Episode 4: Online shop relaunch

Your online shop can sell more! Arrange a free strategy appointment with Jörg Dennis Krüger now: https://jdk.de/termin/

Do you really have to relaunch? And if so, what questions do you need to ask? Conversion hacker Jörg Dennis Krüger asks the right questions, shows when a relaunch is necessary and when not - and what advantages and disadvantages the relaunch has compared to continuous optimization.

Make your own shop more successful with conversion hacking? Arrange a free appointment with Jörg Dennis Krüger now: https://jdk.de/termin/


Welcome to the fourth episode of the Conversion Hacking Podcast. My name is Jörg Dennis Krüger and as my welcome commando just said, yes, I am the conversion hacker. My topic today is relaunches. Relaunches, especially in the online shop, and why you should perhaps avoid them. 

First of all, the note again: On November 5th, 2019, Think-Conversion will be in Berlin. My little event with two seminars on conversion thinking and conversion hacking. There are still tickets! More information at Think-Conversion.de. I'm looking forward to seeing a lot of them there in Berlin. 

But let's get straight to the topic of relanuches. Because to be honest, relaunches are bad relaunches: I don't know why so many companies are already thinking about the next relaunch. Because with such a re-launch you can do so many things wrong! Such a re-launch is incredibly complicated, incredibly risky and the re-launch insolvency is no fairy tale, it has happened often enough. And maybe just the risk of bankruptcy.

But you rebuild a lot and think yes, now everything will be better. But you develop completely away from what the users actually want, what the users are used to and so on and build something where nobody feels at home anymore. 

And then you wonder why all these great ideas you've had don't work. But actually it should be clear that everything we think up, what we design ourselves, what we come up with in endless meetings, is mostly just bullshit and we have to think a lot more from the user's perspective. 

Okay, let's start: Why are you doing a relaunch? What am I hearing? Well, we don't like the shop anymore, it's no longer up to date or, well, we want to reposition ourselves. Somehow it doesn't work that way anymore. So we somehow have to do everything differently or the technically outdated shop. Or there is a new version of the shop software. Or maybe yes, we want to modernize our brand, appear differently with the brand.

There are some arguments that I would accept. So just the repositioning. Well, we made a strategic decision based on market research. We need to change a bit to continue to be active in the market, to keep up with our competition or just to stay ahead of your market.

Then of course you have to change something in the shop, then you can't stay the same. So repositioning. Of course it has to be very well planned. But that can really be a good reason for a relaunch. Likewise, if the shop is really technically outdated, then you might have to go ahead and redo it at some point and then you can't keep anything, you have to start from scratch and really see a relaunch. But the other points. We don't like that anymore. Oh come on, just because we don't like the shop anymore has nothing to do with it. A hippo problem - often the high-speed pösen and pine trees. 

The boss says: “Oh, we have to change again. My wife said the site doesn't look great make it new make it hip!” Oh, that's no reason for a re-launch. Or when we say: “Well, somehow our marketing doesn't work that way anymore. We'll have to think of something else." That's really no reason for a re-launch. And the biggest mistake for a re-launch is just because the Shops software comes around the corner and says: "There is a new version now that should use it and therefore launch it". That just causes huge problems and is not worth it. But I also don't understand why people so often think I have to do a relaunch, there is something alternative to the relaunch.

And that is the permanent optimization, the relaunch. We do everything new, mostly technically and graphically and often also the processes and the optimization is, well, we change the existing. And what is the basis for these two approaches to becoming better and becoming different. Let's start with data. Such a relaunch is usually based on relatively little data but on a lot of discussion. Because I don't know how the individual things I think up work. Means I can take inventory data and look, yes, the products have sold, there were jumps and stuff like that. If that is taken into account at all and if the re-launch does not take place in many emotional discussions about how you want to present it again and where you put hope and so on. 

Whereas optimization that takes a bit of step-by-step can always work insanely well with data. I see what the change does and then I know okay, we'll keep using that or we'll just leave it out because it didn't work well. Accordingly, the risk involved in re-launching and optimization is completely different. The risk of a re-launch is incredibly high. So it doesn't have to work. It's just so common and it's just because it's so completely rescheduled. The risk that an optimization doesn't work is quite small. Well if I see that something isn't working then I go back and continue like before and I can try the next thing.

