Written by: Sheila Frye, Writer and eCommerce Consultant

You don’t need anyone to tell you that the design of an e-commerce website is important.  Refer to your own experiences. From which websites do you make online purchases? What is it about these websites that motivates you to go ahead and complete the process, and what can make you decide otherwise? As a consumer, you probably don’t think about it, you just do it. As the owner of an e-commerce website, however, you have to know these things, or suffer the consequences. It is easy enough to make a website, but designing it well is a different matter altogether.

UX and web design

An e-commerce website is there for only one reason, and that is to make sales. Your web design should therefore make it easy for the user to get from storefront to checkout.  You need to turn your home page (or mobile app) into a sales funnel.  If you think of it in those terms, it should make perfect sense. If your user experience (UX) is smooth and seamless, a sale is as near to inevitable as you would like.

JustPark lead developer Benjamin Michel focuses on three things to present to customers: solutions, choices, and acquisition, and all within 20 seconds.  Henchman CEO Ryan Pererais more specific. He emphasizes the need for a website to have clear call-to-action elements in a clean design. Search functionality, location specific data, social media sign-in options, and neon colored path to checkout are key features all homepages and apps should have.

Current trends in e-commerce fashion design

Like anything that involves design, it is subject to change. As they say in the fashion world, one day you’re in, the next day you’re out.  It is the same for e-commerce sites. You need to know what is currently trending so your website does not become outdated. Consumers know what they like, and what they don’t, and you had better know what that is.  Here are some trends you should know.

  • Simple and clutter free design, where everything is clearly labeled and easy to understand – putting too many things on one page is distracting, and a product missing a “buy” button or some other recognizable thing to click gets passed over
  • Mobile friendly – this has been a trend for a couple of years now, so it should need no explanation. Suffice it to say that in 2015, more than half of all Internet users start the buying process on a mobile device
  • Marketing and call-to-action pop-ups, including coupons – pop-up ads are annoying, but they are still effective, especially if it is a special offer or coupon on a product or service your customer is currently browsing
  • High quality images –a nice image of your product showing how to use it can sell it faster than with a textual explanation
  • Big, standard fonts – no one likes to squint. ‘Nuff said.
  • CSS3 layout modules – multiple columns, flex boxes, CSS grids, exclusions, shapes and grids – check out the book by Rachel Andrew, it’s all there
  • Animated sliders – animation is dynamic and attractive, but it does slow down load speed somewhat, so use it wisely
  • Hamburger menus – most people know what three parallel lines mean, and it hides away clutter before you need it

These are the basic tips on making your eCommerce site stand out, design-wise. For an eCommerce fashion site, the visuals should be appealing. The importance of having a great looking site is vital. Especially if you are looking to stand out. Here are some elements of fashion design that some of the best fashion brands have in common.

  • Stunning pictures in hi-res photography.
  • Be minimal in the design approach
  • Proper use of colors (for the site) depending on the type of clothes that you sell. Black and white for luxury coutre, toned down colors for urban chic and bright colors for the young customers.
  • Make the pictures of the items stand out in detail. Large detailed pictures will do the trick.
  • Arrange the items in way that looks less like an e-bay listing and more like a Vogue catalog magazine.

Tips on how not to design e-commerce sites

Knowing what’s trending is important, but what you really need to know is what to avoid when designing your website. Here are some big mistakes.

  • Using a generic headline that says nothing about the content
  • No margins
  • Overemphasis on number of clicks and not enough on guidance
  • Cramming too much information above the “fold”
  • Too many options
  • Using too many icons some people may not understand
  • Using overly simple or overly technical language


The design of your e-commerce website is the most important thing for your business, so you have to give it a lot of attention. The good news is effective e-commerce website design is not as hard as it looks, but you need to be nimble. You have to keep up with the times and trends to give your customers the best UX possible to increase conversion rates.

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