It’s time for spring cleaning! But we’re not talking about cleaning out your closets. It’s time to reorganize and freshen up your ecommerce business. Here are our ecommerce spring cleaning suggestions for updating and optimizing your online store so you’re ready for a successful year.
One of the first things you should put on your spring cleaning list is revisiting your SEO workflow. SEO strategies need to be reviewed periodically to ensure that they’re still working. This needs to be done more than just in the spring time – plan to take a close look at your SEO at least every six months (every quarter is even better). The information you find will help you know how to update the rest of your website.
Here are a few things to review:
- Keyword research – You can use tools like AnswerThePublic.com and Keyword.io to find the current keywords that shoppers are using to search for products like yours. Place the winning keywords throughout your site to improve your visibility online.
- Broken links – Broken links are annoying for customers and may cause them to leave your site. It can also lower your Google search rankings. Try Dead Link Checker, a free link checking tool, to scan your site for non working links.
- Content performance – What content on your site performs well? Is there some that isn’t engaging viewers? Look at the analytics provided by your software solution, at performance metrics like Traffic, Click-through Rate, Time On Site, and Exit Pages to find those answers. They will let you know if you need to update, repurpose, or get rid of content to boost your SEO.
Update Web Pages
How long has it been since you reviewed your About Me page, FAQs, or store policies? It’s easy to neglect these pages while you’re updating product pages and general site design. These pages do provide important information for your viewers.
Even though your FAQs and policies may not be different, there is likely room for improvement. You know more now than you did before about your store, products, and customers. Put that knowledge to use as you update the pages for this ecommerce spring cleaning tip. On the About Me page, consider whether your vision is still the same or if you need to expand on it.
Simplify the Checkout Process
Complicated checkouts can cause shopping cart abandonment. In fact, nearly one-quarter of online shoppers in the U.S. have left an online store without buying anything because they found the checkout process too lengthy or complicated.
Keep these things in mind as you work on your checkout:
- The first step is vital – Make the first page of your checkout as easy as you can. This is the page where your visitors will decide whether it’s worth the effort to continue or if they should abandon their carts.
- Limit required forms – Collect the necessary information from your customers, but don’t ask for too much. If you require shoppers to provide too much information, they may find the process too lengthy.
- Make registering optional – While it’s important to collect shoppers’ email addresses, requiring them to create an account prior to making a purchase isn’t the way to do it. Over 30% of online shoppers have left a site for that reason. Try offering a guest checkout with an option to create an account later. You can even create a pop-up that customers will receive once their purchase is complete.
Clear Out Old Stock
Now that the busy holiday season is over, you may find that you have old or excess inventory that needs to be cleared out. This stock is taking up space and tying up capital that could be better used for new spring inventory.
How can you move the stock without losing money? Here are some options:
- Run a flash sale – Flash sales can move a lot of products off your shelves. Offer deep discounts for 24 to 36 hours to entice customers to buy.
- Offer free shipping – Free shipping on clearance products will encourage customers to buy more.
- Sell on other channels – What doesn’t sell on one channel may sell on others. If you have leftover holiday stock, try listing it on marketplaces like Amazon or eBay – you may not even need to mark prices down.
- Bundle products – Offer some of your slower moving or excess products in bundles with your better selling items for a good deal. This will entice customers to buy and make room on your shelves.
Clean Up Your Customer Database
The final item on your ecommerce spring cleaning list is to tidy up your customer database. Even if you have a small business, there is likely some inaccurate information in your records. This can be tedious, but worth it in the long run. In fact, having bad data can actually hurt your marketing effort. It can trigger spam filters and make it more difficult to get your emails into inboxes. Delete any duplicates on your list, update any outdated data, and touch base with any subscribers you haven’t heard from in a while.
Spring is the perfect time to revisit some of your business practices, so even though it might be daunting, it’s important to make the time in schedule to do some ecommerce spring cleaning. Refreshing your website, optimizing SEO, making checkout easy for customers, cleaning up your customer list, and moving old stock are all tasks that will ultimately lead to increased sales.
Editor’s Note: This blog post was originally published March 2016 and was updated in March 2020 to reflect more accurate and relevant information.