by Robert Rand February 10, 2021

Last Updated: February 10, 2021

The Magento eCommerce platform provides your business with lots of flexibility and room to grow and thrive. While that’s a tremendous asset, it means it’s also crucial to stop and taste the soup from time to time to ensure your Magento site is aligned for success. With that in mind, we’ve put together a checklist of items you should periodically review. By taking proactive steps to protect and improve your Magento site, you’ll be ready to reach your business’s growth potential.

Keeping your Magento store reliable, secure, and performant

1. Security/PCI

Just because your site is running doesn’t mean it’s secure or compliant. Whether you’re due to update your Magento software or Magento Extensions, your hosting environment is out of date, or you aren’t meeting PCI compliance requirements, it’s important to take action. Hackers scan the internet looking for sites with known vulnerabilities. Leaving your website open to attack is equivalent to inviting trouble to your doorstep. You should ensure that all of your eCommerce software and your hosting environment have the latest security patches. Furthermore, your site should be loading behind a well-configured web application firewall (WAF) to prevent common attacks. It’s also crucial to run malware scanners and intrusion detection systems to catch potential security breaches quickly and effectively. More than just having these tools, be sure that they’re being monitored by your web host and web developers—security isn’t a passive sport. When in doubt, conduct a Magento security audit to make sure your site is meeting required standards.

2. Speed

Loading speeds impact some of your most important metrics. These include conversion rates, search engine rankings, and even Google Ads Landing Page Scores. Even if you’ve optimized your site to load quickly in the past, it’s important to regularly benchmark your site speed. Software updates, new Magento extensions, server updates, and even new content—like uncompressed images—can leave a lot of room for improvement.

3. Scalability

In 2020, eCommerce websites experienced unprecedented traffic spikes. Much like loading speeds, your scalability will fluctuate as changes are made to your site. Even with an autoscaling hosting environment, it’s important to have your website load tested in order to make sure that it’s ready for your peak traffic events, whether those are holidays, marketing events, or unplanned surges in traffic.

4. Maintenance

Much like a car, your Magento site requires ongoing maintenance. This maintenance includes applying software updates and patches as well as checking error and exception logs for bugs that have crept into your site.

Improving your Magento store

1. Payments

Accepting payments online sounds easy, but it’s important to keep a pulse on what your customers want and what payment acceptance is costing you. Teams like Century Business Solutions can advise you on additional payment methods that may improve your conversion rates. They can also help you review your total credit card processing fees to make sure you’re not leaving money on the table.

2. Conversion optimization

It’s always a good time to optimize your website to convert more website visitors into paying customers. There are lots of ways to tackle conversion optimization, from making your site more mobile-friendly to improving the navigation of your site to adding a rewards or loyalty program. Think about what has the most potential for your customers, then test and measure. Conversion optimization can significantly improve your bottom line, but as consumer trends and technology change and evolve, it’s important not to get left behind. You should always consider how to improve the shopping experience in your Magento store.

3. AOV optimization

Optimizing for conversions is one thing, but don’t lose sight of optimizing for Average Order Value (AOV). There are costs associated with every customer who makes a purchase on your site. One way to improve your profits is to help shoppers increase their order sizes. Common techniques include leveraging native Magento features, like related products, cross-sells, and upsells, but try to think outside of the box. For instance, some stores offer gift wrapping, extended warranties, and gift cards. In other cases, taking actions like offering easy returns will entice shoppers to buy more. It’s all about what your shoppers will appreciate.

4. Post-purchase optimization

You can get everything right pre-purchase, like having live chat operators ready to help with sales and marketing your easy returns, but shoppers will be highly reactive to their actual post-purchase experiences. If they receive their order quickly and have good experiences with returns and customer service, that will go a long way to building a lasting relationship and improving your customer lifetime value (CLV) metrics.

5. SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO), the process of helping your website rank higher for targeted keyword phrases in search engines like Google, is an ongoing process. It’s important to ensure that your website is meeting the latest SEO standards and to address issues that occur over time. For instance, when checking your Google Search Console account, you may find that there are URLS in your site that generate 404 errors. You can redirect these pages to live pages within your site. Similarly, you can take advantage of advanced SEO opportunities, such as leveraging rich snippets to add information to your search engine listings.

6. Magento extensions

Most of us would have a hard time imagining going a year without adding any new apps to our phones. It’s also important to consider new features and functionalities for your website offered by Magento extensions. These extensions can help improve the shopping experience, add efficiencies for website admins, and anything in between. It’s good to consider what’s becoming more popular within the Magento ecosystem as well as what’s important to your specific business.

7. Omnichannel

If you have brick and mortar stores in addition to your Magento website, consider how you can better service your customers. Perhaps it’s by improving your buy online/return in-store capabilities, or streamlining your gift cards, promotions, and reward programs between your eCommerce and offline sales channels. In other cases, it may come down to leveraging customer and order data from your different sales channels in one combined omnichannel marketing platform, helping to send more targeted messages to shoppers based on their shopping histories.

8. B2B

Magento isn’t limited to supporting B2C shopping experiences. Whether your site already supports B2B shoppers or you’d like to create a B2B shopping experience to increase your digital sales, you should consider which features, enhancements, and customizations would best serve your customers. These enhancements can include anything from allowing shoppers to submit requests for custom quotations to allowing businesses to set up accounts with multiple logins for employees that need different levels of access to see and place orders. As with other efforts to optimize your site, if you can build a better mousetrap, you can increase conversion rates, customer satisfaction, and affinity for your brand.

Conclusion

While it can seem easy to neglect these sorts of strategic and housekeeping tasks and topics, a strong eCommerce business requires a strong foundation and continuous improvement. With Magento, you have one of the best eCommerce solutions on the market. It’s up to you to improve and grow your store—we wish you much success!

About the author

Robert Rand is the Director of Partnerships & Alliances at JetRails, a mission-critical eCommerce hosting service. Robert has over a decade of experience in helping merchants benefit from sound eCommerce and digital marketing strategies, assisting organizations of all types and sizes to grow and succeed via digital commerce. Robert is an Adobe Certified Expert in Magento, a frequent author and thought contributor in the eCommerce industry, and the host of The JetRails Podcast.

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