9 Low-Cost Ideas to Inspire Your Ecommerce Site

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Everyone needs a fresh start now and then. Even your eCommerce site, no matter how convenient and functional, could probably use a little revitalizing. Whether it’s applying a fresh coat of virtual paint, or expanding functionality for your customers’ convenience, here are a few ideas for sprucing up your eCommerce site without springing for a complete redesign.

1. A Fresh New Look

Sooner or later, every website has to freshen up its look and feel in order to stay relevant. But a new look doesn’t have to mean a complete overhaul. You can start with a few discrete changes: a new theme for your CMS software, a fresh logo for all your branding needs, or just change up the color scheme a little. Or you can these website design ideas when you feel stuck. Even some new stock photos or a different typeface can go a long way toward making your site feel a little fresher.

2. Bigger, Better Plugins

Another great low-cost improvement for your eCommerce site: plugins. Most are free or charge a modest subscription, and can make a world of difference in how your visitors engage with your site. It could be anything from contact form software to a photo gallery. Or, if your website’s back end needs some sprucing up, consider a more robust security plugin or some analytics to make better use of your visitor data.

3. Upgrade Your Platform

Are your customers getting the most out of your ecommerce website? Are your search results robust? Is it easy for them to sign up for deals or find what they’re looking for? Can they pay across a variety of payment gateways? While it might take some work to take your ecommerce platform to the next level, it might be worth looking at where you can make improvements. Need more data? That’s where those analytics plugins come in.

4. (Re)Launch Your Blog

Regardless of the think pieces on the death of the medium, a blog can still be a great way to engage with site visitors and keep people informed. But if the mere thought of another listicle makes you weary, then don’t be afraid to try something new and different. Make a short instructional video. Put together an infographic of useful information about your products or services. Use your blog to spread the word about sales and new products, or introduce your visitors to your company’s team. When used right, a blog can be one of the friendliest and most effective tools in your sales arsenal.

5. Get Social

If you’re not making the most out of your social media presence, now could be a great time to better integrate it with your eCommerce site. Using multi-channel marketing, you can implement plugins to make your products shareable on Facebook or Twitter, or invite customers to follow you across social media. Plenty of brands are already making use of platforms like Instagram to gather interested customers — what’s holding you back?

6. Add Some Visual Punch

How long has it been since you freshened up your product photos? Do your blog posts include exciting, interesting visuals? A great photograph — or even a really good stock photo — can make a huge difference in how visitors perceive your site. Even the best product description only goes so far to showcase what you have to offer. A high-resolution photo gallery, or even a series of short videos, can really bring your products, and your entire eCommerce site, to the next level. Don’t forget to post your amazing new product photos on your Instagram account while you’re at it.

7. Increase Accessibility

It’s 2018, and we all know how important a responsive, mobile-friendly website is for customers. More than half of all internet traffic now comes from mobile devices, and 62% of smartphone owners have made recent purchases over their phones. But best practices don’t end with a mobile-friendly website. You might also consider how accessible your website is. Are your site’s colors friendly to the colorblind? Is your text large and clear enough to be read by people with impaired vision? Do your images have the appropriate ALT tags and captions? There are a number of ways you can improve the accessibility of your site, and many of them amount to a few lines of code.

8. Level Up Your Customer Service

When it comes to customer service, everyone appreciates a human touch. But an AI chatbot might be just the tool you need to improve customer relations when a human isn’t available. Chatbots can actually increase customer engagement by providing an easy, accessible means of getting help without waiting for a customer service email or sitting on hold. Business owners are already using chatbots to keep customers from abandoning their shopping carts, perform basic customer service interaction, and more. While the technology has a ways to go before it will replace human interaction, chatbots are constantly improving — and their use will only increase in the coming years.

9. Test Your Process

One frequently-neglected aspect of eCommerce websites: A/B testing. Many business owners implement a new feature or design and hope for the best, never finding out if it’s really what their visitors want. When you master the art of A/B testing, you’ll take the guesswork out of website improvement. It pays to test every aspect of your website, from landing pages to shopping carts, to find out what converts and what doesn’t. Just be sure to test only one variable at a time, to make sure you get the most accurate and beneficial results. If you’re unsure where to start, there are a rich selection of testing tools for you to choose from.

Revitalizing your website doesn’t have to cost a fortune. A few changes and upgrades can make a world of difference to both you and the customer. Not only will these improvements make life better for your website visitors, it might also get you inspired and remind you why you fell in love with eCommerce in the first place.

Iggy is a designer who loves experimenting with new web design techniques, collating creative website designs, and writing about the latest design trends, inspiration, design freebies, and more. You can follow him on Twitter

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