DIY Shopify Design Mistakes That Are Impacting Your Store Conversions

Your online store is the digital storefront of your business. How your online store is designed can impact whether a customer chooses to do business with you or not.

When you DIY your online store you can expose yourself to some challenges that will ultimately influence how well your Shopify store converts.

That’s why I am breaking down some DIY Shopify design mistakes that are impacting your store conversions. So that you can connect more intentionally with your customers who are happy to buy. 

There is an important element that first has to be addressed that blocks a lot of online shop owners from getting more conversions and that is a Shopify store with no focus.

Your Shopify Store Has No Clear Focus

When potential customers land on your store’s website they want to be sure you offer something that is catered to them. Examine if you are offering too many products that don’t compliment each other. Unless you’re Amazon your online store should be focused on your target customers. Remember Amazon didn’t start off by selling all the variety it has today. They focused on selling books and did well in that category until it was ok for them to expand. 

Help your customers understand what you sell best and go all-in on that. Take a step back and re-evaluate what you want to focus on, look at what your brand is already known for, examine the market to see if you can carve out your authority to dominate that space in the market. 

Later after you’ve built your authority in your chosen area you can expand further out. But for now, until you’re making it rain with sales. Stay focused on key relatable items. 

Read: Your Ideal Customer Profile: Why It’s Important For Your Online Store

Cluttered & Unorganized Navigation 

Part of having great conversions for your Shopify store is to make it easy for shoppers to find what they are looking for. If you have a large variety of products it’s also important to organize them in a manner that makes the most sense by where you want your customers to go.

So how can you maximize your online store’s menu navigation? First, if you have a large selection make sure you are utilizing collections and using a mega menu feature.

Mega menus are great for when you need to segment your products into smaller categories. For example, Home could include furniture, decor, window treatments, special orders.

If you have a smaller selection of products it’s best to ensure that you keep your navigation simple. 

So that you can help your site visitors find things much easier. For a smaller selection that could look like…

Shop > New Arrival > FAQ > Our Story > Contact

Any remaining links would then go into the footer area or bottom menu. You may be wondering if it’s okay to add the FAQ page in your main navigation. Yes, having the FAQ page easily accessible in the main menu can actually help shoppers to make a buying decision much more easily.

But if you already have a lot of links in your main menu due to your online store size. You can still add the FAQ page link to the footer of your website.

Also, put your least important information in the footer navigation of your site. That way your top navigation is focusing only on the most important links first.

Next up on the list of design mistakes that are impacting your Shopify store conversions is your branding.

Inconsistent Branding & Visual Elements

When people land on your online store website every element should look like it belongs with each other. The fonts and colors should all coordinate well and stay consistent.

One way to do that is to use cohesive colors in your branding. If you DIY’d your branding stick to 3 colors that flow well together and that will resonate with your ideal customer. The same goes for typography: keep your options down to 2 or 3 styles.

Also, make sure that the typography you use is easy to read. Avoid overly scripted text and instead implement easy to read text such as a clean sans-serif or serif font.

Then always think of your audience and who they are. For example, maybe you target parents shopping for fun clothing for their children. You may choose to focus on fun bright colors and maybe whimsical typography.

Poor Quality Photos

One of the challenges of operating an online store is thinking about how you can create a digital experience that feels engaging and well-connected. The answer besides solid branding is great product photography. 

In 2020 it was estimated that as much of 50% of searches will be via images and speech.


Photos give your business an opportunity to tell a story about what type of customers you help. With your ideal customers in mind, think about what type of imagery will help them feel attracted to your brand?

A good way to figure this out is to research what are some larger brands your ideal customers follow from different industries. And, see how they are creating their photography vibe. 

Now, this doesn’t mean you have to take your photos exactly like those brands. I would advise you to figure out your own unique spin that aligns with your brand values. 

If you’re not able to work with a photographer that’s fine you can take quality photos with a few tips to at least get you started.

Start by using a good quality camera most cell phones have HD capabilities today! The trick is to make sure you have a well-balanced background and good lighting. 

Pick a good time of day when the lighting is the best. Grab all the products you want to shoot for, stand in front of the window, with your products in the middle, and take photos. If you’re outside, just make sure the sun isn’t washing out your pictures, take some test shots to make sure. 

Batching your photoshoots will help ensure your products are showing consistency throughout your online store.

If you are comfortable with photo editing tools such as Photoshop you can do some light photo editing to fix minor issues. 

Ultimately, I do recommend working with a product photographer! Most will allow you to ship your products to their location. Just plan enough time for any special launch dates, etc! (If you need a recommendation – feel free to reach out and I’d be happy to make a referral)

Now let’s talk about the not so visually glamorous side of business. The tech… issues with the functionality of your Shopify store can impact Shopify conversions.

Not Fixing Technical Issues

Technical issues can create friction to buying. For example, making updates to a product URL but forgetting to change it in another location. 

Be sure to test your links! Nothing sucks worst is when you’ve created all this excitement and send people to broken links. Some people will be patient, others won’t, so make sure you test your links. 

If you are adding new content, products, etc test your links before making the changes live. It’s a quick process and you’ll be glad you didn’t create a potential loss in sales.

Other technical issues that can impact your Shopify store conversions are not validating that customers can quickly checkout. Look at all your products checkout process, not just the standard products but also look at your subscriptions, wholesale, etc. Make sure they work as intended because your customers may not tell you it’s not functioning properly.

Don’t just think about customers viewing your store on their computers. They are also using mobile devices to make purchases.

You Haven’t Optimized Your Mobile Experience

Thinking about all the ways customers will interact with your business is important. Whether they are discovering you via organic search or social media, one universal way that a lot of customers come to your online store is through mobile. 

Evaluating and making sure that your mobile experience is just as great as your desktop experience is important to help maximize conversions to your Shopify store.

But what does that mean? Optimizing your Shopify store’s mobile experience. 

Well, it’s looking at how customers on mobile, experience your online store. Because of the limited screen real estate, it’s important to prioritize the most important information first. Examine your store design and see if the current design you have only works best for desktop but becomes distorted when someone visits your online store on mobile. 

If that is the case, you’ll either want to hide that design on mobile or modify the design altogether so that your customers have a universal great experience.

Designers often take a mobile-first approach to creating websites. Meaning they start with the smallest screen size first and design the next size up until the desktop view is complete. 

This helps ensure that every view is considered in the shopping journey. 

What to Do Now?

Now that we’ve covered some DIY Shopify mistakes, what can you do about it?

Evaluate your current store for opportunities and make a plan to fix any issues that you identify. Now some things that you note down may need further exploration and that is normal. 

It’s important to be aware so that you can rectify the issues. Go through your online store and make that it has a clear focus, cohesive branding, reduces friction to sales, and more. 

If it seems too overwhelming and you are ready to invest, be sure to reach out for professional support. We can go over your online store goals and figure out what you need to reach your business objectives.


Hi, I'm Karen, the founder + Shopify/Klaviyo expert behind The May Creative. I help modern luxury brands craft elevated eCommerce experiences on Shopify & Klaviyo. So they can scale their business & reach their next level of success. Connect to learn more about working together. Or check out the other articles below and listen to the podcast.


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