Before you go ahead and design your ecommerce store, there are several items that you should look into first. Carefully consider these points before plunging in head-on and discovering only later that your website is not converting visitors into customers.
So, how do you design a sales-converting ecommerce store? The answer is simpler than you think…
Point 1: Have a Professional-Looking Website Design that Converts
Having a professional-looking website does not necessarily mean that you need to crowd your home page with fancy designs and flash animations. Overcrowded and cluttered pages with too many distracting elements are likely to see a drop in conversions. More is not always better. With an ecommerce store, you want a website design your customer can easily navigate which will bring you the highest possible revenue.
“Where do I start and how much will it cost?”
The good news is you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on your ecommerce store design. These days with the existence of premium ecommerce store software such as InstanteStore, you can get started on a shoestring budget.
InstanteStore comes built-in with over 50 different ecommerce templates, each with 5 different colors, which are easily customizable. You don’t have to spend hours brainstorming which elements should go where on your site, as it’s all built-in and you just have to decide which sections you want to retain, and which you don’t. If a pre-designed template is not for you, you can opt to pay a little more for a customized template that is designed especially for your store.
Point 2: Know Your Visitor’s Screen Resolution
Now that LCD monitors are much more common, Internet users are tending to opt for higher screen resolutions. Organizations that monitor screen resolution trends, such as OneStat and TheCounter.com, show that at least 75% to 80% of Internet users worldwide have a screen resolution of 1024 x 768 or larger. However, to be sure, always check your store’s website analytics statistics.
Google Analytics is a free, yet powerful website tracking tool, which can be easily integrated with InstanteStore (via a simple InstanteStore configuration page). You can easily find out the most common screen resolution that your visitors are using. With this information in hand, you can then plan an effective web ecommerce design. InstanteStore allows you the flexibility to choose from fixed-width or 100% fully-stretched (to match the full width of the screen) ecommerce templates. If most of your visitors are still on the 800×600 screen resolution, then you can opt for one of the fixed-width templates which are fixed at 770 pixels in width and are usually center-aligned in browser windows.
A 100% fully-stretched template on the other hand stretches across the entire browser window which works better for higher screen resolutions. This wider screen option has a few added benefits. Headlines which would previously extend over 2 lines may fit nicely into a single line now, thus giving you more “top-fold” space. You can also size your images a little larger as well to make them more effective.
Point 3: The “Top-Fold” Principle
Internet users have never liked to scroll. Hence your primary or critical page elements should always be shown on the “top-fold” of your store design. What’s this “top-fold” then? Basically it’s the page as seen without scrolling. A typical user will arrive at your store’s home page and if it doesn’t contain enough information on the top-fold to pique their curiosity, they will not bother to scroll down to look for it. They will simply just leave! This is a serious point to consider for your web ecommerce design.
With InstanteStore ecommerce templates, we have separated the home page into different sections for you. You can have your body copy (content) and then follow it by displaying products at the home page as well. Adding products to the home page is as simple as selecting the products that you want and then clicking to confirm. InstanteStore even has a built-in scheduling system where you can automatically schedule products to appear ahead of time without you having to manually change them each time.
With products shown on your front page, customers will know immediately what you’re selling and your copy will then convince them why they should buy from you. Always include a call to action as part of your body copy in the top fold, not somewhere at the bottom! Another thing to consider is that if you’re using the 100% stretched template, then avoid having the call to action link/button at the far right side of the page, as your visitors may sometimes not always keep their browsers fully maximized. This is why InstanteStore ecommerce templates always have a right border section where you can add other less important links.
Do take these 3 points into serious consideration when working on your ecommerce store design. Always remember that you’re running an ecommerce store and hence fancy designs and aesthetics should only be added if they serve a purpose.
However, as with all other things, simple things can get pretty complicated at times, especially if you bog yourself down with questions: “Should I place this button here?” … “Is this a little too much?” Sound familiar? 🙂 If so, feel free to leave us a comment with your store’s URL and any questions that you may have and we can do a simple store review for you!
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