Website Design

Shopify Design: Tips to Help Enhance Your Store

Quick and easy…this is the idea behind Shopify. The premium eCommerce platform, Shopify allows users to set up their stores quickly and without all of the labor-intensive behind-the-scenes set up involved with some other resources out there. To date, Shopify has over 1 million people making use of its easy-to-navigate platform. Why? Why Shopify over some of the other eCommerce options for those looking to break into the online selling gig?

For one, Shopify lets you focus on your business versus having to hone your technical expertise. And let’s face it, most who start a business or have that seed germinating in their minds for that next venture, aren’t necessarily IT specialists. They are looking for more of a get it out there and start selling approach. Secondly, while customization options are more limited than with some other resources, your Shopify store is still customizable. Meaning, you can give it the look and feel you want without having to spend hours upon hours on the design end of things.

Odds are, most potential Shopify users don’t need much convincing—there’s a reason it currently hosts well over half a million active stores. But where you might need some insight is when it comes to Shopify design. As noted, your eCommerce store can be customized, so how do you optimize this? What tips and strategies do the “pros” use to ensure that their Shopify design stands apart from the hundreds of thousands of others out there? Curious? Keep reading…

The Best Shopify Designs Take into Account Appearance and User Experience

Of course, you want your store to be visually appealing, so much so that it entices users to buy—but at the same time, you definitely do not want to overlook usability. The user experience on your Shopify site counts for a lot. And we mean a lot. So from making sure your site is fresh, modern, and attractive, to ensure that load times are fast and navigation is easy, below are a few key design tips to help you get the most from your Shopify store.

Ease of Navigation

If a customer is going to buy, they first need to get to the product (and place) where they can do just that. A huge problem encountered with many Shopify stores is that the navigation can seem confusing.

If your navigation menu is jam-packed with all sorts of, well, “stuff,” the user will have no idea what to do. You want to use the navigation section to highlight your best sellers. In fact, if there are collections that do well—send consumers to those. Think strategically in devising your site’s navigational scheme; this is one component you probably will want to customize a bit versus using what might come standard with the Shopify template.

Pick a Relevant Theme

The theme that you choose for your Shopify design is incredibly important. Believe it or not, the theme for your store can make or break you. First impressions mean everything; that said, if a user gets to your site and is immediately turned off by the theme, odds are pretty good you lose that user. There are a ton of free templates from which you can choose—there are also many premium ones that are also great options. Take some time to explore and see what’s out there. In deciding upon a theme, keep in mind the following:

  • The average time someone will spend on a site prior to deciding whether or not to invest more
    time: less than 15 seconds. This is how long you have to nail that first impression. A boring
    theme—not a great impression. It must be engaging.
  • It has to fit with the brand. If for instance, your products are geared toward a luxury market and your template is playful and quirky, this is probably not the best fit.
  • What do you want your site to accomplish? This is a very important question to ask prior to
    choosing any template. In other words, all facets of your site need to be taken into account as
    you go searching for that ideal theme. What type of user experience are you trying to create?
    How do you want the user to see your products in the end? Are there any special features you
    want to be highlighted? Consider everything as the theme will help bring it all together.

Avoid Overload

Having a ton of stuff in your Shopify store can make the experience somewhat muddled for the user. What are they supposed to focus on? Where should the bulk of their attention be? Yes, you are excited about your brand and corresponding products. And yes, you want the online world to see all of the amazing things you have to offer. But here’s the thing…if you give them everything at once, they really aren’t going to see any of it. Not meaningfully anyway. According to the results of a study reported on in Shopify’s blog, offering more products may equal more visitors and more views, but not more purchases. And in the end, sales are what bring in the bucks.

Meaningful engagement with key products will get your sales numbers up. And it is very hard to create meaningful shopping moments if your Shopify design is overwhelmed by a ton of “stuff.” Parse through your product offerings, figure out which are the most popular, spotlight those in creative ways. Try to hold back from throwing everything but the kitchen sink at people.

And this goes beyond just the products themselves. Shopify store owners sometimes get carried away with content. Be it your brand’s history or any other miscellaneous “about” info, keep it short, simple and to the point—you want them spending the majority of their time shopping, not reading.

Check Those Load Times

Do a little experiment…Go online and browse through a few Shopify stores. What happens when you come across a site where the products take forever and a day to load? You’re likely moving on, right?

