Listen to 300+ podcasts by best-selling authors, published Wednesday, 4pm EST!

Ecommerce Web Design Tips

Read these 13 Ecommerce Web Design Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Shopping Cart tips and hundreds of other topics.

Ecommerce Web Design Tips has been rated 3.0 out of 5 based on 389 ratings and 1 user reviews.
How can you find a good ecommerce website designer?

How to Hire a Good Ecommerce Website Designer

A well designed ecommerce site means more sales and higher profits. Here are a few tips to help you choose an ecommerce website designer:

  • Experience as a website designer is important, but it's just as important that the designer has experience designing ecommerce sites.
  • The designer will make sure that the content of your site integrates seamlessly with the shopping cart programs. He or she can make recommendations on the software and databases you may need to incorporate to make the customer's experience a positive one.
  • Examples can show you what the ecommerce website designer has done previously and you can get an idea of the types of sites he or she has created. Pretty pictures and graphics are important but don't let special effects, flash or videos get in the way of the functionality of your ecommerce site.
  • Ask if the design work and coding will be completed in house or whether the work will be outsourced. Outsourcing is often used to allow the designers to accept more work than their staff can accommodate. That's fine as long as the outsourcing staff is qualified and will adhere to the schedule for the completion of the design.
  • References should be checked. It's surprising how many times the assumption is made that the references wouldn't be provided if they weren't real. Ask for contact names, company names, telephone number or emails as well as the URL of the site designed for the client. Then follow through and talk with the reference.

What types of ecommerce design services are available online?

Choosing a web site design service.

Online, you can find everything you need to successfully create an internet store. While some people prefer to work with design firms, you should always look for a portfolio of work online with work specifically regarding ecommerce web site desingn Some services provide a one-stop approach for ecommerce web hosting and design services, and that works for people looking to have all their needs handled within a single organization.

What is the difference between a web designer and a print designer?

Online Design: The Challenges of a Web Designer.

Ecommerce web design is a niche service, with several nuances that separate it from print design. One major difference that is often overlooked is the fact that the images have to be small enough to download to a computer quickly, yet be compelling enough to get the design across. Also, the ecommerce web designer needs to be able to create multiple images to work dynamically with your online store product line. It is best to look for people with experience in online design and find an ecommerce web designer with experience building out online stores.

Should I use a FAQ page in my ecommerce web site development?

Please, just the FAQs, ma'am.

There's no doubt that there will be questions regarding the products you have on your online retail site, so implementing a FAQ is a good ecommerce web design strategy. FAQ stands for Frequently Asked Questions, and is something you've most likely run across. In writing your FAQ, you should mention some information about help line hours, product return policies and general sales policies as well as some product specific questions (sizes, etc). When laying out your FAQ section as you commence ecommerce web site development, it is considered good ecommerce web site design to list all the questions at the top of the page and use bookmark links and anchors to bring the pages down to the question's answer.

Do I build out my own site or should I hire someone to do it?

Build It Yourself? Think twice.

It takes a lot of skill to build an e-commerce shop, and there are a lot of moving parts. You'll need a product, a concept of your design and the general way you'd like the site to flow. Then, usually, you'll need to know a programming language and several software design programs. Your forte is probably business, so why not focus on getting vendors and product lines for your online store, and hand off your idea to an ecommerce web site development firm. The best use of your time is to find a one-stop agency providing ecommerce web site design, ecommerce web hosting and site development.

For my ecommerce web site design, what are my choices?

Design matters!

About ecommerce web design: No matter your budget, you'll want to choose a unique, compelling and easy-to-use ecommerce web site design. If your budget allows, hiring an ecommerce web designer will ensure the uniqueness of your site design. If you are a little low on cash, you can always visit a site like to check out low-cost, template alternatives for your online store.

Can I use ready-made templates in my ecommerce web site design?

Using templates in your ecommerce web design.

More about ecommerce web design: Templates can provide an easy way to create an effective ecommerce web site design provided they are optimized correctly. The templates you choose will not have content in them, nor will they have keyword meta tags created for you. Therefore, as you implement your ecommerce web site development, you should pay special attention to make sure all of your content is optimized. Also, don't pick templates that are overly graphic heavy for your ecommerce web design. Slowing down the speed at which your pages load can cause search engine rankings for your internet business website to be lower. With all this in mind, templates provide a quick and easy way for you to get a fresh ecommerce web site design without heavy costs.

Should Search Engine optimization be included in ecommerce web page design?

Ecommerce Web Page Design Should Include Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) shouldn't be forgotten when your ecommerce web page is designed. It's sometimes not considered a part of the web page design package but helping your customers find your website is critical to the success of your ecommerce business. One SEO tactic consists of incorporating keywords into the content of your web page including the meta tags, the alt tags for graphics, and usage in the titles of the page.

