If you’re selling physical products online, you should make sure that your ecommerce website reflects the quality of your goods. It may sound like a cliche, but your shopping site is literally your digital store and buyers will evaluate all areas of your ecommerce website design before making a purchase on your platform. So, you need to create a great user experience by working with an expert web designer and ensuring that your ecommerce site is fast, functional, and attractive.
With that said, knowing what elements need to be included and how they affect your customers’ shopping experiences requires in-depth knowledge of ecommerce web design best practices. Taking the time to learn how to start an online business and design ecommerce websites may take time, but this practice will allow you to build better online stores that have a higher chance of reeling in a high number of sales. Fortunately, our team has spent the best part of the last decade building SEO-friendly ecommerce websites for our customers, so we know what features can increase your platform’s chances of success.
In this article, we’ll go over the importance of having an attractive and intuitive ecommerce website design and a solid ecommerce marketing strategy. We’ll also go over the steps as well as crucial tips to help you design a better ecommerce platform and go over some examples of great online stores you can use as inspiration.
Why Is Your Online Store Web Design Important?
What do the best online shopping websites have in common? Even though they may serve different industries, all of the leading ecommerce sites on the internet focus heavily on design.
The design of your page goes beyond the color scheme or any other superficial trait. As a matter of fact, the shape, size, saturation, and other features of the elements on each page directly affect how users interact with the different parts of your website. If you get the combination right, you’ll be able to guide users through your page and encourage them to complete the steps you want them to take, like filling out a contact form.
It’s important to note that your website design includes all of the elements that are visible to users. This includes images, page graphics, contact forms, and even the text elements, although it doesn’t necessarily cover the quality of the content. That said, you should always aim to produce top-notch content and pair it with an attractive, intuitive design to create a great user experience.
Furthermore, focusing on commerce website design is important because it:
Gives Your Brand a Personality
The people that visit your ecommerce site determine how they feel about your content in a matter of milliseconds. If you have a dull and boring design, they will automatically associate your brand with outdated and ineffective concepts.
If you work on creating an attractive ecommerce design that reflects your company identity, your website will be able to transmit this message and give your brand more personality. Consumers prefer companies that have clear branding elements in place, so make sure that your color scheme, logo, and other company identifiers are on display to get the best results.
Remember, to build the best ecommerce websites you’ll have to maintain consistency throughout your website. Your online shop should match the tone of your industry and the content on your page. For instance, if your ecommerce store design is full of vibrant colors, you need to match it with engaging content.
Makes the Checkout Process Easy
If you sell products online, your ecommerce business is already on its way. However, the checkout process directly impacts your sales metrics, so you need to simplify this step and make sure that it’s designed with users in mind.
Unfortunately, many ecommerce store owners focus on the product page design and neglect the checkout page. Rather than assuming that all checkout pages have the same impact, you should create a tailored experience that focuses solely on completing the purchase, without being too aggressive.
All industries are slightly different, so you may need to run a few tests to find the best combination for your website’s design. That said, checkout pages that have a simple design, display trust elements, and feature a progress bar tend to perform well in general.
Improves the Way Your Benefit from Social Media
Many companies use social media as a direct sales channel, a movement that’s gaining traction. But, ecommerce platforms are still a more popular alternative, so using social media as an additional source of organic traffic has also proven to be an effective approach.
If you implement a good website design in your ecommerce site, you’ll be able to generate more sales from social media traffic, boosting the results you get from marketing through this channel. Social users are more engaged and receptive, so pairing an engaging post with a user-friendly ecommerce platform can help you sell more products without increasing your expenses.
Allows Companies to Show High-Quality Images, Videos, and Descriptions
Although there are many types of ecommerce site designs you can mimic, almost all options allow you to showcase high-quality images, videos, and text descriptions. One of the key differences between brick and mortar retail locations and digital stores is the availability of salespeople to help customers find the right products.
Online store owners need to develop a user-friendly design that features quality content, with the aim of helping customers feel like they can truly evaluate the products being sold. This will make up for the lack of sales personnel and encourage potential customers to complete the checkout process or reach out and request more information.
Enhances Your Up-Selling and Cross-Selling Efforts
Just because a customer has completed a purchase doesn’t mean you should stop promoting your services to that individual. On the contrary, when a prospect becomes a customer, you gain a lot of information that allows you to develop better remarketing campaigns. Which, in turn, can help you make a profit from clients that have already shown interest in your brand.
