Redesigning your e-Commerce site is not always the best way

On a daily basis, I am looking over many e-commerce sites and even though I don’t say it out loud I’m sometimes amazed how already standardized techniques get completely disregarded.

I was checking Vancouver Craigslist the other day and found this ad for computer equipment online store looking for a redesign of their website: http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/van/web/1347519804.html. Nothing wrong with this, it is always good to go with the times.

When I was reading the ad I came across this section:

We are particularly looking for a person with direct ecommerce experience in selling computers, electronics and related products to business clients. Related experience in SEO, natural search, and website usability is preferred. The majority of our clients are from businesses and governments in Canada who locate us via search engines, directories and shopping sites. Our main landing page is our product detail page.

Our website is www.frontierpc.com and our most important pages are the product details pages such as: http://www.frontierpc.com/ProductDetails.aspx?ProductID=20170537J

The overall project would involve redesign of: home page, search results page, product details pages and our cart and checkout. There would be a few additional pages as well such as contact us etc.

So I went ahead and checked out their website. Having a product URL like this http://www.frontierpc.com/ProductDetails.aspx?ProductID=20170537J made me think “Maybe SEO would be the first thing to do”. I was actually very pleasantly surprised coming on to the site. The design was clean and for a computer equipment ecommerce site, it was easy to use overall. Not really anything that would justify a complete redesign but there are things to improve from an SEO and conversion optimization point of view. A quick look at their urls tells me there are no rewrite rules in place, when checking the non-www I can already imagine the amount of duplicate content that drags this site down.

The on-page SEO for this store is also not very impressive, sure it is better to have some kind of page title and meta description but c’mon try to make it easy to read or at make it more to-the-point.

frontier-pc-se-result-shot

Looking at the Category urls http://www.frontierpc.com/SearchView.aspx?c=001011079127&cn=Mobile%20Computers I could see how Frontier PC used their search pages to generate category pages. Little geek tip: read Latent Semantic Indexing from Aaron Wall to understand why it is a very bad idea to give any search engine the capability of indexing your search results.

Nevertheless, I think the biggest disadvantage of this site is that it is so slow. When a page takes almost 30 seconds to load it is a real turn off for most visitors. Also, search engines care a lot about how quickly you can deliver the requested page back. Look at it this way: would you recommend a website to your friend that is always slow? So why should Google do it?

frontier-pc-hp-shot

Looking at the page the first positive note is that they are displaying telephone numbers, always very useful to give people more trust into the online business. What I am missing on this site are other trust symbols like Better Business Online or Hacker Safe as example.

This company is a perfect example on how most e-Commerce sites are wasting 40% or more of their potential traffic and even much more revenue.  Your goal should be more returning visitors then new visitors as an e-commerce business since they convert much better than new visitors.

As an example, a few months ago I started a contract with a car performance part company, creating an SEO plan for the development of their website. This is necessary since the system is just out of date. Before I started the project I delivered one of my SEO site reviews for their site. Within a week their traffic went up by almost 50% and stayed steadily ever since.

48-traffic-shot-analytics

I would recommend consulting with a dedicated Internet Marketer first to help to identify your challenge and show you better or easier ways of using your budget to drive traffic to your online business instead of completely redesign your site if you feel stuck with the traffic you are getting. This e-Commerce site is a great example where spending money on a complete redesign would be a wasted of investment since the site seems to have already good content and a clean design. If some SEO and other Internet Marketing techniques in place they could easily double their current internet revenue.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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5 Responses to “Redesigning your e-Commerce site is not always the best way”

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  1. […] week I wrote about how redesigning your Website is not always the best way to go. It is just sometimes not worth the trouble to completely reinvent the wheel if you already have an […]

  2. Nice information about e-commerce and i must say that this blog contains good stuff. E-commerce is a cost-effective way to market your products or services to a discerning range of audience rather than isolate and limit yourself to the walk-in crowds at your retail outlet. Here i like to share about demellows.com that is very helpful E-Commerce website that sell your wares to your designated target market locally as well as internationally. An E-commerce website keeps your online shop running 24 hours a day throughout the year. I took service from it and find it very helpful.

  3. Avatar for Lilly Adams Lilly Adams says:

    Security is a very important aspect of Ecommerce Solutions When people are managing their accounts through your website, or even if they are just buying or selling commodities through their credit cards, you will need to ensure their privacy. Payvision efficiently and securely processes transactions. I have been so happy with their service. Check out their website http://www.payvision.com

  4. Avatar for pc repair pc repair says:

    E-Commerce can market your business if you know what you’re doing. It’s not as easy as it looks. Having an eye catching URL can help. Sometimes re-designing your site is absolutely necessary.

  5. Yes you are going the right way. But I think redesigning the e-commerce site search engine friendly is not a bad deal at all. We can take advantages of being search engine friendly.

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