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5 Tips to Design a Beautiful and Functional E-Commerce Store

Website Design

With a projected figure of 12 to 24 million e-commerce websites around the world in 2021, your e-commerce site doesn’t stand a chance to shine unless it is exceptionally designed. 

But why so much emphasis on e-commerce stores? It can be accredited to the convenience it brings. The buyers also want more choices both in terms of product and price. 

According to statistics, by 2040, 95% of all purchases will be done via e-commerce. So,

What makes an e-commerce website exceptional?

Here are more stats and figures to answer and validate the question:

  • Eye-catching and simple yet functional design- A study found out that if web visitors were allowed 15 minutes to read content, two-thirds of them would rather read it from a website with a beautiful design as opposed to something plain. Also, 94% of online customers don’t trust sites that are out-of-date or poorly designed, while 60% say website usability highly impacts their shopping experience.

  • Mobile responsive design- 62% of companies reportedly boosted their sales by designing mobile responsive websites.

  • Creating a good first impression- It takes around 0.05 seconds for web visitors to form an opinion about your e-commerce website. They will either leave or stay after their first impression is formed.

  • Fast loading page and website speed- Slow-loading sites result in $2.6 billion lost yearly sales for e-commerce stores. And in one study, the bounce rate on mobile websites surged by 32% when the page loading speed changed from 1 second to 3 seconds.

  • Optimized checkout page- E-commerce sites can increase their conversion rates by 35% by having an optimized checkout page.

Apart from that, easy navigation, having a CTA, using high-quality images and videos, using the right colors, including social share buttons, and certifications are all essential elements and best practices for outstanding e-commerce website design.

Now that you know the gist, let’s discuss some of the most crucial points to have a better understanding:

How to Design a Beautiful and Functional E-Commerce Store?

Tip 1: Create an Attractive yet Functional Design


People want to look at a beautiful website. So, designing a visually appealing one should be your focus. However, since a lot of elements go into making a website attractive, you need to have a proper plan.

You can begin with the navigation structure. You want your users to quickly find what they are looking for when they visit your site. Simple navigation is key to achieve that.

So, divide your content into categories and insert the category links in your menu, both primary and secondary. 

Since you are an e-commerce site, your navigation structure might look something similar to this:

  • A homepage 
  • Products page with sub-categories of the items you are selling
  • About Us page
  • Checkout
  • Blog
  • Store Policy with subcategories of the privacy policy, eCommerce fulfillment process, and returns, and FAQs.

Remember to show only essential menu items while working with navigation. It will ensure better UX as too many menus can distract the users.

The next essential step is to create a style guide. It will decide the overall look of the site along with the social media pages, ad banners, and other digital media tools.

When it comes to the style guide, the essential components to consider include:

  • Brand story: Your brand story will introduce your brand to the world. It should answer questions like - Who are you? What is your purpose and mission? What’s your brand’s vision?

  • Professional-looking logo: To create one, look for professional logo designers or sites like Upwork.

  • Color scheme: You will be adding colors in elements, including navigation menus, logo, images, backgrounds, and illustrations. While you can choose colors to create a high contrast effect, make sure they are harmonizing.


As per a study, implementing intense colors increased site recognition by nearly 80%. Moreover, adding dark colors to websites resulted in a 2% growth, and light color-themed sites saw 1.3% growth.

  • Typography: It will bring out your site’s personality. In any case, don’t go for more than three fonts lest you confuse your visitors. 
  • Imagery and illustrations: Your site needs any one or both of them to evoke your visitors’ emotions. Choose wisely so as to set the tone. Remember, they should also be high-quality too.

The third essential element to keep in mind is white space. It will make your site appear clean, scannable, and the content will be easier to digest. Use it everywhere- in your navigational elements, homepage, images, and typography.

Have a look at how Burnkit adds plenty of information on their homepage without overwhelming the user by using a lot of white space.

white-space-web-design

Source

You can also follow suit.

Tip 2: Build a Mobile Responsive Design

Here are some essential tips to follow while building a mobile responsive design:

  • Use analytics to survey your website: It will help you find out why the visitors are accessing your site using a mobile device and the pages and features they access the most. You can then use this information to comprehend which website pages and features need to be easily available on smaller screens.

  • Implement the right tools: There are plenty of tools out there to help you in building a mobile responsive site. For instance, with Adobe Edge Reflow, you can visually build a responsive site. You can convert Photoshop files into HTML and CSS and fine-tune the design via mobile breakpoints.


Other tools like InVision will allow you to come up with interactive prototypes of your e-commerce site. You can send the link to users and let them test the navigation, scrolling, buttons, and other features. You can gain feedback from them. To see how your site would behave in different settings, it is a great tool.


  • Be extra vigilant with navigation: Since navigation serves as a roadmap for users, you will have to ensure that they can easily access different pages on your site.


