If you want to sell your products or services online then you need a quality online store and Shopify is one of the best platforms available. It has a ton of features, and great store functionality, and allows you to showcase your business creatively and with great SEO optimization.
Before you get to the juicy bits like SEO and product pages, you have to design the basic layout, theme, and structure of your website. This can be daunting and to give you a headstart I have created a list of eight essential Shopify website design tips below – enjoy!
1. Research the Different Shopify Themes
The backbone of designing a Shopify store is your theme. The theme is basically the underlying layout and structure of your website. This includes color schemes, page layouts, navigation, and a header and footer for example.
Shopify has a wide range of free and premium themes and when looking at how to design a Shopify website you must spend time researching the best theme. Look at things like loading times, responsiveness, style, and user experience.
Ideally, you want a theme that reflects your business, and gives the utility you want for your store, but is also optimized for SEO. The free themes are OK, but it is often better to invest in a premium theme so you get the customization and features to take your store to the next level.
2. Make Sure Page Loading Times are Optimized
Slow loading times can be the death of an online store and they also have a negative impact on SEO. It is important that your Shopify store design has fast loading times and you can use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights to look for potential loading problems.
One of the first things you can do is to optimize your images and make sure they are not unnecessarily oversized or have a huge file size. There are websites like Tinypng that can optimize images for web use to greatly boost loading times.
3. Give Equal Attention to Desktop and Mobile Layouts
Today, the way we shop has changed and approximately 60% of online shopping is now done via smartphones. As a result, you MUST look at the design and functionality of your Shopify store for both desktop and mobile devices.
Luckily, Shopify has a range of responsive themes that will automatically resize and morph to fit perfectly on smartphone screens. However, I still urge you to preview your store on both desktop and mobile devices to make sure it is working as intended.
4. Utilize Shopify Apps to Improve Site Functionality
Did you know that Shopify has an app store? This is essentially the counterpart to WordPress plugins and the apps are developed by third-party companies to enhance the functionality and management of your store.
I implore you to check out the app store and look at the different apps that could make managing your site easier. Also, there is a host of useful apps that add additional features to your site like SEO tools, upselling tools, and discount tools.
5. Visuals Get Results
No one wants to read a wall of text and one of the first website design rules is that visuals are important. It is a fact that visual elements on your website help drive traffic, engagement, and conversions and perform better than text-only versions.
Visuals include static images, image galleries, scrolling backgrounds, video backgrounds, and embedded videos for example. Make use of these elements to add style and substance to your Shopify store and break up the text.
6. Include Conversion Opportunities
The aim of your website is to get sales right? So it stands to reason that you need elements on your site that result in sales and these are known as conversions.
Actually, there are multiple types of conversions and they can be other interactions like making an inquiry, signing up for a newsletter, or sharing a page on social media.
The main point is, is that your Shopify store must have conversion opportunities and CTAs (Call to Action) so that your customers have multiple opportunities to do what you want!
7. Avoid Clutter and Keep it Simple
There is a tendency with first-time Shopify website designers to overdo it – I get that you have seen all these fantastic features and apps that you can include, but any Shopify SEO expert knows that more is less and that clutter can make your site look messy.
It’s important to strike a balance and give your Shopify store a streamlined and cohesive look while still providing excellent features and functionality. This can take refinement but if you can retain a simplistic look with an un-cluttered layout then your site should perform better.
8. Give Customers Ways to Interact
Customer engagement can drive traffic to your website and improve your organic SEO. This is because Google looks kindly at activity and customer interactions like comments and ratings.
To drive those interactions and to improve the visibility of your website you should look to add things like social media sharing icons, product comment feeds, and product rating plugins.
Social sharing icons help drive backlinks to your store but can also improve your visibility on social media platforms. Similarly, interactive product elements like comments and ratings can help boost the credibility of your products and drive sales.
Use These Tips to Make Your Shopify Store Stand Out
You may have the best products in the world with competitive pricing but without a well-designed Shopify website that is easy to use, you simply won’t get those conversions and sales. By using these Shopify design tips you can immediately improve the design, usability, and style of your site with minimum effort.