Article at a Glance:
- The widespread digital transformation of the past year due to lockdown restrictions means that more business is happening online than ever before. Is your website truly optimized to maximize potential?
- We’ve laid out the top three ways a website redesign could positively impact your bottom line and improve your business in 2021:
- First, a redesigned site can help avoid potential lawsuits by guaranteeing regulatory compliance
- Additionally, rethinking your website’s underlying organizational architecture can increase performance by creating a more facilitative framework to collect helpful UX data
- Lastly, updating your website offers an opportunity to better align its form and function with your overall business goals
The widespread digital transformation of the past year due to lockdown restrictions means that more business is happening online than ever before. In fact, in a 2020 McKinsey & Company study, respondents reported that 80 percent of their customer interactions are now digital in nature, a three-time increase from before the pandemic and global economic contraction.
This substantial change has far reaching implications for your company’s digital real estate, namely your customer-facing website, for a variety of reasons—the least of which is the expectations of consumers for a streamlined, if not enjoyable, digital experience. For many organizations affected by the recent digitization wave, your website acts as the primary signal about your business. It’s your storefront, your sales engine, your customer service platform, your office space; and it must be optimized to maximize potential. Otherwise, your company risks lagging behind in an increasingly competitive marketplace. As the saying goes: “customers will vote with their feet.” In a digital world, this means if they have a poor experience, the odds of getting them to re-visit are extremely low.
With this in mind, perhaps it’s time to think about refreshing your website to meet today’s burgeoning technological demands. As Loren Padelford, vice president at Shopify Inc., told the Wall Street Journal, COVID-19 “brought 2030 to 2020,” meaning that businesses have been propelled into the future faster than expected, and have no choice but to adhere to the new digital reality or fall behind. Updating your website is step one.
Below, we’ve outlined the three leading benefits of a website redesign in 2021, and how it could positively impact your bottom line.
Avoid potential lawsuits by guaranteeing regulatory compliance
Across the globe, organizations are making progress to increase accessibility, safety, and privacy on the Internet as interactions between corporations and consumers increase. While this is a win for the consumer, it also means that there are more hurdles companies must clear to ensure their websites abide by various new and established regulations. It may seem like a lot of work, but ensuring compliance is critical to avoiding lawsuits, reputation damage, fines and financial penalties, and customer exclusion.
In 2017, there were 814 ADA website accessibility lawsuits filed in U.S. federal courts; by 2019, that number was 2,256.
Most U.S.-based websites that have national or international audiences need to comply with the following:
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)
- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
- California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPS)
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
The ADA regulations are especially easy to overlook if your design is focused more on aesthetics than accessibility. In 2017, there were 814 ADA website accessibility lawsuits filed in U.S. federal courts; by 2019, that number was 2,256, according to the New York Law Journal.
Depending on the age and breadth of your website, it might be difficult to update all of your existing content to meet these standards. The best strategy is to authorize a redesign with help from an expert who can verify (during the development stage) that your updated site meets compliance requirements.
Increase conversions with a framework that collects insightful UX data
Currently, conflicting opinions exist in the industry about the ideal layout of a conversion-focused website. One-page websites, for example, have become increasingly trendy because they are optimized for the mobile, infinite-scrolling experience — yet, single-paged sites have a poor infrastructure for data collection. Without being able to track user flow across multiple URLs, your information is limited on which pages and pieces of content are most popular and therefore most or least valuable.
Collecting these metrics is meant to help you understand your visitors’ needs so you can make their journeys better. In Adobe’s 2021 Digital Trends Report, respondents at companies that have strong digital analytics functions reported being “more than twice as likely to say their customers are positive about their digital experience than their peers with lower levels of insight.” An optimized, high-converting website will boost your bottom line.
At the very least, its best to ensure your website follows UX/UI best practices. The U.S. General Services Administration Technology Transformation Service advises your website be designed to be useful, usable, desirable, findable, accessible, and credible. Crafting your website to be both a platform to conduct your business and a vector for customer research will incontestably improve your operations.
Re-align your website to map directly to business goals
A 2018 study published in the Harvard Business Review confirmed that “merely aesthetic design choices may actually be the way your customers learn to trust you (or don’t).” The bottom line is that your website needs to be optimized to be your competitive advantage in a DTC marketplace. Do you have a clear user journey with appropriate calls-to-action? Are your pages search engine optimized? Is your blog credible, helpful and easy to navigate? Are you effectively measuring conversion funnels to improve accuracy?
If not, then you are likely missing out on potential customers. Statisa reports that website transactions worldwide have increased by 39.7 percent percent since the start of the pandemic, and conversions have gone up by 40.3 percent. In a redesign, you can reframe your site to align with your brand goals, positioning and identity to capitalize on this surge of online consumers. You can create better pathways for customer engagement. You can apply new communication strategies to increase message retention and offer clarity to your site visitors.
There’s no time like the present to improve your digital experience. Get in touch with us if you need help thinking about your own website redesign. In the meantime, here are some other resources to help you optimize your website: