Online shopping is more popular now than ever. While this is great news overall for ecommerce stores, it also means that there’s plenty of competition. To stand out from your competitors, your online store needs engaging and high-quality web design.
For most of your customers, your website will give the first impression of your brand. To promote sales, your web design should reflect your brand image and provide a great user experience with its various ecommerce features.
Web design involves many different elements, but crafting a compelling online store when you build your ecommerce website from scratch is always possible if you put in the time and effort.
To help get you started, here are 17 great tips for strong ecommerce web design!
1. Keep the presentation simple
It may be tempting to use a bright, busy design to draw the visitor’s attention, but a straightforward and minimalist design generally works best. If you overwhelm visitors with too many visuals, they may not be able to find what they’re looking for very easily.
Most people today have a short attention span, so they may click away rather than try to navigate a confusing or complicated site.
Keep lots of white space on the page and only include relevant information. The visitor’s eye should go right to the most important part of the page. The products should stand out as the feature of the page instead of being overshadowed by bright or distracting graphics.
Simple design can also help the website load more quickly. This improves user experience, keeps customers on your site for longer periods of time, and can lead to increased sales.
2. Prioritize branding
Most consumers care about where they make their purchases. They prefer to buy from online retailers that are established brands with a clear image and story. If your store is too generic or inconsistent, shoppers may not trust you or feel connected to your business.
Branding includes the retailer’s goals, values, and target audience. Think about the message that you want to send to your customers or the purpose that you serve in their lives.
How would you describe your business in one sentence? What does your business do best?
Your written and visual website content should clearly reflect your brand.
Your logo should appear on every page of your ecommerce site as well. If the logo includes a particular color scheme or style of text, make sure the rest of the website matches.
When your brand is clear and consistent throughout your site design, customers will feel like they know you.
3. Use color effectively
As mentioned above, your ecommerce website should reflect your logo in color and style. However, there are also other ways to use color in your site design.
Different colors bring up different thoughts and feelings for people. You can take advantage of the psychology behind color to encourage website visitors to become customers.
For example, red is often used in sales because it creates a feeling of intensity or urgency. Yellow tends to make people feel warm, happy, and creative. Green can represent health, growth, and the earth, so it’s a popular color for businesses that sell healthy or natural products.
Remember not to overload your site with loud colors, which can overwhelm the customer.
The main colors in your theme should be easy on the eyes. Then, you can use more vibrant colors to accentuate certain parts of your site, like the shopping cart button or a banner about a promotion.
4. Add high-quality photos
People are sometimes wary of buying a product online because they can't hold it and see it in person first. They may be especially skeptical if the website shows an unclear, low-resolution, or incomplete photo of the product.
The best way to get high-quality images for your ecommerce site is to hire a professional photographer. It can be expensive, but many retailers find that the return on investment is worth it.
If you’d rather take the photos yourself, that’s completely okay too!
The most important factors to be aware of are the lighting and the background.
Even if you don’t have a great camera, good lighting can make all the difference. To avoid shadows, use multiple sources of light.
Place the product in front of a white or gray background. You can use craft paper or even a bedsheet to create a neutral, consistent background for your photos.
Your product photos should feature all of the important elements of the item. The customer should be able to view the product from each angle so that they know exactly what they’re buying.
5. Make it appear professional
When you encourage a consumer to buy something from you, you’re asking them to give you their credit card information. There are unfortunately plenty of online scams out there, so people are rightfully cautious about giving out their sensitive information.
An ecommerce store with a professional, high-quality website design will seem much more trustworthy than a messy or outdated site. If the customer can see that you’ve put a lot of work into the site, they'll be more likely to accept your business as a reliable brand.
Scam websites are often hastily made and full of typos. Your website will look questionable if you’re not extremely careful about your presentation.
6. Include a reviews section
According to Podium, 93% of consumers report that reviews have an effect on their purchasing decisions. Reviews are especially important when it comes to online shopping because shoppers can only look at photos or videos to evaluate the product.
Putting product-specific reviews under each product listing is a great way to increase conversions. Your potential customers can see what people have to say without having to seek out reviews on other sites. You could also create a separate page on your site for testimonials.
Encourage shoppers to leave reviews after their purchases. Follow up with them via email or include a link or text box on your website for shoppers to review your products. You could ask your customers to give a star rating, a written review, or both.
7. Supply easily scannable content
It’s far more common for site visitors to skim through a page looking for information than for them to thoroughly read the page from beginning to end. Your content and formatting should lend itself to being scanned so that your customers won't give up and click away.
Short paragraphs are the best way to break up the content on your ecommerce website. A wall of text is visually overwhelming. When you use short paragraphs, your visitors can read the first few words of each section to determine what the paragraph is about.
Breaking up your content with headings and bulleted lists is also helpful. These features provide easy landmarks that assist shoppers in quickly finding what they’re looking for.
8. Make it easy to navigate
User experience is the key factor in ecommerce website design. Everything on your store, including the content, color scheme, page format, and site layout, should be created with the customer in mind. Make it as easy as possible for your site visitors to find everything they need.
It’s best for your ecommerce website to include a clear, simple navigation menu in its design. You should have a consistent system for your product categories, and the menu should naturally follow that hierarchy.
If you have quite a few categories, you can use drop-down menus that appear when you hover over the broader categories so that your visitors don’t get overwhelmed.
Your other site pages, like your “About” page or “Contact” page, should also be easy to access from your home page. You could include these pages as part of the sidebar or across the top of the page.
9. Organize your products
Organizing your products into categories will help customers quickly and easily find what interests them. The faster that site visitors can find something they want, the more likely they are to make a purchase.
