How to improve your e-commerce website design

Let’s face it: In the bustling digital marketplace, a well-designed UI is the secret sauce to standing out. It can make or break the user experience like a perfectly timed punchline. A wise person once said, “UI is like a joke. If you have to explain it, it’s not that good.” In the sphere of e-commerce, this adage holds more weight than ever. 

With worldwide e-commerce revenue projected to reach a staggering $8 trillion by 2026, the importance of a seamless UI becomes starkly apparent. A jarring or confusing UI might be the bad joke that sends your customers running to the competitors with a chuckle and shake of their heads. 

So, what are the key components to improving your e-commerce website design?

Understanding e-commerce website design

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. In e-commerce, every pixel matters. An aesthetically pleasing and well-structured website is not just a nice-to-have—it’s a must-have! It’s the digital storefront that greets your customers, and we all know first impressions count.

1. The role of design in e-commerce

A well-designed website is more than just about looking pretty (though it does help). It’s about creating an intuitive and engaging user experience that guides visitors from the landing page to the checkout page. According to Adobe, 38% of shoppers will leave a website if they find the design unappealing. So, if you don’t focus on website design, you’re already leaving over a third of potential revenue on the table.

2. Key elements of e-commerce website design

Alright, let’s talk specifics. What makes an e-commerce website a winner? A few things: easy navigation, clear product images, concise descriptions, and intuitive checkout processes. These are the bread and butter of your online storefront, so don’t skimp on these! Here are some key things to remember:

  • Rule of thirds: People like symmetry and patterns. If you place calls to action and links in the places where a grid of three horizontal and three vertical lines intersect, it can increase conversions.
  • It’s all in the F’s: When we scan web pages, we use an ‘F’ pattern with our eyes. What does this mean? People look at a website from the top left to right, then scan down but look towards the right decreasingly. The area of your site with the most visibility is the top, and the least is the bottom. Conversion-driven web designers utilise this by placing calls to action and essential objects within that ‘F’ shape on a page.

Mastering conversion optimisation

Now, onto the magic of turning window shoppers into paying customers. We call it conversion optimisation, and it’s where the real game begins.

Mastering the art of conversion optimisation is an ongoing process, not a one-time task. It’s about understanding your audience’s needs, wants, and behaviours and tailoring your e-commerce site to meet these requirements. From the layout of your website to the wording of your product descriptions, every aspect should be optimised to encourage customers to purchase.

The process of mastering conversion optimisation requires a commitment to testing and analysing. By continuously monitoring the performance of different elements on your site, you can identify what works best for your audience. This might involve A/B testing various designs, using heat maps to understand user behaviour, or diving into analytics to see where customers drop off.

Not sure where to start? Here are three things to consider:

1. The power of CTA buttons

CTAs, or Calls To Action, are crucial to your website’s design. These magic buttons guide your visitors through buying, directly influencing conversions. A powerful CTA button doesn’t just sit pretty—it commands attention, sparks curiosity, and gets that all-important click. 

In the context of an e-commerce portal, CTA (Call To Action) buttons serve as tactical nudges that steer your shoppers towards making a purchase, thereby directly boosting conversion rates. Here are three actionable tips to power up your CTA buttons today:

  • Use persuasive text: Your CTA button text should energise users and clarify what they will get after clicking. Avoid generic text like ‘Submit’ or ‘Click Here’. Instead, go for more engaging options such as ‘Get Started’, ‘ Add to Cart’, or ‘Buy Your Tickets Today’.
  • Play with colours: The colour of your CTA buttons should stand out from the rest of the page to instantly grab attention. A/B testing can help you identify the best colour choice for your audience – it’s not always the colour you think! For example, there are some instances where a red button can increase conversion rates by up to 34%. Remember to maintain consistency in colour across all CTA buttons for a cohesive design, and ensure it fits within your branding.
  • Location matters: Place your CTA buttons strategically. The ‘above the fold’ area (the visible part when a webpage first loads) is usually a good starting point, but don’t limit yourself to it. Experiment with different placements to see which works best in driving conversions.

2. Simplified navigation

Next, consider your website’s navigation. Think of this as the GPS for your site. If customers can’t find their way around, they’ll leave and never return. A well-structured navigation bar that leads users effortlessly through your site is a secret weapon for reducing bounce rates and boosting conversions. Here are some practical tips to refine your navigation:

  • Limit the number of menu options: Too many choices can confuse your shoppers and make your site appear cluttered. Eliminate unnecessary options and group-related links in categories or drop-downs to make your menu concise and effective.
  • Use clear and common terminology: Avoid jargon or unique terms for your menu options – stick to commonly used phrases that are instantly recognisable and search-friendly.
  • Implement a search bar: A search bar is a lifesaver for shoppers who know exactly what they want. This quick-find tool can significantly reduce navigation time and further ease shopping.

Simplified navigation is not just about minimalistic design; it’s about creating a user-friendly interface that guides your shoppers through a satisfying shopping journey, eventually leading to higher conversion rates.

3. The impact of images

A picture is worth a thousand words, especially regarding product images. High-quality images let your customers see what they’re buying, helping to build trust and influence their buying decisions. Our biggest tip for any e-commerce store (whether you are just starting or investing in a complete redesign) is to invest heavily in professional photography—it pays off!

Evolving your design for conversion optimisation

Once your site is live, it’s tempting to set it and forget it – good e-commerce design doesn’t work like that. You should treat your website design like a living, breathing organism constantly evolving. An iterative approach means you can continuously improve your existing conversion rates. At a minimum, you should always be A/B testing slight tweaks to button location and copy.

What next?

Good web design is about connecting with people and helping them make intuitive designs faster. If you make yourself a master in studying people and partner with a great full-service agency, the sky’s the limit. Ready to grow your sales? Get in touch with us today. We’re happy to have a free, no-obligation call with you.