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Website redesign

Time to Refresh or Redesign? Questions to Consider.

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How do you know it’s time to refresh or redesign your online store? That’s the million-dollar question and it’s one we help clients answer. Many leading brands have turned to LiveArea to transform their digital stores – applying new technology, design, user experience, functionality, and more. Of course every brand is different, but from our vantage point, there are telltale signs it’s time to refresh or redesign, and it all starts with asking the right questions.

Have You Outgrown Your Platform?

You know it’s time to redesign when you’ve outgrown your platform. Maybe you are on a “homegrown” solution or an entry-level platform and you cannot meet your future business goals without significant development work. This is a key sign that you may need to evaluate a new platform. And, while you are at it, this happens to be the perfect time to evaluate your customer experience and where it can be improved. Some considerations on the technology side:

  • Widening feature gap — You need more functional­ity around key areas such as mobile and personaliza­tion.
  • Accelerating growth — You’re growing fast and need to plan further out for future functionality, performance, and security needs.
  • Expertise crunch — You can’t access the right platform-specific skills to successfully build, deploy, customize, operate, and optimize your site.
  • Inadequate integration — Your platform lacks sophisticated enough integrations with other key business applications to empower your omnichannel sales strategies and provide consistent, high-quality customer data.

Are You Listening To Your Analytics?

Apply analytics to discern how people are using your site. Are there pages on your site with high bounce rates? Consider redesigning the pages to improve the user experience. If analytics tell you that customers are using search more than anything then make this feature more prominent. Test problem pages against a new design or updated copy. If customers are visiting and leaving your landing page, evaluate the content to see how you can keep people on the path to purchase.

  • Are your calls to action clear to your customers?
  • Do they instruct them what they need to do next?
  • Does the copy contain actionable language?

Is Your Store Emotionally Engaging?

Visually stunning and elegant designs affect how customers perceive the usability of your site as well as the value of the products offered. LiveArea, for instance, created a design capturing the essence of Kat Von D Beauty’s distinct brand through high wattage imagery and edgy editorial content.

Kat Von D website screens

Are You Mobile-Ready?

How does your product and content adapt for devices, including desktop and mobile? Today, sites are accessed from various touchpoints such as in-store kiosks, retail associates’ smartphones, and desktop systems (though, mobile is increasingly the platform of choice). With this in mind, your content should be designed to adapt. Keep in mind, thanks to mobile-first indexing, Google will penalize you if you don’t have a mobile-friendly site. This means you must consider font size, spacing of clickable elements and form fields, and use of a responsive grid so content auto adjusts for small to large viewport sizes. To ensure your site can be developed and coded properly, you should design for three views: Desktop, tablet portrait, and mobile.

Are You Social-Friendly?

Along the same lines as mobile-ready, you need to ask yourself if your site is social friendly. Look at how and where people are purchasing your products. If it’s through social channels ensure that your design gets people to a place where they can buy right away. Consider enabling customers to purchase directly through Instagram. Brands see a significant lift in page views, conversion rate, and total revenue by making Instagram shoppable. Also, when you are featuring specific products, consider sending shoppers straight to product detail page (PDP) and include social on that page. Converse does an excellent job of bringing social into the PDP.

Does Your Site Reflect The Flavor Of Your Brand?

If the answer is no then you’ve got a problem. Remember, your digital store is an extension of your brand. It needs to reflect the look and feel you’ve established. Think about voice. Think about imagery. Think about the intangibles that make your brand unique and incorporate these concepts in your webstore.

Recently, LiveArea translated the branding launched by beauty brand Ole Henriksen to a vibrant online store and product showcase with light, airy and vividly colored pages along with fresh functionality. Color palettes reflect the visual identity of each collection. Imagery hints at ingredients – think orange for vitamin C and olive green for botanicals. Consumers can choose their path to products by type of skin care such as cleansers and moisturizers; concern such as dry skin or fine lines; by collection and even ingredients.

Are You Consistent Across All Channels?

Branding must be uniform across all channels. Customer experience and the personality of your brand should be consistent everywhere. Make sure when you are considering a redesign or refresh that you are looking across the board. In redesigning Marc Jacobs Beauty, for instance, LiveArea created an online store that mirrors the look and feel of the high-fashion brand but adds a beauty dimension tailored to the purchase of cosmetics. The fashion-forward brand closely connects its fashion and makeup presence in online channels, creating visual design harmonizing the lines.

Marc Jacobs Beauty website screens

Are You Accessible?

With lawsuits being brought against business websites and apps for lack of accessibility, this is a good time to check or redesign areas that do not meet Website Content Accessibility Guidelines. When designed correctly, your website should give all users equal access to information and functionality. Accessibility is essential for brands that want to create high-quality, inclusive websites. To learn more about accessibility check out a previous blog we published on the subject.

Quick Tips

  • Keep in mind that a complete redesign may not be necessary. Individual pages can be refreshed to improve performance and results. New design can be added incrementally.
  • Looking for a place to start? Start with cart and checkout to streamline design. This can be a quick win. Refresh your homepage, along with the global header and footer.
  • Look at all your channels and refresh holistically.
  • Use Google Chrome to run an accessibility test and determine areas where your site can use attention. Here’s how:
    • Open Chrome
    • From the top menu: View -> Developer -> Developer Tools
    • A panel should open
    • From the top of the panel, click ‘Audits’
    • Uncheck all boxes except ‘Accessibility’ and click ‘Run audits’

A Webby Award-winning designer, LiveArea designs digital experiences for global brands. We blend the unique essence of each brand with the best of digital commerce. Learn more about our key services.

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