There are two ways to revamp (redesign) your existing website - a Traditional Approach and The Customer-Centric Approach.
In a traditional approach,
- You reach out to a development agency or vice versa
- They look at your current website
- Suggest some recommendations based on their gut feeling
- Finalize platform and a nice looking theme
- Costs negotiations and the project is started…
What happens next?
Well, you have a website the way you wanted it.
Everyone is happy.
But the problem is, nothing is happening. You have spent thousands of dollars on revamping the website. There is no increase in conversion, the traffic is still the same.
What went wrong?
The issue with Traditional approach is that:
- It focuses more on how the website will look rather than how it will function.
- It considers all e-commerce websites to be the same while they are not.
- It is not customer-centric, which is critical because they are the actual end-users.
- There are change requests in the middle of the project, which increases the cost and time.
- You rely too much on your developer who usually recommends items that are in their favor.
THE CUSTOMER-CENTRIC APPROACH
In this approach the complete redesign process is carried out by keeping your customers in mind, which is achieved with the coexistence of - Customer Value, Customer Experience, and Customer Journey.
You need to:
- Understand your customer’s journey.
- Understand what your customers value and keep delivering that.
- Offer a great experience so that you are always on top of their mind.
Customer-centric redesign process ensures that the website:
- Meets the wants and needs of your customers and website visitors.
- Helps find the solutions that they are looking for right away. Otherwise, they will end up getting frustrated and will look for their solutions elsewhere.
- Makes it easy for visitors to navigate throughout its pages without getting tangled up in confusing or unnecessary information that will distract them from their main goal.
At TradeHike, before going into development phase we prepare a 'Requirements Document' using the below steps
#1 Defining goals and target market
We start with the following three questions:
- Who is your target audience?
- What is your business model?
- What is your USP? (unique value proposition)
These questions help us gain a deep understanding of your business which is crucial as the website should complement your overall business.
The agenda is to align the website's goals to that of your business and communicate your USP in a manner that is understood by your target audience.
To figure out your USP, just answer - "Why should we buy from you?"
#2 Audit Current Website
Then our UX-Team maps out the complete customer journey of your website i.e. from the start (landing page) to the end (order success page).
This way we are able to put ourselves into your customer's shoes and build empathy towards them.
This helps us discover valuable insights:
- Major conversion leaks (areas where your visitors might be leaving)
- UX and Usability issues
- Unnecessary steps that can be removed.
- Bugs (if any)
#3 Industry and Competitor Analysis
It is important to keep a tap and do rigorous research of what your closest competitors and industry leaders are doing.
This step helps us understand the trend and will make sure we create a future proof website for you.
#4 Data Analysis
Next, analyzing analytics data available from tools such as Google Analytics to understand your user’s behavior on a macro level and identify high, low performing areas of your website.
#5 Finalize E-Commerce Platform
By now we have clarity on your website's requirements. In this step, we help you select the right eCommerce platform based on:
- Functional and Design Requirements
- Budget and Resources
- Next 2 years goals (eg - plan to expand in international markets)
This step is critical before we start brainstorming and writing down the features list for your new website as some platforms have development limitations.
We have researched what your competitors are doing, now it is time to make you stand out.
We will come up with features and ideas that would ease out your customer's buying process and assist them in making the right decision.
This step revolves around your target audience's pain-points and requires creative thinking.
#7 ROI-Focused Prioritization
This is the most important step and usually ignored by other agencies. We have a list of features and creative ideas that can be developed on the new website BUT we cannot implement everything on your list in the first phase.
Prioritization is the key and here it has to be ROI-focused.
We sort down the features based on their importance and ROI and pick the ones that need to be implemented first.
#8 Wireframes (optional)
Wireframes play a vital role in the success of the overall project. You get a clear picture of how your website will look and function at a very low cost.
Key benefits of including wireframes in 'Requirements Document':
- Helps you identify issues and gather feedback at an early stage.
- Displays website architecture visually before development.
- Development team understands what they are building.
- Saves time and cost of the entire project
#9 Documenting the Requirements
Finally we put everything together in a formal document. This 'Requirements Document' will come handy in getting the price quote from us or any development agencies.
It looks like an initial overhead but that the right approach, with this document you’ll be able to:
- Get more accurate estimates on budgets and timelines.
- The project will have less rework and scope creep during development (addition of features in the middle)