11 June 2022

How To Bring Your Business Website Into The 21st Century

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You're likely reading this article today because your business has a website, but you're not happy with it for several reasons. For example, you're probably dismayed how little revenue your site brings in compared to your social media profiles.

You may also not like how it doesn't seem to convey a fresh and modern brand image to your target market, nor do you like how people struggle to order anything on it.

The problem is, you're unsure of the best ways to modernise your website and make it a realistic revenue source for your business. Take a look at the following 15 examples to help you improve your website's design and functionality:

1. Adopt A Mobile-First Responsive Design

Did you know that most people use Google on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets? There's no denying that such devices are convenient and mean people can go online wherever they are in the world.

With those facts in mind, it makes sense to ensure your website has a mobile-friendly design and layout and adopts a "responsive" design.

In a nutshell, a responsive design is one that automatically adapts according to a visitor's device type and screen size, resulting in an easy-to-read tailored design.

2. Improve The Shopping Cart Workflow

One of the biggest bugbears online retailers face is when customers find it challenging to make a purchase.

The reason is that many websites use off-the-shelf e-commerce platforms, and some of those solutions have convoluted steps for customers to follow before they can buy stuff.

Therefore, it makes sense to review the steps customers must follow and look at practical ways to shorten them. For example, it might make sense to have a single shipping and billing information page instead of two separate ones.

3. Increase Your Website’s Security

Online security is at the forefront of everyone's minds. Internet retailers worry about malicious attempts to hack into their databases to steal sensitive customer data, and customers worry about things like identity and card payment data theft.

If your website only has minimal security, now is the time to bolster your online protection and make the shopping experience safer for you and your customers.

Steps that you could take to improve security problems might include:

  • Changing to a different web host;

  • Adopting stronger SSL/TLS security;

  • Forcing users to create more complex account passwords; and

  • Introducing mandatory two-factor authentication.

4. Revisit The Customer Experience

What do your customers think about the experience they receive when they browse your website or attempt to buy something on it?

It's easy to assume that customers will be "okay" with a design and workflow you introduce, but the reality is often far removed from the concept.

Attempt to carry out some basic tasks on your website as a customer would, such as searching or browsing for products and information, placing an order, and contacting your staff for help.

5. Incorporate A Sleek, Simplistic Design

One of the most significant issues that affect many website owners is how they opt for designs that don't necessarily make life easy for their intended audience: customers.

You might think that a website is easy to use, but most of your target audience might disagree with you! Think about incorporating a sleek, minimalistic, and simple design for your website revamp - one that won't leave users feeling confused or frustrated.

Whether you handle the design yourself or get help from someone like these window cleaning web design services, it makes sense to have some people, perhaps a few customers and some of your staff, review a potential new design and give you feedback on it.

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6. Create Personalised Content

Content that gets personalised to each visitor or account holder on your website is beneficial for your business in several ways. Firstly, users can review their browsing history on your site and complete purchases of items they've added to their shopping carts.

Secondly, your website can recommend products and services that might interest each specific customer based on their browsing and purchase histories.

Lastly, personalised content gives website users the impression that you care and understand their needs and pain points.

7. Add More Payment Options

It's no secret that digital wallets have become more prevalent in recent years. More people are using platforms like PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay for both online and offline purchases, as it means they don't need to enter credit card details at many different sites.

It's relatively easy for you to add such payment methods to your online store, so there isn't much of an excuse to not add them.

When you offer popular payment methods to your website, you'll increase conversion rates and lower abandoned cart rates. All you need to do is start working with a provider of online payment processing solutions to get a new system implemented, and you're bound to see an increase in completed purchases.

8. Incorporate An Online Chat Solution

Sometimes website visitors might want to discuss the products and services available for purchase before completing the checkout process. For example, they may want to determine suitability, availability, or delivery lead times before making any purchases on the website.

A live chat solution is an excellent way to engage with potential customers on your website in real time. What's more, it's easy to add such a solution; here's how to integrate live chat to a website and the types of features they can offer your business.

9. Add Explainer Videos To Product Descriptions

If your website offers products and services for sale to retail and trade customers, you've probably spent lots of time creating informative product descriptions. However, some consumers may be on the fence as to whether the things you sell are relevant to their needs.

You can help address any questions or concerns by creating some explainer videos that demonstrate each item's features and benefits, and real-world scenarios where they get used.

Companies exist that will create professional explainer videos for your brand, and such an investment will pay dividends when you see increased sales through your website.

10. Allow Third-Party Login Options

Does your website currently require customers to create accounts on it? If so, you might discover that it can put off potential buyers as they might not want to create "yet another set of account details" they must remember.

Thankfully, it's possible to resolve that issue by allowing customers to sign into your website using existing login credentials from elsewhere. For example, some e-commerce sites let consumers log into them using existing Facebook or Google login credentials.

Whether you're using an off-the-shelf e-commerce solution or one that you've created from scratch, you shouldn't have much trouble implementing such third-party logins.

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11. Consider Adopting Augmented Reality

Does your business sell items like furniture? If so, you may wish to consider offering your customers an augmented reality (AR) solution to help them determine the suitability of your products in their homes and offices.

IKEA is an example of a company that utilises AR technology to help people visualise furniture and other products in a consumer's home. There's no denying that it's game-changing technology, and it's something you might want to adopt for your website.

12. Create An App Version Of Your Website

Have you ever noticed how many top Internet retailers have branded apps that consumers can download for free on their Apple and Android devices?

While it's true that some of those brands have had purpose-built apps created for them, others simply offer a mobile version of their website encapsulated in a mobile app.

Why is that useful, you might ask yourself? It's an excellent way of enabling your customers to access your site easily without trawling through bookmarks or searching for your website on Google.

13. Utilise Location-Based Services

Another way to bring your website into the 21st century is by making use of location-based services. It's very useful if you've got a retail store (or several stores) and want to offer special promotions or discounts to new and existing customers who are near your locations.

Location-based services offer many other benefits to businesses. For example, you could create geographic landing pages on your website and combine them with PPC (pay-per-click) ads that consumers searching for a nearby product or service will see.

14. Integrate With Facebook Online Shops

Let's face it: most people use Facebook. You may love it or loathe it, but Facebook is here to stay, and most, if not all, your customers actively use the social network.

Did you know that Facebook offers a "Facebook Shops" feature to brands that sell products and services online?

If you integrate that feature with your website, you can direct your fans and followers to specific products and services on your site, where they can complete the checkout process.

15. Host Your Website On A Fast Server

Last but not least, one way to improve your website is by ensuring that it loads at lightning speeds. You might not realise it, but some website hosts are slower than others, and it's that slowness that can ultimately result in lost sales for your business.

Aside from using a fast web host, you could also use a content delivery network (CDN) like Amazon S3 to display static content to consumers at high speeds wherever they are in the world.

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