I never fall into this deep hole like a lot of shops after a relaunch, the chances are of course generally greater with a relaunch because I really have the opportunity to change everything, the chance here to really hit the ground running and to develop something totally ingenious is of course huge. When it comes to optimization, the chance is a little smaller, more like medium, because of course you are simply slower and somehow work in an existing framework in the existing grid. You can't throw everything at once. The expectations for a re-launch are therefore incredibly high.

People expect everything to be better after the re-launch and I keep talking to Shop. You say yes, yes, we are already working on the relaunch, in six months it will be ready and will then be completely repositioned. Then everything will be different anyway. We don't need to worry about any issues now. When it comes to optimization, this expectation is often relatively low, I would often argue too pessimistically. Well, if we just change a few things, change small things like that, then we won't achieve much and stuff like that. And then I ask myself why? Because you can also achieve an incredible amount in optimization and change things bit by bit.

And you don't have this high risk, because this high risk combined with the high expectations, because you see these high opportunities, is simply a plan for disaster, because you think we have these opportunities and you put this enormous pressure on. We have to achieve a lot - we have high expectations and then with this high risk. It's just incredibly likely that I'll go wrong and then not meet these expectations and really fall into a deep hole. When it comes to optimization, on the other hand, if I play well, I can very well exceed expectations and use the low risk to still take my chances and achieve much more, which is why I really don't see why people are relaunching so often.

In addition, there is so much and it usually takes a very, very long, very long time until I see results, my resources are tied up and so on, and the optimization is simply continuous, I always have successes, my convergent increases, my shopping cart value increases, my Customer satisfaction I can respond to current problems and so on, so simply optimizing has a lot of advantages. That means if I don't dig and have to, then maybe I really shouldn't relaunch because this risk shouldn't be underestimated, even if the chances are great and yes, the expectations are usually very high, but you really have to dampen these expectations because the risk. As I said, very high, even if the chances are very high. 

And if I have to relaunch now, then I should try to ask the right questions. Because very often the wrong questions are asked namely; what do we have to do differently? or – how do we want to present ourselves in the future? What is our future strategy? How would that work in the future? Which innovations do we want to use in our new Gere-Launchtem shop. Which new image do we want to use? or the worst question here again from the shop software corner. What can the new shop software do? The already quite jittery oh so many new functions really really great.

We have to implement that somehow Ah great, you can do something then the marketing says. And then you really think about it, what do you do with all the things that are there. But the actual right question is completely forgotten because the really important question is what has worked well so far. Because what has worked well so far, we absolutely have to keep it because that is why our customers are there, why they come back, why we have regular customers, why we are successful and we are not just relaunching a shop because nothing works at all.

Then I would also optimize to find out why nothing works at all, but yes we optimize, we relaunch yes, because we are doing well, because we want to continue to do well and very often the child with the beard is poured out in a really classic way by simply doing everything and omits what has worked well so far, because people think it's ugly, because they think we've had it in the shop for so long. That has to be new and what do I know. But these are often the elements that have simply driven the conversion in the past, where the customers have found themselves, where the customers have made a purchase decision.

Some time ago I received an inquiry from a shop who said: "Oh, we tapped into the new Shopware version and since then we've seen business plummet by 50 percent."

How can that be? The shop was outdated before, it wasn't responsive, it was just bad and didn't look good anymore. And anyway, now we have a very chic new shop. But we don't sell anymore. Why is that? I thought for a moment: Where can I see what the shop used to look like now? I went to Akajew.org and looked at the old shop design, which was so well archived at Agrarforschung and noticed that the shop was really outdated and difficult to use, everything was a bit small, not responsive at all and all that. But there were so many individual arguments, so many individual statements. The shop really had a face of its own. It was really a really individual shop. You immediately felt comfortable and immediately meant a connection with it. There were also so many USP's so it's kind of a unique selling proposition. And over time we had optimized this old shop so well that the right things were also on top, they had really great filters and it was all such a bang. 

