Vital Tips for Effective eCommerce Website Design

December 16, 2009 • By

Developing an e-commerce website means you have to think about several elements and how well your customers will interact with them. The most overlooked aspect of creating a pleasantful experience for users starts by designing and enhancing the appearance of your online store. Of course looks aren’t everything, but they do play an important role on how to engage a user and help them transition from being a prospect to becoming a customer.

The following tips for designing an effective eCommerce site contribute to the solidity of your websites overall shopping experience. Without the right elements of design, an eCommerce website will not only fail to attract new customers, but will loose current ones as well.


Avoid anything that can distract users from the main focus of your site; the product(s). Having a layout that’s overly cluttered will confuse, discourage, and drive visitors away. Make sure the site has defined sections and the navigation menu allows potential customers to go where they intend to go without any delays. Develop an easy to use shopping cart that will have a good balance between features such as the option to continue shopping, removing an item, and information on the product.

Showcasing your Products

The format and structure you choose to display your product can either influence a customer to add it to the shopping cart, or skip it all-together. The moment customers arrive at your site, they should already have a general idea of what it is you sell. If you’re products aren’t visible or don’t stand out, then you’re doing something wrong. Place emphasis on how you’re going to position your products, make sure they are aligned and organized. Try to give your products enough breathing room, don’t place them too close or on-top of each other. This will let the customer focus on one item at a time, rather then feel overwhelmed. Remember to display the correct prices, discounts, and brief specifications.

Faster Load Times

Ecommerce websites should load in a timely manner. If your site takes too long to load, you will loose potential customers and cause a lot of frustration to any of the returning ones. Customers either find what they need quickly, or they will search for it on another site. Incorporate the use of smaller-sized images, and/or host them on a much faster server that can load your images in no time.

Searching for Items

There are times when a customer would rather conduct a quick search for what they’re for, instead of going on a scavenger hunt through your pages. This is where your search function should be easy to reach and painless to deal with. Make sure you give them options and allow them to refine their searches by prices, colors, sizes, models, and more. Don’t make the search function a frustrating brick wall, bring in advanced search engine optimization techniques that will reap compatible results.

Check Out Time

The check out process should be very simple, especially since over 30 percent of shoppers abandon their shopping carts at the last moment. Remove the need to have customers fill out massive amounts of information at checkout. Only require vital pieces of info like the name, shipping/billing address, and payment method. Many customers detest the check out process and rather buy from sites that allow them to complete the process as guests. Requiring previous customers to log-in can also be a detrimental factor to the success of customers checking out. When users are ready for checkout they want it to be as swift and easy as possible, accomplish just that, and your customers will love you.

Fresh Content

Make sure the content on your site is current, especially your products information. This will eliminate confusion, mis-information, and problems with mixing up different products. If your site has a blog, keep it up-to-date and offer reliable, useful, and fresh content. Always update a products price before you get the chance to forget, and try to find attractive words for your descriptions.

Examples of Well Designed eCommerce Sites