7 Design Tips Most Successful Shopify Stores Use

November 7, 2022
7 Design Tips Most Successful Shopify Stores Use

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All sites, even the most successful Shopify stores, need users to make some moves, from subscribing to a newsletter to finishing a contact form. E-commerce stores are no exception. Users don’t place an order in a single move. It's a journey that involves finding a need, looking for options, placing an order, receiving the delivery, and even after-sales assistance. Transparent and efficient design helps guide users to the right place in the journey so that the conversion will increase

To help you stay on top, we’ve listed 7 easy-to-do design tips that the best Shopify stores frequently actualize to expand their deals below.

1. Timing

The most successful Shopify stores don’t randomly pop a call to action (CTA) in front of visitors’ eyes. In fact, they rely on “Customer journey” to determine the right time to present their CTA to users. 

So, what is the “Customer journey”?

The customer journey (source: Shopify partner)

Customer journey refers to a 5-step process from identifying a need, asking about choices, making a purchase, accepting delivery, and after-deal support. This vast circle of purchases could present users with different calls to action at various points within the journey. 

For instance, after users have submitted a request, we’ll need to instruct them on how to check the status of their order to reduce support costs. It's unwise to ask users to subscribe to a newsletter when they're about to place an order. Instead, asking them to do this on their first visit makes sense. 

A well-designed Shopify store needs to do much more than offer a visible "Add to cart" button. Rather, it should provide a great shopping experience for online shoppers. To make this work done, you would need some help from apps, like TrustPulse or Growave. These platforms let your store utilize the Timing accurately, present the deals/programs/CTAs at the right time as well as avoid discomfort for customers. 

2. Clarity and conciseness

It’s said that people read only 30% of content on a page. They rather scan to search for key phrases and expressions that answer their inquiries or fulfill their curiosity. 

To aid clarity, most successful Shopify stores introduce a clear structure to the copy. They utilize headings, sub-headings, records, and other typographic guides to separate big blocks of content to the smaller ones. In this way, users can rapidly recognize the pieces of content significant to them.

content is not just scannable example

Content is not just scannable, it must also be relevant (source: Shopify partner)

Instead of repeating your selling point in front of users’ eyes, attract them up to that point through typographic design. This will keep the content short and centered. You should also keep an eye on the interest of users. They will get irritated quickly if they notice that the copy ignores their questions. By doing this, you build trust with the audience and show them that your company esteems their business.

3. Utilize negative space

Website designers will tell you that users spend no more than 9 seconds assessing a page. Unnecessary elements on the page potentially detract from the CTA. One reaction is to lessen the number of screen components, as shown by the Google homepage. However, the most successful Shopify businesses recognize that this method is not helpful because it affects the page and the design.

An alternative approach to making more room for negative space around the CTA is minimizing the distractions. Without anything around, attention is drawn straight to the call to action. Best Shopify stores agree that reducing distractions inevitably improves conversion.

Yoga Rebel is one of the Shopify fashion stores that use the fantastic call-to-action in their store. Their CTA is very obvious without any distractions. 

cta example

It works since with nothing else to lock onto, the visitor's eye becomes naturally drawn to the CTA. If you want to be one of the best Shopify stores, don’t forget to leverage negative space.

Suggested reading: Landing Pages: 5 Tips for Higher Conversions in 2021

4. Use contrast color

Using color is a great way to get attention. If you contrast the tone of the CTA with the background, it can help the message stand out. For example, if blue is the dominant color of the website, the use of a different color such as orange helps to make the CTA work better.

So, how to choose the contrast color? The most successful Shopify stores will suggest the Adobe or Canva color wheel. The wheel automatically picks the color for you. Let's take a look at Canva's color wheel.

You might see there are different color combinations, select the “Complementary” option to pick up the contrast color.

color wheel

The complementary color combination helps you pick up the contrast color.

The Complementary combination presents two colors on opposite sides of the color wheel. This option provides high contrast and high impact color combination. Together, these colors will appear more brilliant and increasingly conspicuous.

It’s not hard to choose a suitable color for the CTA with tools support. Canva also provides the color combination guideline for you to explore more.  

A few tips to coloring your call to action button:

  • Use white space around the CTA to make it clear where to click
  • Make sure it stands out from the background
  • Don’t make it too abundant with colors and animation

“What color is the best for optimizing conversion?” There are many contradictory opinions around this question, since the preference can depend on many factors, including cultural differences. For instance, red decreases conversion in western countries as people think it’s dangerous. However, Asians believe red brings them luck and prosperity. So there is no one answer to solve this problem; rather, it should adjust to the context of your product as well as audience.

It can also help to use colors in combination with other techniques so as to grab attention, like the use of icon, animation, or imagery, which we will mention shortly.

5. Use Animation subtlety

The animation is a powerful tool to catch users’ eyes when used with care. We are programmed to notice the most subtle movement in a static environment, like a webpage. And although a powerful tool in growing conversion, at the same time animation can leave the opposite effect if misused. Most successful Shopify stores admit that excessive animation could cause users to become heedless to it and filter it out. Continuously looping events can become distracting, expanding psychological burden, which keeps users from concentrating on other messages.

So to utilize the best of animation, make sure to use it with subtlety. Avoid repeating animation or, if you still want the animation to loop, the best Shopify stores recommend a long gap between loops.

6. Connect text & visuals

People find it easier to process imagery than text, hence reducing our cognitive load. As a result, we unconsciously notice images, pictures, or visuals over text lines. This phenomenon is even more expressed when the imagery contains people and faces. We are wired to be particularly drawn to faces, leading us straightforwardly to human highlights when they are shown on a page. 

So, visuals may be helpful or unfavorable to the conversion of an online shop. If an image is intently connected with a call to action, it expands the CTA visibility and improves the conversion. And contrarily, if there is no connection between the image and call to action, users will skip the image and ignore the CTA message.

Imagery content is also a thing that merchants need to consider. Visuals within an image can either draw users' attention to or away from the call to action. For example, we tend to follow the eyes of a person within an image. If that person is looking away from the CTA, you are missing chances tocall to action from users. Using an online graphic maker can help yousave precious time during your creative projects.

heatmap example

Person’s eyes direct the users to the content (source: Shopify partner)

7. Craft compelling CTAs

We can’t deny the benefit of big and bold calls to action on the visibility and  conversion rate. That said, size is not only about being eye-catching but also about conveying a compelling message. A large call to action allows for the introduction of more compelling messaging. The most successful Shopify stores applied this technique as a tool to entice their customers.

For example, instead of the “Buy now” button for a camera, a larger button can have more room for more compelling copy like: “Buy now to take better photos”. To grab users’ attention, use unique words to craft your call to action. Au Lit Fine Linens, one of the top Shopify dropshipping stores, is selling bedding, so they craft their CTA for the storefront as “Explore fall bedding” instead of “Shop now” like other Shopify stores.

compelling cta example

Au Lit Fine Linen’s call to action for their bedding fall collection


We’ve shown you some visual techniques that most successful Shopify stores apply to their business. There is no stand-alone technique that will substantially increase the conversion of your store. However, combining these techniques can dramatically increase the visibility of calls to action and, therefore, conversion. Try testing some colors, text, animation, and more on your store to see how well it works! 

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