We’ve all heard the phrase ‘New year, new you’. What a great concept: a fresh start. A do-over. Another chance. Well the same can be applied to your online store.

downloadWe’re not saying to go take your store down and rebuild it. But it’s a good idea to look at your site with an open mind and critical eye. Put yourself in the shoes of a new customer and think about what he or she would experience while navigating your site for the first time. Here are some questions to ask yourself while doing this:

  • Is this site aesthetically pleasing? Is it clear? Concise?
  • Can I find a specific item quickly and easily?
  • Is it easy to navigate different elements of this site?
  • Would I be willing to buy from this online store?
  • Are there any elements that are unclear?

Start Broad, End Narrow

While looking at your site, be sure to start broad: Overall design, navigability, etc.

From there, look at the finer details: Are your Store Policies up to date? Your Return Policy? Any other policies that might seem outdated?

Do the same thing on each page then move on to each product page. Are your product images of high quality? Have you included enough details in each item description to help customers decide to buy? Do these need to be updated as well?

Buy Something

That’s right. Buy something from your own store. Or at the very least, pretend and go through the checkout process without clicking on “Place Order” (or whatever you may have named your final step). Also, think about testing extra features such as applying a coupon code (after creating one of course). Go through the steps, what stands out? And ask yourself some questions:

  • Was this process quick and painless?
  • Did the coupon code work? And did I see my new total BEFORE the next checkout step?
  • How many steps did it actually take to checkout? Could I reduce this?
  • Can I easily add/subtract from my cart?
  • Is ‘Guest Checkout’ enabled?


Remember, when looking at all these features of your online store, look at them through the lens of a new customer. Would someone who has never bought online before be able to easily buy something from your store? Perspective is key. So, take on the new year with a new perspective, make sure you schedule another online store check up in 6-12 months, and make your online store great.