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Don’t launch your new ecommerce website until you’ve read this

It’s almost D-Day. After months of hard work, your brand new ecommerce website is finally about to go live. While you can’t wait to flick the switch and see your new website in action, there’s also anxiety. What if the new site doesn’t bring in the stellar sales predicted?

Even the biggest names in the business see a drop in sales when their site goes live

Remember Marks & Spencer in 2014?

And they’re not alone. When we researched problems with new ecommerce websites shortly after, over a third of respondents (37%) reported a loss of sales / revenue as a result of building a new website. So what can you do to guard against it happening to you?

Pre-launch measures to protect against a disappointing conversion rate

Even though your new ecommerce website is already signed off and nearly ready to go live, it’s not too late to take action to protect your business from a potential conversion rate disaster. What you need to do now is make sure that you’re well equipped to spot, diagnose and fix problems as soon as they arise.

Here are three ways to protect yourself from a haemorrhaging conversion rate after the launch of a new ecommerce website:

1. Set up benchmarks in Google Analytics

benchmark-graphs.jpgSetting up benchmarks in Google Analytics allows you to measure and compare key metrics on your old and new websites. When you have useful benchmarks already set up, it’s easy to identify exactly where your new website is losing customers should your conversion rate take a dive.

Knowing exactly where the problem is allows you to focus your efforts on fixing it straight away, rather than muddling around for days trying to find the glitch.

2. Run usability tests

laboratory-usability-testing.pngDo usability with real people on your new website before it goes live. Sitting down next to someone and observing them actually trying to navigate and place an order on your ecommerce website is the most effective way to measure how user-friendly your new site really is. It’s also a valuable tool for pinpointing exactly where your ecommerce platform is going to cause problems for your customers.

While you won’t immediately be able to make changes based on this insight, knowing in advance which elements users find most problematic helps you to prioritise which issues to address first, once the website is live.

3. Use a split testing tool

ab-testing.pngSplit testing tools make it possible to compare the performance of multiple versions of the same web page, allowing you to choose the version that results in the highest conversion rate. Launching your new ecommerce website with a split testing tool already in place makes it easier to begin testing alternative designs and calls to action the moment you identify an underperforming web page. Install split testing software right from the start so you don’t waste any time testing new web pages. Plus if your new site does do well, split testing will help you make it even better.


With these three measures in place you’ll be well set to reverse any decline in sales, should the worst happen when you go live. Speed is of the essence – the sooner you can start fixing conversion rate problems, the less money you’ll lose. We very much hope you don’t need them.

Find out more about safeguarding your conversion rate by downloading our whitepaper, How to Ensure Your New Ecommerce Website is a Conversion Success.

Still worried about your conversion rate? Get a quick, comprehensive Pre-Flight Check

AWA digital specialises in ecommerce Conversion Rate Optimisation. Our pre-launch website audit is completed in less than 10 working days and outlines exactly what you’ll need to fix on your new website to protect – or resuscitate – your conversion rate. To find out more about how our Pre-Flight Check can benefit your business, get in touch with us here.

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