Ecommerce websites that feature a modern design can help boost your remarketing campaigns and generate more business from our up-selling efforts. At the same time, the features that your ecommerce website design service provider develops will also influence whether your customers want to buy a different type of product, which means that the right platform can help improve your cross-selling activities as well.
With the above in mind, remember to monitor your ecommerce website design costs and ensure that you only invest in features that yield a better customer experience and boost profitability.
Results in a Better Customer Experience
Digital consumers are subconsciously attracted to creative website designs that don’t sacrifice appearance for user experience. Likewise, an effective ecommerce website always features an attractive design as well as functional elements that work as intended. This creates the ultimate customer experience and exponentially increases your chances of converting site visitors into customers.
There are dozens, if not hundreds of elements that affect the way users perceive your ecommerce website. The shape of buttons, font, color scheme, and the way your elements are spread out are some of the variables that users evaluate to determine whether they like your website or not.
Running a few tests is the best idea to find the right websites layout ideas, but you should also research your customers and design your site based on your findings.
Boosts Your SEO and Other Digital Marketing Tactics
To successfully develop an effective Google ecommerce website design, you need to keep overall quality in mind. In addition to the visual elements, a quality website design will also allow your pages to load quickly and deliver superb all-around performance. Because of this, implementing a great ecommerce website design can help boost your SEO, content marketing, pay-per-click campaigns, and other forms of online promotion techniques.
Approaches like SEO focus heavily on creating a great experience for every customer that visits your website. Google and other search engines take hundreds of factors into consideration when calculating the results of each query and these variables include loading time as well as other functional metrics. If you work with a top website designs company like Fannit, your pages will have faster loading times and other features that give the rest of your marketing strategy a solid boost in performance.
- More helpful reading: 4 Ways Visual Content Can Improve Your Ecommerce User Experience
Focusing on Developing an Intuitive Design
If you’re evaluating the best websites design, it’s easy to focus too much on aesthetics. Yes, the appearance of your ecommerce website will affect its performance, but there are other features that are just as important, if not more crucial to user experience and overall performance.
The elements on our ecommerce website need to be functional and work exactly as intended. Designs that are not responsive or that contain features that don’t work will result in frustrated users, who are more likely to leave your website. Therefore, you need to develop an ecommerce business site that has working features as well as a simple, attractive, and easy-to-navigate design.
To get the best results from your ecommerce website, you should make sure that your pages are intuitive. In other words, these pages should have a logical design that allows users to navigate and interact with them instinctively.
In order to develop an intuitive design, remember:
Simple is Better
Your ecommerce website design is important, but your visitors aren’t going to check out your pages to judge their aesthetic elements. The users who visit your ecommerce site are there because they are interested in the products you have available, so your job is to create a great shopping experience for them.
This concept is similar to a real store. Imagine if you had a physical shop that’s so full of products that consumers can’t navigate it properly. Likewise, if your home page and other parts of your ecommerce store are too cluttered, this sensation will produce a negative effect and repel potential customers.
Instead, you should opt for a simple design that has clear labels and that is easy to navigate. As long as you keep this in mind during your web design process and study website design examples that feature minimalist elements, you should be able to find the perfect layout. As a general rule of thumb, using a white background and employing the empty spaces usually produces an attractive design, especially if you include splashes of bright colors in strategic places.
Humans have been recording information for thousands of years, so we’ve grown accustomed to consuming this data in very specific ways. To capitalize on this phenomenon, ecommerce website owners should ensure that the visual hierarchy of their site design highlights the most important elements on the page.
Ecommerce businesses want users to complete certain actions, so they should adjust the position of the creative elements, size, and other site design features in a way that increases the chances of achieving the goal. For instance, if you look at some of the largest ecommerce sites out there, you’ll notice that many of them use verbs such as “purchase,” “get,” and “buy” in their design above the fold in order to entice users to take this action.
In most cases, you should also include a call-to-action (CTA) in the design, which is a phrase that directly states what you want users to take. There are different types of CTAs, like button and in-text, so make sure to use them appropriately throughout your website.
Similarly to the order in which items are presented, modern consumers are used to a certain type of web design. The vast majority of ecommerce websites employ a menu bar that’s available on all pages, which allows users to navigate between the different parts of the website. Whether you choose to follow this classical design or not, you need to ensure that users can explore your website in a logical way.
