Website design impacts everything about the customer experience, and what’s more, over 90% of first impressions are based on website design. A visually-appealing BigCommerce website design (following the top BigCommerce design tips) will improve the shopping experience, boost brand credibility, and most importantly, encourage conversions.
The flip side is that an online store (regardless of the platform it’s built on) with a sloppy, inconsistent, or unprofessional-looking website design will leak customers like a sieve.
Take these BigCommerce design tips straight from our professional eCommerce designers to heart for 2022 and bring in more customers.
1. Choose a theme that works with your brand (Consider a redesign if your current theme isn’t working)
One of the best things about BigCommerce is that there are so many free (and even more premium) themes available, making it a matter of pointing, clicking, and typing to get an eCommerce website set up. With the help of a web developer, BigCommerce themes can be broadly customized as well.
Still, no amount of developer work can fix a poorly chosen theme that just does not speak to the value of your theme. Consider a website design audit, invest in a custom-developed theme, or simply redesign your website with a theme that’s better aligned with your brand value.
2. Keep brand focus in mind
It is every bit as important to keep your eyes on your brand as it is to make sure your design is simplified. There are innumerable facets to branding, but keep a lookout for features like colors, fonts, logos, imagery, and other visual design elements.
The size, weight, and colors you choose are a huge opportunity to reflect the value of your brand. Think about the message you want your brand to convey, and then repeat the same elements throughout your website design.
3. Use high-quality images only
Do you know what immediately communicates the sense that a website is unprofessional? Low quality, pirated photography. Customers can almost feel it.
That doesn’t mean there isn’t high-quality stock photography out there. There is, but it can only go so far. Besides, your business model isn’t successful because of how much it is like other brands, right? It has its own value and it communicates it.
Get out there and get some custom product photography that shows your products in action, or get consent to use customer-generated media. Better yet, work with a BigCommerce agency to put a creative spin on what you already have.
4. Invest in responsive development (yesterday)
According to Statistic.com, m-commerce sales accounted for 72.9% of all eCommerce sales in 2021, up from 70.4% in 2020. It is a number that grows every single year.
Equally important is the fact that Google has adopted mobile-first indexing, so it’s now official that mobile responsive websites have a technical advantage over desktop-only sites.
Do you need more evidence? The takeaways are clear.
Luckily, there are many BigCommerce themes that are already fully responsive and mobile-optimized, but if you aren’t using one yet, you need to be.
5. Keep it simple
Few eCommerce stores (if any) benefit from clutter. Minimalism is becoming a mainstay in eCommerce. The elements that are there are the ones that speak the value of your brand.
Again, this is a situation in which many of BigCommerce’s free themes can help, since many of them are very basic, minimal, and straightforward.
Still, the theme does not do all of the work. Remove excess copy on your website, use imagery as needed but down overdo it. An over-cluttered homepage is confusing, off-putting, and can encourage users to bounce rather than investigate further.
6. Simplify and streamline navigation; offer more than one option
Offering search functionality is nearly imperative for all businesses excepting (perhaps) those that offer only a few unique products. Even so, search functionality is helpful, and it’s fortunate that BigCommerce is compatible with so many plug-ins that deliver.
In addition to search functionality, take some time to reenvision your mega menu to make it more succinct and easier to follow. Consider implementing something like breadcrumbs on your website to make it easier for users to retrace their steps.
Add in more than one navigation function. For example, if your homepage has a search bar, consider adding tiles for featured products or bestsellers, too. Offering a multi-pronged approach to user navigation gives users options, improves the experience, and funnels visitors towards conversions.
7. Make contact details prominent
It might not stick out in the minds of online entrepreneurs as an important page, but believe it or not, your website’s Contact Page (along with the About Us page) is one of the most important pages on your website, and fundamental among BigCommerce design tips.
Customers may have a question about your product, about available discount programs, your shipping information, return policy, or even something more obscure. The fact of the matter is that so many online shoppers will simply bounce instead of going out of their way to figure out how to get in touch with you.
Of course, if you have that information prominently displayed (such as in a sticky banner or footer) or as a primary page in your menu, you’re more likely to have customers reach out to you, and consequently, more likely to close conversions.
If you don’t have a Contact Page, add it to your website.
8. Add customer and product reviews
User-generated content is some of the most important out there. First off, customers believe it and see it as inherently credible, and secondly, many customers intentionally seek it out before making a purchase.
For example, according to Qualtrics, up to 93% of online shoppers read a review before buying a product. You can do the math, that’s most of them.
Giving customers the ability to leave product reviews, or even soliciting general testimonials and then displaying them on your website, can significantly boost user engagement and conversions.
In addition, customers specifically looking for reviews of certain products may land on your site (if you have a review available) whereas if you had none, your website might not show up in the search results.
9. Advertise shipping costs (whether you charge them or not!)
Even though offering free shipping is becoming really important to online shoppers, it’s fine if you need to charge shipping. Some customers will still understand that.
