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Are You Thinking of a Website Redesign Without This Critical Strategy?

June 25, 2012 By Chris Goward
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The online retail market is vast. Over $145 billion of sales occurred online in 2009, according to the 2012 Statistical Abstract of the United States by the U.S. Census Bureau. A lot of retail websites’ virtual cash registers are ringing as you read this article.

How does your website's conversion rate stack up against all that competition?

Many website owners have been fooled into believing that a website redesign will improve conversions and revenue. It's common to assume that a slick new design that follows the accepted "best practices" of the day will increase consumer trust and your conversion rate.  

That's a false hope — and not the only problem with website redesign projects. Unfortunately, the creative process used by most agencies and marketing departments doesn't consider risk mitigation.

To understand your risk exposure, think about the number of individual changes that are made during a redesign multiplied by the depth of change for each element on your site. Imagine for a moment the laundry list of changes and updates proposed during a creative meeting: logo update, page templates restructured, more white space applied, font sizes increased, button colors changed, images moved, image sizes changed, shopping cart icons condensed or expanded, etc. When does the discussion around the risk of all these changes happen?

In most cases it doesn't.

Retailers usually go into a redesign without a proper process in place to test the page templates and landing pages that are being changed. They also lack a system to monitor and justify those changes against key conversion metrics. Mitigating these risks can only be done with a rigorous conversion optimization strategy. It requires a process that includes understanding your target audience, prioritizing test hypotheses to solve issues obstructing conversions, setting up controlled split tests and analyzing insights from data to make informed changes.

Retailers that are using a structured process that includes A/B split testing as part of a conversion optimization strategy, like WineExpress, GPS Central and BabyAge.com, are seeing significant sales lift while reducing risk.

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In fact, according to eConsultancy's 2011 Conversion Rate Optimization report, companies with a structured approach for conversion optimization are twice as likely to see a large increase in sales vs. those without a structured approach.

 
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