Ecommerce Design Inspiration

It's fair to say that e-commerce is still a shiny new realm in the comparatively ancient world of retail.

The people put in charge of managing e-commerce for a brand are in an exciting, and equally challenging, position today.

When this world made the transition from bricks to bytes, digital natives became the stars of the show.

With the broadest and most useful array of skills, e-commerce people now hold the juiciest insights into 21st century, multi-channel retail.

As we know, this makes them busy people.

Amongst a whole lot of other responsibilities, e-commerce directors must acquire (and retain) customers, and so must have fingers in all the pies that can influence the formulation of their strategies.

Today, we've tucked into design & usability with a little help from our designers, Dan and Tash, in order to offer an insight into acquiring customers by crafting 'wow!' designs.

D/ We're going to walk you through the design elements that manage to catch our attention on some of our favourite shopping sites, and explain why they worked on us as people, and as designers, also.

1. Movement

D/ Whatever they sell, I like sites that manage to do things a little bit differently to everyone else. A great way of achieving this is through the use of movement. Intuition is a key word here. A retail site has to guide you, not hinder you.

2. Photographs

T/ We're big fans of photography in general; we're strong believers that images can capture more than words alone. Photographs can add a human interest element to an inanimate object. A picture can communicate a story, a lifestyle that the product is surrounded by. It brings you closer to that lifestyle.

3. Lettering

D/ We think typography and legibility is a massive deal. I think it's the difference between a site that's clean and slick or cluttered.

T/ The lettering you use gives you the power to thread one consistent element throughout your site, when so many other aspects change or evolve. It makes the shopping experience, from start to finish, more unified.

4. Participation

D/ A more complex element to great usability, but something that always gives me that wow! feeling is a true sense of immersion. It's moving beyond the selling to find a way of involving your visitors, bringing them into your universe through different activities. This is most frequently done by playing on the unique strengths of video, game, surveys, etc. It's about sharing the brand with your customers, rather than selling it to them.

5. Detailing

T/ This is an age-old principle of design, but it's critically important in e-commerce. Detail is the difference between 'just another' retailer and a brand that people fall in love with.

D/ Detail shows a sense of thought; it shows that a brand cares and that they're passionate about what they do. It demonstrates quality through digital - just as the interior of a bricks and mortar store indicates brand quality, too.

These tips and tricks really can make the difference between a good site and a great site, when implemented well.

But none of these things can succeed without having a strong understanding of your brand's foundations, first.

Questions? Insights? Tweet us @folkdigital