Website design trends come and go, but there are several elements that can help boost sales and drive traffic to your e-commerce shop. When you are first setting out to create an online store, you'll want to think about how to best showcase your products, while providing a unique and memorable user experience.
Ensuring that your site is easy to navigate is one of the most important aspects of this design. An e-commerce design that is cramped and confusing will scare away customers, who may not even be able to find the shopping cart.
Top 5 E-Commerce Designs for Increasing Productivity
It can be intimidating to start creating your own e-commerce shop if you have never done so before, but today's range of website building software makes it easier. The Shopify ecommerce website builder is one that offers a variety of templates and designs to choose from. The trick is to choose a strong initial design, and then to customize it so that it best represents your brand and gives your website a clean, fresh look that will be easy to navigate.
The following are five design elements that are seen in some of today's top e-commerce sites.
1. Content Sliders
One of the best features that you can add to your e-commerce website is a content slider or carousel. This is a way to sift through a large amount of content by simply scrolling with a smooth glide. They can also take the form of a slideshow, showing off your products neatly and cleanly. For example, the Very homepage has a large content slider showing off their latest products.
There are several reasons why this can increase productivity in your website. To begin with, they provide a more interactive experience for your customers. Web designers are always trying to think of ways to get the consumer to interact more with the website, and this is an easy way to get them involved. You'll find that many e-commerce templates have this option built into them as a result.
Another benefit of this aspect of design is that content sliders allow you to manage your content more effectively, because you can put a lot more of your products on a single page. If you have a clothing store, for example, you could fit all of your skirts on one page that the customer can slide through as if they were reading a book. It provides a more professional and convenient experience both for the web designer as well as the consumer, and makes it easier to organize a large volume of products.
2. Minimalist Interface
Many e-commerce business owners choose to minimize images, text, and colours when they are designing their website, to make the products stand out and to give their shop a modern edge. Layout can be one of the most important design aspects of any e-commerce site. To increase the usability of a website, many web designers choose to keep to clean, fresh, and minimal.
Grid designing is one way of doing this, to ensure that each page has the same basic framework to give the feeling of continuity. If you stuff too many different elements of style into your website, it will overwhelm the visitor and make them head elsewhere, to another site where it's easy to find what they're looking for.
Cutting down on text is a good way to keep your website cleaner in appearance. For example, Tiger of Sweden's website focuses on images of the clothing with minimal text, appearing more like a slick magazine than a shop. Limiting colours can be a way to give the site a cleaner look throughout the pages.
A good rule of thumb is to stick to two colours, and use these on all of the pages throughout your site. Less is more when it comes to the colour palette that you use, and black and white always looks classy.
Leica's website sticks to black, white, and red, and uses an ample amount of space in between the products, which are prominently featured.
3. Large Fonts and Themes
A definite trend with e-commerce sites these days is to design all buttons, fonts, pictures, and other visual cues in a large format. There are several reasons why it's a good idea to supersize your website. To begin with, this can be a unique look, making your e-commerce site stand apart. It also can increase the productivity of your website, because it provides visitors with a strong call to action.
When you place a "shop online" or "buy now" button in a large font, the customer is aware of what you want them to do. This also makes shopping on a boldly designed website a more user-friendly experience for consumers.
Large, playful words can hone your message and define your brand. The font sizes used for the 37signals website are an example of this. When you cram too much small print into a website, it makes it difficult to read through and studies show that most online visitors will ignore the words if they are too small.
Instead, choosing a few select words to convey your message and projecting them on a large scale on your website will help make your message clear. These are just a few reasons why large-sized themes are ideal for use with e-commerce.
4. Social Media Integration
Digital marketing is important to get the word out about your brand, and increase productivity through the volume of shoppers that you receive. The Free People clothing website has clear links to their Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest profiles on the homepage, for example, and allows users to create their own 'lookbooks' and share them through this media.
You can also keep a blog as part of your website, which can appear as a tab on the top of the main page along with your products and information about your company. The blog allows you to interact more effectively with customers and share promotions and other items of interest.
These blog posts from your website can also be cross-posted to your social media accounts.
The important thing when you are integrating social media with the main e-commerce website is not to overdo its presence. This can negate the other qualities that you have put into your clean design. Customers shouldn't feel bombarded with links, but they should be clear for those who are interested.
5. A Vintage Look
The folksy, vintage look is very trendy at the moment and can drive up traffic and sales due to its appeal with consumers. When you are sifting through templates, you will probably see many that fit this bill. The appeal with a vintage look may be due in part to a backlash against technology. Although consumers certainly enjoy the convenience of online shopping, they want the individual feeling that they get when shopping in an old-fashioned "mom and pop" shop from decades past.
If you can combine convenience and nostalgia in your online store, you can come up with a fun, unique design. Think of Polaroid photographs, (or a heavy use of Instagram filters), old-fashioned typography, and vintage elegance. Cheesetique is a company that does this well, using their vintage design to highlight their hand-picked wares.
These are only a few of the various design elements that you could choose to incorporate into your e-commerce site. It's possible to choose just one theme or several of them to create a more unique and user-friendly experience.