We all know the importance of first impressions. You never get a second chance to make them, after all. That’s especially true with your website. A strong first impression online can:
- Help you stand out from your competition
- Increase overall customer satisfaction
- Build meaningful, long-lasting customer relationships
As you start learning how to design a website, you’re immediately confronted with choices. One of the most important is the platform you use to build your beautiful site. Many of our customers choose Magento for their sites because it’s an ecommerce-focused design studio and they know our hosting platforms are optimized for Magento design.
That’s why the team here at Nexcess thought we’d provide you with this in-depth guide to Magento web design.
Magento website design
Magento is a web design application within Adobe’s suite of products. The ecommerce platform provides users with PHP capability, allowing for greater design functionality and customization.
Its link to Adobe, cutting-edge vendor integrations, and ease of use have allowed Magento to rapidly climb the list of ecommerce platform giants, taking 20.4 percent of the market share (compared WooCommerce’s 31.14 percent and Shopify’s 35.46 percent) in 2020.
Ecommerce business owners enjoy the level of design innovation and site customization they have with Magento. But even the best tools won’t accomplish much if you don’t use them effectively.
Understanding successful Magento web design principles can be the difference between your business surviving and thriving. Having a website that looks nice is all well and good. But how does your site work?
This guide will show you not only stylish but effective design principles to help you boost key ecommerce metrics like visitor browsing time, conversions, and revenue.
10 tips for Magento website design
There’s so much information available on the internet about website design principles. But how do you know which Magento website design tips will actually move the needle in your ecommerce business? Fortunately, our team here at Nexcess has done the research for you.
Here are the 10 Magento ecommerce design tips that will be most effective for your business.
1. Embrace functionality
As you get familiar with web design in Magento, it’s easy to find yourself in awe of all the features and experiences you can create. The possibilities are virtually endless, and design ideas start to flood your brain.
When this happens, it’s important to maintain your focus on functionality. While complex or cutting-edge bells and whistles may seem cool, your users will appreciate simple functionality and seamless navigation more than anything else.
The challenge is that functionality isn’t the same across the board. What “functionality” means for one audience differs from what it means for another. Take the time and research to understand the experience users want from your industry and website category.
2. Keep SEO in mind
Search engine optimization (SEO) may be one of the most important marketing strategies you can implement. It’s a long-term strategy that may take a while to get going, but the organic traffic it drives to your website is invaluable. You’ll need to seek some training or work with an SEO professional, but the results will be worth it.
SEO best practices for your website include the following:
- Giving each of your pages a proper meta description
- Writing keyword-rich alt tags and photo descriptions
- Using keywords in your on-page content
- Designing simple website structure and navigation
This list could go on much longer, but these are some of the key SEO elements to consider in your design. It’s also important to keep everything in balance. Don’t overall sacrifice user experience to incorporate SEO elements.
3. Design with a “mobile-first” mindset
According to a recent survey, 92.3 percent of internet users access websites via their mobile devices. These users are looking for an experience they can access on the go but that behaves the same as a desktop experience.
You must think about design responsiveness. Create an engaging, mobile-friendly website by:
- Considering the smaller screen environment
- Optimizing your website for speed
- Avoiding the use of pop-ups
- Streamline and declutter your design
- Ensuring the font is large and clear enough to read
Doing so will leave your users with an experience that excites them rather than frustrates them.
4. Don’t stray from your brand
Brand consistency is an integral part of attracting return visitors. According to adriel.com, a good returning visitor rate is 30 to 50 percent. Maximizing that ratio — and the conversions that come with it — relies on staying true to your brand. But that doesn’t mean you should disregard newcomers.
Your site needs to strike a balance of design that feels comfortable for newcomers and returning visitors. Your brand’s personality is all about the emotions you make your customers feel when they interact with your business. Decide who you are early on, identify your target audience, and stick to a consistent brand voice across all your customer-facing channels (i.e., emails, web copy, social posts, digital ads, etc.).
Not sure where to start? Look at other successful brands in your space to draw ideas and inspiration. Don’t copy another company verbatim but take what’s working for other companies, put your own personal spin on it, and let your authenticity shine through.
5. Choose the right theme
A big part of website design in Magento is choosing the right theme. You want to select a theme that is responsive and customizable. Ecommerce business owners also need to think about mobile-friendliness and integration capability.
To run an effective ecommerce store, many third-party tools need to work seamlessly with your website. While there are many beautiful themes within Magento, you’ll want to stick with the more popular options. If a significant number of users rely on a particular theme, the chances are good that it integrates well with most essential ecommerce tools.
If you really like a theme that doesn’t seem that popular, don’t worry. Research a little further and see how many third-party apps it integrates with. If a number of apps integrate well with the platform, you should be good to go.
6. Optimize your images
High-quality images are essential for engaging users and capturing visitor attention. This is especially true in the ecommerce world. Product photos can make or break a listing in your store, so it’s essential to use the best pictures possible when showcasing your products.
The challenge, however, is that high-resolution digital photos can take up a lot of file space in your website server’s memory and extend the loading time. This can be problematic, as the majority of users expect a website to load in only three seconds.
