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Shopify Store Design: 8 Crucial Tips From CRO Experts

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So you heard that Shopify is a great ecommerce platform for an online store – it’s easy to use, flexible, reliable, and relatively inexpensive. Of course, you can create an awesome Shopify store design that will surely attract some serious customers to your brand.  

Because of those compelling reasons, you thought to yourself, “I can design my store!” The only problem is that you don’t know where to begin as you reach the theme editor. And truth be told, as a beginner, these things could easily overwhelm beginners.

But worry you shall not. We may be CRO (conversion rate optimization) experts today, but we’ve also been through the difficulties of beginners when we started. That’s why we listed the most important tips you should know when designing a store – based on our years of experience.

So if learning Shopify web design is something that you’re excited about, read the entire blog. Let’s get started!

Why Is It Important To Have A Properly Designed Shopify Store?

Why Is It Important To Have A Properly Designed Shopify Store?

Source: Pexels

The purpose of a proper Shopify website design is not only to create a beautiful store. As a form of art, your design should be functional as it is beautiful.

As such, when talking about ecommerce store design, it is worth noting that we are not simply referring to the physical characteristics of a website. Instead, we are talking about your website's entire user experience.

Thus, Shopify store design includes:

  • User Interface (UI)
  • User Experience (UX)

In the world of ecommerce, years of studies have shown a direct correlation between Shopify web design and the sales generated by a store.

Here are some statistics proving the relationship between sales and store design:

  • 70% of smartphone users abandon a poorly designed mobile site
  • 90% of users shop with a competitor after a poor website experience
  • 44% of consumers will recommend a website with a well-designed mobile experience
  • 30% of online shoppers say they would be more like to purchase from a responsive website

(Source: Zipdo)

Based on that research, we can infer that with a poorly designed Shopify store, customers will abandon your website or they will go to your competitors.

On the bright side, a great Shopify website design will likely generate more purchases and customer referrals.

Therefore, we see no benefit in skimping with your Shopify web design. On the other hand, you’ll get a lot of potential customers with a properly designed online store.

Now that we have clarified the importance of a well-designed ecommerce store, let us move on to the most important part of this blog – the design tips.

Shopify Store Design Tips

Shopify Store Design Tips

Source: Pexels

Based on our years of experience in ecommerce and thousands of Shopify stores we helped design, here are the things you should do and pay attention to when conceptualizing your online store.

01. Plan Your Store

Plan Your Store

Source: Pexels

As with every huge project, planning is always the first step before you execute any action. If you plan your store properly, you will have a more systematic implementation of your Shopify website design.

When planning your store, it is important to seek inspiration from already existing brands within your niche. As such, you need to find popular brands and visit their websites.

Take note of the overall look and feel of their online stores and observe these things:

  • Website structure - how do they organize their menu buttons, headers, footers, and individual sections
  • The colors and fonts that they use (these aspects can be different in your store because it heavily relies on your branding strategy).
  • Product images, collections, and how these things are sorted in their store
  • The checkout experience, etc.

After your observation, you’ll be able to have a feel for how your store should be designed. Emulate the good things but do not imitate other Shopify stores.

Read more: Shopify Store Builder: Guide, Features, Benefits, And More

02. Choose Your Theme Wisely

Choose The Right Theme For Your Store

Source: Pexels

There are more than 160 themes in the Shopify theme store. As such, you can find a theme that will suit any type of online business.

All Shopify themes are well-designed in terms of visual appeal. However, not all Shopify themes are created equal in terms of functionality. Some offer more features compared to others.

The good thing about Shopify themes is there’s always one for every budget range – there are free themes and those that cost as low as $100 to $400.

You should choose your theme wisely because Shopify themes will be the basis of your website's UI and UX design.

As such, you need to find the best theme that offers more functionalities and design flexibility so you can implement your branding ideas.

Here are our recommendations for Shopify themes:

  • Blum - the most inexpensive Shopify theme with complete high-end features and interesting visual design
  • Electro - empower brands to build blazing-fast, user-friendly Shopify for electronics.
  • Cascade - high-end and elegant Shopify theme with unique animations and asymmetrical design
  • Be Yours- modern and clean Shopify theme with a touch of animations
  • Impulse - elegant Shopify theme complete with all the essential features with a clean design

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03. Avoid Overdoing The Design

Avoid Overdoing The Design

Source: Pexels

Designing a Shopify store does not mean you should stuff everything you can on the screen. As I mentioned, your Shopify site design should be functional.

As such, avoid overdoing a design because an overly done beautiful design that visually overwhelms your audience won’t cut it. Aim for the right balance between beauty and function.

