Ecommerce Website Maintenance Generates Wins Now and for Later


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Ecommerce is now the favored option of consumers, with 56% preferring online shopping to in-person experiences. That represents opportunity and challenges for retailers, who must keep up with new trends and shifting consumer attitudes in real time. 

It also means that focusing on optimization and keeping your site updated and improved is more important than ever before.

The importance of ecommerce website maintenance

A properly maintained ecommerce site will always be available, reduce friction in the customer experience, and provide customers with quality functionality and a good user experience. 

Then, there are these specific benefits that should be considered:

Mitigating cyber threats.

With the rise of cyber attacks, online stores are a favorite target for hackers. Updating security software and plugins, and patching any vulnerabilities helps keep websites secure.

Maximizing website uptime.

Downtime can be costly to an ecommerce store and is tantamount to being unable to do business. Keeping a site running well reduces the chances for surprise closures.

Preventing data loss. 

Data — be it at rest or moving — are prime targets for bad actors. Sensitive information such as customer data must be protected at all times. Keeping up with the latest in data protection standards like PCI-DSS or GDPR.

This is especially accurate if an online store is operating in a regulated industry. Standards may change and it’s on the business to ensure that they remain in compliance. This may also apply if a brand sells across borders where changes in local laws may impact them.

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Ecommerce website maintenance elements to monitor regularly

Modern ecommerce platforms are complex, with multiple systems working together. Consider this a maintenance checklist of parts of the web development process that should get additional attention.

Uptime consistency.

This is a base-level key performance indicator. The ability of an online store to “stay open” and allow users to make purchases at all times is vital to success. This extends to APIs and microservices if a company is using a headless approach.

Website security.

New security threats are arising seemingly every day. That means that security patches to match emerging threats are released regularly as well. It’s the company’s burden to ensure that all patches are applied and updates made to keep the site as secure as possible. Maintaining a SSL certificate will help.

Data backups.

You hope that you never have to use a backup, but it’s good insurance to have them in case of a data catastrophe. Taking regular snapshots of key systems and databases will protect businesses in case the worst happens.

Running a regular broken links report is a good standard operating procedure to maintain site quality. The bigger a site gets and the more it changes, the more likely it is that broken links will happen.

Page speed.

Load times can mean the difference in making a sale or not. Keeping a site optimized and regularly looking for new ways to make the site faster can have a positive impact on the bottom line.

Updating outdated content.

Having old or inaccurate information reduces customer confidence on an ecommerce site. It’s one sign that the online store isn’t as reputable as others. 

Doing content audits and keeping the site updated avoids that. This can extend to digital marketing and web design elements as well.

Priority keyword rankings.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a constant concern for ecommerce companies. Having key webpages ranking highly in search engine results is one of the most important aspects of attracting customers. Constantly reviewing and retooling SEO is key. 

Promotions and price changes.

In an open market, price can be the deciding factor in a sale. Reviewing competitors pricing and making changes in relation to the marketplace will ensure the business remains competitive.

Consequences of neglecting ecommerce websites

Failure to follow the above can be a slight annoyance — or a complete disaster. The potential downside of not updating an ecommerce website makes these investments wise.

More prone to cyber attacks. 

Ecommerce platforms and online stores are enticing targets for hackers because of the data they hold. Customer data — especially credit card information — make sites with weak security prime candidates. Keeping the site up-to-date reduces the chances they succeed.

Slow website load times.

Conversion rates can drop by 17% for every additional second it takes a site to load. That’s a significant impact on the bottom line. Avoid this by keeping loading speed high, your site optimized and running smoothly.

Higher costs due to recurring bugs.

Bugs can be minor pain or they can result in downtime. Either way, they cost resources in both fixing the issue as well as potential opportunity costs for the business owner.

Loss in customer trust.

If potential customers have regular issues with the site, they’re going to be much less likely to buy from it. They must be confident in what the store is offering and the quality of the company  — especially if they’re going to be handing over personal information.

Outdated and misleading content.

Information that is outdated or even just false gives buyers reason to not buy. Provide updated and accurate information that clearly describes products or procedures to set expectations with customers. 

Doing regular audits of priority landing pages helps, especially when new products are introduced.

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The Final Word

An ecommerce business is never completed. It should continue to evolve and iterate as a company grows and scales. 

Keeping a website maintained and updated not only provides a better user experience, it also protects the business from potential disasters. 

Develop an ecommerce site maintenance plan that is updated when new features come online.

FAQs About Ecommerce Website Maintenance

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