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eCommerce Web Design Tips: 10 Principles for Success

February 03, 2020
5 Min Read
eCommerce Web Design Tips: 10 Principles for Success

The success of any eCommerce website depends on a well-developed strategy that combines aesthetics, usability, structure and layout. These facets all work together (along with flawless development and solid SEO), to prime your site for high conversions. Below, we're sharing 10 eCommerce web design tips that we use to ensure our clients' success.

If you're looking for inspiration, check out our blog on "10 Web Design Effects to Enhance Your Website". Combining the information from both of these blogs is sure to help you improve your eCommerce site's design.

10 eCommerce Web Design Tips

1. Know Your Brand

How would you describe what your eCommerce store does and sells in 10 seconds? Would your employees and customers describe it the same way? If not, you must uncover what your brand really is and how it currently fits into your industry/market.

Once uncovered, steps can be taken to adjust how your brand is perceived and positioned - i.e. choosing proper typography along with an appropriate color palette and styling. If you already have a firmly established brand, great! Just make sure you are happy with it and the overall direction it is heading.

2. Know Your Customers

Who wants to consume your products? Are you missing out on a potential market segment that can help to increase revenue? Properly identify who your target audiences are and the demographics they are in to ensure your website design feels right to them.

This is the first step in building trust with your customers. Unlike face-to-face sales, there is no salesperson to guide the consumer through the sales funnel. That's why it's crucial to understand your target audience and establish trustworthiness through your eCommerce web design.

At Groove, we start the process of knowing your consumers by identifying the site's buying personas. By identifying and vetting out the various buyer personas and how they expect the eCommerce experience to be, you ensure a proper experience that leads to high conversions.

3. Focus on Usability

Making your navigation easy and intuitive is a science. That doesn’t mean that it needs to be overly difficult or figured out by someone with advanced degrees and years of research experience to manage.

Rather, it just needs to be carefully and strategically thought out. Your products need to be grouped into categories and subcategories that make sense. Your products should also be presented in a clean grid with proper labeling that is easy to read and scan.

4. Give Users A Path

Users are not afraid of clicking on a link or a call to action (CTA) - just as long as those paths make sense and bring them to the page they expect. Great CTAs guide users to interesting and organized content, resulting in a natural progression towards your intended destination.

Users tend to be deterred by a cluttered page with no real path to follow. Since conversions don’t necessarily happen on the home page, giving your users these clear paths to follow is a crucial component of any eCommerce strategy.

Having a simple and clear main navigation is one good path, while having clear calls-to-action and call-outs for popular items is also a good path. Adding a clear and well-placed site search block is another good path for users to enter the sales funnel.

In addition, an overuse of text links causes clutter on a page. Use images and icons whenever possible to provide a visual solution to navigation. A solid icon set provides some extra eye-candy and a clever design element to make navigation simpler. These are just some of the details that transform a decent site into a great site.

5. Meet Customer Expectations

Make sure your eCommerce website works as expected. Although users crave an interesting and satisfying experience, they don't want to solve puzzles or have to figure out unexpected features.

If something looks like a link, it should be a link. Otherwise, redesign your site. Do not include a hover effect for something that isn't clickable. Users are quick to recognize red flags and will trust the credibility of your website.

Having elements that do not work as expected can be the kiss of death. The design and functionality of your site should prevent confusion and minimize compromising trust.

6. Push The Right Technology

Although some of your users access your website through old machines and ancient browsers, that doesn't mean you should design the site for those folks. On the other hand, it also doesn't mean you should design your site for those using only the most cutting-edge machines and browsers.

The goal of any eCommerce site is to increase revenue and conversions. There are many things you can do to improve the numbers, but there a few things you should do to prevent a decline in numbers.

It may not be in your budget to have a fully responsive eCommerce site; however, the design should be flexible enough to present your content clearly on most devices without a ton of extra development time.

Your site should avoid using Flash; not only is it clunky, but it also is not supported on Apple devices. Avoid trendy technology like parallax scrolling. It is cool, but it doesn't improve user experience and conversions.

Lastly, clean, semantic code is your site's best friend. A fast-loading site enhances the user experience and increases conversions.

7. Optimize Your Site For Search

Visitors who use the search bar on your website have the highest purchase intentions. Hence, why search is very important. Be sure to include a prominent, yet appropriately-designed search.

Define the importance of search in your eCommerce site by understanding user personas. Utilize good design fundamentals to help determine appropriate location, styling and calls-to-action text.

If you're having trouble with your site search box, we've compiled 4 eCommerce site search solutions.

8. Consistency Is Key

A consistent layout is crucial to a successful site. Content management systems, like HubSpot, make it easier to maintain a consistent theme.

Many of the style elements and aesthetics should be the same on every page of your website, including header, footer and product grid.

For example, text should follow basic fundamentals of good typography. A color palette should be established and strictly followed. The tone of the photography and the text/descriptions should always follow the tone of your site your brand's identity.

Your website's calls-to-action must be held to specific colors, sizes and styling throughout the site. Easily represent your brand's identity with a final web design that includes a style guide with all form elements, buttons, font families and size, colors and more.

9. Less Is More

Don't overwhelm your visitors with information and content. And don't feel compelled to fill up all of the white space on a page. Avoid cramming more categories into your navigation so that your visitors are not bombarded with too much information.

Proper white space improves readability and allows your content to stand out better. Utilize a solid grid structure so that your layout has a consistent look and feel, allowing the content to be clear and the pages to be clutter-free.

10. Own The Calls-To-Action (CTA)

An entire blog could be dedicated to the importance and power of CTAs. Follow these 2 wise rules of thumb for CTAs:

  • Maintain constancy throughout your site
  • Focus on the text used

For example, a great CTA for your contact page could be "Contact Us Now" instead of "Subscribe."


No truly successful website comes to fruition without a lot of planning and research. Understand these 10 eCommerce web design tips to focus your attention on the crucial components of a successful web design project.

Producing a high-converting eCommerce website with an incredible user experience starts with understanding these principles and developing a strategy that focus on the fundamentals.

If you have any questions or would like help with your eCommerce web design, contact us through the form below. We'll be happy to help!

Don't forget to read our blog "10 Web Design Effects to Enhance Your Website" to see how these tips have been applied to real merchant websites!

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About the author
Art Director

Danielle is a Digital Designer at Groove Commerce.

Let's Grow Your eCommerce Business, Together.