How much should an E-Commerce design "pop"

I’m building an E-Commerce website for a business that will sell mostly B2B, but also to consumers.
The design I am working on is light and spacious. The client is concerned that the home page is a bit boring, and they want it to jump out more.

My question is how much (scale of 1 to 10 perhaps?) do you think a website of this nature should pop? And how much is the design irrelevant and visitors just want to see the products and information?

Right …I’m NOT advocating going for an ugly site.

My main point of that story was the last sentance …
you need to test your sites and not simply “assume”
that a pretty site is the answer.

I’ve been on plenty of really slick looking sites that
completely forgot that I still need to be able to
easily navigate and purchase from them or the site is
“all show and no dough”.

Add some cool AJAX features to your B2B E-Commerce website, I think you client will be happy.

Yeah, but that depends on what he is selling, maybe the kind of product he offered makes an ugly design “better” but it depends on what you are selling…well designed websites are generally perceived as being better…

Design is tricky …I know a guy that has the
ugliest website and he converts like crazy.

He started making a lot of money so he decided
to invest in a new “shiny” site and his conversions
dropped like an anvil.

He lost what made him unique. His site was so ugly
that people trusted it as a non-commercial site.

He went back to the ugly site and his conversions
shot up again …

Bottom line is testing as you simply never know for

I used to think like your client (I run a couple of ecommerce sites) but recently I’m more drawn to simple spacious design giving a lot of room for the product images and information to shine.
Perhaps ask your cliient for examples of websites they like that ‘pop’ so you understand exactly what they want or what need they are trying to meet.

I have yet to understand what more ‘pop’ is when a client asks for this. My canned response as of right now, is that ‘I don’t want your site design to pop, I want your products to pop’ Of course this response will probably change at some point.

In my opinion, an ecommerce site should be about the products. Everything else should be designed around the products themselves. I try to use an inside-out approach to ecom design. Although this will not work for ecoms with thousands of different products (walmart) but for most ecoms it does. When I visit a site to purchase something I don’t care if it’s got a purple header with pink bows I just want to be able to find a product, research it and purchase it without having to jump through too many hoops.

Well, it’s difficult to tell because what may be boring to your customer, might be overstyled to someone else, and vice versa. It’s hard to tell, even harder without seeing a sample. :slight_smile:

One site I consider to be a well designed eStore, is Threadless.

Also, you might want to browse some eCommerce stores here:

You have to look a bit harder for good designs there, however. Perhaps it’s of use to you.

The design is extremely relevant. Design isn’t just the visuals. It’s everything, from text, to language, to graphics, to information architecture, just everything.

I’d say, it can pop as much as anything…(I never really know why clients insist on using terms such as “pop”, “oomph” and all that marlakey)…a good design becomes brilliant when it really isn’t obstrusive, when you, as a customer, don’t even realise it’s there, when everything builds a single entity.

You don’t want to show it by any chance? Otherwise it might be the perfect site to be reviewed over in the Reviews section. :slight_smile:

Thanks. Kohoutek — I somewhat misused the word design when I asked if it were irrelevant. I did mean the visual decoration portion of the overall “design”. I agree that good design is often invisible, and users just see the information through it.

I would like to get feedback on the site, but that’s a way off. There’s a lot to be done (design and development, front and backend) before I can.

My problem with a lot of websites these days is that they have a lot of banners, latest news and all kinds of other noisy things on the page, but no clear statement about what they DO. I just want a clear, uncluttered, preferably attractive statement about what this site offers and how I can get it. I admit I’m more inlcined to want to know if the site looks nice, but no doubt everyone will have their own idea of what that is. These days, I respond best to the sites that have full-width bands, with nice rich colors. A lot of whitespace doesn’t hold much interest, but likewise, don’t pack in lots of confusing content to try to seem busy and “happening”.