This is part one in a two-part series. Read part two here.

According to Punxsutawney Phil, we’ve got some time left before spring finally arrives, but that’s no excuse to delay a heavy spring cleaning for your eCommerce website. With the Christmas sales season over, now is the time to make changes big and small – after all, all, customers are a lot more tolerant of glitches when they’re not in the midst of a shopping panic.

Getting Started with Spring Cleaning

The hardest part of spring cleaning is getting started, so we’ve made a list of our favorite tips for freshening up all sorts of eCommerce websites. Keep these in mind as you’re looking over your site in the coming weeks:

Think back to your peak season. Was this past holiday season a train wreck of epic proportions, or did your eCommerce order management function as expected? Make a list of any problems that you or your employees encountered regularly or improvements that could clearly be made to simplify heavy sales periods in the future.

Take inventory. Even if your site’s getting ready for a major overhaul, it’s a good idea to know what outside links are still live, which pages have too many incoming connections and even what search terms aren’t helping your search rankings. By weeding out the trash and cleaning up tangled links, you’ll improve your site’s usability exponentially.

Out with the old. Spring is the best time to check out your product distribution records and remove any items from your catalog that haven’t sold in the last year. You might also want to have your accounting department evaluate which products are costing you more money to stock than they’re making and consider removing them in the purge, as well.

Check out your blog. Are your customers responding the blog posts you’ve been sharing? Do they serve to answer questions or are they simply self-serving? Blogs should be a give and take, with you doing most of the giving and your readers doing much of the taking. A link to your products isn’t a problem, but if your blogs are all thinly-veiled high pressure sales tactics, a new direction is in order.

The nice thing about spring cleaning is that once you get started, it gets easier and easier to see the beautiful, virtual-cobweb-free space you’re creating. After all, customers love an eCommerce store that’s easy to use and responsive. Stay tuned for the second part of this post, where we’ll give you even more ideas for spiffing your eStore this year.