In most cases, people are used to seeing a menu at the top that lets them check out the most general pages. This menu usually provides links to the category pages, which allows visitors to view more specific pages and choose the right one without having to review every single page on your website.
As a general rule of thumb, your ecommerce website design should:
- Have a search bar at the top
- Limit navigation options (the fewer, the better)
- Include internal links in your page content
- Don’t bury specific pages deep within your website, make them easily accessible to users
Rather than working with a developer that specializes in other types of website, you should work with reliable ecommerce website designers in order to maintain consistency among all of your channels.
Many companies work with a general design and then hire an ecommerce developer to finish building the online store. While this may still result in a clean design that follows PCI compliance, it can also produce some inconsistencies in terms of branding, site functionality, and other areas.
To avoid this, you should work with an ecommerce web development company from the beginning and ensure that this expert is involved in the entire development process, including the end stages where you may commission customized elements like shopping carts and thank you pages.
Accommodating to Different Device Sizes
A few years ago, mobile users became the leading type of internet traffic on a global scale. While desktop traffic is still the most common type in the US, the fact that mobile has become so popular means that business owners need to adjust their ecommerce website designs.
When users access a website via a mobile device, they expect the pages to adjust to the screen size of the device being used. If this doesn’t occur, users will back and continue their search on another website more than 90% of the time.
The solution is to implement a responsive ecommerce website design that changes the size and layout of your content depending on the device that each person uses to access your website. And, the best part is that a responsive design doesn’t require any additional maintenance or monitoring in order to deliver stellar results.
Despite the fact that not many companies make it a priority, you need to ensure that your site design is accessible to anyone that wants to use it to learn more about your business. If a user has a disability or limitation, this should not prevent them from understanding your content or navigating your pages because of design elements.
The World Wide Web Consortium has developed a specific set of rules and best practices that allow ecommerce website developers to ensure accessibility for everyone. You can check out the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines to learn more. In a nutshell, ecommerce web design services providers should make sure that your website is:
- Robust enough to be used along with assistive devices and similar technology
- Easy to understand
- Operable in a variety of ways
- Designed to make users aware they are viewing your content
Functionality and Practicality
It’s very easy to get carried away and focus on the visual aspects when building an ecommerce website, rather than functionality.
Regardless of how attractive your ecommerce site design actually is, if it’s too slow or if it doesn’t work properly your visitors will not complete the actions you want them to. Sites that don’t have functional elements tend to generate skepticism in the eyes of consumers, so the combination of inconvenience and mistrust usually results in a monumental decrease in sales.
In addition to ensuring that all of the elements on your website are working, you should also verify that all features on the site have a purpose. You should review your overall ecommerce website design to check that all of the elements actually improve user experience. If you find that a button, piece of text, or other element gets in the way, removing it is probably the best idea.
While all design elements play a role in the customer experience, some features have a more functional role while others are designed to increase the credibility of your brand.
Keep in mind that there are many complex credibility elements you can implement like badges and review widgets. These have a great impact on the way potential customers perceive you, but you need to have a good reputation if you want these to have the right effect.
The good news is that there are also a variety of simple techniques you can implement to increase your brand’s credibility and trustworthiness.
For example, you should be clear and transparent about the quality of your products, where they are sourced from, and what consumers can expect when doing business with your company. This will improve credibility, increase your chances of collecting the email address of each user, and increase the number of products you sell online every month.
There are many general best practices that tend to produce great results in most cases. But, remember that consumer preferences are subjective, which means that they vary depending on the audiences you’re targeting. So, to develop the most effective ecommerce websites, companies need to learn as much as they can about their customers and implement a user-centric design.
A perfect example of this would be a niche fashion company, like a futuristic clothing store. Pop-ups, stock images, and similar design elements have earned a reputation for disrupting users. That said, futuristic fashion brands have proved that, if implemented properly, these elements can actually enhance their audience’s experience.
If you want to implement a great design, collect as much information as you can about your audience and share it with your ecommerce website designer at the start of your project. This will ensure that your creative team maintains the right tone throughout your ecommerce store and develops a shopping cart design that encourages users to finish their orders.
It’s crucial to maintain your ecommerce website design as slick and functional as possible, but you should also implement modern features that improve home page navigation and other parts of your website.