There should be a clear hierarchy of broad-to-specific categories. If a particular subcategory seems to belong in two broad categories and you’re unsure of where it fits best, place it in both. Some overlap in your categories is fine if it makes it easier for shoppers to browse your site.
The category names should be concise and descriptive. Although there’s plenty of room for creativity in your web design, your categories aren’t the place.
The purpose of creating an organizational system is to make navigating the site easier. If the category names don’t help the customer explore your ecommerce site, they’re not working successfully.
However, you can create some extra categories that aren’t strictly about types of products. For example, a “What's New” or a “Clearance” category may draw the customer’s eye and boost sales.
10. Include a search bar
The site visitors who know exactly what they’re looking for are the most likely to make a purchase. You don’t have to convince them they need a product. Instead, you just have to make your product visible to them.
Including a search bar at the top of every page makes it incredibly easy for consumers to seek out the items that interest them.
The search bar should be immediately noticeable to customers when they click on the page. Consider adding a magnifying glass icon to the search bar to make it recognizable.
The best places for the search bar to appear are generally at the top right or the top center area of the page.
11. Provide an option for filtering products
Filtering is another great way for ecommerce site visitors to quickly locate the products they’re looking for. The exact filters you should use will depend on the type of products you offer. Some of the most common options are price, brand, and color.
Your customers should be able to filter the results they get from using the search bar. They also should be able to use filters when they click on your categories. Most online stores place their filtering options on the left side of the page.
12. Make the checkout process easy
One of the most disappointing experiences for any ecommerce business is to have a customer fill up their cart and then abandon it.
Checking out should be just as easy and intuitive for your customers as the rest of the shopping process. Include a shopping cart icon that buyers can click on from any page to get to the checkout.
A great way to simplify the experience is to allow shoppers to check out as guests. Requiring visitors to create an account is one of the fastest ways to turn them away from your site entirely.
Your customers should be able to view everything in their cart from the checkout page. The page should be clear and concise about what information is required from the shopper.
Finally, many web designers find that keeping the checkout process all on one page is better because it’s faster and simpler for the customer.
13. Use helpful product descriptions
Your product descriptions are another opportunity to win over potential customers. The descriptions should have all of the necessary information written in an engaging but clear manner.
Use bulleted lists whenever possible to make the descriptions concise and easy to skim. The goal of the product description is to explain what the item is and why it will add value to the customer’s life.
14. Be transparent regarding products, pricing, and store policies
Honesty and reliability are two qualities customers look for in a brand. Don’t try to add hidden fees or portray your products as something different from what they truly are.
Word gets around on the internet. If you try to manipulate your customers with unclear or untrue information, it may do serious damage to your reputation.
Your prices should be visible on your product listing pages. In addition, your shipping costs and policies should be clearly stated on your website. If the customer gets to the last step of checking out and then discovers that they have to pay $15 for shipping, they may abandon their cart.
Transparency applies to customer reviews and complaints as well.
If a customer writes about a genuine problem they had with the product, don’t attempt to hide or delete the review. Instead, show your brand’s integrity by responding to the reviewer, thanking them for the feedback, and explaining what your business will do to fix the issue.
15. Optimize for mobile shopping
In the last few years, mobile browsing has started to overtake desktop browsing. To appeal to as wide of an audience as possible, your ecommerce website should be easy to use on mobile devices.
All of the content on your traditional desktop site should also be available and simple to access on mobile devices. Test your ecommerce store on several devices to make sure that everything works well.
Did you know that merchants who use WiziShop for their online stores will automatically have their ecommerce sites created with responsive web design? It’s true!
So, why is this beneficial? Well, with responsive web design, a website’s layout adjusts to fit any screen size.
This means that whether customers are viewing your site from their laptop or their mobile device, they’ll enjoy an excellent user experience. What’s more, your site’s pages won’t take long at all to load, which is a definite plus for shoppers in a hurry!
Good mobile design will improve your performance on search engines, too. Google looks at the mobile versions of websites to determine their search rankings. To make it to the first page of results for keywords related to your business, ensure that mobile design is a priority.
16. Include an FAQ page
An FAQ page can be a great addition to your website. It makes the information more accessible to your customers, and it increases your trustworthiness. When you’re up front in answering common questions, your customers know that you're trying to be transparent.
Use subheadings on your FAQ page so that readers can quickly find their question. As always, the text should be informative but concise. The purpose of the page is to offer answers and build trust, so don’t try too hard to sell your products in this section.
17. Provide social media links
Including links to your social media platforms will encourage customers to interact with your brand. They may tag you in photos or other posts, which will expand your online presence and build brand awareness.
Your social media profiles are easy places for customers to contact you as well. The more you can interact with your customers, the more likely they are to make additional purchases.
However, make sure that the links will open the pages in a new tab. If a site visitor navigates away from your ecommerce store by clicking on your social media links, they may not decide to come back and complete their purchase.
There are many elements to a winning web design, but always remember to keep the user in mind when designing your ecommerce store. The site layout should be engaging and easy to navigate, and the content should be informational and honest.
A high-quality ecommerce store will help your site perform better on search engines, draw more potential customers to the page, and keep the customers there for longer. You’ll ultimately see more sales if you use these strategies to create your ecommerce website.
When creating an online store with WiziShop, you’ll be able to choose from a wide range of design templates to help your products shine. We make it easy to manage your ecommerce site and provide you with all kinds of features to optimize your store and increase sales.
The best part is that all of these features will be included at no extra cost in whichever monthly pricing plan you choose, so there won’t be any surprises at the end of the month.
Be sure to visit our homepage and provide your email address to sign up for early access and email updates, as creating an account on the English version of WiziShop will soon be possible!
What components of website design mentioned above do you think are going to be most beneficial for the unique needs of your ecommerce business? Have another tip of your own regarding website design for online stores?
Let us know in the comments below!