How to find the perfect ecommerce website templates for your business
So you’ve decided to get started with an online store and you likely know what products you’ll be selling. Now all that’s left is to do is find the perfect ecommerce website template for your business, right? While scrolling through endless free website templates online may be the least of your worries, there’s more to it than you realise.
Your ecommerce store says a lot about who you are as a business and your brand. Get it right, and you’ll attract returning customers. Get it wrong, and your online store will be off to a shabby start.
In this article, we’ll go through everything you need to consider when selecting the perfect ecommerce website template for you. We’ll go through:
The technical side of things
The easiest way to get selling online
Now, let’s get started…
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Template design and what you need to know
Customising your own website is a big task, and design plays one of the biggest roles in how your audience will interact with your business. The design and layout of your website inform whether or not people trust you to deliver on your promise. You may have the better product, but if your competitor's website is better designed, then it’s clear who the customer will be spending their money with.
While it may be easy to just go for the template that's the most visually appealing, there are a few boxes that need ticking first. Some questions you need to answer are:
Do I have a clear brand?
The first thing you need to do before selecting a template is to define your brand, both visually and in writing. Who are you and what do you stand for? If you want customers to connect with your business, tell them a story.
Start by defining your vision, your mission, and your values as a business. This helps to humanise what you do.
Next, you’ll want to set clear guidelines for both your visual and written branding. This means making sure your imagery is fluid, choosing the right font, creating a uniform photography style and picking a voice for your brand. Being clear from the outset will get you off to a strong start.
Does this template design make sense for me?
Your template's structure can make or break your ecommerce website design. Look at the composition of the template and see whether or not it’s customisable. While visuals are important, if there isn’t enough space for CTAs or product descriptions, this may not be the template for you. More on this later.
Is this simple enough?
Less really is more. The simpler the website, the easier it is for users to navigate. Sure, it’s tempting to always add more visually, but think quality over quantity. You don’t want to distract from your products or your store’s purpose, which is selling. Find a balance of style and substance.
Can people navigate my page?
Most people visit websites through their mobile devices. While this may be widely known, it a lot of ecommerce websites don't reflect this. Take a look at the template design you’re going for and see how it looks on mobile.
Am I getting the information I need from this?
Put yourself in your customer's shoes. Does your template have the space for you to give them all the information they need to understand your product and make a purchase?
Let’s get technical
We know it's not the fun part of building an ecommerce store, but we need to get technical. Your store needs to be attractive, but also functional. That’s why we’re going to quickly walk you through 3 things:
SEO (Search engine optimisation)
Plugins, apps and extensions
CTAs (Calls to action)
When people think about designing a website, they think pictures and fonts. But your website also needs to be SEO friendly. You can have the most informative, visually stimulating website in the world, but if you don’t have the right keywords or layout, your page won’t rank on Google and people won’t visit it.
SEO seems like a daunting topic but with a little bit of research, you’ll get the hang of things quickly. Make sure you pick a template design with SEO features.
Plugins, apps and extensions
If you’re tech savvy, you may go for a template design that needs a bit of tinkering. This means customising the site with plugins, apps and extensions. If this is something you want to do, picking a template design will be easier.
If, like a lot of people, you want to keep things simple, find a template that doesn’t require all the extra work.
Some templates allow you to add CTA buttons. If you don’t know what these are, a CTA is a call to action. It’s the button you see that says “Apply now” or “Add to cart.” It’s essentially what turns a browser into a customer.
Make sure you’re choosing a template that allows you to add CTA buttons, banners and anything else that will help to keep people’s attention on your page.
Tell your story and help others to share it
Once you have your branding cleared up, it's time to get your story out there. There are a few ways you can go about that.
Give time to the “About Us” page
Most website templates should have space for an “About Us” section if you’re looking at one that doesn’t we suggest you pick another. The “About Us” page is your chance to show yourself off as a trustworthy, human brand.
All small businesses have an interesting story behind how they started, what inspired their product and why they do what they do. Tell it.
Reviews mean a lot
Customer reviews and word of mouth are everything. Show your visitors that you put your money where your mouth is.
Start by looking for a template design that has space for reviews or can host a Trustpilot plugin. While simple, positive customer reviews go a long way.
Don’t forget about social media integration
Picking a template with social media integration will help your customers not only check you out on social media but spread the word to their followers, who will also be like-minded consumers with similar interests.
If ecommerce website templates aren’t for you
This is a lot of information to digest. Building your ideal ecommerce website is time-consuming, and as a small business owner, there’s a chance that’s time you don’t have. If the idea of designing your own website is too much, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.
You can get your products out there with no hassle thank to simple tools like SumUp Online Store.
With the Online Store, you can add your products, business logo, social media links and shipping details all in just a few taps. Interested? Find out more here.
For more tips and tricks on making business easier, head over to the SumUp blog.