Ecommerce Websites – Best Practices

Ecommerce Websites – Best Practices

A website attracts, distracts or repels any prospective customer. Ecommerce website design matters tremendously, as 33.9% of website visitors leave the site after viewing only a single page. Creating an attractive, updated, and highly functional Ecommerce website plays a pivotal role in assuring customers with your professionalism and trustworthiness, as well as magnifying the perceived value of your products.

Let’s take a quick look at what we mean by an Ecommerce website. An Ecommerce website is much more than just a conventional platform. It’s a place where customers conduct electronic transactions over the internet. Examples of eCommerce platforms include Shopify, WooCommerce and Magento.

The benefits of choosing an eCommerce platform for your business (whether it’s B2B or B2C) are endless:

  • You can buy and sell 24/7
  • It’s easier for your customers to find and research products
  • Buying and selling is also a quicker process
  • You don’t have any geographical limitations so your reach is bigger
  • Lower startup and operational costs (when compared to a physical store)
  • Quick and easy to get started
  • Multiple design themes to choose from

Let’s start with the visuals:

Keep it Simple

Users visit your site for one reason and you want to help them get there as quickly as possible. The more clutter on your web page, the more likely your visitors will be slowed down, giving them time to change their minds. When in doubt, keep it simple! Instead, make use of clear, well-segmented product category pages. Don’t be afraid of that white space!

We’ve learned how important colors are in branding, and about the psychology of color, but when you go about choosing your color scheme, make sure you don’t go overboard. One or two bold, simple colors offset with white is always striking.

The golden rule: keep typefaces simple. A complicated, hard-to-read typeface can turn readers away.

Visual Hierarchy

Colour: Design is all about communication, and visual hierarchy is all about influencing the user experience with website elements. Dominant, contrasting colors (like red or black) are great for grabbing attention, so this could be the perfect color combo for a call-to-action or elements you want to emphasize. For sections lower on the visual hierarchy, a popular option is to choose different shades of your brand logo color.

Size: It goes without saying that big is noticed first. However, if certain elements are too big, they can overshadow the rest of your website content and risk making the page unbalanced. So, here’s a way to help steady this balancing act: use larger text and images to showcase a promotion or featured product. If it’s something that you know a customer is going to be looking for, like a drop-down menu or an ‘About Us’, don’t go overboard with size.

Position: A super important ecommerce website design element when it comes to creating a hierarchy. Here, we think about white space and proximity to help separate the more important elements from the others. If you have lots of content on your site, you can create hierarchy by spacing out the low-hierarchy information away from your focus elements with white space.


Once you’ve settled on you design, ensure each page and section of your site is consistent and makes users immediately recognize or think of your brand. Keep backgrounds consistent as well, to not distract from your content.

Image Quality

Quality is important when selling products. It’s been shown that users are more likely to pay attention to a product and make a purchase when the website uses high-quality images. The quality of the images will reflect the quality of your website and a beautifully composed photo of your product can make all the difference.

The Technical Components


The best ecommerce website design makes it easy for users to get where they want to go, without thinking about it. This is called ‘intuitive design’:

  • Keep navigation structure simple and intuitive at the top of your web page for quick discoverability.
  • Include navigation at the footer so your users won’t need to scroll up.
  • Have a breadcrumbs bar following every page after users leave the homepage, so back-navigation is easy.
  • Avoid overloading your page with navigations as this can be more confusing than helpful.
  • Include links on your pages and making each link’s destination super clear.


Your website should be accessable on various devices. Responsive site design means that whatever the content and whatever the device, my website will be resized and reshuffled to fit a user’s screen perfectly. We’ve found that responsive design is the ticket to an accessible site. Responsive website design means that whatever the content and whatever the device, your website will be resized and reshuffled to fit a user’s screen perfectly.


No matter how unique you make your ecommerce website design, it’s best to stay conventional when it comes to the basics. Here is our number one website essentials checklist:

  • Have a clickable logo to take my user back to the homepage.
  • Make links change colour or go bold when hovered over to indicate linked text.
  • Include a prominent shopping cart icon for when my site is an ecommerce one.
  • Have company contact details, including location and phone number, featured prominently or accessed easily on the site.
  • Highlight partners and associates boldly, with company logos if possible.

Credibility & Transparency

As we all know, trust plays a huge factor in the success of any ecommerce company and the number one way to promote trust and gain credibility is by being as clear and transparent as possible.

In your ‘About’ page, be as straightforward as you can. If there’s a story behind your company vision, this is a great place to include it! If your company sells services, include a pricing page too, because a pricing page often increases the legitimacy of an ecommerce site, which will build customer trust.

In the same way, make it clear which items are available and which are out of stock. Keeping on top of your product inventory will build your company’s credibility. (Quick tip: for SEO purposes, if a product goes out of stock, it’s better to label it ‘out of stock’ rather than removing and then re-uploading it.)

Social Media

Carefully-placed social media buttons are a must-have in ecommerce website development. Choose a place that won’t dominate the page, but still is noticeable. The top right-hand and bottom right-hand corners are great placement options.

As an ecommerce site with plenty of images, you’ll want to take advantage of Pinterest. Pinterest is often an underestimated marketing tool, but insiders know that being on Pinterest gives you great internet presence, and boosts your Google-ability. If you have beautiful, high-quality images, a simple click, and pin of your product can make your business known to thousands more.

Product Preview

Considering product previews in your ecommerce website design is great for when visitors are hunting down a certain product. A quick preview that doesn’t require a user to click through makes browsing a whole lot easier, and also means a visitor is more likely to stay on your page longer.

By adding a preview to your category and search pages, whether a larger version of the image or a detailed 360-degree view, you can engage your user’s attention by making the most use of your product’s visuals.

Newsletter Sign up

When your ecommerce website design is good to go, the next step is adding a newsletter signup form so you can get to building your email list. This element is a super important one to keep your customers engaged and returning to your site again and again.

When developing your signup form, make sure it matches your color scheme and aesthetic. A visually beautiful form that engages your audience means that they won’t immediately see a pop-up and close it straight away (we’ve all been there).


For more information, learn about Websites on WordPress, What Ecommerce isMobile Website Optimization, or find out if it’s Time to Update your Website.

Or, check out the following blogs focused on websites:

Responsive Web Design in 2018 – Think Mobile First

Website Concepts – Where to Begin

How Your Domain and URLs Affect SEO on Your Site

Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment

Website Basics

Five Easy Steps to Tweak Your Website