Only 0.05 seconds is the time it takes for your target business users to form a specific opinion about your company website or online store! Yes, that's right, this is what a recent study prepared by a team of researchers from the Canadian Carleton University tells us. If anything, it indicates the importance of designing the online store in a distinctive way to leave the best possible impression on the user.

Have you ever wondered what is meant by designing an online store? What are the areas of online design? What are the steps of designing an online store? The following lines will answer these questions and introduce you to the most important tips and concepts related to this topic.

What does designing an e-commerce store mean?

The design of the online store is the creation and development of everything that improves the user experience while browsing the web pages of your online store, starting with codes, colours, fonts, titles, and various buttons, and ending with images, videos, audio files, etc., to include the design of the store’s appearance and mechanism of work.

The design of the online store also includes choosing the right platform to create the store, choosing the right templates, designing navigation, browsing and smooth purchasing, responsive design of websites, improving the store's appearance in search engine results, as well as providing high levels of security, protection and privacy for the user.

With the spread of various online stores on the Internet, consumers around the world have increased the desire to use their credit cards to purchase products and services remotely, with all that this purchase process entails in terms of saving effort, time and shortening distances, and companies are interested in online marketing more and more and are working to launch their online stores in the best possible way.

The importance of e-commerce store design

Display the products around the clock

The most important benefit that you can derive from the design of the online store is the ability to display your products and services around the clock to your target audience anywhere on the surface of the earth, using any of the international languages through any type of electronic device, which helps you to reach a large number of people, and ensures that you Growth, continuity and profitability.

Optimized store inventory management

Designing your online store appropriately helps manage your inventory of products and services, which will help you avoid sales disruptions by constantly monitoring the store’s inventory and shipping the necessary products in a timely manner, and the consequent reduction in storage costs and determining the most appropriate price for the product or service, thus ensuring Outperform your competitors in the business world.

Using modern technologies and keeping pace with the development in the world

While designing your online store, using the latest technologies such as a chatbot and shopping cart is another option, and it helps you increase revenue and attract an additional audience of customers, increase the conversion rate of your store by giving a professional touch to your business, and keep pace with the development in the world of business and technology.

Create unique store content

Designing your own unique and free content on the Internet, along with following appropriate marketing and advertising strategies, helps your store pages appear within the first results when using search engines, achieves your online store’s good reputation and spread, and ensures that your products and services are sold at the maximum speed.

Choosing the right products and templates for the store

Choosing distinctive and high-quality products and services, using the appropriate online store template, and designing professional images and videos for those products and services will enrich the user experience, and help you develop your brand and distinctive store identity.

Steps to design a professional online store

Choosing Store Design Platforms

Initially, you will need to create your own website or store hosting and start designing it using a broker such as Shopify, ExpandCart, Magento, Weebly, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Squarespace or WordPress.

Template/Theme Selection

You can design your online store template by hiring freelancers, or by purchasing ready-made templates from one of the mentioned store design platforms, and there are usually some special services with the templates such as providing hosting for your site and assistance in choosing an appropriate domain, payment methods, shipping services and other that.

You must choose the right template for your online store, which is attractive, simple and easy to use, and suits your business field and customer expectations.

Choose high-quality product images

Customers intuitively prefer to see several clear images of the product and how to use it before buying. E-stores do not allow the buyer to touch and use the product, unlike traditional stores, where the buyer relies in his evaluation of the product on the published images. So you can photograph the product from all possible angles, add large images with the ability to enlarge the image, and you can even go further, and prepare a video on how to use the product and its most important specifications.

Ease of navigation and browsing

The store is designed in a way that makes it easy for the user to find the desired product. The goal of the design is to guide the customer towards completing the purchase of the product, for example, the main navigation menu of the store is placed at the top or on the right side of the page. It is necessary to organize product lists into categories and subcategories. If your store specializes in software, you can divide the products into computer programs of all kinds, applications for mobile phones of all kinds, and so on.

And try to have a limited number of categories, such as five or six main categories, for example, and to improve the user experience, you should include a search bar at the top of the page so that the customer can find the product he is looking for directly with the option to filter search results.

Ease of purchase

This means the ease of adding products to the customer's shopping cart, the ability to modify or delete products from the cart after adding, and the shopping cart retaining the products in the event the user suddenly exits the store page, in addition to the availability of multiple payment options such as: the ability to use a credit card or different bank accounts PayPal, Google Wallet, Cash on Delivery, the ability to pay without registration, the speed of payment, and more.

