eCommerce Best Practices – Are You Ready for 2016?

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The 2015 holiday shopping season hit a new high this year with online sales that reached over $105 billion (a whopping 9 percent over 2014) according to the National Retail Federation.

This number greatly exceeded Adobe Digital Index’s (ADI) “2015 Holiday Online Shopping Predication,” of a record $83 billion in online sales.

With the influx of consumers flocking to the online shopping experience, it’s vital that retailers optimize their websites in order to stay competitive and draw consumers in.

Toward that end, we pose the following three questions to help you determine whether your site is ready for 2016, and suggest how to get it ready if not.

Is your site mobile-friendly?

The number of people who made purchases via their mobile devices during the 2015 holiday season hit a new high last year with over 30% of all online sales coming from a smart phone or tablet (a 12% growth from 2014), according to Custora.

With more consumers showing preference for mobile shopping, your company should be offering either a mobile-friendly version of its site or its own app. If your site is not configured for this growing shopper demographic, consumers may abandon your site for a competitor’s that is easier to use.

In fact, according to Adobe’s Senior Program Manager Vikram Verma, users are five times more likely to leave a page if it isn’t mobile-friendly.

What are you doing to reduce latency?

According to a 2015 survey from Internet Performance specialists, Dyn, 65 percent of customers surveyed are not willing to wait longer than three seconds for a website to load.

With online shopping continuing to grow in popularity each year, so does the chance that your website will lose customers if its speed can’t keep up with expectations.

As such, it is a good idea to leverage network monitoring solutions that are capable of tracking efficiency to see where website vulnerabilities might be originating. Be prepared to scale your bandwidth needs as well in order to accommodate increasing web traffic.

How are you improving the user experience?

Among others, some of the most obvious components that make up the online user experience include website navigation, site architecture and design.

To ensure that users have a positive experience with your site, it’s important to make constant improvements and conduct regular testing in order to match industry best practices.

Regular usability testing will help determine how potential clients are interacting with your website or app.

Make sure your pages strike a balance with both design and data. That is, while providing quality content is essential, you don’t want users to feel overwhelmed with too much information that is packed in too densely.

Likewise, it is crucial that your site incorporate a proper conversion funnel without being overtly promotional.

Usability testing is a good method for conducting actionable research to ensure that your site—for mobile or desktop—is optimized for the user experience.

Conclusion

If you can’t answer these questions, now’s the time to look more closely at your site before your competitors get the jump on you in 2016.