Gone are the days when shopping would mean a trip to Queen Street or the mall. Recent retail trends show that Kiwis are becoming more likely to look at a screen rather than through a shop window when in the mood to consume. While physical stores are still relevant, the convenience of 24/7 web stores coupled with the widespread availability of connected devices are steering New Zealand retailers towards a greater focus on e-commerce. Our expert ecommerce website team has worked extensively with well-loved Kiwi brands on their e-commerce projects. We know that simply having an online store is not enough to ramp up sales. To successfully engage the online customer and close the sale, take heed to these 7 valuable e-commerce web design tips.

1. Simplify the checkout process.

This is probably the most important advice we could offer you today because the checkout page is where users tend to drop out of the buying process. If your online business is experiencing a high level of cart abandonment, it does not mean that your website is munted. It might be that you just have to review your current e-commerce web design to simplify the checkout process.

How complex and lengthy is your checkout process? If it feels like filing tax returns, you should consider a scale down. Are you asking for too much information? How many ways of contact do you really need? You should only ask for information that is absolutely necessary to close the sale and remember to be transparent as to why it is needed for the transaction.

2. Do not require users to register before purchase.

Imagine that you had to pop to the dairy to pick up some biscuits. Expecting a quick and easy transaction, you are instead presented with a registration form. It turns out that you have to sign up before they will take your money. Does it not sound utterly ridiculous? No doubt, and if you think about it, this happens more often than not when shopping online.

Many ecommerce websites still require new customers to create an account before proceeding to shipping and payment information. Creating an account at the checkout stage is often unnecessary and does not add any value to the customer who simply wants to buy something. Take into account this simple tip and you will already be one step closer to a revenue-generating e-commerce web design.

3. Show extra costs from the get go.

Nobody enjoys getting blindsided, especially when it involves their hard-earned money. In fact, unexpected shipping costs might just be the leading cause of cart abandonment. To avoid this, show that you are a reputable, honest business by displaying the extra costs from the very beginning. Present the customer with the different shipping options available and include taxes in the listed price. A fixed final price goes a long way towards helping the customer make that final purchase decision.

4. Use beautiful and accurate product images.

In most cases, the only way that an online customer gets to know a product is through the images and description provided. Therefore, your e-commerce web design can never be successful without the help of high-quality photography. The images you select should be beautiful, accurate, and relevant. Give special attention to the little details that a customer would like to know about and show the product from different angles. Be careful not to over-enhance the images to the extent that they no longer are fair representations of the actual products.

5. Ensure that the shopping cart is always visible.

Much to the chagrin of many husbands, shopping is hardly a simple process of grab and go. It involves several rounds of decision-making and people often find that it helps to see the products once more before deciding. In e-commerce terms, this would be represented by the shopping cart, which is, by far, the most crucial component of e-commerce web design.

If customers are unable to easily locate the shopping cart, they are more likely to leave the website before checking out. The shopping cart is a practical and visual reminder of their original intent to purchase. Keeping it visible and accessible greatly enhances the experience of online shopping.

6. Make it easy to identify sold out products.

It is common to not remove sold out products from your online store for SEO purposes. However, this means that your ecommerce web design has to place special emphasis on making it easy for customers to distinguish sold out products from those in stock. Otherwise, you risk losing customers for not fulfilling their expectations.

To set these sold out products apart, you could make use of different colours, tweak the opacity levels, or add an overlay – these are some viable options to consider. Most importantly, disable the buttons to ensure that sold out products can not be added to the cart.

7. Keep the search bar accessible.

While it is good practice to group products under well-defined categories and sub-categories, there is no guarantee that a customer will be able to find what they are looking for. This is particularly tricky for products that fall under overlapping categories. As such, keeping the search bar accessible would be of tremendous help in improving the online shopping experience.


Putting these ideas into action will significantly improve the consumer experience of shopping at your online store. Remember to pay special attention to how your ecommerce web design looks and feels on mobile devices. Today’s consumers are inching ever closer to the world of mobile retail apps and websites. If you are eager to get your hands on a successful e-commerce website that is both mobile and user-friendly, reach out to our creative ecommerce website team today.