13 ecommerce spring cleaning tips

Website developers, ecommerce experts and SEO pros discuss some simple ways to dust off, declutter and freshen up your Web or ecommerce site.

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7. Update or unplug old plugins. “Take a good hard look at every plugin you have installed,” says Seth Patel, marketing analytics manager, Main Path Marketing. “There is a good chance that you installed some while developing the site that may have made sense then, but now, 3 years post launch, you are wondering what exactly they do, and if you use them at all. Uninstalling these plugins can greatly increase site performance,” as well as make your site less vulnerable to hackers.

8. Evaluate your product offerings. “At least one time per year, we go through every product in our product catalog and look at the sales history and recent trends,” says Heacock. “We discontinue items that don’t seem to resonate with customers and redirect that product focus to the items our customer base seems to prefer. Not only does it offer a better customer experience, but [it] frees up time to focus on building up the traffic to the products that move the needle.” 

[ Related: 5 ways ecommerce business can improve customer service ]

9. Review links to your social media pages. Did your business add any new social media channels in the past year? If so, add links to them on your home page and/or in your header or footer. And check that existing links are correct.

Did you delete any social media accounts? If so, delete links to them on your site. The last thing you want is a customer trying to reach you via social media, on a channel you no longer check or use.

10. Clear the cobwebs from your FAQs and About Us pages. “Are the answers [on your FAQ page] still accurate?” asks consultant Mark Alves. And when was the last time you updated your About Us page? “It’s easy to forget these [pages], but they are often among the first places that a visitor will look. Tidy them up so they don’t sound [out of date].”

11. Make sure your Contact Us form still works. Few things are more embarrassing than finding out customers can’t contact you, because your Contact Us form doesn’t work or is going to someone no longer with the company. To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, “fill out the form, hit submit and see what happens,” says Alves. Did you receive the form? If so, “is the confirmation message [still] relevant or does it requiring some tidying?” If not, identify who received the form and determine if that is still the right person to respond.

Even better, get rid of that Contact Us form and give people a more direct way to interact with you – via email, text, phone or live chat.

[ Related: 9 ways mobile and social tech improves the retail shopping experience ]

12. Streamline checkout – and make sure it’s mobile friendly. “Remove excess form fields from your checkout,” suggests Patel. “It's 2016. You don't need someone’s fax number. Besides, reducing form fields is shown to improve conversion rates.”

Similarly, make it easy for smartphone users to purchase from you by optimizing your checkout page for mobile.

13. Change your passwords. “Changing your passwords is something everybody knows should be done regularly, but never quite makes the top of the to-do list,” says Joe Siegrist, vice president & general manager, LastPass. “Eliminating password reuse and regularly changing your passwords are the best ways to avoid having your Web or ecommerce site hacked. When you use the same login information for multiple sites, hackers can access all of your accounts,” he says.

To eliminate this problem, “use a password manager that allows you to create strong, unique passwords and store them in a single [secure] location.” That way “you don’t have to remember them.”

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