Four Questions to Ask When Designing Your Web Store

When you create a web store with Weebly, each and every product you add to that store can be easily placed in its storefront. And this storefront is usually given its own link in the main navigation bar called something like "shop" so that customers can easily find it and start buying what you're selling.

That said — unless you have a small number of products — simply creating a storefront and calling it a day is not likely to get the response you want. There are too many variables. Like these:

  • Which products should you display first?
  • How should categories be used and organized?
  • Should some products and categories appear in the navigation?
  • What about presenting products to customers outside of the storefront?

The good news is that Weebly provides a number of simple to use options that empower you to build something beyond what the editor does on its own. Let's answer each of the questions asked above.

1. Which Products Should You Display First?

The ones you most want to sell that month or that week or that day.

Here's a look at part of the web store for Naked Goat Soap Co. (don't worry, there's not a single naked goat to be found there), which is linked under Our Shop.


Notice how they've taken control of their web store by placing the product they most want to sell right up front with two key messages: It's "New!" And there's "Only a few left!"

It's important to consciously think through the order in which you'd like to display your products. And to consider moving them around on a regular basis, which is easy to do. Unless shoppers are on the lookout for something specific, they're going to be drawn in by the first things they see. Don't let the page get stagnant.

2. How should categories be used and organized?

One way to keep your web store from getting stale is to organize your various kinds of products into categories. Ideally you're not overwhelming your customers by putting every single product you sell on one page.

Let's look again at our non-literally named friends from Naked Goat Soap. The storefront example above was just one of their six categories. Here are the others:


This captures every kind of product they sell, while additionally showing off a small number of products that they'd again most like you to buy.

Break your own products down into three to nine categories. Choose the best image from those products to represent each category.

3. Should Some Products Appear in the Navigation?

It can be very tempting to stuff your site's navigation with links to every part of your site and shop. Many major stores prey to this temptation. Look at a product on Amazon and they'll present you thirty different links to other places along the top and side of the page.

That may be fine for Amazon, but you are not Amazon (and neither is anyone else). It's better to present your customers with a small, clearly labeled set of navigation links that lead them to larger sections of the site than to overwhelm them with too many choices.

Instead of putting every category or product in your navigation, stick with a single link to the web store (as Naked Goat did), use the other links to tell your story, and take a different cue from Amazon and add a search bar instead. We've all been trained to use search as a key part of our internet lives — make it very easy for customers to find what they want.

4. What About Presenting Products Outside of the Web Store?

Customers who know exactly what they want when visiting your website may also notice they want other things if you take the time to put the right products in front of them. Just because you keep your products organized in a single set of categories and available via search, doesn't mean you shouldn't recommend products in other sections of your site.

On your About page, highlight your (and your employees' and your grandparents') favorite products and link directly to where a customer can buy them. Discuss products on your blog. Link to other related products from individual products — on Weebly every product includes a "long description" section where you can add other products. Take advantage of that.

The way your products are laid out and made available to your customers can have just as much influence over their decision to make a purchase as the quality of the products presented. A little extra thought and planning in how your web store is organized, can go a long way towards the success of your online business.

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