Are You Blind When It Comes To Your Website?

blindI recently had a conversation with a client who was looking for advice on their ecommerce website. The client stated that their sales were down, and they were looking to make a few tweaks to their website to try and increase sales. The client also had a problem that they needed help solving. I was directed to their website to go to the problem page, and right away I saw the “real” problem.

I could not find the page the client was describing. They even directed me to the menu item, but the navigation was hard to read and not well organized. I tried searching for the page using their website search feature, but the results were quite vague and not exact. It took me quite a bit of hunting and pecking to find the product/page.

The website was the problem!

The site was hard to use, not easy to search, and could use a facelift. I suggested that we put the client in touch with a few designers that could help with a full template re-design. The response?

We don’t need a re-design. I really like our website.

Since they were a hosting client, I didn’t want to offend them by pressing the issue, so I quietly let it go.

Who cares what you think!

Your ecommerce website is not designed to be pretty to you as the site owner (unless you are the biggest customer). It’s designed to be pretty and functional and useful for your customers! Just because you like your site does not mean others will. Do NOT fall into this trap. It’s human nature to like your website, especially if you designed/built it. But in ecommerce, it’s about how others perceive your site that drives sales.

Get a second (or third) PROFESSIONAL opinion

Your friends, family, customers, and vendors will likely not tell you the honest truth about your website. They may lie, sugar-coat it, or deflect. I recommend emailing 3-5 web designers and asking them if they could take a moment to critique your website and let you know:

  • What they like or dislike
  • What they would change or overhaul
  • What they think are the strengths and weaknesses

Although they may have a hidden agenda in getting you to hire them to design your site, when multiple designers comment on the same topic, it’s probably something you want to consider. If you can’t get a designer to critique the site, try to get feedback from a few strangers about what they like and dislike about your site.

Whatever you do, do not use your opinion as the sole deciding factor as to whether your website is the best it can be.

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5 Comments

  1. Mike Masin says:

    This hits the nail squarely on the head. It doesn’t matter how much a site owner likes their site. If a shopper can’t find what they want to buy what they want it’s strike 3 and game-over.

    In addition to professional opinions listen to your shoppers. When somebody says “I couldn’t find XYZ” you might be losing sales.

    • Thanks for the additional confirmation. We’re all guilty of this to some degree in some facet of our lives (seeing what we want to see), but for a website that is making sales, you have to take the blinders off and get feedback.

      And as you mentioned, let your customers be your guide. They will let you know via decreased sales, increased frustration, or comments via email/phone when they notice problems.

      But try not to wait until this point, as it can be too late to convert these customers into long term buyers.

  2. I work with AIM – Arizona Internet Marketing and if anyone out there is looking for a few designers to break out the red marker we are more than happy to go through the site. We have that agenda they mentioned above, but on sites that are well designed and well done we will mention it. We also don’t fret the little stuff, but will always tell you about them. For the most part though, unless your site needs a complete overhaul we won’t even bother setting out a quote, we don’t like to play with other people’s toys so much.

    Again, if you need the help mentioned above don’t hesitate to check us out. http://www.aimaz.com

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