Using editing software to optimize your photos can solve this problem by allowing you to reduce the size of your images. Reducing image size (also known as “crushing” your images) helps your website load faster while still having stunning product photos, which only enhances the customer experience of your site. You can also use editing software to change lighting, fix imperfections, and make your product photos stand out in many other ways.
Magento users also have the option to enable Fastly Image Optimization (Fastly IO). This feature helps you optimize most major image formats (jpeg, png, gif, etc.) and adjusts your images so they are adaptable across multiple screen resolutions.
7. Match your checkout process to your customers
All ecommerce stores eventually face the same choice of whether to use a single- or multi-step checkout process. The checkout process is an important part of your site’s customer experience, so it’s understandable that many ecommerce business owners deliberate and analyze this choice extensively.
Unfortunately, there’s no right, one-size-fits-all answer. The best checkout process for your site will depend on your industry and how users interact with your brand.
Some general tips you can follow are:
- Think of what payment options your audience is most likely to use.
- Consider how often you may be processing refunds.
- Decide if you’re going to be handling multiple currencies.
Research what your potential customer looks like. You can still research your target audience if you’re starting your business and lack customer data. Visit competitors’ sites that are performing well in your industry. See what checkout process they use and adjust your site accordingly.
8. Personalize the customer experience
The shopping experience in your store must be quick, easy, and intuitive to get customers to convert. Each visitor should be able to find what they’re looking for with minimal effort.
You can offer personalization in any number of ways. For example, you can offer customers personalized discounts or pricing from your store based on their order history. And many stores use email notifications to show customers related products to their previous purchases.
Ecommerce stores have plenty of options when it comes to personalization. It’s up to you to brainstorm, consider your target audience, and decide which steps you’ll take to make it seem like each customer is your only customer.
9. Make your CTAs stand out
Online businesses need to give their customers clear instructions to get them to complete the customer journey. Bold, eye-catching calls-to-action (CTAs) are an integral part of this process. The biggest mistake you can make is assuming that your customer knows what to do next.
The most effective tip you can implement is putting your CTA in multiple places on your site. Focus on making CTAs straightforward and ensure website visitors don’t get distracted by other information. Additionally, ensure all links are operational and the navigation on your site is straightforward.
10. Consider the customer journey
Magento allows you to build stunning front-end websites. But its true power comes from its ability to integrate with the tools and platforms necessary to build a scalable ecommerce store.
Store owners who use Magento should leverage all the features available to present their customers with a unified customer journey. Ensure you’re considering how you can guide your target audience through the following stages:
- Awareness – Make potential customers aware of your brand.
- Interest – Customers “raise their hand” and express interest in your product or service.
- Decision – Your audience chooses to buy or not buy your offering.
Build a responsive website, optimize your pages and images, and personalize your customers’ shopping experience. Additionally, integrate third-party tools wisely to maintain brand consistency and identity across platforms.
Examples of Magento web design
We chose these specific tips because of how well they work in the real world. They’re great to implement, whether you’re just starting out or fine-tuning your website after already being in business for some time. Here are some website examples of our tips at work.
Big Bus Tours
Big Bus Tours is a tourism company offering “hop-on, hop-off” bus tours of major cities worldwide. And — you guessed it — its site is powered by Magento.
This site is a great example of an easy customer experience. When you land on their homepage, your options are limited. You can enter a city in the search bar, or if you scroll below the fold, you can choose your geographic location — Europe, America, Middle East, or Asia-Pacific (APAC).
Opting for a simple layout doesn’t overwhelm or confuse the customer. Also, asking them to type a city in the search bar is a low “barrier of entry,” most likely leading to a high conversion rate.
The next Magento-powered example is Sigma Beauty. Note the homepage layout. Everything is easily accessible, clean, and simple.
Sigma’s “Shop Now” CTA stands out among everything else on the page, making it easier for users to find and click. The brand also keeps its main menu very simple and straightforward. Users who land on this site know exactly where to go for whatever they need — whether they want to do general browsing or know the exact product they want.
Cox & Cox
Cox & Cox, a UK-based furniture retailer, also does a great job of using Magento ecommerce web design to its advantage. Its homepage is a little busier than our first two examples but still does a great job building an elegant, compelling customer experience.
Notice how they provide clear, detailed names of each subpage within their main menu. Visitors know exactly where to go within seconds to find the particular home furnishing item they need. Again, like with Big Bus Tours, users who are still determining what they need or want can search more generally just as quickly from the search bar on the homepage.
You’ll also see a large, noticeable “SHOP NOW” call-to-action for the Sanctuary Style collection Cox & Cox wants to promote — yet another example of a clean but effective design for Magento.
Magento hosting from Nexcess
Follow these Magento web design tips, and you’ll be well on your way to designing a first-class ecommerce storefront. Leverage the tools the platform gives you to create a clean, concise, and straightforward customer experience, and you could be on your way to becoming the next Amazon.
Of course, if you need help, the Nexcess team is always here for you. We offer packages to help you get the most out of your Magento designs. We are more than happy to answer any of your questions — about the Magento platform or ecommerce web design in general.
Contact the Nexcess team and let us transform your ecommerce business today.