Is your store design lowering your conversions?
When I built my first website, I thought it looked amazing. I showed it off to my friends and family and they all told me what I wanted to hear.
“Nicole, your store looks so good. I love it! I wish I could design something like that.”
But friends and family will almost always lie to you. They don’t want to hurt your feelings.
If you ask an ecommerce expert or get a store review, you’ll immediately find out what people really think about your first website. Their thoughts?
“Nicole, this is one of the worst store designs I’ve ever seen.”
But without that painfully honest feedback, you’ll never reach your full potential as a store owner.
Mostly because it’ll be hard to get sales if your store design is outdated, unprofessional and doesn’t meet today’s ecommerce website design standards.
So in this article I’m going to break down the top 17 easiest store design tricks you can implement today to skyrocket sales.
- 17 Easy Ecommerce Store Design Tricks to Skyrocket Sales Now
- 1. Improve Your Store Design with the Right Photos
- 2. How to Select the Right Store Design Colors
- 3. Pick an intuitive theme for your ecommerce website design
- 4. Look at the overall impression of your online store design
- 5. Are there typos on your online store?
- 6. Choosing the right fonts for your storefront design
- 7. Update your store design regularly
- 8. Get rid of the pop-ups to improve your ecommerce design
- 9. Turn off audio for your videos
- 10. Have specific product categories
- 11. Renaming Product Titles for a Clean Ecommerce Store Design
- Store Design Hacks from the Experts
17 Easy Ecommerce Store Design Tricks to Skyrocket Sales Now
1. Improve Your Store Design with the Right Photos
The photos on your website will make or break your store design. If you choose the wrong photos, it can hurt your conversions. Pretty Little Thing has captivating images on their online store. Their lifestyle images are fun, playful and vibrant which when combined show a unique style in visual branding. Even their product photos match the same style as their homepage banner images.
While you may just be starting out, here are a few image-related store design tips you can follow to improve the look of your store:
- Remove logos from your product images using Shopify’s image editor. You can find the exact steps in our Oberlo tips article. Avoid adding your brand’s logo on your own images as well.
- Make sure your banner photos are lifestyle images instead of models on plain white backgrounds.
- Choose stock photos from quality stock image websites. My go to’s are Burst, Unsplash and Pexels. They all include free images that are taken by reputable photographers. Burst’s stock photography specializes in ecommerce so you’ll find pictures for a range of niches.
- Remove all pixelated images on your website. If the picture looks grainy, it can drastically bring down the professionalism of your website. It’s better to find another image instead. Be mindful of this for your product photos as well.
- Resize your images.Make sure all your images are the same size. You’ll know if they’re the same size if you look at your product collections and none of the images looks longer or wider than another. They should all be square images.
- Avoid having big images on your website. Some themes will have your product photo take up half the screen. The problem then becomes that the image takes a long time to load. While images should be zoomable, you don’t want to have large files on your website as it’ll slow your page speed which will lower conversions. Use an image compression tool to make your image file size smaller if you notice your pictures take a few seconds to load.
2. How to Select the Right Store Design Colors
One of the biggest challenges new store owners make on their ecommerce website design involves their store’s colors. When it comes to design principles, the general consensus is that you want to limit your design to only three colors or less. Best Buy’s blue branding is consistent among their marketing flyers, their website and even in store. On their online store, they use a dark shade of blue for their theme background. They generally keep their design limited to only a few colors. Their logo includes a yellow tag with a black font and is always on a blue background. Their online store uses a combination of blue, white and grey mostly. When other colors are used it’s to add emphasis or to allow for easy readability.
Here are some general color tips for your ecommerce website design:
- Look at basic color psychology when choosing colors for your logo, store theme, and branding. Each color will evoke different emotions. The combination of colors can also become a trademark for your brand. The general rule of thumb I like to follow is stay consistent within the color scheme of your industry. For example, healthcare typically uses blue. Fitness stores usually use red. High-end brands typically use the color black.
- Avoid distracting colors. An issue on a lot of new online stores is that sometimes the colors are so vibrant my eyes hurt. For example, a beauty store using a hot pink background. Sometimes when building a store, we choose colors we like instead of colors that make sense for the niche. You also need to survey your audience to know what they think of your color scheme.
- Get feedback. The wrong colors is a common issue for many new entrepreneurs. Be sure to contact Oberlo support to get feedback on the appearance of your store.
3. Pick an intuitive theme for your ecommerce website design
An intuitive theme is a website theme that is easy to navigate because the store design follows common practices. Some say it’s best to be different. However, when it comes to store themes it’s best to do what everyone else is doing. The reality is as a dropshipper, you’ll be selling to audiences all over the world. Some of those people don’t speak or understand the language of your store. By having an intuitive theme, they’ll be able to easily navigate your website despite the language barrier. If you choose a theme that’s different, a person may struggle to find the ‘add to cart’ button or a contact form. The right theme can help you increase your store’s conversions.