A great example would be automated scripts that identify when users have placed orders in the shopping cart but haven’t finished an order. If you implement this feature into your website, you can help users complete their orders and order their favorite products without having to go through the entire process again.
In addition to responsive designs for mobile devices, you should also implement modern features like social media feeds, interactive elements, and similar capacities that rely on cookies.
The language used in the text on your pages is a crucial part of your mission to build an ecommerce website that converts.
If your ecommerce website home page is your storefront, then the language used throughout your site acts as your sales team. And, just like your sales personnel, the content needs to speak the customer’s language to ensure that you get your marketing costs across.
Before getting ahead of yourself, verify that grammar, spelling, and other basic elements. If your content is full of mistakes, your audience will assume that you didn’t have the resources or attention to detail to identify these typos. Which, in turn, will reduce your credibility and kill any chance of drumming up some business.
Instead, you should make sure that the language you use is clear, concise, and error-free. You shouldn’t get too technical or include complex industry terms in your content, but avoid talking down to your audience at the same time. Simply put yourself in their position and try to deliver enough value without overwhelming readers.
- More helpful resources: Ecommerce SEO – Case Study: 2176.33% Online Rankings Growth
Ecommerce Website Design: How to Build the Best Online Store
Now that we’ve covered the importance of a good website design and the characteristics of a functional site, it’s time to go over the steps you need to take to develop a robust ecommerce platform.
There’s a strong chance you’ll find a variety of ecommerce templates designed specifically to be a digital store. However, you’ll get the best results by partnering with an ecommerce website design company that has experience in developing these digital platforms.
All businesses are different, so the elements that constitute a great design for one website may not be the same for another. Having a tailored platform designed and developed by a specialist will increase your chances of developing a solid search engine optimization (SEO) campaign and consistently selling products through your website.
That said, there are a few basic steps that all ecommerce website design projects need to follow in order to succeed. These include:
Study the Target Audiences
Web designers have a solid grasp of the elements they need to include, but the only way to build the perfect site design is to study the target audience.
All demographic groups are different, so you need to study your potential customers in order to determine what design elements have a higher chance of converting. And, if you’re not sure about certain variables, remember that you can always run a few tests in order to verify which combination works best.
Find the Perfect Balance Between Attractive and Functional
As we mentioned briefly in previous sections, the only way to produce engaging content is to find the balance between attractive and functional content.
Note that the aesthetic elements of your website need to follow your branding, but they should not distract from your products themselves. If your website is cluttered with distractions, it may cause users to visit other pages and disrupt your conversion flow.
To avoid this, stick to a simple design that emphasizes the products and galleries on your website above all else.
Prioritize the Most Important Ecommerce Pages
Like any other website, an ecommerce design usually features a number of different pages. Having a page for your products seems pretty obvious, but you should also include supporting pages as well as a search engine that allows users to filter the content on your website.
Below, we’ll go over the different pages that ecommerce web developers need to build during your project.
All ecommerce websites have a homepage that serves as an introduction to the rest of the platform. In addition to being important for search engine optimization marketing, homepages are among the best ecommerce tools because they allow you to showcase the products’ categories you have available while giving you the space to shine a positive light on your store.
Many ecommerce website owners see the category page as a way to divide their product list, but this part of their platform serves an important role because it keeps visitors engaged while they check out your different offers. Category pages should be functional and give users easy access to the different options available.
Product pages are the heart and soul of any ecommerce website. In simple terms, your product pages are the sales pitch that will convince users to pull the trigger and complete a purchase. These usually include an in-depth summary of the product features, photos taken from different angles, demo videos, and other elements that help users evaluate the quality of the good in question.
We’ve covered the importance of the checkout page before, so just remember that you need to take the time and conduct a few tests in order to find the site design that yields the highest number of sales. And, the checkout process should be smooth even if your customers are using mobile devices, so make sure that you have a responsive design in place here as well.
About Us Page
The about us page is to your company what your product pages are to your products. In other words, the about us page is your ability to really hone in on who you are as a company, your core values, the goals you help customers achieve, and other elements that help you form a stronger connection with your audience.
Search Results Page (and the Website’s Engine)
Google is one of the most popular websites on the planet because it allows users to filter out internet content and track down the information they need quickly. Some ecommerce websites are huge, so users will often turn to your site’s search engine and use it as an easy way to track down a brand new product. In addition to optimizing the search results page, you should also make sure that you’re implementing a robust engine that helps users accurately track down content on your website.
