Shopify Ecosystem

How (And Why) You Should Conduct An Ecommerce Site Audit

how-(and-why)-you-should-conduct-an-ecommerce-site-audit

 

An ecommerce site audit isn’t an average audit process. It’s an opportunity to examine your online store to boost conversions.

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The word “audit” doesn’t typically spark feelings of excitement for business owners or team leaders. However, there is one exception to this rule: the ecommerce site audit.

An ecommerce site audit isn’t an average audit process. It’s an opportunity to pause, examine your online store, and find opportunities to boost conversions.

What is an ecommerce site audit?

An ecommerce site audit is an opportunity to review and analyze steps of the buying journey and pinpoint opportunities for improvement. Starting with a detailed checklist of common issues, a site audit will evaluate site performance and document findings.

Avoid treating the process as a cursory assessment or box-checking exercise. Site audits deserve dedicated attention and a recurring spot on every calendar. An audit should conclude with a plan to rectify any identified shortcomings – findings are only useful if you act on them.

Why you should do an ecommerce site audit

Conducting an ecommerce site audit will highlight any obstacles in the path to purchase and equip etailers to boost conversions. Many retailers neglect to carry out audits because their teams interact with their site every day and can assume any issues will be quickly spotted. However, the over-familiarity that comes with daily site visits can leave even the most seasoned ecommerce professionals blind to subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) problems.

Setting aside time to review each point on the audit checklist can focus your attention on user experience gaps that might otherwise be missed. Even better, factor some user testing into the audit process to observe how shoppers interact with your store and where they stumble.

Benefits of an ecommerce site audit

To sum up, the benefits of an ecommerce site audit include:

  • Fewer bugs, glitches, and errors
  • Better user experience
  • Streamlined path to purchase
  • Increased likelihood of conversions
  • Happier customers

Auditing Your Ecommerce Website

audit your Ecommerce website webinar

What to review as part of an ecommerce site audit

Site search

  • Review search reports for insights into your stores most common queries and review the results that each of these search terms generate. Are they accurate? Can shoppers find what they’re looking for? Does the no results found page lead to a dead end? Shoppers who search are more likely to convert, so the performance of this facet of your shopping experience is crucial.

Merchandising

  • Click through category pages and assess the appropriate products are on display where shoppers expect them. Are boost rules being taken advantage of? Banners? Badges? Geo-targeting? Check out this merchandising strategy guide for more.

Recommendations

  • Intelligent product recommendations have the potential to significantly drive up average order value, but only if they are used effectively. Review the products being suggested to shoppers at each step of their journey and assess cross-selling and unsold relevant items versus displaying unrelated products at random.

SEO

  • Realistically, a site’s performance on search engines deserves an audit of its own. From reviewing current rankings and identifying keyword gaps, to fixing issues with technical SEO. Give plenty of time for this step.

Site speed

  • Page load times affect everything from user experience to SEO. This step is easy to check thanks to a multitude of free online tools, but fixing any associated issues can take time. Run speed tests regularly to stay on top of any technical problems that may be slowing down your site.

Broken links

  • As with site speed, broken links are a big no-no from both a shopper and search engine perspective. They can also be surprisingly common in ecommerce as a result of discontinued products or restructured categories. Luckily, like site speed, it’s relatively easy to find any broken links that may have cropped up since the last audit using online tools and Google Analytics.

Mobile

  • Don’t confine an ecommerce site audit to desktop. Many retailers treat the mobile experience as a set-and-forget aspect of a site redesign or upgrade. However, as stores evolve, or as new lines are added, it’s important to check for any unexpected impacts on the mobile version of the store.

Make the time for regular ecommerce site audits

If you have been putting off an ecommerce site audit, consider this a sign to pencil it in. The first step? Re-frame any perception of an “audit” being a painful-but-necessary exercise and view it as an exciting chance to revamp the shopping experience. An ecommerce site audit makes a direct impact on the bottom line. If the audit exposes gaps in the checklist items listed above, get in touch and check out Searchspring’s Site Audit webinar.

 

 

Special thanks to our friends at Searchspring for their insights on this topic.
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