What it Takes to Create a Successful E-commerce App Design

What it Takes to Create a Successful E-commerce App Design

The truth of the moment is that the world has gone mobile. There are now more mobile users than desktop users globally, and this trend has been going up for a while now.

The mobile medium offers convenience at the palm of consumers’ hands. This shift in mobile device usage has drastically affected consumer behavior and, specifically, how they shop nowadays.

Customers have moved towards e-commerce as their main shopping destination. These e-shoppers prefer using their mobile devices when they shop, and on top of that, mobile users prefer using mobile apps than mere mobile versions of e-commerce websites.

This makes mobile apps the future of e-commerce. In fact, it’s currently the fastest growing industry in the world.

Additionally, almost all business categories have already adapted to e-commerce practices in one way or another. A few of the reasons being e-commerce stores are cheaper to put-up and maintain than physical stores and they’re more convenient and accessible to more customers.

Not to mention that the businesses are currently restricted to operate their physical stores for safety measures during these times, so they turn to e-commerce to maintain operations and keep a profit.

Because of this, it’s now more important than ever to strengthen e-commerce platforms.

But nowadays, almost anyone can build their own app. How can we make an effective app design that will stand out in such a saturated app market?

That’s not all, there’s also a huge difference between building an app design vs. building an e-commerce app design. But don’t worry, in this article, we’ll tell you what it takes to create an e-commerce app design that will be a success for your business.

But before we start, it’s important to keep in mind that this article is not a comprehensive guide on e-commerce app development that has deeper technical systems that need to be taken into account. 

This article alone obviously won’t be enough to cover everything you need to know about e-commerce app design, but these tips will surely be enough to help you get started. 


Know what type of e-commerce app you want to create

e-commerce app design

In the design process, it’s important to know firsthand what you want your e-commerce app to be so you can have an idea of what you want it to look like. This is so we can have a clear objective and purpose that will guide us in the app design development phase.

These are some samples of different types of e-commerce apps that are currently available in the app market:

Retailers that serve as an e-commerce platform for multiple brands:

  • eBay
  • Amazon
  • Alibaba
  • Wish

Individual brands:

  • IKEA
  • H&M
  • Starbucks
  • McDonald’s 

Food delivery platforms:

  • Uber Eats
  • DoorDash

E-commerce apps where people can sell their own stuff:

  • Carousell
  • Depop

Each type and each app on this list have their own unique features designed to give users a great shopper experience. Knowing which type of e-commerce app you want to create makes a path that helps you focus on the important features you want to incorporate into your own app.

This list can also serve as an inspiration for design and a reference for deeper competitor analysis, should you need one.


Make the app design clear and simple

e-commerce app design

Shoppers in physical stores get lost, and that happens in mobile e-commerce apps as well. 

You need to make sure your app design is clear and simple enough so shoppers can find the things they’re looking for right away (making you gain sales) and so they won’t end up getting lost in your app and end up closing it or worse, deleting it (making you lose customers).

When making an app design, you need to treat every user as if they’re using the app for the first time. Less thinking, more shopping!

One way you can do this is by adding a home screen page that welcomes the user to the app. It could be a brief tutorial on how to use the app for first time users or a simple welcome back screen for existing users.

All main features or product categories should be visible within the limited space of a smartphone screen. Shoppers should know where to go and what to tap from the registration/login phase to the shopping phase itself, to the checkout and payment phase.

Avoid visual clutter with too many images and texts. Too many images and texts could cause your shoppers to experience “analysis paralysis” where there are too many things that try to get their attention all at once, making it harder for them to choose, and leaving them “paralyzed,” not buying anything.

This goes if you intend to put in-app ads as well. Putting in-app ads can help you make more profit but too much of it can be distracting, which can result in an unpleasant shopper experience.

Use a simple color scheme that uses 3 different colors at most. More than that can overwhelm shoppers and distract them from the products they plan on buying.

Use simple and readable fonts at 2-3 different font styles at most. You can use serif and sans serif fonts for your e-commerce app design so shoppers can read product information more properly, encouraging them to buy more.

The whole point of this tip is to make your app straight to the point. The easier the shopper experience, the more they buy.


Use a proper layout design

This brings us to the layout of your e-commerce app design. A proper app layout brings clarity, convenience, and an overall pleasant shopping experience for your app users.

The intuitive layout is crucial for e-commerce app designs. You have to take into great consideration on how your users are going to use the app you’re building.

Firstly, you have to make the layout of your e-commerce app design responsive. 

Responsiveness in app design means how its structure adapts in differently sized mobile screens, ensuring app usability and design consistency.

Another thing to consider when making an app layout design is that simple app layouts could have proper spacing between assets so there’s breathing space and it’s easier to look at. As mentioned earlier, putting minimal images and texts to your layout is also ideal so they’re easier to place in the overall layout design.

One of the trends in apps nowadays is the use of one column, scrollable layout designs. This feels natural to the users as it is how they naturally use the touchscreens of their mobile devices.

But this scrollable layout can be done in many ways. You can put horizontal sliders for relevant products or promos, use endless scroll, or use pagination so things are easier to get back to.

This brings us to...


Make your app easier to navigate

Navigation is about how your users navigate your app when they shop. You can use different navigation elements that can help the user journey:

  • Navigation bars
  • Side menu
  • Dropdown menu
  • Pagination
  • Hyperlinks
  • Search bar

You can also use panels or sections for different categories. This makes your app easier to navigate and follow the 3 taps principle of mobile app design—making sure the user finds what they’re looking for within just 3 taps.

You can do this by putting categories, subcategories, and then the product list itself.

To put it simply, you need to make sure that shoppers can navigate your app easily by making each element in the app look cohesive, in place, within the reaches of your users’ thumbs, and discoverable through a few taps.


Get designers that specialize in e-commerce app design

Lastly, you need to get designers if you truly want your e-commerce app design successful. Designers can be versatile and specialized in many different facets of design that are needed in-app designs.

  • Designers can grab the attention of your users through the use of great images, typography, illustrations, and other design elements that pop.
  • Designers can also analyze your business and its needs to discover your own brand’s design niche.
  • Designers can make sure that the appearance and usability of your app design remain consistent in different mediums or screens.
  • Designers also have extensive design knowledge and backgrounds in UI/UX design trends that are applicable to your e-commerce app.
  • Designers can also bring something entirely new to the table for your e-commerce app design, like integrating new media practices such as 3D, AR, VR, AI, voice integration, image recognition, and so much more.

Building your own team of designers can be difficult and costly, and there’s no better way to find great and affordable designers than Graphics Zoo. Graphics Zoo’s designers are specialized in user interface (UI) design, user experience (UX) design, and graphic design to make your e-commerce app design effective and successful.

You may send us an email at support@graphicszoo.com.