A great strategy to implement while designing navigation is leaving the most vital menu items noticeable even for smaller screen browsers. You can use the hamburger menu for the remaining links. Also, consider including links to different pages in the text on your landing page. It will support navigation.

  • Reduce and save images in suitable formats: Using tools like TinyJPG, you can reduce the size of the images and optimize them for different mobile breakpoints. It will decrease scaling and bandwidth concerns.


Also, you should be saving the images in suitable formats. For instance, photographic images can be saved as JPG, while icons can be saved in PNG-8 format.

  • Consider media queries: Media queries will help you optimize the site’s layout for different screen widths. Your site’s content will respond to various settings on specific devices. It checks for the device’s resolution, width, and orientation and shows you the fitting type of CSS rules to be applied. 

A media query will look like this:

media-query-css

Source

  • Make your buttons easily recognizable and clickable: While it is tempting to reduce the size of your button to fit the screen, it can make it harder for users to click. You can use bold colors to make them stand out. Also, consider using a rectangle or a circle-shaped button. To increase the clickable area, apply padding.

  • Conduct a Google mobile-friendly test: Google’s mobile-friendly test is simple. You just have to input your site’s URL and click Analyze. It will show you the results. If you notice a green confirmation message, you are on the safe side. It will also show you why your website failed the test and offer resources to help fix the problems.  

You can also switch to the WooCommerce platform (an open-source e-commerce solution powered by WordPress) and start selling your products hassle-free. It is an ultra-intuitive and search-engine friendly platform that offers unparalleled flexibility with countless themes, customization options, and extensions.

No wonder, WooCommerce powers around 31% of the top 1 million e-commerce websites today. 

Tip 3: Make your Content Scannable

As per a study, most website visitors will not read more than 20% of the text on a web page. Instead, they scan the text and search for key information. To make it easier for them, you should make your content scannable.

38% of people, when surveyed, said that they would abandon a site if it doesn’t have an eye-catching content layout.

Whether it is your blog posts, product descriptions, service page, or about us page, break the content into a scannable format. The sentences and paragraphs are better kept short. Apply bold on key information, and use bulleted lists if the text is large.

Your product description should be detailed, answering as many questions as it can, but you don’t want it to appear text-heavy and scare off visitors. A great trick is to add a summary right after the product and buy button. You can add the longer description down below.

For high-end products that demand a lot of information and specs, apply tabs. It will make the information look neat and tidy.

Whatever content you create, you should do it with the user in mind. And consider using images, graphics, and videos on all pages to support your content and engage the visitors.

Tip 4: Don’t Forget to Add CTA Buttons

Many statistics indicate that adding CTA buttons can fetch a 45% boost in clicks. But simply creating a “sign up” CTA will not drive conversions. You want a strong CTA that will convince visitors to take action. 

While your CTA should be concise, don’t make it absurdly short. A concise and direct call to action will put the visitors’ focus on what’s significant and eliminate distractions.

Here’s an excellent example of CTA used by Starbucks, the coffee retail company. 

starbucks-stories-cta

Source 

The brand is popular for using bold and relevant CTAs. It makes people click or swipe through them, as in the image above.

Starbucks has employed imagery with a nature theme. The colors are of spring, and they have added a “Swipe Up to Try” CTA prompting their followers on Instagram to drink the Iced Matcha Green Tea Latte, a new flavor as they welcome the spring season. Enticing, isn’t it?

Tip 5: Add a Social Share Button

A modern e-commerce website is incomplete without social share buttons. There is an excellent opportunity of making the online experience social if you use social share buttons and your shoppers share, talk, or show off the products they bought from you.

The areas to include social share buttons are on product and checkout pages. It will encourage your buyers to share their shopping experience while they get a chance to connect with their friends.

Social engagement via likes, comments, and shares increases the shopping experience while making your product viral.

Important FAQs

  1. What is mobile responsive design

A site is responsive when the layout and/or content adapts based on the screen size it gets viewed on.

  1. What is a good CTA?

A good CTA is precise and asks the audience what you want them to do. For instance, an e-commerce CTA can start with words like “shop,” “order,” or “buy.” 

  1. What is the cost of an e-commerce website?

In general, e-commerce website development costs range from $10,000 to $500,000 or more.

  1. How long will it take to build an e-commerce website?

As per Acumium, website redesigns can take anywhere from two to 12 months. On average, e-commerce sites take the longest to build.

Wrapping-Up

There you have it—5 best practices for outstanding e-commerce website design. Make sure to implement them while designing your site to engage, retain, and convert visitors. Not having an up-to-date e-commerce website in this day and age will cost you a lot. Follow the minimalism principles while designing your site but make sure it is functional as well.

About The Author  

Tim Ferguson is a writer and editor of Marketing Digest. He enjoys writing about SEO, content marketing, online reputation management, social media, AI, and Big Data. When he is not writing and editing for Marketing Digest, he spends time on learning more about content marketing and getting better at it.


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