If you’re seriously considering migrating to a new ecommerce platform or designing a new website from scratch, you’re in good company. Econsultancy’s Technology For eCommerce Report reveals that last year 51% of businesses were about to replatform or already had moved to a new ecommerce website. A further 22% said they were considering replatforming.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that you should follow suit, however.
Optimising your existing ecommerce website could trump launching a new one
On the face of it, launching a brand new ecommerce website may appear to promise exciting benefits, such as a better customer experience, higher conversion rates and increased sales.
However, none of these outcomes are guaranteed, and the risks associated with going all-in on a new website are huge.
The fact is often the same benefits could be achieved simply by giving your existing site a little TLC, rather than spending a mountain of cash on launching a brand new website.
To avoid ending up with a drooping conversion rate, lower monthly sales and less revenue, you need to ask yourself one very important question: Do I really need a new ecommerce website?
Make sure a new ecommerce website is a commercially sound investment
Of course, there are sometimes technical reasons why you have to replatform, such as back office requirements that just can’t cope any more.
But all things being equal, there is a simple way to evaluate whether you’re likely to be better off financially going for a new website or option of optimising your existing website. First identify three values:
- A: POTENTIAL REVENUE INCREASE THROUGH OPTIMISATION
How much extra revenue your current website could generate if it were optimised to achieve its full potential.
- B: COSTS OF NEW WEBSITE
The cost of developing a new website may be minimal, especially if you are doing the work in-house.
- C: POTENTIAL REVENUE INCREASE OF THE NEW SITE
How much extra revenue a new website could generate.
You have probably already forecast how much extra revenue your new site would make (C), and if you have had quotes in from suppliers, you’ll know the cost of the new site (B).
To put a figure on A (the extra revenue you could gain from your existing site if it was fully optimised) may seem a little like staring into a crystal ball. However, there are various tools and techniques you can use – like heatmaps and conversion funnels – to make a reliable, educated guess. As a rule of thumb, we would expect to gain at least 20% uplift in Revenue Per Visitor within 6-12 months, if a rigorous conversion rate optimisation programme is put in place.
Once you have a handle on these three values, the maths is easy. Deduct the cost of the new site (B) from the amount of additional revenue you expect to gain (C).
Then compare it with the additional revenue you could expect to gain if you optimise the site (A) less the costs of the tools and any other costs.
If A (optimisation) is higher than C-B (new site minus costs) then you would be better off financially to stick with your current ecommerce website and commit to implementing Conversion Rate Optimisation. This is also a safer option as you are guaranteed to get higher revenue, whereas many new websites simply fail to deliver and actually drag down sales.
Still launching your new ecommerce website? Make sure you protect your conversion rate.
No-one ever thinks their new website will perform worse than their existing one, but a surprisingly high proportion do. However optimistic you feel about it, it’s sensible to assume the worst, and put measures in place now to avoid your conversion rate plummeting with the relaunch.
You should also consider benchmarking key metrics now, so that if the worst happens post-launch you can identify the problem quickly and take action to resolve it.
For more information and practical advice, see our new whitepaper, How to Ensure Your New ecommerce Website is a Conversion Success. It identifies the pitfalls to avoid when launching a new website and explains how best to protect your conversion rate. In addition, the guide outlines how you can recover your conversion rate should your new website not perform as expected. Download the research report and whitepaper here.
It’s worth asking the experts for help.
Evaluating your current website’s potential and weighing up the likely benefits of commissioning a new website can be complicated and time-consuming. AWA digital specialises in ecommerce Conversion Rate Optimisation. If you’d like to chat to us about evaluating your current ecommerce website, or about the potential benefits of launching a new website, get in touch with us.