1. Set realistic timeframes and budgets
Re-launching a website – or comparison site for delivery services, in our case - is a huge project. It’s imperative to get a definitive budget, project management system and timeframe clearly established from the beginning. And it’s absolutely paramount to ensure they are realistic from the offset, otherwise there will be over-complicated issues with late launches and budget over-spend.
2. Do you know what your customers want?
Before you start to think about re-designing an online service or website, have you thought about asking your customers what features and updates they would like to see on the website? Gaining customer feedback on how they use your website, services and how they would like to see it progress is vital to developing and planning out a re-launch.
It is also important to re-look at your customer personas and ensure the new website addresses the needs and pain points of all of these customer types.
Customer personas categorise different types of customers and their motivators, pain points and persuading factors. If you have not done this already, creating customer personas is an excellent investment in both time and money and can be used throughout your business and marketing strategies to ensure you consistently stay on track and put the customer at the heart of everything you do.
3. What services do your competitors offer?
It’s vital to check you still understand your competitors inside out. Is there a function or service they offer that your current website does not offer? You need to think about whether it’s worth offering a similar service – or preferably doing it better.
By examining what they do well and what elements they lack, you are on your way to creating a new, ultimate website offering that goes above and beyond all others in your industry.
4. Invest in people
Budgets, in-depth plans and analysis are all invaluable – but remember, it’s people who will get the job done. Here at My Parcel Delivery, we knew that our re-launch was going to be a huge undertaking and would require additional man-power. For this reason, we made it an absolute priority in 2014 to recruit the best people for our big re-design. By spending time identifying the best individuals and what assets they could bring to the team, we were confident that we could achieve exactly what we set out to with our re-launch.
If you are re-launching your website, you might also need to take a completely fresh look at your branding and marketing strategy. Launching a company with a logo from Fiverr is understandable when the most important thing is to get up and running in order to start turning a profit. However, once your company has established itself in the market, it is time to turn your attention back to marketing and how your overall brand image is received by both existing and potential customers.
Always think whether you are communicating your individual brand essence through a logo, branding and tone of voice. These elements should be fully incorporated into any website re-launch to ensure it visually sits alongside any new functionality. Once a business has identified the values it represents, these should be demonstrated through every avenue with a consistent look and voice.
6. Plan your launch timetable
Ensure your launch activity is planned out from the beginning – your customers will need to be educated on any changes to the service or software, and understand how it affects them. This should involve emails to all customers giving them very clear details on what is changing and how they will benefit from these improvements. In some cases, you might plan in time to phone premium customers to give them that extra level of support.
Marketing activity should also be planned in advance to educate both new and existing customers on the improvements that have been made. This could include PR, email newsletters, social media and advertising.
7. Test, test, test!
I don’t think we can say this enough times – but test, test, test everything. In fact, you can never run enough tests to reduce the chance of customers experiencing problems with errors and bugs following a re-launch.
If you rush out a new version of your website full of errors and bugs, it’s easy to lose the trust of your customers very quickly. It’s also important to ensure your technical team remain responsive to deal with any bugs reported by customers in the first week or so after the new website goes live.