Ask any strong entrepreneur: cleanliness and organization are keys to personal and professional success. As an online merchant, you should follow these tips to a fault. It could mean the difference between thousands of dollars in business. Just like a brick-and-mortar store, you’ll need to break out the broom and do a little sweeping every so often.
Keeping a nice, tidy backend is only part of the deal. Your customers don’t want to have a cluttered experience, either, and it’s up to you to make sure they don’t. On the front end, plenty of different strategies can help you transform your store from a sloppy mess to a sparkling example of a clean storefront.
Here are a couple of tips that should be part of your regular maintenance.
STEP 1: Clean up product pages.
As your store grows, you’ll add more and more product pages. Newer models and versions will eventually replace each of these products. Sometimes, you may need to stop supporting a specific brand. In other cases, you may sell out and decide not to restock a low-selling product.
Whatever your reasons, these pages will continue to exist on your online store. In many cases, those pages have built up some indispensible link juice for your store. Instead of deleting entire pages, fit them with redirects to point customers finding you through search engines to the most updated model. Or present a message that informs customers the product is out of stock and simply suggest they move to another product page.
STEP 2: Consider a periodic redesign.
Want to refresh your website? Your customers may need a change just as badly as you do. A consistent design refresh, annually or every two years, say, is a great way to reignite the passion of your customers in your brand.
Lots of stores start out with a template design. When they grow into successful websites, they have a greater budget to work with. In those cases, work with a professional designer or design team to make sure you’re able to create a layout and scheme that represents your brand.
STEP 3: Test links and features.
As you develop a store, you’re liable to change some things around. Pages will be moved and deleted. Navigation will evolve. All of these natural occurrences can lead to dead or misplaced links.
The same goes for features. Perhaps you aren’t getting as much mileage out of a feature as you thought. If that feature is visible but inactive for your shoppers, you might want to consider clearing it out so there’s no confusion.
STEP 4: Update company information.
Customers want to do business with a real company, with a brand that has personality. Keeping company information on your website is an important way to present a cohesive face for your online store. If that information isn’t up to date, it could cause trust issues between your shoppers and your brand.
If you make a physical move or change your phone number, make sure you keep that information fresh on your ‘about’ page.