10 Design Tips for Your Online Shop


Any storefront comes with a unique set of challenges. With brick and mortar it’s all about paint, awnings and clean windows. Believe it or not, online storefronts have the same basic issues, just presented in digital form. Deciding the size of your header is a lot like picking the right awning to hang over your door, and it’s a lot like buying a fully lit sign for the first time. Your background and color choices are paint and labeling, and your layout is putting together the shelving. There’s no one “right” way to do all this, but there are some tips you can follow to get your Shopify storefront looking good.


1.Keep Your Branding Copacetic

Stick to the same colors, same fonts, and hold the same general layout through the entire site. Too many fonts and too many color changes makes browsing any site unnerving, and gives off an air of disorganization. Don’t change the color of your logo unless absolutely necessary, and don’t use more than three fonts in the content of the site: One for headers, one for body paragraphs, one for buttons and other special fields.

2.Make Your Logo Visible on Every Page

This is fairly easy, since your header usually appears on every page of your site, but some custom themes change this up a little bit. You can also put a smaller copy of your logo in the footer, to maintain visibility even when scrolling, but you want to be sure you won’t be able to see both at the same time on a standard resolution monitor.

3.Make Your Site Responsive

Cyber Monday showed an increase of 80 percent in mobile traffic, bringing the total up close to 25 percent of all online shoppers according to Luxury Daily. Being mobile-unfriendly could lose you one out of every four customers that looks at your store, so make sure your theme responds to different resolutions and browsers.

4.Your Storefront Should Be Yours

Using a standard template is fine, those are designed to work, but make sure that you do what you can to make it your own without compromising your design identity. Stick to your brand colors and choose a theme that works with your brand image.

5.White Space Is Your Friend

Allowing your site to have a decent amount of white space—which isn’t necessarily white, it’s just empty space in your layout—avoids the all too common issue of imagery overload. Too much content and too many choices on the page can cause analysis paralysis, according to the New York Times.

6.Prices Should Be Prominent

Hiding the price on any given item, or requiring registration and login before prices are visible, is more likely to put customers off than anything else according to Beacon Technologies. It makes them feel like you’re trying to trick them into buying something expensive, no matter how much it actually costs.

7.Every Item Needs Two Images

At least two images, one full product image and one action or detail shot, but no more than four images total. Any more than this can lose you the attention of your customers through the monotony of checking photo after photo. Keep it simple.

8.Add to Cart Buttons in Grid View

Customers should see three things in grid view, page where they can see multiple items at once. First, the item’s main image, at least 100 pixels high. Second, the item price in clear, visible numbers, with currency details if needed. Third, an “add to cart” button. This allows return customers or quick-shoppers to buy items faster and with more ease than only having the button visible on the item detail page.

9.Design for Your Audience

If your clientele runs in the 50-plus age bracket, you want your site to have as few moving parts and changing colors as you can, not to mention large text all around. Different age groups want to see different things: Millennials respond best to minimalism, shoppers 35-45 prefer detailed action photos over anything else, and the groups in between may want everything from bright colors to stark black and white. Knowing your audience is key to branding yourself correctly, and building a site that works with them.

10.Don’t Fear Change

No matter how much you love your current site theme design, there will come a time when it needs to be changed—either for a rebranding venture, or to become compliant with new web browsers and systems. Take time to study your storefront the longer you have it, keep notes of what you love and what you could do without, and when it comes time to upgrade you’ll already have a map to take you where you need to go. Use your periodic overhauls as an opportunity to streamline the design, not a reason to dig in your heels and fight against the change. The more fluid you are with your design, the better it will be.