Guides and Templates

Ecommerce design pattern guide

Retailers - use our "Ecommerce design bible" to review and improve your site experience and conversion

How will this online retail website design best practice guide help us?

We created this guide to give our members a definitive reference of best practice for the design of key website page templates essential in retail ecommerce websites. Since best practices for these page types are common on other types of sites, it is a useful reference for the design of all sites. For each page type, for example, the home page or product page, we have defined two wireframes with an explanation and examples of the core design elements that digital teams need to incorporate for desktop or mobile responsive sites.

The purpose of this guide is to give you a toolkit to use to review tests to optimize existing templates, or alternatively, as a blueprint that can be adapted when you are planning a site redesign.

The primary audience for this guide is members or ecommerce teams, particularly in retail, with those involved in design from managers through to optimizers. The secondary audiences are agency-side digital teams and independent ecommerce consultants who are working with retail ecommerce clients.

What best practice recommendations do the Ecommerce Site Design Bible include?

The first edition of this guide focused on best practices for creating desktop web experiences for retail with the intention to add more detail on mobile-optimised experiences. In the second edition, our main focus has been to update guidance and examples on mobile-optimised responsive and adaptive experiences. We have expanded the coverage on best practices for mobile retail design through these features:

  • Mobile-specific best practice sections for smartphone and tablets
  • Mobile wireframes for all key page templates listed below
  • Screen captures comparing examples of mobile against desktop designs

What does the guide cover?

The guide shows best practice for these key steps in the customer journey

This guide is structured around a review and recommendations for 10 key page types that form the customer experience for retail site customer journeys::

  • 1. Homepage.
  • 2. Category page.
  • 3. Search results page.
  • 4. Brand page.
  • 5. Product list page (PLP).
  • 6. Product details page (PDP).
  • 7. Basket page.
  • 8. Checkout – sign-in.
  • 9. Checkout – delivery and billing.
  • 10. Checkout – payment and order confirmation.

The recommendations for each section follows the same structure and includes:

  • Best practice tips including multichannel and international recommendations
  • Mistakes to avoid
  • Measurement and optimisation tips
  • Key requirements checklist
  • Mobile-specific best practices
  • Wireframe templates for desktop and smartphone
  • Annotated retail examples for desktop and smartphone
  • Common features

Resource Details

About the author

James Gurd

James Gurd

James is an E-commerce consultant and owner of Digital Juggler, an E-commerce and Digital Marketing consultancy helping retailers develop, execute and evolve E-commerce strategies and optimise their digital channel. With a background as a Head of E-commerce and also agency side as Head of Client Development, he has experienced life on both sides of the fence. He has helped companies like A&N Media, Sweaty Betty and Smythson to manage RFP/ITT proposals. and been lead consultant on high profile projects for Econsultancy, Salmon and Greenwich Consulting.

He is a guest blogger for Econsultancy, for whom he also writes best practice guides, regularly contributes to industry events and co-hosts #ecomchat, a weekly Twitter chat for e-commerce knowledge sharing.

For e-commerce advice and support, connect with James on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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