Log-In and Contact Forms
Although it’s not a necessity, you should encourage users to create an account and submit questions even if they haven’t made a purchase yet. That said, you also have to ensure that your log-in pages and contact forms are functional and attractive to help encourage users to sign up as a member.
Develop Engaging Content and Optimize It for Conversions
Finally, ecommerce websites have to feature engaging content and be optimized for conversions in order to produce the best results. Search engines, social media networks, and other organic traffic sources allow you to drive huge amounts of potential customers to your site at no cost, so you should write detailed content about your products and give it to your web designer to include on your website.
To increase the number of conversions you get through your site, you should try to:
- Keep your content simple
- Aim to satisfy customers and conversions will follow naturally
- Always customize your website and content
- Ensure that your site is easy to use and navigate
- Stand out without overloading your pages
- Collect customers’ data as well as feedback (in an ethical way!)
- Highlight the benefits of your brand on the customer’s lifestyle
- Shorten the journey from homepage to product pages
- Showcase through visual elements, not only words
- Create a smooth flow that encourages consumers to let go
Examples of Stellar Ecommerce Web Design in 2020
The products that your company sells will directly affect the performance of your ecommerce website, but you also work on improving your customers’ overall experience as this can significantly improve the performance of your pages.
In this section, we’ve put together a list of sites that in our humble opinion have worked with some of the best ecommerce website design companies out there. So, even if you don’t have the resources to work with a world-class web designer, you can still learn about some of the features that the top ecommerce website examples share and make sure that these abilities are accessible to customers on your platform.
Without further ado, here are our picks for the companies with the best ecommerce website design:
Volcom has earned a reputation for manufacturing products of exceptional quality from sustainable, responsibly-sourced materials. The company also knows its audience extremely well and it has based its entire ecommerce website design as well as company image around their customers.
It’s worth noting that this ecommerce website design was inspired by the world of skating, surfing, and snowboarding, so they’ve included waves, winter equipment, and one of their newest line of products on the homepage.
2. Nudie Jeans
Nudie Jeans offer a very limited number of products, but the company’s amazing ecommerce website design has helped it become a global phenomenon that’s still on the rise. Like Volcom, the company shaped its online shop around its audience’s preferences while also putting a lot of emphasis on their products.
The company’s website design follows a similar mentality to their products because it places functionality above all else. Rather than opting for bright colors that don’t always resonate with its audience, note how the team at Nudie stuck to a website design with moderate colors and a plain feel to it.
Rather than following the crowd, Skullcandy became a great example of a company that used a creative concept that was unorthodox, but has yielded great results anyways. The website’s vibrant colors and bold graphics are a testament to the brand’s personality, which its users also seem to enjoy very much.
Companies in the food industry have a huge variety of options when it comes to ecommerce website design and no company has embodied that feeling more than BonBonBon. The website features some of its most popular products as well as its branding on the home page, plus it offers direct links for users to place a custom chocolate order right away.
Renogy has opted for a product-centric design, but this is largely due to the fact that the company’s audience relates to its products so much. Additionally, the company has focused on developing a simple ecommerce website design that’s informative and not pretentious at all, exactly like the lifestyle that the brand advocates.
Ecommerce Website Design for Small Businesses
Though it may seem like ecommerce is better left to larger companies, small businesses can now take advantage of the digital channels available and sell their products online. Thanks to the wide variety of ecommerce website developers, affordable hosting, and other resources available to all entrepreneurs, local businesses can set up a fast and effective order fulfillment mechanism at a relatively low price. Which, in turn, allows them to start generating a significant amount of funds from their online channels.
It’s normal for local business owners and small company managers to feel a bit overwhelmed when designing a website, especially if it’s the first time working on this type of project. The good news is that our team of SEO specialists and ecommerce website designers has decades of combined experience, so we’re happy to help you develop the best platform for your business.
Need an Ecommerce Web Developer? Fannit is Here to Help
Still need more information to help you understand what is ecommerce? Fannit has worked with dozens of ecommerce website owners and developed intuitive designs that highlight the quality of the products being sold. If you’re looking to transform your site into an online storefront and implement an ecommerce website design, our team of experts will be glad to help.
To learn more about our ecommerce website design services, contact us and book a consultation today.