Ecommerce business tips: 7 Signs your online store is outdated

The online retail space is fiercely competitive with new ecommerce stores popping up every single day. It should come as no surprise that it can be tough to break into the ecommerce market, make your mark, and successfully sell products and services on the internet (even if you have a well-established brand).  

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You need every competitive edge you can get. So, why have you let your online store become outdated? If you’re not constantly keeping up with the latest trends, tech, and consumer behaviours, and updating your online store accordingly, you’re going to fall behind. 

Here are surefire signs you already have.  

1. Lack of features and online shopping functionality 

Whether your online store is built on Shopify, WordPress, or another platform, you can bet there are TONS of features you can integrate to take it to the next level. 

There are tools, plugins, and integrations that can help you improve customer service, marketing, navigation, inventory management, and loyalty programs.  

There are tools that can add a banner to display your free shipping.  

There are tools that can enable you to show personalized recommendations. 

There are tools that can enable discount codes. 

If you’ve stuck to the basic online store instead of adding advanced store functionality, there’s no doubt your site is outdated right now. Your customer experience could be So. Much. Better.  

So, take some time to see what’s out there and what you could benefit from implementing today. 

2. Poor UX 

The user experience (UX) is so important online, and the factors at play change constantly as consumer expectations and demands change.  

Customers expect their experience to be frictionless, pleasant, and easy. If you haven’t given much thought to UX in years, your site is definitely outdated and it’s likely affecting its performance 

Some of the common symptoms of poor UX include slow load speed, poor navigation, a lack of mobile optimization, broken links, and unnecessary steps in the shopping journey.  

3. It looks dated 

Customers expect a certain level of professionalism when they get on your site. Just like operating in a safe, clear, and clean store matters, so does having a good-looking, up-to-date ecommerce site. 

Do your customers think your site is dated? If you’re still using these web design trends, then the answer is probably yes: 

  • Crowded content and large walls of text that are hard to read 
  • Ancient relics like flashing banners, auto-play videos, and background music 
  • Too many colours and fonts that aren’t cohesive or on brand 
  • Pop-ups 

4. Lack of payment options 

Perhaps nothing tells a customer that your site is behind the times more than the fact that you ONLY accept credit cards online. Today’s consumers are becoming more averse to credit and debt. At the same time, alternative payments like WeChat Pay, Alipay, Apple Pay, and PayPal are becoming more popular every day.  

Giving your customers more payment options at the checkout helps you build trust, add convenience, and provide choice – which is exactly what today’s savvy consumers are looking for (and what will help you boost conversions too).  

5. Your checkout process is too long 

Do you make customers sign up and log in to purchase from you? Do you make them fill out endless form fields before you’ll let them buy?  

Big mistake. 

Today’s customers are busy. They don’t want to waste 15 minutes checking out. They want it to be fast and easy. Update your checkout process to make it convenient for people to buy – or they’ll keep going to your competitor’s site instead. Some ideas to consider: Autofill form fields. Cut out unnecessary form fields and steps. Allow them to checkout as guests.  

6. It’s not mobile friendly 

This is a HUGE consideration. More and more online shoppers are accessing ecommerce site from their smartphones. If your site is mobile optimized, it’s going to be incredibly hard and annoying for them to buy anything.  

A non-optimized site will have tiny text, tiny, distorted images that might not load, and links and buttons that might not work on mobile. You’ll lose out on mobile traffic if you don’t get mobile friendly real fast.  

7. Outdated product catalog 

One of the big reasons why people shop online (besides convenience) is choice. They can find whatever they’re looking for very quickly. They don’t have to deal with brick-and-mortar stores not having their sizes, running out of inventory, or not having the exact colour or features they’re looking for. 

When you sell online, you don’t have to worry about the physical space that holds products, so you can sell more varieties. 

That being said, you lose out on these benefits if you’re not updating your product catalog automatically using automated inventory management tools. Customers do not want to deal with out-of-stock messages, delayed orders due to low inventory, or cancelled orders due to discontinued items still being available for purchase on your site.  

Even your most loyal customers will jump ship if these types of product catalog problems persist. Your inventory should constantly be up to date for the good of your business – by any means necessary.  

Upgrade your online store to stay relevant 

Consider your ecommerce store to be a living, breathing entity that needs your constant attention. If you’ve neglected it for months or years, chances are it needs an overhaul. Though continuously updating your online store might be expensive and time consuming, it’s the only way to ensure it stays relevant to today’s customers.  


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Brandon Moore

The customer: That’s what my role is all about as VP of marketing and customer experience at BNA Smart Payment. Whether it’s making sure our clever marketing strategies are in line with customer pain points, our website is delivering a killer user experience, or our help desk is serving customers in the most convenient ways, I work to ensure our prospects and customers are happy.

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