When users come to your site, if any aspect of it loads slowly, they are going to become annoyed. They are potentially going to abandon cart. A 2019 study showed that 70% of those polled said that load times impacted their willingness to buy. This is a statistic that you cannot overlook. Attention spans are short; people are busy. They don’t have time to watch the clock as your larger-than-life pictures finally make it to their screen.

Some tips to help avoid slow load times:

  • Compress images. You obviously want professional-looking pics as this is what spurs sales.
    However, photos that are too large in size lead to ridiculously slow load times. You can easily download a third-party tool to help compress those pictures while maintaining the overall quality.
  • Streamline your accessories. There are some Shopify design elements that can affect how
    quickly your page loads. Use the ones that are most relevant but otherwise try and eliminate
    bulky apps and plugins extensions.
  • Pick a fast theme. For any theme, you have the ability to first preview it. This should give you a
    basic idea of how quickly/slowly it loads. Also, ensure that it is an up to date version of that
    particular page theme.

Make Sure it is Searchable

That is to say, many Shopify stores fail to make the search function readily identifiable. Many shoppers aren’t crazy about having to use the browse function as their eCommerce go-to. There are also users out there who know precisely what they want and thus want to be able to find it quickly and easily. This is where searching becomes very important to your site. A few tips when integrating the search feature:

Put it where people expect it—usually somewhere in the top right-hand corner of the screen. Also, have an autocomplete enabled—the more convenient you make it the more apt they are to buy. And of course, make sure that the search box isn’t in some way obscured or not readily findable.

Give it Some Personality

At the heart of your store and your brand is of course you. People are intrigued by the person behind the site—so make sure it reflects your personality. Don’t be afraid to have a little fun with your Shopify design. The problem sometimes with using templates in terms of designing your store is that it can often result in a more generic feel. It may make it harder to differentiate one store from the next. And blending in with a sea of sameness just isn’t doing you any favors. A couple of tips for making your site pop with your personality.

  • The content should be original. Run-of-the-mill copy just doesn’t cut it. Pay attention to the overall style and tone. The writing in this capacity needs to align with your brand. So for example, if your brand is more casual, make sure the copy follows suit. In the end, again, just makes sure it has personality.
  • Photography should reflect you. All images are not created equal. You can use pictures that
    truly do lend themselves to your unique vision. Think outside the box here. Not everything for
    instance has to be center focused. Don’t be afraid to be a little quirky.
  • You can even integrate shoppable Instagram shopify app to give more personality and revenue-driven solution
  • The overall visual look should be unique. Just because you might be utilizing a template, doesn’t mean you have to fall into a “template trap.” Customization is key. Those elements that you can change up, seriously consider doing so and doing so in a never before seen way.

Make Suggestions for Alternate Products

One of the more effective ways of getting people to buy is to offer them options. While of course not inundating them with a bevy of choices, showing a user a few items related to the one that they are looking at could be the key to getting that sale. These are generally those products that might otherwise be bundled together. This strategy also gets them thinking about that bundle. And if it is offered at a discount, it makes it much more tempting and harder to resist.

Consider Going with a Designer

There are professionals who specialize in Shopify design for a living. If you don’t have the confidence in your own design ability and/or you simply don’t have any spare time to devote to setting up your Shopify store, you might want to think about outsourcing this particular task. There are many freelance website designers are out there, and many of them are very reasonable as far as working with your budget. Not to mention, a Shopify expert in this field will have more knowledge regarding how to optimize the user experience. Beyond the overall design and look of your site, the user experience is of course paramount to getting people to buy from you.

In Conclusion…

Here’s the thing, we aren’t all tech geniuses, and yet, many are eager to jump on the Shopify
bandwagon and get their products out there. That is the wonderful thing about this particular
eCommerce platform…you don’t have to be exceptionally skilled in all things tech. They make it super easy to set up shop, list your products and launch. And the bonus is that because Shopify designs are easily customizable, you still have the opportunity to stay true to you and your brand.

It really is a matter of paying attention to the details as you work on setting up your site. The look, the feel, and the experience are at the heart of what you need to be paying attention to in order to create your perfect store. You can take your business to that next level and as long as you keep in mind those elements that make a Shopify design truly stand out, you will definitely be good to go.

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