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Website design is one of the essential elements of building a successful ecommerce business.

Whether you’re starting a B2B ecommerce store or selling products to consumers, an ecommerce site needs to meet the expectations of the market, while also being in tune with the brand and what the business is all about.

Therefore, it’s not surprising that even though the ecommerce industry is absolutely booming, many businesses are struggling with developing websites that attract visitors and convert them into customers.

When it comes to succeeding online, a website is at the very center of it, and even if you can build a website using an ecommerce platform in just a few hours, that isn’t likely to deliver results.

However, at the same time, if you follow the fundamental principles of ecommerce web design, you can successfully enter even the most competitive marketplaces and ensure that your site becomes the driving force behind rapid growth. 

So, to help you maximize your chances, let’s explore some of the most important principles of ecommerce web design that you should consider.

Consider the User Experience

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User experience is at the very center of ecommerce web design in 2019.

Today’s consumer habits are changing at a rapid pace, and you need to be aware of the expectations and preferences of your audience if you want to have any chance of separating yourself from the competition and developing a loyal following for your store.

Now, this process may seem overwhelming – after all, there are so many details you need to consider that putting together a website from scratch can seem all but impossible.

However, the good news is that even though there are plenty of considerations, the entire process can be broken down into specific steps or aspects which can help you ensure that your store is easy and convenient to browse.

The end goal is always the same – make it simple for your visitors to go from the page that they stumbled upon to the products that they want, and then go through the checkout process towards completing their purchase.

Let’s explore a few things you should consider to make that process as easy as possible.

First off, try to keep your design as intuitive as possible and try to limit the number of distractions. Make your product categories easy to navigate and sort them according to the way that your customers like to shop.

Also, make sure that the most crucial navigation options are prominently displayed and available even if the user scrolls down, as you want him to reach the core pages of your site with just one click.

Since almost half of all web users use their phones, make sure that your site is just as easy to use on a mobile device as it is on a desktop computer.

You should also have a search bar so that if someone’s searching for something specific, they can locate it without having to go through countless pages.

Another important aspect of ecommerce design is getting people to take action, so make sure that you add a call to action buttons that prompt people to make the purchase, as sometimes they only need that little extra nudge.

Once someone adds items to their cart, implement a system of related products based on other buyer behavior, as that can not only significantly increase your bottom line, but be very useful to your site’s visitors.

Finally, when the person is ready to buy, try to reduce the number of steps to a minimum – nobody likes having to register a user or needing to fill out countless forms just to order something, so only require information that is absolutely necessary.

Make the Design Consistent with Your Brand

Online consumers are very careful about who they do business with.

With so many scams and shady websites, users have learned to keep their guard up and look for signs that a website can be trusted.

And one of the most important aspects they look for is whether a company looks professional and positions itself as a brand with values. If a store looks like a generic template-based website, few users will dare to enter their payment information, so the effort you put into developing your brand and making your site look consistent will be well worth it.

But how exactly should you infuse your web design with your brand?

Well, the first step is figuring out the obvious brand elements such as your logo, name, and color scheme.

These will serve as the basis for most of the other design decisions on the site, so make sure that you think about how you can use the visuals to separate your brand from the crowd and make it appeal to the segment of the market that you want to reach.

You should also make sure that once you decide on the brand elements that you’re using, you are consistent with them throughout the web, and include them on your social media pages, communications, and advertising campaigns. 

Use Professional Images

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Many aspiring online entrepreneurs are so focused on launching their site that they often try to skip crucial steps in order to start selling sooner.

Unfortunately, in many cases, that ends up backfiring, as those skipped steps mean that some aspects of the design are lacking and are causing poor performance of the site.

One of the most common problems is using low-quality images on ecommerce stores – many otherwise honest stores use stock images of products that are provided by the manufacturer, which not only makes them lose credibility but also is generally unappealing to buyers.

Most of the stock pictures that come with the products aren’t high quality, and more importantly, they aren’t consistent with the brand and the design.

Remember, you don’t want people just to see the pictures, but you want them to start craving the product from the appeal that’s generated by the picture alone.

If you don’t have the budget for a professional photoshoot, you can at least use the best clipping path solution for your needs to crop the products and make the backgrounds and style more consistent.

Optimize Your Website

The final step of designing your ecommerce store is optimizing it to meet the expectations of your visitors, as well as the search engines.

Search Engine Optimization is one of the most effective methods for increasing targeted traffic to your site, especially if you don’t have a large budget for paid ads, so it’s definitely worth to think about the SEO best practices when designing your site.

As we already mentioned before, a mobile-friendly and responsive site is absolutely crucial, since Google is putting a lot of emphasis on ranking sites that provide a great experience on all devices.

You should also look to create content and product descriptions that are relevant to your audience, and include plenty of visuals and graphics that can help enhance it. 

Another crucial aspect of ecommerce design for SEO is having a logical site structure and creating URLs that are easy to understand for the search engine crawl bots.

Finally, when optimizing your site, make sure that it is as fast as possible – there are a range of speed checking tools that can tell you if your website is fast enough to meet Google’s requirements, including the Google Pagespeed Insights.Page speed not only matters to the search engines but for your users as well – a lot of people today are using VPNs such as the IPVanish helper tool, making their connection slower, which is why you need to do everything possible on your end to ensure a fast and stable connection.

About the Author

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Mirko Humbert

Mirko Humbert is the editor-in-chief and main author of Designer Daily and Typography Daily. He is also a graphic designer and the founder of WP Expert.