Keywords are those words and phrases that would be used by a potential customer to input into a search engine to find relevant websites. For example a key word would be "weddings," which is very general and would result in millions of matches from wedding gowns to rings to wedding cakes. A more refined key word phrase would be "cheap wedding gowns." If your site offers inexpensive wedding gowns, it should include the phrase "cheap wedding gowns" as well as similar phrases such as, "discount wedding gowns," "discount wedding dresses," and "budget bridal gowns." If the site targets more than one key word phrase, and it probably does, have pages designed to incorporate one keyword phrase each. Use the key word in the url of the page. For example use, as well as

Helping your customers find your ecommerce site with key words will result in higher sales for you.

Is ecommerce web site design important to the success of your online store?

Ecommerce Web Site Design Impacts the Success of Your Online Store

The shopping experience of your visitor should be enjoyable and a attractive ecommerce web site design is key. If the visitor is confused as to what kind of merchandise your site offers, or to how to find the merchandise they're looking for, they'll probably give up and leave. A lost visitor means lost sales. Make sure the types of products you sell are reflected on your home page above the fold. Above the fold simply means what fits on the monitor's screen without scrolling down. Don't make the visitor scroll down page after page, or have to click on links to find out exactly what you offer.

A customer's decision to buy may be based on pictures. Make sure the photos on your site are clean and crisp. Show a thumbnail size that's linked to a bigger photo that shows more detail. Don't overcrowd the photos on the page. Grammar and spelling are important to make a good first impression. If you haven't had your site professionally written, at least hire an editor to proofread the entire site. Errors may not bother you personally, but your customer may interpret them as carelessness or laziness. If you're that lazy with your site the impression may carry over to your merchandise. A great ecommerce web site design can improve your profitability.

Why is ecommerce web design different from other types of website design?

Ecommerce Web Design vs. Other Website Design

An ecommerce site is primarily a store front. Visitors are window shoppers. Your site must be attractive and easy to navigate but also entice the visitor to come inside the store and shop. Your store front or home page should represent the feel you want your shoppers to have and also your products. It should be obvious that your site is a store and while it can provide content, that's not the primary objective.

Think of a store in a brick and mortar shopping mall. Everything about the storefront is designed to let customers know what products are available, the affordability of the products and the quality. The products are framed and attractively arranged in the windows on a color coordinated seasonal background. The architectural details of the windows and the door add to the ambiance of the store. Even the lettering on the store sign is incorporated into the theme. The home page of your ecommerce site should communicate the same message to visitors.

A disadvantage of an online store front is that the visitor can't see inside the store, which makes your entry page even more important. You do have the navigation bar or the header bar to help customers find what they want. The navigation bar should include links to 'about us,' 'contact us', and 'FAQ' (frequently asked questions) pages. Good ecommerce design makes your store customer friendly.

Is there anything I should look for when I shop for a custom ecommerce web site design?

Custom Ecommerce Web Site Design for Small Businesses

Getting a custom ecommerce web site design for your small business can really help you stand out from your competitors. Before you select a designer for your e-commerce web site, you should:

  • Take a close look at what is included in the package. Network Solutions' designers make sure the new look is completely blended with your site. However, many designers simply create a lovely looking template and give their customers the files. If you can't install the files, you've spent quite a bit of money without changing the look of your site.
  • Make sure you get a "do over" if you aren't happy with the final result. Network Solutions offers three revisions with the basic design service package, which gives you several opportunities to make sure everything is just right.
  • Ensure that the designer is familiar with designing for online stores - ecommerce web design is quite different from non-commercial Web design since there is a focus on sales conversion, the sales process, and competitive brand elements.

Is there a budget friendly way for my site to get a custom ecommerce web design?

Budget Friendly Ecommerce Web Design for Small Businesses

Small businesses usually have a limited budget to spend on things like a custom ecommerce web design. However, if you are serious about running a successful online shop, you may be not be satisfied with the standard templates that come with your ecommerce package. To get a more personalized look on a budget, you should:

  • Take a look at the Network Solutions template design service for pro e-commerce packages. You can have a nice template installed on your site with your logo in the header.
  • Enter the account manager section of your site and make additional changes to the template by uploading your own images and using your favorite fonts in the text areas.

What are "alt" tags and how do they play into my ecommerce web site design.

Placing ALT text in images.

Remember, you are designing your webstore for two distinct audiences…your customers and the search engines. A well-thought ecommerce web site design accounts for both. Alt tags play a helpful role for the search engine audience. In an HTML image tag, one field is called alt. This field is used for putting in text that shows up when a viewer hovers their mouse over an image. Also, Alt text is picked up on and read by most web accessibility programs. Therefore, it is important to place keywords into the alt tags but, at the same time, make sure the tag itself is a readable sentence that describes the image and what it does. Alt tags are just one facet of effective ecommerce web design, but one that should not be overlooked in your ecommerce web site development.

Not finding the advice and tips you need on this Shopping Cart Tip Site? Request a Tip Now!

Guru Spotlight
PJ Campbell