July 3, 2023

Shopify Website Design: Maximising ecommerce growth and revenue

Shopify Agency, CSP Commerce, shares tips on web design for ecommerce

A stunning 4.4 million businesses use Shopify as their hosted ecommerce platform, including the likes of Gymshark, Decathlon and Huel, which serve as great reminders for the potential of business growth and scalability. But how can ecommerce businesses use the platform to maximise their growth and revenue?

If you’re an ecommerce business looking for a new website, the statistics show that you’ve probably decided to host it on Shopify. We’ve talked at length about the importance of having a seamless Shopify site that is designed and developed with your customers in mind.  To recap, a site that champions the user with smart, simple design will keep your customers engaged, draw eyes to your products and increase sales.  You can read more about that here. 

But what about the basic process around Shopify web design? Once you’ve decided to build out a Shopify website, what follows? What is the plan you need to stick to, what will ensure success?

From the initial planning stage right through to choosing the right agency and theme, we’ll answer the essential Shopify web design questions in this blog. Stick with us for a practical guide on nailing Shopify’s web design basics



Plan, Plan and Plan Some More… 

So you’ve decided you need a new website. Deciding on a you need to a new Shopify Agency?

Shopify is understandably the platform of choice and you might get the sudden urge to get straight into the work, but every successful web design project must start with a meticulous planning phase. 

First, it’s absolutely essential before embarking on a shopify web design project, that you and your business partners and colleagues are clear and aligned on your business objectives. Use the planning phase to decide clear performance metrics: what will be your true measure of success? 

It’s always useful to define a project plan. Be realistic – what can your team or your chosen agency realistically achieve in your given time frame? How much budget can be allocated to this project?  

Use this stage to ask yourselves what you are trying to achieve with the web project.

Are you trying to establish a simple presence to build from and optimise in the future, or are you creating a new website to improve on the old one? Which of your users will take priority? What product are you trying to show them? Finding the answer to this will drive a more efficient user flow on your site; essential for the desired conversion. 

If you have an old site, carry out research using tools such as Hotjar and Mouseflow and Google Analytics to understand where these personas are coming from and how they interact with your older site. This will help you carry over elements of your existing site that work in your favour and ditch the elements that cause prospects friction. 

Many businesses neglect the tools that can drive research and make your website design a less assumptive process. Finally, if you haven’t already, ensure that you know exactly whom your brand is aimed at. This will help you uncover the emotional response you want to elicit when prospects come across your site. Carefully craft your brand personality, so when it comes to designing your site, your designers know exactly what should drive their wireframes and initial drafts. When executed correctly, your planning and discovery phase will be the hardest part of the Shopify web design process… Why? Because if you’ve put the necessary planning measures into place, the project should fall into line seamlessly thereafter. 

Choosing the Right Theme

There are nearly 140 themes to choose from on Shopify, all vary in their customisability and their strengths. Once you have a clear plan in place, it’s time to decide on the Shopify web design theme that will work best for your business. Here’s a 5 step process that will help you land on the right theme… 

 Explore the Shopify Theme Store

Visit the official Shopify Theme Store and browse through the available themes. Use filters to narrow down your options based on industry, features, price, and customer reviews. Pay attention to the themes’ ratings, customer feedback, and responsiveness.

  • Check Demo Versions

Look for themes that offer live demos or previews. Test them out and visualise how your brand elements and content would fit into the theme. Ensure the layout and design are visually appealing, easy to navigate, and intuitive for your target audience.

  • Assess Customisation Options

Evaluate the customization capabilities of each theme. Check if it allows you to modify colours, fonts, layouts, and other visual elements to match your brand identity. Consider whether the theme supports necessary functionalities, such as mobile responsiveness, SEO optimisation, and integration with third-party apps.

  • Compare Features and Cost

Compare the shortlisted themes based on their features, compatibility with your brand, and price. Consider any ongoing costs or additional expenses associated with the theme or required plug-ins.

  • Seek Expert Opinions 

If possible, consult with web designers or developers who have experience with Shopify themes. They can provide insights on the technical aspects and recommend themes that align with your brand and business goals.

Choose the Right Shopify Agency

If your web design requires skills outside the capabilities of your in-house team, then picking the right agency will be imperative to your site’s success.  Not all ecommerce and Shopify agencies were made equal, and an agency that works for a competitor might not be the best fit for your business. But how can your business harness the power of the right Shopify agency? 

