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Sudden drop in conversions after a site redesign - what causes it?

The main aim of a site redesign is to improve the users’ experience with the website. This process is often carried out for outdated sites that no longer serve their functions properly. Unfortunately, a redesign does not always go fully smoothly - sometimes it can result in a sudden drop in conversions. Read on to learn how to eliminate this key problem from your website!

What is a redesign?

A redesign is a change in the outside look of a brand and its component elements: logo, visual identification, website layout, and everything else connected with the company’s image. Such changes are indispensable if a company wants to refresh their image, become more modern, address current trends, stand out from the competition or draw attention.

It is especially vital when a company hasn’t done such a refresh in a long time and may be perceived by the users as old-fashioned. The redesign itself may mean just small changes on the site or a complete overhaul, together with the layout, content, or CTA.

What is a conversion?

A conversion is an action undertaken by a potential customer while visiting a website, in other words - it's a realization of a website’s goal by a user. If  a user visits the site and does not finalize purchase, they do not convert and the store does not profit. This is definitely an unwelcome situation and one should strive, through various means, to convince users to convert.

Low conversion rate on a website is a serious problem because it clearly suggests that the site does not encourage users to perform any actions that are valuable to the owners. This means that we are driving empty traffic that does not translate to sales results. You can find out more about conversions and conversion optimization (CRO) in another blog post.

Reasons for Conversion Rate drops connected with site redesigns

Contrary to what some may think, a redesigned site does not really differ from a completely new site or e-commerce. Oftentimes it is basic mistakes that cause seemingly positive changes to result in conversion drops. You should know them and check for them while analyzing a site that exhibits conversion drops.

Not adapting the site to mobile standards

Nowadays, with the popularity of mobile shopping and the “mobile first” approach, the mobile version of your store or service should be a top priority. The entire process of planning your redesign should start off with designing your mobile site, as it has the biggest potential to bring in conversions. Especially if we want to build a long-lasting digital product without having to come back to the drawing board too early.

Technical mistakes

The new version of the site may be marred by technical problems, this is why an ongoing cooperation with an experienced web developer is key. This will allow for rapid implementation of fixes after the redesign and gradual discovery of new kinks. A good idea here is to consider your customers’ experience and react to each and every report of errors on the site, right after receiving such a complaint.

Badly designed customer journey

The customer journey is built of a number of necessary elements, all of which need to work in synergy to be effective, i.e. bring in more conversions. During a redesign any of these elements might be mis-designed or left out completely, which leads to serious problems. 

The customer journey design should be based on:

  • As many payment methods as possible
  • Free returns
  • As cheap as possible product/service delivery 
  • As short as possible delivery time
  • Transparent order summary before finalizing purchase
  • Having as few steps and clicks as possible
  • Competitive pricing
  • Streamlined return policy
  • Taking care of positive reviews of the store and products
  • Proper customer interaction with the store staff

Such a comprehensive approach is a basic step to achieving success in redesigning your site and general conversion optimization. If a redesign was carried out and the store is still struggling with conversions, we need to verify each and every one of the above mentioned elements and introduce further improvements. Cooperation with User Experience and User Interface specialists here can be really beneficial. 

A lack of, or insufficient information about the company 

This includes all information on the company that might increase a potential customer’s trust in it. If the company doesn’t write anything about itself, the users don’t know who they’re dealing with, resulting in fewer conversions.

A redesign entails a lot of elements to design and implement, pushing the “About us” page way back in priority. This should not be the case, because such a page is really cheap to make, but the resulting customer trust is invaluable.

Content quality drop

A redesign should imply striving for better quality in every field, also in the content department. Saving up on content may have a negative impact on convincing your users to convert.

Basic content without a well thought-out persona, structure or CTA in the right places won’t do that. This is why you should not neglect this aspect of your site and make sure that it has high-quality copy, or cooperate with content marketing specialists. 

To sum up

If you lack UX and UI experience we don’t recommend carrying out a site redesign by yourself. Today’s market is getting more and more competitive and most site refreshments are spearheaded by experts who lean on their own analyses and rich experience. 

For this reason, it’s always worth it to choose an agency that will take care of designing your page and subsequent cooperation with developers (or in-house implementation). Flow Digital is the perfect candidate for taking on such a challenge. We work with clients all over the world, leaning on our proprietary analyses and we’re up to date with all the current trends in digital marketing. Schedule a meeting with a Flow expert and find out more!

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