16 Dec Six Strategies to Optimize Your E-commerce Site and Add Value to Your Business in 2021
A high quality, well-optimized website is a critical part of the operational foundation of any successful e-commerce business. Modern consumers have increasingly high expectations out of the online shopping experience, due in large part to the surge in online shopping adoption as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and moving into 2021. These include quick load times, intuitive navigation, and pain-free checkout to name just a few.
Striving to consistently meet and exceed these expectations is an excellent strategy to boost conversions and retain customers while adding to the long-term value of your business. It’s not enough to simply be online; to capture as many sales as possible and position your business for a successful exit, you must ensure that your website is set up to facilitate the best possible customer experience.
Your business is the most substantial asset you will ever sell, so we always recommend building with a potential M&A transaction in mind – adding value wherever possible to earn the most out of the successful company you created. Optimizing your e-commerce website is one such way to add value to your business and has the added benefit of potentially increasing your profitability in the immediate future.
It’s an effective starting point if you plan to grow your business, and also want to secure the maximum value at a future sale. We’ve assembled the following six strategies to help you assess your needs and develop a strategy to optimize your online store.
- Create an intuitive user interface – Visitors to your website form immediate and enduring impressions based on customer-facing content. Your website should be aesthetically pleasing, free of errors, and most importantly, easy to navigate. Start by consolidating cluttered menu items or even investing in a top-down redesign.
- Make checkout an easy process – According to Statista, 88.05% of online shopping orders worldwide were abandoned in March 2020. Incentivize customers to complete their purchase by offering expedient guest checkout, first-time shopper discounts, and expanding your payment gateway to accept their preferred method of payment.
- Leverage trends to innovate – Mine competitor sites for inspiration and use it to create innovative features that offer a compelling reason for users to select your website over the competition. Superior web design and a higher degree of functionality can effectively set you apart from other companies in your selected verticals.
- Target blazing-fast load times – Convenience is a key factor in the success of e-commerce businesses and chances are customers won’t wait around if your site takes too long to load. Experts agree that load times of 2 seconds or less are most desirable, so aim for this benchmark to avoid losing customers due to frustration – before they’ve even made it to your landing page.
- Don’t forget mobile users – Recent data suggests that mobile commerce will account for 54% of digital sales by 2021. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure your website is optimized for desktop and mobile moving into the new year to avoid alienating a substantial chunk of your target market. This is easy to check. Simply view the website from multiple devices and make sure that everything functions as it should.
- Anticipate maintenance and integration requirements – Website optimization is an ongoing endeavor and as such, you will need to plan for routine maintenance. Selecting the proper website builder or third-party developer can make it easy and straightforward to periodically check for broken links, glitches, and long page load times. This will also aid in the transition of ownership upon the close of a sale. A well-designed, optimized website is a compelling asset, particularly if it is built such that it is easy to integrate with existing sites following an acquisition.
The above strategies will help you drive growth and position your business to earn the maximum dollar value from an exit. Whether you plan to exit your business in a year or in ten years, laying the foundation now by optimizing your e-commerce website is a positive first step in adding value to your business.
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