I noticed that it is old and is simply no longer state of the art - far from it, but it was really thought through to the end! It was really user-focused and had really matured and sold well. And then you wanted to be up to date with this whole maturation. You threw away all this well thought-out because you said you take a Shopware template wonderfully and you use the possibilities of the template and in the end it just looked like a Shopware shop like the 08/15 Shopware shop. And all this maturation was gone and accordingly the customers ran away because they said: “Yes, that's kind of – I don't remember anymore. It's something completely different here now. This is no longer the shop I fell in love with, where I thought man here because I caught on really well." One had become interchangeable. It was technically great but the rest was just meh. and now you had to sort of optimize backwards. 

All these things that had been built out in the re-launch now had to be painstakingly reinstalled if you asked this question in advance; what has worked well so far and what we must keep has not been asked. So how do we go about relaunching? We ask ourselves what has worked well so far. We change as little as possible. We create a consistent concept from the start so that the new shop is really just as well thought out and mature as the shop we have before and we look at the concept of the old shop and then transfer it to the re-launch so that if possible, no one gets lost and everyone says: “Yes, it looks different and is fancier and more modern, but I still feel right. I still feel fine. I can still manage. Because it's kinda like the old shop. But better." And we have to achieve that. It is best to use wireframe for this. I love wireframe for planning a Veda and the Royer Performing really really great and function follows form. So let's think about how the stuff is supposed to work first. And then we think about what that should look like. And there aren't ready-made icons here, there's something ready-made here that we're going to use now. Or we paint what you think is beautiful and then Baumwall somehow includes the function: No, we first think about how it is supposed to work. And then we think about how to implement it and how it should work. 

Also means, for example, that the filters are high up, the right filters are there for my products, that I can properly penetrate the product range and so on and fan zones Function Function is important. Form is then really part 2 all buy from Aldi although it looks ugly but the function is there. That's why plan first, then do it and please don't put the technology in the foreground. A relaunch that only takes place for technical reasons and where the design of the shop ultimately depends on the technology is rubbish. Correspondingly: no, we really have to plan and develop from a user perspective.

And please don't fall into a relaunch paralysis six months in advance where everyone says: no, we can't change anything anymore, we're planning a relaunch. Then you optimize yourself dead in two directions. You no longer update the shop, you no longer learn, you are no longer state of the art in customer needs and then at some point the relaunch comes and that is then based on old findings and then somehow it all bursts, so such a relaunch must be integrated very smoothly, organically into the entire Schopp marketing strategy and must not be such an eternal project where everything else is then suddenly postponed for six months until finally the vina and loop is over would also be one of the quasi-negative secrets of how to look worse after a relaunch. And you shouldn't invest so much work on Nylon's project that this thought comes up, so now we're done. Because such a relaunch must be the start of permanent optimization. 

You don't have to start with a thousand ready-made things, but a relaunch. It has to fit exactly into this organic pattern that I can continue to develop with a few major changes but then immediately have a plan to further optimize so that I don’t just stand there and say that we’re going to try the relaunch first and then start right away with okay. We immediately have 20 ideas that we continue to optimize. The relaunch will be further developed here so that it really becomes an overall concept and it is best not to launch it again afterwards, but to develop it further bit by bit. We can think about when elections will be the last relaunch of Amazon. 

Tip There was never a reason why you wanted to make one. But then you noticed that it doesn't work at all, you have to develop step by step. Amazon has changed extremely in the long there is now 20 years 15 years in which Amazon has existed extremely changed From bookstores to all providers with a marketplace and so on but never really Guillaumes but always changed bit by bit. A lot of testing and so on and that is ultimately a secret from Amazon, but actually a secret for every shop. Of course there were also major changes at Amazon, which were almost something like a relaunch, but they were always covered in the overall strategy and we were always learning and not easy. We want to look different but always linked to a clear goal and then Tia you also generate more convergence because the goal of the relaunch must be to generate more convergence. 

And if we think again from the conversion hacking perspective quite a lot we can really use JavaScript with arbed testing delivered statically in the worst case via a teck manager. Just try it out first to learn how it works. Our customers understand that after all, it's really the people we work for if they don't understand this. Then we can leave it because it must not be the case that after the relaunch the customers need weeks or months to get used to the new site. Then it is too high and the risk too great that it will backfire. But don't get me wrong. Sometimes you have to launch as well. All good, but you have to do it right, because ultimately we all want to sell more and be more successful online, and a relaunch can also help with that. But just done right.