The best ecommerce site designs look deceptively simple; they disguise their functionality by using careful categorization and thoughtful hierarchies of information. But that doesn’t mean that function isn’t their first priority; because there’s so much you need to cram into each and every webpage, visual reduction is key to both a clean design and a workable interface. A design that’s too busy to let the viewer focus on the most important pieces of information—like the product photos, current deals, or navigational elements—isn’t doing its work well.
Although designs should be as simple as possible, be careful not to let them become barren. The examples gathered below all have a fairly traditional and clean layout. Yet they manage to inject a sense of uniqueness and personality into their look, in a way that fits with the tastes and interests of their target audience. This balance between aesthetic appeal and functional clarity is what makes an ecommerce site stand out from the crowd.
Use striking imagery like Kipling
Have a compelling header like Tinkering Monkey
Use fun, yet simple navigation like Theo
Cater to your audience’s taste like Me and Mommy-To-Be
Use a unified color scheme like Evel
Make the products pop like Spyder
Use a modular system like Fruit of the Loom
Highlight seasons and events like Inkd
Play with type like Tooby Doo
Make image transitions interesting like Narwhal
Give a sense of history like Oak Street Bootmakers
Use fun icons like Uniqlo
Have a strong headline like Shopflick
Add a sense of depth like DeFrae
Keep it bright and clean like Maine Cottage
Add gradient and texture in small doses like Jaqk Cellars
Put the products front and center like Hardgraft
No matter whether it’s a sleek and sophisticated menswear retailer or a cheerily professional printing service, a good ecommerce site design caters to a specific audience, while keeping general web conventions in mind. None of these examples have a radical new navigation system, or any other flashy tricks that distract from the merchandise, and yet they all look up-to-date and interesting.
Of course, the design and structure of your site is only the beginning of a much larger process. The complexities of a good web store only increase as you become more successful and gather more traffic. If features like a shopping cart and a secure checkout process are not within your range of technical abilities, consider using an ecommerce platform that will provide you with all the backend development you need. Whatever platform you choose to work with, make sure it gives you the ability to continuously adapt your design to suit changing needs; ecommerce has taken over the shopping world, and it’s important to stay updated as the field continues to evolve and improve.