A Website Redesign Won’t Lift Your Sales Much (And What To Do Instead)
Thinking of doing a redesign of your website to try to increase your sales? Or maybe you are not happy with your current design and want to a better one? Or perhaps you just want a fresh new look or a rebrand?
I’ve got some disappointing news for you. 😞
Unfortunately, most website redesigns don’t work as well as planned and have barely any impact on sales, and some even have negative effects!
So how can you ensure much better results from your next website redesign?
In this article I reveal the most common reasons why website redesigns fail, and then what to do instead to ensure greatest success for improving sales.
1: Too much is changed at the same time in the website redesign
When doing a redesign the whole website is often changed. This causes problems because some of your website redesign changes will be positive, but unfortunately some will be negative. So the impact of the better changes are outweighed by your poor changes. And you won’t know easily the exact changes that caused a positive or negative impact on sales. For example, your new product page might do much better, but your new homepage headline might not be engaging visitors as well as before.
Instead of launching a full website redesign with all the changes together, if you launch many smaller incremental improvements over a few months it will help you measure the impact of each improvement much better.
2: Too little feedback gathered from your visitors and customers
This is one of the major reasons for redesign failure. Your most influential and important audience are your visitors and customers, and if you haven’t got considerable feedback from them on your existing website and proposed designs, this will frustrate many of them when you launch.
This is what happened with a poor redesign of MarksAndSpencer.com — while the website looked fantastic, it was too modern and many visitors didn’t understand how to use it properly, causing an 8% drop in online sales.
Therefore you need to gain in-depth feedback on your current website from your visitors and customers. Doing surveying using a tool like Hotjar and user testing with a tool like Userfeel.com is one the best ways of gaining this essential feedback. A key part of this is determining their most common issues, doubts, frustrations, needs, as once you know those you can ensure your redesign solves their issues and needs.
Here is an example of some good questions to ask your customers in a survey:
Then after you created your new designs based on their feedback, do surveying and user testing again to make sure your users can easily complete common tasks, and ask if anything seems confusing. Then make further changes based on that feedback.
3: Poor use of web analytics to gain insights, and too reliant on best guess for ideas
Many redesigns don’t use insights from web analytics, and instead are often reliant on hoping that ideas will be successful based on best guesses or demands from HiPPOs. Without web analytics insights, you are essentially blinded by not knowing what pages or elements are performing badly, and not knowing what is currently working well that you should keep for the redesign.
Therefore you need to first do a complete analysis of your current website performance, including ecommerce conversion rate, shopping cart abandonment rate, and bounce rates and conversion rates for your key pages.
This will also form a benchmark is essential for determining the success of any pages you are redesigning, and for future post-redesign launch improvements.
4: Website designers aren’t experts in conversion
Website designers are visual experts can create great looking websites, with stylish page designs. But unfortunately very few of them know how to design a website that ensures highest conversion rates using CRO best practices.
Therefore while its really important to have a good designer to create a more compelling website design, you need to also involve CRO experts to gain high impact website improvement ideas — either internally if you are lucky enough to have them, or hire a CRO expert like myself.
Use incremental, CRO-based website improvements instead of full website redesigns
Now you know the main reasons why website redesigns don’t work well. But what’s the solution? You need to use an incremental, CRO (conversion rate optimization) based website improvements instead of full website redesigns.
This means that instead of lauching full website redesigns once every few years, you need to launch frequent but smaller highly-performing changes (like 2–5 changes per month).
These incremental changes are based on your visitor and customer issues and needs, analytics insights and CRO best practices, and will give you much better results for improving your conversion and sales.