First and foremost, you’ll want to assess your options by way of expertise and experience. Take a deep dive into the agency’s ecommerce portfolio and examine their previous work. Look specifically for ecommerce websites they have designed and developed. Pay attention to the aesthetics, functionality, and overall user experience. Do their designs align with your brand’s style and values? Are they able to create visually appealing and user-friendly ecommerce websites? Always ensure that your business considers the compatibility and understanding between you and the agency. It’s important to find a partner who takes the time to listen and truly understand your business. 

During initial conversations, assess their level of interest and engagement. Do they ask the right questions about your goals and target audience? Are they eager to learn about your brand and products? A good Shopify agency will invest time in getting to know your business, enabling them to create a website that truly reflects your identity.

Communication and collaboration are essential when producing successful websites with agencies. Pay close attention to how promptly they respond to your enquiries and whether they take the time to address your concerns. A good Shopify agency will establish clear lines of communication and foster a collaborative relationship, ensuring that you feel heard and understood throughout the project. It’s important that the ecommerce agency has a clear understanding of the estimated timeline for the project. While quality work takes time, make sure that the agency is able to deliver within a reasonable timeframe and can accommodate any specific launch deadlines you might have. Finally, consider the ecommerce or Shopify agency’s ongoing support and maintenance services. 

Websites require continuous upkeep, so it’s crucial to know if the agency offers post-launch support and maintenance packages. Once the design and, if applicable, development, are finished, will they be available to assist with any technical issues or future enhancements your ecommerce website might need? By evaluating their expertise, compatibility, reputation, communication, budget, and ongoing support, you’ll find a partner who not only designs a visually stunning website but also understands and supports your business objectives. Take the time to research, have meaningful conversations, and trust your instincts to make an informed decision that will set the stage for your ecommerce success.

Getting the Basics Right 

Remember, you’re not attempting to reinvent the wheel here. A meticulous planning phase, a real process to find the right theme and careful consideration when it comes to choosing an agency that can offer your business what it needs, is the best way to ensure Shopify web design success. 

Learning From Industry Leaders: P.Louise, a Manchester Beauty Ecommerce Brand

In 2014, Manchester entrepreneur Paige Louise created her own beauty brand P. Louise Makeup Academy. The beauty brand’s breakthrough moment arrived in 2018 when its eyeshadow primer attained viral fame and widespread recognition as the “world’s best” according to fervent product enthusiasts. Today, the brand has grown into a multimillion-pound business, with over 750,000 followers on social media, and Paige Louise recently featured on the televised make-up competition Glow Up.

To fulfil its ecommerce growth aspirations, P.Louise made a strategic choice to build its main website on Shopify Plus. This choice was driven by Shopify’s exceptional capacity for scalability, aligning perfectly with the ecommerce brand’s soaring popularity. The ecommerce website witnessed a significant surge in sales and visitor traffic through paid advertising, social media campaigns and organic search all effortlessly handled by Shopify’s robust infrastructure. Collectively these have played a crucial role in the P. Louise success story with SEM Rush reporting an average of 161k organic sessions per month. With Shopify Plus’ built-in SEO functionality, the ecommerce website has achieved higher search rankings for competitive keywords than more established brands like Charlotte Tilbury, MAC Cosmetics, Nars, and L’Oreal. Achieving such a feat in a ruthless industry, especially against competitors that rejected Paige Louise’s teenage job applications as a beauty therapist, must be a sweet success. Even more rewarding is Shopify’s ability to perform regardless of the surges in traffic. With its robust features that ensure consistent uptime and in-built features that empower ecommerce businesses to boost sales and thrive.

CSP Commerce | Manchester Ecommerce and Shopify Agency

From brand through to demand, we support and manage ecommerce growth at each stage of the commerce journey.  Our extensive knowledge and experience in ecommerce have established us as industry leaders for our capabilities in performance marketing, marketplace management, social commerce, and Shopify, Shopify Plus and WooCommerce web development.
We’re a Manchester ecommerce agency that works with retailers as committed to growth as we are. Our performance and platforms first approach is tailored to the ambitious brands and online retailers we partner with. As part of Wunderman Thompson Commerce, we are uniquely positioned to support businesses to scale nationally to globally.
We’ll hand-select a team of specialists to work with clients and operate as an extension of their ecommerce department. We are accountable for delivering measurable results that grow reach and revenue. Together, we will work to scale and sell your products across online channels.
If you’re serious about growth then start your journey with us. Let’s succeed and scale together.
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