5 Design Tips for your Online Store

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016
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While Nexternal already does a top-notch job of optimizing the online shopping experience, there are still some things within your control that can improve the likelihood of shoppers making a purchase in your store.

1. Above the fold
Some web page designs include beautiful but enormous header images. While these work for branding your website, they only serve to push your product list down in an online store. Visitors need to see your products, without having to scroll down. If a shopper does not immediately see products, they might leave without giving your store a backwards glance.

2. Make it clear what you’re selling
If I visit an online store and the only thing I see is a breathtaking view of a valley, I’m not going to know if it’s selling vacations, farmland, or wine. A tagline helps immensely with this. Be specific. “Pride in being the best” is much too vague. “The best organic wines” is better. Detailed product pictures also help. A picture of a fruit basket is more likely to garner a click than text saying, “Fruit Basket.”

3. Keep right
While we read from left to right, the human eye naturally falls to the right side. This means the right-hand column is valuable real estate. It’s why Nexternal defaults to displaying the shopping cart–and its checkout button–there. Try not to clutter this space with things that aren’t vital.

4. Quality images
Since users can’t pick up the things you are selling to examine them up close, good product images are vital. If it’s electronics, users will want to see what ports are available, or what color the display is. For clothing, you’ll want photos of the front and back. Even better if it’s on a model. You’ll want zoomed-in details for jewelry. Blurry or pixelated images are a turnoff and make you look unprofessional.

5. Fast-loading images
While Nexternal does its best to optimize store loading, it has little control over the size of the images you’ve uploaded. There is a 2MB limit to image file sizes, but you also want to make sure they’re not ALL 2MB each. You want good quality images, but appropriately sized. For example, thumbnail images should be significantly smaller than main product images. Not only are shoppers impatient, page speed also plays a role in Google search rankings.

Zoe is a web designer by day and a caped super-hero by night. Okay not really, but she really is a web designer at Nexternal with over 14 years of experience coding HTML, CSS, and other magical web things. She also enjoys helping others, which is a bit like channeling her inner hero.      Google+ Profile