the number and kind of pop-ups on their sites. Some pop-ups are required while others cause unnecessary friction and could drive customers away. Brands should identify when and where pop-ups are displayed and which ones are converting in order to optimise for data collection and customer experience.
How ESW Can Help Optimise Your Ecommerce Site
ESW’s ecommerce team — including ecommerce managers — takes the complication out of running your own DTC ecommerce services. Our team handles all aspects of your stores as if we were a department within your organisation. EW’s team of experts not only help build and maintain your sites but also offer recommendations and help build a strategic ecommerce roadmap to boost your revenue through audits, improvements in UX, SEO and overall strategy.