User experience

It is everything related to the emotional, psychological and behavioural aspects of the customer when he uses the company's product or service. As for user experience design (UXD or UED), it is a process that aims to provide the best possible experience for the customer when using the company's products or services, which helps to attract customers and achieve profits, so that the design includes the interface and graphics, the design of the interaction between the user and the product, and the building and presentation of information in an organized manner. and so on.

Responsive web design

It is an approach used in designing websites on the Internet, where the site is subject to change based on the characteristics of the user’s device, such as the proportion of the web pages of the online store to the dimensions of the screen of the device used by the user in online shopping, whether it is a smartphone, laptop, tablets or other that.

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization or SEO is a process that aims to increase the likelihood of website pages appearing among the first results when using search engines, by displaying unique, useful and high-quality content, marketing the website through social media, external links, and more.

The importance of SEO lies in increasing the number of visits to the company’s website, which leads to its wider spread and increased profits. Among the most popular SEO tools, we mention the Google Search Console, which helps administrators monitor the performance of the site, and Google Analytics, which shows the number of visits to the company's website.

Chatbot

It is a program that simulates human conversations by receiving voice or written messages and responding to them in proportion to the keywords, and the database stored in the program. To improve customer service using chatbots, you can design chatbots to welcome the customer, remember him using his name if he visits the store again, and can be designed to provide suggestions to the customer and information about the latest offers and discounts in the store or contain a sense of humour and fun.

In short, try to design the bot character so that it takes on a more human character, enriches the customer experience and maximizes their enjoyment, which leads to them spending more time in your online store, which directly affects your profits in a positive way.

Provide high levels of protection, security and privacy

Like any other website, there is an urgent need to protect the online store from hacker attacks and take measures to ensure the privacy of customer data, such as providing an SSL certificate that indicates that the connection is secure between the user and the store, HTTPS that allows an encrypted connection to the store, and providing the option of multi-factor authentication, Create a firewall and privacy policy statement not to share user data with a third party.

Tips for designing a unique online store

To ensure that your online store is designed smoothly and perfectly, we list a few aspects to consider:

Adopt a unique design

The web page design should be distinctive, appropriate, and comprehensive of the most important information and inquiries that can come to the customer’s mind. For example, you can create a detailed FAQ page or a chat bot to accurately answer various customer questions, in addition to adding contact addresses with the company and so on.

Add customer review option

You can add a customer review option to the product description, view customer reviews of the product, and show similar or related products as a suggestion.

Choose the right colours for your store

The store must be colour-coordinated, and colours should be used wisely, for example, the red colour represents feelings of passion and love, which is one of the motives behind the purchase process, while the blue colour represents feelings of trust, which enhances the confidence of the customer.

Pay attention to the quality and attractiveness of your visual content

It is essential that the visual content be attractive, and that the images of the offered products and services are as accurate as possible and express the specifications of the product or service clearly and simply at the same time.

Test the online store before its launch

It is preferable, before launching the online store and during the design phase, that you try the process of ordering the product or service, in order to verify that it runs smoothly and without errors, in addition to trying the various buttons and procedures available on the store’s pages, which gives you an opportunity and enough time to make the necessary adjustments to improve the experience the user.

Keep upgrading your online store

If you launch your project and start making profits, we recommend investing your profits in marketing and advertising and developing the design of your online store, in line with the technical and business world changes, it is necessary to constantly update the content in the store. So make sure your store design is flexible and scalable.

Increase customer conversion rate

You should work to increase your conversion rate by offering offers on products and services, price reductions, customer reminders of incomplete purchases, and retargeting campaigns targeting customers who have visited your store and did not complete the purchase.

Consider the costs of setting up the store

Keep in mind that designing and building a store requires a certain amount of costs that include: creation, hosting, design, marketing, development, maintenance, and security. It can be said that there is no specific cost, but the cost varies according to the size of the store and the quality of the design, ranging from tens of dollars to hundreds and even thousands of dollars.

Be sure to monitor the performance of the online store

It is useful to use a number of metrics to see how well your store design has achieved what is required of it, the most important of which are: the time the customer spends on the page, the bounce rate, which expresses visitors to your store who leave immediately, and the conversion rate, which expresses visitors to your store who have already purchased, plus the marketing costs paid to bring the customer who has completed the purchase to your store.

Conclusion

Economic activities are no longer confined to the real world, but rather to the virtual world as well, which requires entrepreneurs to take care of creating and designing their online stores and constantly developing them, as online stores continue to progress in the fields of the economy to become the main business platform at the global level.

According to statistics, it is expected that online retail sales will constitute 21.8% of total global retail sales in 2024, so entrepreneurs and startups must allocate part of the capital to take care of the store design and construction in the best possible way, as it is the decisive factor in providing the best possible customer experience, thus increasing the profits and market share of the store.