The answer is easy. “Never”. E-commerce is all about continuous improvement and given the number of variables that can be improved on a modern e-commerce site, the best performing sites have testing and optimization as on-going activities. Take Grainger as an example.
Grainger spends about $10m each year on their e-commerce initiatives, and as can be seen by this screenshot, they continue to conduct research and collect customer data to improve the site’s user experience:
In addition to collecting customer data directly and using the information to improve the user experience, e-commerce optimization can occur in a variety of ways. There are a huge number of different variables to optimize, but all e-commerce improvement activities and optimizations need to start with target metrics. The metrics are the basis for evaluating success. Here are a few important e-commerce metrics that we use at Accorin when optimizing and improving e-commerce sites:
For each of these improvement objectives, there are different techniques that can be used at different points in the customer’s purchasing cycle. Whether you are doing A/B Testing, Multivariate testing, User Surveys, Heatmapping, or any other of the tools and techniques that can be used to improve site performance and drive e-commerce sales, a well defined goal is the cornerstone of a successful program.
THE BOTTOM LINE
E-commerce optimization needs to be an ongoing process for e-commerce sites. Running an effective optimization program can return a tremendous ROI and can be done with minimal impact on the business. Need to optimize your e-commerce site and want some help? Let’s talk.