When it comes to Design in Shopify, you have so many options it might be overwhelming at first. There are a lot of Shopify Themes to choose from, a lot of UI/UX features to select and see if they are relevant to your audience. Selecting your Shopify Theme would be the first step of your eCommerce solution, your website design will involve your content architecture, imagery, video and especially your branding.
Incorporating your eCommerce features
When it comes to your UI/UX the best approach is to keep it simple yet being effective. The rule of thumb of finding the product desired within 3 clicks. When the product images are giving the full visual story to compliment your description content, making your Shopify store efficient in funneling your audience to convert. Any eCommerce platform has conversion features and Apps, however, Shopify Apps are plentiful and can accentuate the UX side of Shopify Design. So when selecting a Shopify Theme, considering some of the UX functionality that might be required with the UI is part of the analysis that is required to achieve a solid eCommerce website.
For those that will try to avoid using a Shopify Designer and will work with their own imagery to populate their online store, the website builder is quite good. Even with inserted plugins such as an Instagram feed, or other social media tools you will be able to start selling pretty quickly. The Website Builder is a drag and drop exercise where you try to maintain to stay within the boundaries of the page layout. It is when you are going to end up requiring refinements and polishing up your site to the level you desire is when a Shopify Designer will come in useful - editing and accessing your Shopify liquid files, HTML 5, and CSS.
Online store features
While the Shopify Admin panels are very capable, giving you real-time inventory management, there are features such as "Buy Now ship later" incentives that can still work for you on the more popular products. So instead of "sorry, we are out of stock" - build a back-order demand by having incentives for their patience as you bring in more product. Selling products and taking their credit cards to transact keeps the continuity of cash flow and keeps monthly revenue at a run rate.
For Shopify Plus having a dedicated site/sub-domain to handle all your customers' questions, how-to's, FAQs and knowledgebase is crucial to maintain some sanity all the while enriching your search engine optimization (SEO) with keywords about your products and services. When you are within a regular Shopify Plan, your Shopify Theme must incorporate the Support side of the business, therefore while your focus is on sales, it must also now include service. With the content usually heavier on the Support/Service if your focus is to cover different scenarios as well as different ways to access your knowledge base your page layout and structure for the UI/UX must be well designed with a good search capability. Support can be challenging where returns must be minimized as they hit your financial bottom line the hardest.
Your Product Page
For the most part, Shopify Themes does a pretty good job of delivering a good layout. However, checking to see if they do well on various devices like a desktop, iPad, iPhone 5, iPhone 13 Pro max, and various other screen sizes in between. The product page and its information are very important when it comes to presentation and its access to content and supporting content. The layout of the images, diagrams, and access to customer testimonials, or customer images on the products in use adds very good visuals that help add the item in the basket. Product pages are not all equal when it comes to industry - make sure you have the right product page for options, variants and fits well within the collections you have in your product portfolio.
Payment Gateway Choices
While this is more of a match between what your choice is for banking, currency, and usage models, there is a UI/UX component at a very critical point of the conversion. One cannot ignore the process that people have to go through putting their payment details through a transaction, and the confirmation process. Selecting the appropriate payment gateway/payment method is important. PayPal for example has a different experience than the other Credit Cards like Visa/MC, additionally, PayPal Credit is also available as a lending method. Offering a wider choice of payment is usually a win-win for your audience as for the most part they know what to expect when it comes to the experience. What is important to avoid is customers being excited about the product and having to find a way to pay it like Venmo for international outside of the USA/Canada.
Confirmation and Follow-up
Customers can get anxious when it comes to having processed a payment with you and not knowing what to expect on getting the product especially if it is their first time with your online store. The Email Confirmation and the Confirmation page is your first opportunity to put them at ease. The UI and content communicate to the user the process to expect, and how to track their order. The good news is that Shopify has this process well established - the UI/UX tools from your Shipping partner are crucial to review so that notifications can be generated as the product is being handled, pick-packed-shipped, and receiving a shipping number to track with. The portal to which you can track your package and receive confirmation of arrival. Knowing if it will require a signature, and how to coordinate a delivery are part of the customer experience - having a detailed review of how the experience will be received is going to reduce your customer service calls.
While it can be exciting to have a new Shopify Design in the works, it all comes down to the details. Every step needs scrutiny, every department must be represented for the user experience and your UI/UX features will be defined by ease of use, ease of access to information, and ease of doing business to refer you to their friends and family. This frictionless approach will be the central focus for your success with a new Shopify Store. If you need to cover this area in greater detail, feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more on Shopify UX: https://ux.shopify.com/tagged/design-systems