Third-party add-ons and apps can be invaluable for many brands wishing to get more out of whatever ecommerce platform they may have chosen for their online store.
However, while third-party add-ons can certainly go a long way to enhancing a store’s features and functionality – those available encompassing the likes of ‘live chat’, customer reviews, marketing automation, and much more – they are not without their potential pitfalls.
Indeed, in some cases, the benefits that a given third-party add-on promises to offer may end up being exceeded by the problems it creates. So, let’s take a look at the risks that you need to be aware of before using them.
What issues can third-party add-ons bring?
There are various ways in which a third-party add-on could introduce stress, inconvenience and a poor experience for those managing or visiting your online store.
It is crucial, for instance, that each chosen add-on is properly integrated with the site for which it has been adopted, and responsibly managed. Otherwise, the add-on might slow down the site to such an extent that users become frustrated and leave – and this is before you even consider that page speed is a Google ranking factor these days. In other words, the wrong add-on could even harm your ecommerce brand’s ability to achieve high rankings in the search engines.
It is also all-important to make sure the add-on syncs well with whatever specific ecommerce platform you are using for your site. If not, the general look and feel of your store could be disjointed, which might confuse visitors.
User experience issues can also arise when you install an add-on for the specific purpose of collecting data from your website customers. You might adopt an add-on that springs an exit popup in front of the user requesting their email address, for instance, even though an earlier form might have already collected this information. It’s another example of how a badly chosen add-on may cause frustration to shoppers and prove counterproductive for your brand.
So, how can you avoid problems like the above?
None of the above, of course, means that you shouldn’t embrace third-party add-ons for your site. When you make the right decisions, they can be great solutions for bolstering your e-tail store’s functionality in a convenient and affordable way.
Nonetheless, the aforementioned potential issues underline the importance of doing certain due diligence. That should include researching the given third-party add-on provider, including checking out their customer support offering and online reviews.
It is also important to monitor your ecommerce store’s performance both before and after the installation of the add-on; Google’s PageSpeed Insights, for example, can be a great tool for analysing the impact an add-on has on site speed. Ideally, your chosen add-on should enhance the user experience without detrimentally impacting on the site speed – otherwise, you should consider whether to keep it installed in the long run.
Other data points that you could review for your site to assess the add-on’s all-round impact include the likes of conversions, average order value (AOV), and requests for information. Again, it’s all about considering the general effect that the given add-on has on your store and the experience others have of it.
Finally, don’t forget to also remove any add-ons that are not in use. Indeed, we would advise you to have a process in place for regularly reviewing whatever add-ons you presently have installed, to help ensure they are continuing to deliver the positive impact you sought when adopting them in the first place.
It’s not just about add-ons when you are seeking to achieve more online
As influential as add-ons can be in terms of how your ecommerce store functions and how well your brand does online, there is also so much more that we can advise and assist with here at Piranha Designs.
To find out more about our expertise in website design, graphics, search engine marketing (SEM) and custom software development services in Gibraltar, you are welcome to get in touch with us via phone or email.