In a similar research conducted by Zipdo, they found out that, “Simple website design is more effective, with websites that use simple layouts experiencing 1.48 times higher conversion rates.”

Therefore, try to stick to the current trend of ecommerce stores that use clean designs while providing complete functionality.

04. Loading Speed Is Just As Important As The Design

Loading Speed Is Just As Important As The Design

Source: Pexels

In addition to Shopify web design, speed plays an equally important role in enhancing the conversion rates of your online store.

Research by Portent further proves this claim. In their study of B2C (business to consumer a.k.a. retailers) brands,, they found out that a site that loads in 1 second has a conversion rate that’s 2.5x higher than a site that loads in 5 seconds.

Furthermore, they found that the highest e-commerce conversion rates occur between 1 and 2 seconds in the same study.

They further claimed that “When website users are accustomed to fast load time across the web, slower sites are penalized when visitors abandon their cart in favor of a faster website to make a transaction.”

Knowing the grave negative impact of slow website speed on ecommerce conversion rates, here are some of the things that you should remember in your Shopify store design:

  • Compress the images and videos on your website.
  • Choose the apps you install – opt for lightweight apps to not tax your website speed.
  • Disable unused apps.
  • Minimize unnecessary theme customizations, and always check the Shopify theme store to see if there’s a newer version of your theme. Make it a habit to update your theme.
  • Streamline your homepage by lessening unnecessary designs. A cluttered homepage will take a longer time to load.

Quick read: ​​Top 15 Shopify Website Examples For Your Inspiration In 2024

05. Write A Copy That Communicates Your USP

The best way to impress your customers with your brand voice is through writing web copy that communicates your brand’s unique selling proposition or USP.

The USP is what makes your products different from the others in the market. To effectively communicate your USP, your copywriting must be on point, and it must make your customers feel your brand’s personality while reading it.

One brand that truly left a mark on us is Tushy.

Write A Copy That Communicates Your USP

Source: Tushy

Their website copywriting is one of the best that we’ve seen. From the get-go, you’ll feel that they are relatable because of how they describe their products and don’t take themselves too seriously.

They are full of quirks, puns, and jokes, and that’s why they’re able to make an otherwise “icky” subject very interesting, attention-grabbing, and light.

This one-of-a-kind copywriting is implemented throughout their website, including product pages, about pages, and even in their product recommendations.

In our perspective as ecommerce marketers, Tushy’s brand identity was ingrained in our minds and we never cease to forget how good it is.

And this is the type of brand voice you should aim for. It’s not easy to do, but it’s doable. You can also consider hiring a team of copywriters and marketers to make something as memorable as this one.

Start a free trial and enjoy 3 months of Shopify for $1/month
Trusted by over 2,000,000 businesses worldwide

07. Use Apps That Will Help You Design A Better Store

When compared to other website builders, the Shopify platform is the most flexible mainly because of its integration with more than 10,000 apps as of this date.

Because of that, using apps to enhance the design and functionalities of your online store is a great idea.

Regarding design and function, we highly recommend our very own PageFly. It is the Shopify platform's most popular and highest-ranking landing page builder. And that only shows that it is very popular among Shopify store owners.

PageFly landing page builder

Source: Shopify Apps

PageFly will help you unleash your creativity as it unlocks more design flexibility on Shopify. But more than just visual design, PageFly also enables merchants like you to add elements that will help boost your conversion rates.

You can choose from our collection of more than 100 templates. But if you’re free-spirited and you want a design like no other, you can use our easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor.

In addition to our design tool, we recommend installing an SEO tool to ensure your website is optimized for speed day in and day out.

For SEO, we highly recommend Avada SEO & Image Optimizer.

Avada SEO & Image Optimizer

Source: Shopify Apps

As we mentioned, speed plays a crucial role in UX design. So we recommend investing in an app that can automate website optimization. Avada has many no-nonsense SEO tools that will help you ensure that your website is operating optimally.

Shopify Store Design Services

If you want to hire professionals to help do your Shopify store design, here are three popular ecommerce agencies that you should consider:

01. Awsmd

Awsmd Shopify web design services

Source: Awsmd

Awsmd is a web design company that boasts of a solid strategy that’s aligned with business needs and backed up by data analysis.

They have more than 10 years of industry experience and have completed more than 300 design projects to date.

Employing more than 280 team members around the world, Awsmd is a company that can surely take on large projects with short turnover periods.

02. Q Clay Design

Q Clay Shopify web design services

Source: Q Clay Design

Q CLay is a global design agency that helps its clients create memorable web designs. As a design agency, they can create anything from unique graphics to intuitive UX solutions, and holistic UI designs.

