It doesn’t matter what form of ecommerce you’re engaged in. Whether you’re dropshipping products that you never even touch or adding an online storefront for your existing brick-and-mortar business, your website plays a critical role in whether you succeed or fail.
In this post, we’ll offer 6 ecommerce website design tips for you to keep in mind, both before you launch and after you’ve already started taking orders.
Some of these you may want to handle yourself, but we’ve also included links to hire top freelance talent to do the heavy lifting for you if you don’t have the time or skillset to bootstrap your web design.
#1 Choose The Right Ecommerce Platform
There are a lot of platforms that you can use to host your ecommerce website, but two of the most popular are WooCommerce and Shopify.
WooCommerce is a plugin for WordPress. So if you’ve already got an existing website built on WordPress, this may be your best option. It’s the easiest way to integrate a seamless online shopping experience and securely accept payments without building a completely new site from scratch.
Shopify is a content management system specifically designed to let online retailers build secure and effective ecommerce sites. Because it’s an all-in-one tool, Shopify might be a good choice for you if you don’t have an existing website or if you want your online storefront to be its own standalone experience.
Whichever option you choose, you can hire Shopify and WooCommerce specialists on Legiit to assist you with any and all aspects of web design.
#2 Optimize For Conversions
Conversion rate optimization (or CRO) is the process of ensuring that your website does everything it can to turn visitors into customers. Unlike face-to-face sales, you won’t be there to upsell customers or help them find the best solution to their problem. So your website has to do the selling for you.
Conversion rates are affected by everything from your page load speed to the color of your “add to cart” buttons. Reviews, testimonials, trust badges, and other social proof also play a big role in helping potential customers perceive you as trustworthy enough to buy from.
The best way to optimize for conversions is to split test different versions of your website, isolate factors that influence customers, and keep the versions that perform the best.
A freelance CRO specialist can help you with anything from auditing your site to provide suggestions for improvement to actually implementing the changes for you.
#3 Don’t Neglect Ecommerce SEO
The best converting ecommerce website in the world is worthless if no one is finding it. And while a lot of your initial traffic will probably come from paid ads, search engine optimization (or SEO) is a critical long term strategy to attract organic visitors.
SEO is the process of getting your website to rank high in search engines like Google and Yahoo. And it’s much easier to implement good SEO practices from the start rather than trying to retro fit it into your web design years down the line.
Here are some of the basic aspects of ecommerce SEO that you should consider:
- Use product keywords in your titles and headings.
- Create a user-friendly site structure based around product categories.
- Publish a blog to target low competition informational keywords for visitors at different levels of the buyer’s cycle.
- Earn backlinks from reputable, industry-relevant websites.
Check out the ecommerce SEO freelance talent on Legiit who can help you out with these tasks and more.
#4 Write Unique Product Descriptions
Writing your own product descriptions can be a bore, especially if you’ve got hundreds of different products listed. However, creating unique product descriptions is critical to both SEO and conversion rate optimization.
For starters, Google tends to frown upon duplicate content. So if your using the same manufacturer-provided product descriptions as a dozen other ecommerce sites, you aren’t giving the search engines any reason to rank you above the competition.
Additionally, think of the customer experience. They are probably looking at several different sites like yours in order to determine who to buy from. If you have unique, persuasively crafted sales copy, you are more likely to stand out from the crowd.
If you’ve got hundreds of products to list, don’t stress yourself by trying to tackle them all at once. Instead, start with the product pages that attract the most traffic. Then, try to update just a few products every day. Within a matter of weeks or months, your entire site will be full of unique product descriptions.
And if you are looking to outsource any of the work, here are the freelance product description writers who can help make your life easier (and your website stronger!).
#5 Use High Quality Product Photos
How can you ensure that your product images are doing what they need to do? Here are a few ways:
- Ensure they aren’t grainy or distorted, and that they are sized appropriate to the screen they’re being viewed on.
- Edit out distracting or unnecessary background features.
- Use proper lighting to provide the best possible view of your products.
- Provide images from all angles that could possibly be of value to the customer.
- Provide images for as many product variations as possible (such as color, finish, or style).
If image editing isn’t your forte, or you just don’t have the time to spare, look into hiring a skilled freelance product image editor to do the job for you.
#6 Do Your Research
Market and product research are key to the success of any ecommerce campaign.
Maybe you are breaking into the world of dropshipping, and you are on the hunt for a profitable, low competition industry to start with. Many dropshippers, for example, prefer high ticket items because it’s easier to manage 20 sales a month of a $500 item than 2000 sales of a $5 one.
Even if you already know what products to sell (because, for example, you’ve got a brick-and-mortar store established), market research will help you determine which products are worth spending your marketing budget on.
There is a lot that goes into market research for ecommerce, but here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Find product keywords with high search volume and low cost per click rates.
- Discover what sorts of products are getting a lot of shares on social media.
- Analyze Google Trends to differentiate products that are evergreen versus seasonal.
Share Your Own Ecommerce Website Design Tips
These are 6 of the most important ecommerce website design tips for any online retailer to consider. But maybe you have some of your own.
If you’ve got experience with building or running online stores, let us know some of your own tips and tricks in the comments!