What’s not alright is if you don’t advertise your shipping policy and costs upfront. Customers hate when there’s no mention of shipping fees and then they suddenly populate right before they’re about to click “Purchase” or “Submit.” Actually, that’s apparently a leading cause of cart abandonment – hidden shipping fees.
Set up your checkout process in such a way that shipping fees are as noticeable as the cost of the goods and services themselves. Customers may not be happy about paying for shipping, but at least they won’t feel duped.
Besides, if you offer free shipping, this is an opportunity for you to advertise it in a sticky banner, on your homepage, or on a badge somewhere on your product page. That will certainly encourage sales and conversions for your BigCommerce store.
10. Create and display “Add to Cart” functionality
No list of BigCommerce design tips would be complete without this, even though it’s hardly a secret. Make your “Add to Cart” feature noticeable and consider displaying it in category pages or anywhere your products display, instead of just on your product pages.
The color red is both attention-grabbing and creates a small sense of urgency because it is an inflammatory color, but if red is off-brand for your website, just choose a bright color from your brand that creates a little sense of contrast and use that.
11. Create filtering functionality
Filtering through products or search results, for example, by color, size, use, or compatibility, is a huge time saver and helps customers get to what they want to buy more quickly.
The more roadblocks you can remove from your customer and their ability to find what they want to buy, the better. Any impediment you can remove will encourage sales and conversions.
Plus, most BigCommerce themes come with product filtering options. Of course, if they don’t you can always work with a BigCommerce developer to create that custom functionality for your theme.
12. Is your copy stale? Update it! (Make it scan-friendly, while you’re at it)
You might be surprised how much sales copy can make an impact on the overall user experience, and specifically how much it can affect a user’s purchasing decision.
Powerful copy is a part of your brand. It can speak to your users, impacting them emotionally, just as your brand was designed to do. You can also embed valuable internal links in sales copy to improve SEO and direct traffic to best-selling products or for the purposes of cross-selling opportunities.
Generally speaking, overly wordy, fluffy copy is a conversion killer. Be succinct and punchy, speak to the value of your products, or tug at your users’ heartstrings.
If you look at your website design and think “I’m not sure what all of this means to say,” then your BigCommerce website could potentially use some revamped copy.
Fortunately, some professional eCommerce designers work hand-in-hand with seasoned copywriters during the design process, in order to audit, offer suggestions, or even to draft fresh copy from scratch.
13. Add social proof
Social media marketing and management are quickly becoming some of the most important (if not the most important, together) facets of digital marketing. Customers consume content on social media, both actively and passively, using it as a way to interact with, learn about, and connect with brands and products.
You’re fighting half of the battle if you maintain active social media accounts and routinely interact with your followers, but you’ve dropped the ball if your BigCommerce website is not integrated with them.
BigCommerce easily integrates with popular social media platforms, and you can work with a BigCommerce designer to make sure the icons are prominently displayed in order to attract attention and direct followers. Even if all you get from a website visit is a follow, you’ve just earned a lead.
14. Streamline your checkout process
The checkout process is the ultimate test of a BigCommerce website’s design. If a user gets that far, they’re thinking seriously about pulling the trigger on a product. It’s also a place where the bounce rate skyrockets. There’s even an obscure, industry term for it that you may have heard of: shopping cart abandonment.
A BigCommerce agency can help you streamline your checkout process, enabling it to be completed in as few steps as possible.
Eliminating fields that don’t need to be there, auto-populating information for existing customers, and allowing customers without accounts to check out as guests are all good features to offer. BigCommerce has a native one-page checkout feature, but an experienced developer can help you take any remaining unnecessary links out of the chain.
15. Most important: Think like a customer
Finally – and this is nonspecific among BigCommerce design tips – think like a customer. More directly, think like your</> customers. After all, you know them better than anyone else. You’ve become an expert in targeting them!
Do they need to read a lot about your products before buying? Are they impulsive? Do they get easily put off by a surfeit of copy, or does additional information frame your services with context and lend a feeling of authority?
These are questions you need to be asking. If your website design makes you feel like you’re ready to dive in headfirst and start buying, then you’re gold. But if you get lost in the weeds clicking through your own website, well then, you’ve got some work to do.
That’s just our two cents. Of course, you can get the whole dollar by giving our BigCommerce designers a call.
Bring in More Customers with These BigCommerce Design Tips
Ready to gear your website up for long-term success with these BigCommerce design tips? Get at it!
If you hit a roadblock in terms of design or development, you can always get a free eCommerce brand appraisal to get some analytical insight regarding your overall brand.
You can also work with our BigCommerce designers (we’re Elite BigCommerce partners!) to tackle more involved design and development projects.
We’re here and ready. Give us a call at 888-982-8269 or send us a message at Info@1DigitalAgency.com.
- Michael Esposito
- February 4, 2022