For those just embarking on their e-commerce journey, a simple, social media-only service such as Shopify Starter Plan has everything you need to get started. But what do you do when you’re ready to take things to the next level and develop your own dedicated website? Here are our tips for designing a site that will stand out from the crowd.

Use hero images

A hero image is one that appears like a banner across the top of your page. It’s usually the first thing that visitors will notice about your site — so make it a good one! If you mainly sell one product, choosing your hero image should be simple. But if you stock multiple items, consider a carousel of different visuals to highlight your various offerings. 

Curate your home page

Time and time again, research has shown that shoppers want a simple purchase path involving minimal steps to find what they’re looking for. So think carefully about what information you include on your home page. The goal is to narrow things down into a few simple categories, with each progressive screen offering more and more tailored options. 

Hover-based drop-down menus

Too many options at the top of the page can make a website look clunky and cluttered, sending online shoppers elsewhere. So tidy things up by using hover-based drop-down menus to expand on a limited number of ‘root’ categories. Just make sure that they’re not overly sensitive, as unwanted drop-downs can lead to user frustration.

Display reviews and ratings

There are few factors that influence shoppers more than reviews, so it’s important to make it easy for customers to read feedback as well as leave their own. Common practice is to display a star rating next to the product itself, while leaving space for more detailed comments towards the bottom of the page. For feedback, many stores find that offering templates results in more reviews, as it simplifies the process and invites engagement.

Minimise pop-ups

Research confirms what we’ve all suspected for a long-time: pop-ups are one of the biggest sources of annoyance for online shoppers. And although many stores use this feature to highlight special offers or direct visitors to chatbots, consumer surveys suggest that this is a major turn-off. Instead, try prominent banners or buttons to draw attention to these factors, leaving the navigation experience smooth and unsullied.

With the ecommerce industry continuing to grow, it can be difficult to get noticed. But if you follow these tips for smooth and sleek website design, you could be well on your way to success.