Shopify Design Tips And UX Best Practices
It’s no wonder Shopify developers are in high demand these days. Shopify powers over 1 million stores worldwide, and offers customers access to some of the most flexible tools on the market for developing their online presence.
However, even with demand for Shopify solutions on the rise, developers still need to ensure they’re delivering the powerful solutions their clients are looking for. This means knowing how to create stores and themes that are perfect for “UX”. Learning how to create pages aligned to the needs of the end-users your clients target will make you infinitely more valuable as a developer.
After all, the user experience (UX) elements of your website design can either help your customers generate more sales, or drive clients away, leading to abandoned checkouts and poor reviews.
If you need help upgrading the user experience of your Shopify stores, start with the following tips.
- Prioritize Speed with Your Shopify Themes
Whether you’re designing a new theme from scratch for your clients, or customising an existing template, it’s important to look beyond basic aesthetics. Today’s customers want quick, convenient, and fast-loading pages they can access on any platform.
This means no matter how much functionality you add to your client’s store, you should always ensure it doesn’t come at the expense of speed. You can check your page speed in a range of different ways on Shopify. One option is to simply access the “Online store speed report” on Shopify.
You can find this by going into the “Themes” page on Shopify, and selecting “Online store speed score”. Clicking into the report will give you an insight into how your store compares to similar sites. Alternatively, you can also check third-party solutions like Google Page Speed.
Ultimately, the more functionality you add to a page or website, the more you’re going to need to think about speed. Customizations and new apps will inevitably slow performance. Starting with a speedy theme will help to reduce the risk.
If your speed slows down for any reason, try removing non-essential apps, compressing images, and removing any unnecessary product carousels.
- Enhance Product Pages
While all of your Shopify website should be designed to delight and empower customers, it’s particularly important to ensure you get the product pages right. These are the pages most responsible for convincing your customers to add items to their basket. There are a few ways you can enhance the quality of your product pages.
First, make sure you take advantage of high-quality images. Shopify allows you to place multiple pictures on each product page, so you can showcase an item from different angles. It’s worth ensuring at least one of the pictures helps your customers to understand the scale of your item, by placing it alongside other products, or in the hands of a user.
Ensure all of your images are also professional, high-quality, and zoomable.
Once you’ve got the images up-to-scratch, make sure you’re featuring enough valuable information on your pages. This includes offering plenty of information about the fees associated with purchasing a product (including shipping). 60% of customers say unexpected costs like shipping and tax are their main reason for abandoning a cart.
It’s also worth ensuring the product information is as clear as possible, highlighting the value of the item straight away, so customers are compelled to buy.
- Map User Flows for Site Architecture
Designing a website for great user experience as a Shopify developer starts with understanding the steps the average customer is going to take through that site. Mapping user flows before you start designing navigation elements and other factors will help you to ensure the purchasing process is as straightforward as possible for your client’s end users.
A user flow is essentially a flowchart showing the complete path a user is going to take when on your website. This includes information about how they’re going to find your products, whether they’ll navigate through different categories and sub-categories, and how they’ll reach the checkout page.
Once you know the journey users are likely to take on your website, you can begin to organize the site architecture accordingly. Think about how you can make your navigation as simple and convenient as possible. It should start with broader categories, like “Women’s clothing” for a clothes store, then narrow down into other options like “Skirts and Tops”.
Having your client or someone else test the navigation in your store is a great way to ensure you haven’t missed any issues which could damage the flow for consumers.
- Implement Tools to Help the Customer
One of the best things about using Shopify to build a website, is how flexible it can be. Once you understand the journey of your target consumer, you can begin implementing new features, add-ins and tools to make their life a little easier.
For instance, one of the best things to add to a Shopify store for UX is a search bar. This will allow customers to immediately find the items they want if they have specific products they’re looking for. You can also use recommended item carousels and product sliders on various pages to show customers the items usually purchased together.
The great thing about recommending items to customers is it simultaneously helps them to find more of the products they’re looking for, while also boosting your client’s chances of a higher average order value. As a developer, it’s also worth looking into tools you can implement to assist your client in improving the customer experience over time.
For instance, installing heatmaps and tracking tools into a store will make it easier for your customers to understand the user journey, and give you suggestions on where the site can be improved.
- Include Only the Most Valuable Content
Designing a Shopify website for UX means understanding that sometimes less is more. In today’s fast-paced shopping landscape, most consumers are searching for products on smartphones and smaller screens, which means it’s easy for them to get overwhelmed by too much clutter on a page.
As tempted as you might be to fill your store with different features and content to potentially improve your client’s chances of a sale, it’s best to keep things simple. The cleaner your store is to navigate, the less you’re going to increase the “cognitive overload” on consumers.
It’s up to you to work with your client to determine which pieces of content will have the most value. This might also require some testing. For instance, while it’s important to have the right copy, and a brand logo on every page, you may only showcase a handful of customer reviews and ratings on product pages, and nowhere else.
Consider experimenting with different designs in your Shopify development stores to see how they resonate with your client. This is a great way to add and remove different features before the store you create goes live.
- Make Purchasing Simple
Last but not least, few things are more important in making a Shopify site a success, than ensuring an easy checkout. The basket to checkout experience should be smooth and straightforward, and designed with a focus on increasing sales. For instance, you might add special offers to the cart page, or show customers product bundles and additional items they might like.
Speak to your client to ensure you’re implementing the right payment methods for their target audience too. Having a variety of different payment solutions to choose from, including Buy Now Pay Later options, can make it more likely a customer will convert.
One of the easiest ways to boost your chances of sales even further, is to enable guest checkout. This is an option can easily implement in the backend of Shopify Plus, and it will ensure your customers can complete their checkout without having to sign up for an account.
Designing for Shopify UX
Designing a Shopify site with UX in mind will ensure you can deliver the best possible end-user experiences for your clients. This should mean your customers end up with more sales, which means they’re more likely to work with you again in future, and recommend you to friends.
Don’t forget to keep an eye on your own analytics and insights as you implement UX changes too, as this can help to guide you towards better designs in future.