One thing they’re most proud of is that they have the best designers in their respective niches. If you are looking for an agency that could execute your ideal Shopify website design, Q Clay is worth checking out.

03. Master Creationz

Master Creationz Shopify web design services

Source: Master Creationz

Master Creationz is a global UI/UX agency that has served more than 500 clients since 2015.

As a UX/UI agency, they know what types of design work for customers, and they can help you achieve a Shopify store design that wows your target audience.

The entire design process revolves around UX (user experience) and UI (user interface). If you nail these two things on your website, you’ll be able to attract visitors and convince them to stay and shop at your store.

So if you are looking for an agency that knows UX and UI design principles like the back of their hands, Master Creationz is the place to go.

Shopify Store Design Ideas

Don’t know where to find inspiration for your Shopify web design? Look no more, here are some of the most well-designed stores we’ve seen throughout the years.

01. Chilly’s

Chilly’s

Source: Chilly’s

Chilly’s is a brand of tumblers, cups, and other food items that retain hot and cold temperatures for extended hours.

Their website is worth checking out because of its simple execution. But as simple as it may be, this touch of modernity captures attention.

There is no animation or special effects. It’s a plain understanding of the principles of design that makes it very interesting. The images pop out because they are oversized on purpose and the fonts blend nicely with the website's overall feel.

They also did great on their product pages as they are unlike any other Shopify store. The product images are centered, instead of located at the screen's left side, which is the default on Shopify.

All in all, it’s a well-executed website that puts the spotlight on their colorful products.

02. Doughy

Doughy

Source: Doughy

Doughy is a brand that sells various flavors of raw dough that can be safely eaten as it is. Their products can also be baked if you want to enjoy a full cookie-eating experience.

Their website is unique in that they can explain their USP right on the homepage without using too many words. Instead, they used in-section scrolling to put more details and imagery without being too visually overwhelming.

As a cookie dough company, their colors play a part too. Their website's dominant color is similar to cookie dough – which is a nice touch.

Because of their large, tiled images, and high-definition photography, customers will surely be left drooling over their products.

03. Simply Noted

Simply Noted

Source: Simply Noted

Simply Noted is a brand that sells personalized handwritten letters to its customers. But here’s the thing, their letters are not really handwritten, instead, they use a machine that imitates handwriting – even the nuances of hand movement that give their letters a genuinely handwritten feel.

They don’t conceal that they use robots to write their notes. In fact, it’s one of their unique selling propositions. (Go ahead, and check their website.)

As you can see on their website, robots and animations are the focal point of their Shopify web design. Quirky and unique are an understatement. It’s a truly one-of-a-kind website that’s a pleasure to browse.

04. WTF Notebooks

WTF Notebooks

Source: WTF Notebooks

WTF Notebooks is a Shopify store that sells notebooks with witty and funny cover titles. It being their USP, they invested heavily in copywriting to make their target audience chuckle while checking out their products.

Browsing their website is not like browsing an online store at all. It’s like browsing a website full of memes that will brighten your day.

Of course, you’ll see in their Shopify store that all the right elements for sales conversion are present – product recommendations, swatches, customer testimonials, and more.

If you want to add a touch of playfulness to your website, WTF Notebooks is one website that will surely inspire you to show the wacky side of your brand.

05. Velasca

Velasca

Source: Velasca

Velasca is a brand that sells high-quality clothes for men and women. But their most popular products are their handcrafted shoes that are made by experienced Italian shoemakers.

Their website is the total opposite of WTF Notebooks – which is colorful, playful, and witty. Velasca’s Shopify website design is more toned down, classic, and professional because its target audience is mostly those who want to look sharp and distinguished.

Unlike other Shopify stores that only focus on real images, Velasca used drawings to illustrate some elements of their website while using high-quality images on their products. This decision paid off as it put the spotlight on their products.

If you want to establish a brand that would serve sophisticated customers, Velasca will surely inspire you.

Conclusion

You now know that Shopify store design is not just about creating an online store, mixing and matching colors, and calling it a day. It goes deeper than that and good practices must be followed.

In this article, we’ve highlighted those best practices as actionable tips so you won’t have difficulty following them.

And although you can design your Shopify store all by yourself, it is important to know when you need help – that’s when design agencies come in.

At the end of the day, you should not focus too much on saving a few bucks when designing a website. Instead, aim to design a website that will help your brand stand out from the crowd.

You can find more Shopify stores here: Top 40+ Shopify Stores: Inspiring Website Examples and Discovery Tips

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