How to Win the 2016 Ecommerce Design Awards - Part 2 with Verne Ho

Ecommerce Design Awards: How to Win

Update: After reviewing thousands of jaw-dropping entries, the verdict is in! Check out who won the 2016 Ecommerce Design Awards.

Last week, we sat down with Shopify Director of Design Verne Ho, and discussed everything from spurring creativity, to Instagram fame, and of course all things design.

Today, we continue the fun with the designer and judge of the 2016 Ecommerce Design Awards.

From what makes him cringe to what makes his heart sing, Verne discusses the dos and don'ts of good design in Part 2 of our interview.

And if you’re planning on applying to the Ecommerce Design Awards (which should be a no brainer), there are some highly valuable morsels of advice in there, just for you.

When you’re looking at ecommerce sites, what are the things that make you cringe?

Bad product photography is one that stands out. When you’re selling online, you need to do everything you can to make up for the loss of a tactile experience with your products, and bad product photos aren’t doing you any favours.

In general, anything that stops me from purchasing is definitely cringe-worthy. Making it hard to find the product I’m looking for, leaving out important product, shipping, or refund information, and an inefficient checkout experience are things I often come across when buying online. And I buy a lot of things online.

What do you think are the key elements to a beautiful ecommerce experience?

First and foremost, the most beautiful ecommerce experiences are those that let a customer buy the products they want efficiently. Without that, nothing else matters.

Some of my favorite sites also do a great job at bringing the products to life. Whether it’s through amazing photography, video, or storytelling, sites that do this well build trust while cutting down the fear of purchasing a product they can’t see or touch physically.

Lastly, I think beautiful ecommerce experiences should go beyond just the products, and make customers fall in love with the brand. Exposing the purpose behind the company, the people that make things happen, and what happens behind-the-scenes are great ways to keep customers coming back for more.

What will you be looking for in a winning ecommerce design?

I’ll be watching for how frictionless the shopping experience is, how well the design brings the products to life, and to what extent I’m led to fall in love with the brand behind the products.

What tips do you have for entries into the competition?

Don’t design for the sake of design. Design to help customers get products into their hands.

Can you show an example of a website that you think has done a beautiful job of ecommerce design?

Hard Graft comes to mind. They’ve done an incredible job at showcasing the beautiful products they have to offer. The detail that they go into while showing and describing all the facets of each of their products is also a direct reflection of how much care goes into designing them. This says a lot about what they stand for, and is immediately something that resonates with a customer. I don’t just want their products, I crave them.

How do you think compelling design contributes to customer conversion?

I think the two go hand-in-hand. As in, the only compelling designs that matter are those that actually convert. Otherwise it’s just flashy design for the sake of design, and that’s missing the point completely.

What sort of insights will you share with the winners in NYC?

I’d love to share insights about how simple design philosophies can go a long way to creating better ecommerce experiences.

What do you think are the key elements to creating beautiful ecommerce design? Tell us in the comments section below.


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