Why Your Shopify Store Needs a Code Cleanup
Your Shopify store is the lifeblood of your digital sales. It’s a 24/7 salesperson that helps urge customers to click purchase, and it’s a representation and digital manifestation of your brand. So, when consumers come to your website, they have high expectations — and any website issues quickly become brand issues.
So what happens when your website runs into a hiccup? Whether it’s a certain page not displaying correctly, significant load times, or broken links and malfunctioning mechanics, detrimental coding issues can turn away customers and cause unnecessary revenue leakage.
Here’s why you should heavily consider cleaning up your Shopify store code this year.
Why Do You Need Code Cleanup?
Building your website isn’t cheap. A good, clean, consistent theme, the right app mixture, domain name, hosting, and all of the other things that go into creating a competitive eCommerce website take time, money, and dedication to build right.
Unfortunately, it only takes a small coding error to destroy all of that hard work. These coding issues aren’t intentional. And, chances are, you have code malfunctions on your website right now. They could be from something as simple as moving a blog post to a different page, or they could be caused by dragging website elements into the wrong spots.
Did you know that every time you uninstall an app it can leave code behind? That code can introduce security vulnerabilities, create breakpoints, and clutter your website with unnecessary code — slowing down speeds and impacting the user experience.
When these code issues compound, they can quickly grow out-of-control and impact your load times, images, user interface, and (of course) your overall user experience — which should be held as your most sacred website component.
Let’s look at three serious issues that your Shopify website code can cause.
1. Speed Issues
A code hiccup involving your page loading can cause frictions for consumers intent on making swift, accurate purchases on your website. In fact, 47% of customers expect to wait a maximum of 2 seconds for your website to load. A Google page loading study found that bounce rates increase exponentially with page loading. If a website takes 3 seconds to load, its bounce rate increases by 30%. If it takes 6 seconds, its bounce rate increases by 100%. And if it takes over 10 seconds, its bounce rate shoots up by 123%.
Of course, that’s simply code that impacts loading times. What happens when your code increases your security threat landscape?
2. Security Issues
From SQL injections to cross-site scripting issues and authentication errors, your website code has the potential to seriously degrade your Shopify store’s security capabilities. And, given that 60% of small eCommerce businesses close their shops within 6 months of a single cybersecurity incident, the stakes are high.
In fact,66% of businesses feel that they are facing more threats than ever to their website. Every 39 seconds, an attacker attempts to hack a website. Luckily, Shopify has a proven track record against threats, and the Shopify eCommerce platform as a whole is incredibly resilient against attacks — something that can’t be said about WordPress and Magento (which are by far the two most hacked content management systems on the planet.)
But that doesn’t mean that hacks don’t happen. When they do, it’s generally a website coding issue that’s being abused by threat actors.
3. Revenue Issues
When your eCommerce store goes down, your profits drop. Since your website is the engine powering your sales, downtime can spell out serious consequences. During Thanksgiving of this year, Costco’s website outage cost them over $11 million in lost sales. Nordstrom Rack recently experienced the same issue, leading to lost revenue and branding damage.
Your code is responsible for piloting your website. It’s the secret sauce that makes your website load rapidly and looks beautiful. And when that code has issues, the ramifications can be severe.
So how big of a deal are all of these coding issues? Let’s take a look at some brands that learned how vital cleaning up code was the hard way.
Some Examples of Brands that Learned Their Lesson the Hard Way
When it comes to fitness apparel, Gymshark is a monolith in the industry. They’re a +$100 million brand that definitely needs the support of their eCommerce store come Black Friday — where they do massive closeout sales. But they haven’t always been a massive name in the fitness industry. Just a few years back, they were on the grind to close sales.
Unfortunately, while they were prepping for Black Friday a few years ago, their website was busy dealing with an issue. They had an app that was poorly coded running in the background. And that app crashed their website and forced them to lose over $143k in sales.
Losing over $100k in the growth phase can be heartbreaking. That small website code issue turned into a massive revenue eating monster — and at the worst possible time.
The issue eventually prompted them to switch from Magento to Shopify Plus, so at least something good came out of it.
When it comes to Black Friday sales, J Crew is up there with Walmart and Best Buy. They run massive campaigns. So what happens when J Crew crashed on Black Friday? They lose over $700,000. Last year, customers found that they were unable to add items to their cart during their after Thanksgiving sale. While the website was only down for a few hours before the tech team managed to fix the issue, the damage was already done.
The list of eCommerce websites that have crashed due to poor coding and lack of stress tests is huge. Here are a few more examples:
- Lowes crashes on Black Friday
- Macy’s website slowed down to a standstill on Black Friday
- The Perfume Shop crashed on Black Friday
- GAME crashed on Black Friday
- Takealot’s website AND app crashed on Black Friday
How Future Holidays Can Help You Keep Your Website Shiny Clean
Smart eCommerce brands pay attention to their Shopify website. The look, the feel, and the performance of your site can draw customers in or turn them away in a flash. Your website is your sales team and marketing team. It’s the secret sauce that moves products, converts users, and brands your business. So, when your website is bogged down by dirty code and poor performance, your brand (and your wallet) can take a massive financial hit.
Don’t flirt with disaster. Get that code cleaned up. Consult an eCommerce Expert to help you clean up your website code and optimize your site performance. It pays dividends in the long run.