Ecommerce Web Design Tips: How To Build A Website To Sell Stuff

Published: September 2020

Ecommerce Web Design Tips: How To Build A Website To Sell Stuff

Selling products online is a lucrative industry for those who do it right. But doing it right is a task in itself. With so much competition and so many ‘business-in-a-box’ style website builders, there are lots of pitfalls you should be aware of before opening your own online store.

Whether you’re a high street retailer taking tentative first steps towards selling online or you’re looking to launch an online-only store, putting the right web design strategy into your ecommerce site will help you build a website to sell stuff more effectively.


Be Aware of Site Builders

GoDaddy, Wix, Squarespace etc – all of these ‘DIY’ site designers can create an easy, albeit restrictive website for small businesses. For ecommerce retailers, however, using one of these is like building a shop that has shelves made of concrete and cannot be adjusted.

What we mean by this is that you’re already limiting your future capabilities. While you may only have a few products to sell at first, as you grow you’ll need to evolve your website. These web design sites can only do so much – eventually leading to having to invest in a custom website or learn your own coding skills.

For that reason, we’d recommend spending time learning how to use a tool such as WordPress and WooCommerce, which offer page builder-style tools but also allow you to freely edit code and are industry-standard, so they’re far easier for any future developers to pick up and grow without having to start again from scratch.


Nail Your Navigation

Ecommerce websites can become massive as you grow and begin to implement more product lines. Unfortunately, this also makes things harder for your customer as they’ll struggle to find what they want. 

Use site navigation to make things easier. Go and look at well-known ecommerce websites and see how they categorise pages. For example, splitting products by gender is often left to ‘filter’ tabs, but if categorised properly you’re making life easier for a user and therefore making them more likely to buy.

Group products of similar types under clearly named categories, which you can then list products under and even split into sub-categories when required.

Product filters, such as sizing and colour, are useful – but they can never compete with great categorisation that is obvious to the user.

Think of User Experience (UX) as you plan a site – if you need to buy X product, where would you expect to find it? Then build the site around that logical flow.


Site Search

Site search is underused but is an exceptionally useful tool for time-poor users who have buying intentions. They know what product they want, so they’ll use your site search to find it. Make sure your product’s keywords reflect what a customer may be typing or you’ll lose the sale. Your site search also needs to deliver results quickly – or the customer might just visit a competitor.


Make Buying Easier

Once a customer has browsed your site, you need to make the process of buying a product as efficient as possible. Much of this is due to design – think of your favourite sites: how big is the ‘add to basket’ button? How easy is it to get to the checkout?

Think like a customer who has a very short attention span. If they lose sight of their basket, they may not convert – so keep it visible. If you make the add to basket button hard to find, they won’t use it. If you make the all-important checkout/buy-now process difficult, they’ll abandon the sale.

Remember: you don’t need a 1-click purchase process, which can actually put a customer off and cause false orders.


Show Visible, Honest Pricing

The price of a product should always be easy to see – and should never be concealed or obfuscated behind different variants etc. It’s also worth considering bundling in free shipping to every product and making it obvious that you offer free shipping to the customer. As the main cause of basket abandonment is the unexpected shipping cost.


Use a Grid Layout

A grid layout has become the standard for ecommerce websites and for good reason, it makes navigating through products easy and visual. Grid layouts are so prevalent now that it’s actually counterintuitive to try and use a different system, as customers have become accustomed to this style of product layout.


Employ a Professional UX Designer

To ensure your ecommerce website is a success you should really consider hiring an ecommerce web designer who understands UX. BY doing so, you’ll be laying the best possible ‘bones’ of your website so that it can be expanded, upgraded and tweaked as you grow but also offer the maximum impact and great customer experience at launch.

Let us build a website to sell stuff in greater numbers than you’d ever thought possible – whatever it is you want to sell. Get in touch with our web design team today to discuss your eCommerce business ideas.

Want a website that really get results?

Let's get started

Sign up to receive our latest articles hot off the press