My go to free theme for new entrepreneurs is Minimal. In general, avoid themes where the navigation is on the left-hand side as it’s less intuitive as top navigation. I’d also recommend steering clear of themes where the navigation starts at the bottom and moves up as you scroll. The minimal theme offers a top navigation which is standard in ecommerce design. It has a banner image on the homepage which is often found on many online stores. The ‘add to cart’ button is above the folder, meaning you don’t need to scroll to find it. Overall, it’s a great free theme if you’re just starting out.
4. Look at the overall impression of your online store design
When you were in school, you’d probably look over your assignment before handing it in. Your online store is far more public than that school assignment yet gets looked over far less.
Whenever I review ecommerce stores, I can always tell who has actually looked over their online stores. Here are a few of the biggest mistakes I find that impact conversions and online store design:
- Placeholder text is text that’s written in Latin which web developers put on a website template. This is the text you’re meant to fill in with your own copy. Yet, it’s often found across your live website. Customers see this and immediately know that your website isn’t complete. It immediately takes away the trust factor which can prevent sales from happening.
- Don’t have an empty homepage!!! You have no idea how often I see this on brand new websites. People will email me asking why they have no conversions and their homepage is completely empty. Your customers may land on a product page, but they’ll often browse around before they do it. If they see a homepage with no banner image, placeholder text and an incomplete ecommerce design, they’re gonna bounce onto the next online store instead.
- Make sure you have all the necessary pages on your store. An about us page lets customers know who you are as a brand and what you stand for. A refund page lets customers know that they can get refunds if they’re unhappy with their order. You also need a contact us page so that if customers have any inquiries they know how to reach you. If you sell apparel, you also need to ensure that there are size charts so that people can buy the right sized product.
5. Are there typos on your online store?
You could have the most beautiful website in the world. The color combinations could be spot on and your images captivating. But if you have typos, all that storefront design beauty gets unnoticed. The customer’s eyes zero in on the typo making it the focus. Not your product. Your product essentially becomes invisible to them.
You might be reading this and thinking ‘English isn’t my first language’ or ‘I wasn’t very good at spelling in school.’ That’s okay! You don’t need to be a spelling rockstar. Heck, I did well in school and English is my first language and even I have typos sometimes!
You can use tools like Spell Check Plus to run through your copy before you add it to your website. If you write your content in a Google Docs first, you can click on Tools > Spelling where it’ll highlight your errors.
6. Choosing the right fonts for your storefront design
The best font will enhance the appearance of your ecommerce store. Galu Toa is an example of an online store that uses typographical emphasis like bold carefully. The font choices, colors and emphasis are done correctly from a design perspective.
Many new entrepreneurs, will have a light grey font bolded for text that doesn’t need to be emphasized and doesn’t make a positive impact in the overall design.
Here are a few font tips for your store:
- Helvetica and arial are the fonts that the top online retailers use the most. They’re the most common fonts making them more familiar for the average consumer. Stick to those fonts when in doubt. Avoid wide fonts.
- Avoid colored fonts. On average, black on a white background is the easiest font color to read. A lot of retailers like using a light grey, however, it’s really hard to read especially for older consumers.
- While design principles usually say you can add three colors, when it comes to emphasis I usually stick to one. Avoid bolding, italicizing and underlining text you want to highlight. It can be an eyesore. If there’s important text you want to emphasize, you might decide to bold it. On average, headlines should be bolded.
7. Update your store design regularly
When December 26 hits, your Christmas banner should be changed to a Boxing Day banner. Kay, a jewelry retailer, already has their Valentine’s Day banner up in mid-January. By updating their banner early on, they show customers that they’re constantly updating their website.
You should be adding new products to your online store each week. Removing products that don’t perform well can also help you. It shows Google that you’re constantly updating your website which allows you to climb in searches which will eventually help increase conversions.
If you start a blog on your store, you need to update it at least weekly. Otherwise, it shows customers that your online store isn’t active.
The more you change the look of your website, the more that people will visit it. It shows that your brand is legitimate and active as top retailers constantly updating the look of their online stores.
8. Get rid of the pop-ups to improve your ecommerce design
Don’t be the online store with pop-ups popping up everywhere. Having an email opt-in form, push notifications, and a sale notification app can overwhelm a customer. Keep in mind most shoppers buy on mobile and on mobile they’re more likely to just close the app instead of the notifications.
When it comes to pop-ups, if you’re going to have them, have one. It’ll be more effective at boosting conversions than having multiple. Keep in mind, that pop-ups are generally becoming ineffective. For example, pop-ups generally collect emails. However, with a retargeting ad, you can retarget users even without their email. Plus, retargeting ads in general often convert better than retargeting emails do anyway.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t collect emails or use a pop-up for social proof. But you should be testing this carefully. Does your social proof notification actually help boost conversions? If you remove it do sales stop? If you collect emails, do those emails convert? If so, do they convert better than a retargeting ad of the same value as your email opt-in app.
Pop-ups can be a design nightmare from a user experience perspective. And while on desktop they can boost conversions, on mobile they may be preventing them.
9. Turn off audio for your videos
A few days ago I woke up in the middle of the night and browsed online stores on my phone. There was one with an auto-play video with sound on. Not only did it startle me, it woke up my partner. I panicked and closed the browser. Needless to say, I didn’t end up purchasing from that store. And I don’t plan to go on that store’s site ever again.
Videos can be great at boosting conversions. However, auto-play videos especially those with sound completely ruin the user experience. They’re annoying, unwanted and forced. Nobody wants to be forced to watch a video while browsing a website. They want to be able to browse on their own terms.
Adding music to your website can be tacky so don’t do that either.
10. Have specific product categories
A huge issue I see among new stores is the lack of product categories. Often times, store owners will lump everything into very broad categories like ‘Woman’ and ‘Man.’ When you browse online stores, do you usually see all items lumped into one category? Probably not.
When it comes to ecommerce design, most successful retailers go deep into specific product categories. Take Lulu’s for instance, their online store has a dresses category with 48 dress subcategories. That way, customers can easily navigate their online store to find the product they want.
In this case, design isn’t about graphics or images it’s about the flow of your website. You need to be able to design your product categories based on how people search for them. For example, a person might search based on the fabric, color, or cut when it comes to fashion. When it comes to your store, you need to be as detailed as possible so that navigating your online store is effortless. Customers should be able to find what they’re looking for.
11. Renaming Product Titles for a Clean Ecommerce Store Design
When you import hundreds of products to your store, the tendency among new retailers is to import all the content as is without modifications. As a result, you end up with long titles that work well for the supplier but not for you.
Change the product titles and descriptions on your store. First, the titles should be changed to something that describes the product like ‘Red Backless Skater Dress’ you can add a name to it before it like ‘Sofia’ or ‘The Showstopper.’ This helps with your branding. Yet, you should avoid just calling it ‘Amanda Necklace’ as its not optimized for search.
Second, avoid importing all the bullet points. I always modify mine because some of the bullets added don’t add any value at all to customers such as which gender its for.
Store Design Hacks from the Experts
12. Minimalist Store Designs for the Win
Mike Falkow, Creative Director of Meritus Media, “Over the years there has definitely been a move towards simple, almost minimalist, design. This will continue. The reason this works so well in design is that it keeps the site looking professional and timeless. It also allows visuals to stand out and catch the attention of the visitor.”
13. Incorporate your Unique Value Proposition in your ecommerce design
Joe Goldstein, founder of Contractor Calls, “If you’re looking to take your website to the next level, consider what makes your brand more than a commodity, and remember that there’s more to design than aesthetics. If you’re an ecommerce store that treats Amazon as even an indirect competitor, focus on your unique value proposition and bake it into your design. If you offer more granular product options, focus on your faceted navigation. If you offer better ongoing product support, reflect that with prominent FAQs, call outs, and a well-integrated chat system. And if you have unique insights into your target market’s unique needs and tastes, make sure that your design reflects that aesthetically.”
14. Keep your storefront design simple with white space
Damon Burton, President of SEO National, “If you are launching a website, you’ll want to make sure it will be useful, understandable, unobtrusive and aesthetically pleasing. One style gaining traction in web design is minimalism, which embraces the use of negative space to emphasize a design’s effectiveness. Simplifying designs and eliminating unnecessary components will ensure that users stay engaged and free of distractions. Just be careful not to become so intent on simplifying that you discard necessary features.”
15. Mobile First Store Design
Mali Phonpadith, CEO, SOAR Community Network, “Several critical things to keep in mind if you’re planning to design or redesign your website in 2018 include designing for mobile first, incorporating bold visuals and engaging content (including animations and/or videos will be essential for engagement) and checking your load times. If you’re not considering what a users’ experience is like visiting your website, especially on their mobile devices, you will lose out on customers and engaged fans/prospects.”
16. Include emotional content
Anastasia Vasilieva, a web designer at Wave.Video, says “Focus on your content to make it more human and emotional. Feel free to experiment with custom photos and illustrations to make your website more personal and friendly. It’s great to include videos and animations: show your product in action and tell your stories to entertain users. Secondly, polish your overall visual image. We may see how flat design shifted to more usage of shadows and gradients, which are full of color and energy. Shadows came back updated to be more soft and minimalistic. Bright gradients work great as standalone backgrounds as well as nice branded photo-filters for your images.”
17. Ditch content galleries
Kevin Conner, CEO of Broadband Search says “I have only one web design tip, but this is a big one. Ditch content galleries completely from your website. If you’re writing a blog post titled “31 child celebrities and what they look like now” or “19 hot Halloween movies” you shouldn’t put each list item on it’s own page. If your website requires 40 clicks to get to the end of your clickbait trail, Google will start punishing you.The signs are clear. Google has already changed AdWords policy to remove the cap for how many ads are allowed on a page. ”
There are many parts to a store design that make your brand more trustworthy and better optimized. This article touched on the surface but as your store grows in sales, you’ll need to continue stepping up your ecommerce design to better convert your audience.
Want to learn more?
- [VIDEO] Ecommerce Tips and Tricks
- 50 Ecommerce Tips for New Entrepreneurs
- 6 Lead Generation Tips for Ecommerce
- How to Market a Product: 18 Effective Marketing Tips to Skyrocket Sales
Which of these ecommerce store design tips are you going to implement today? Let us know which of them you’ve already fixed on your store!