How to Create an Effective Responsive UI for Ecommerce Sites

responsive UI

An ecommerce site is just a beautiful online store. Ideally, how the customer interacts with your website is very similar to what they would do if they walked into a store. 

They go in, check out your brand, try to understand your personality and vibe, and browse around until something, in particular, catches their attention. Retail stores spend a lot of time, money, and effort in ensuring that their store’s interior design supports and aids this journey culminating in a purchase. 

Your Ecommerce store’s equivalence here is your UI/UX efforts. These determine if you have a happy customer or someone who walks out of your store in the first two minutes in itself. 

Amidst the many recommendations on UI/UX principles, responsive UI is the standard every Ecommerce store must be following. 

We cover why that is and how to bring that into action in the best possible manner in this blog. But before that, let us take a quick review of why Ecommerce UI is the biggest turning point for most businesses today. 

Impact of UI design on Ecommerce Sites 

More often than not, there is too much happening when a customer enters an ecommerce site. And all of these are important, but with varying degrees of significance. Understanding how customers interact with the many elements of UI on your website and then designing the journey is critical to success. 

Key elements in an Ecommerce UI include : 

These improve the customer experience and keep them hooked on to your store longer than the customer even intended to. 

A stunning UI in the ecommerce industry : 

Every small element in your Ecommerce website is there for a reason and is the result of hours of deliberation and design efforts. So would you not want them to perform at their best? 

Often the overall layout and build of the website do not translate well on different devices, losing the impact of the design. 

And that is exactly why responsive UI is the need of the hour for Ecommerce websites. 

Responsive UI: What is it and why do you need one?

Responsive UI is what you would expect the name to indicate to be. It is a design process that ensures that the user interface of a website responds to the device’s needs and changes itself accordingly.

Now, why is it important for an Ecommerce business? 

Studies tell us that mobile searches for ecommerce sites are on the rise and mobile phones now dominate traffic for search engines, social media usage, and so on. Which means there is where your customers are. When they reach your website from one of these channels, your Ecommerce store’s UI has to adapt and make it easy for the customer to move around. 

Responsive web designs ensure that the website that you take painstakingly created works well on laptops, desktops, mobile phones, tablets, and so on. 

This ensures that you can build a consistent brand identity amongst your target audience group and leverage design to boost conversions across devices for your brand. 

Responsive web design also ensures that your SEO efforts get a major boost since the website is now easy to crawl, index, and navigate for the search engines too. Google has been implementing mobile-first indexing so how your website looks and feels on mobile phones has a direct impact on your SERP rankings. 

5 tips to create a responsive UI for Ecommerce sites

A lot of functionality for responsive UI lies within the coding spectrum. As an ecommerce business owner, you may feel that you are not in control of the aspect and wonder how you can take control of the process. 

We have curated a few best practices that go beyond the coding process to help you build the most responsive UI for your ecommerce business. 

Let’s dive in. 

1. Design for mobile first 

Yes, responsive UI can ensure that the desktop version of the website looks pretty and functional on mobile too. But often that becomes an uphill task. This is because : 

To avoid running into issues later, experts strongly recommend building a mobile-first responsive web design. This way, 

It is practical and smart to build a mobile-first responsive UI since the majority of your traffic is from this device. 

2. Use fluid layouts

Whether you choose to adopt a mobile-first approach or are looking to revamp your existing website design into a responsive UI, your biggest challenge will be layouts. Your desktop design may use a column approach which may not be ideal for smaller screens such as a mobile phone or a tablet. 

Achieving consistency over layouts is important to ensure a smooth experience for visitors across all devices. 

Designing the right layout for a responsive UI involves : 

Beyond this, you must also understand how the placement of branding elements, CTA buttons, and product images within the layout work across devices. Ideally, you want a placement that can be scaled up or down. 

Sit with your designer and make a list of important elements that must not be impacted no matter what as a fail-safe before going live. 

3. Implement simple navigation 

What is a UI blog that ignores UX? Nothing, actually. The mark of a successful responsive UI is when it aids your customers to look around your store and actually interact with it seamlessly. After all, we want customers to be able to purchase products from any device they choose to. 

For this, it is important that your responsive web design is easy to navigate. The aim of such a design must always be a superior customer experience beyond any aesthetic requirements. 

A few elements to focus on for this to happen include : 


Place your CTAs where they are easy to access and click on a mobile phone and a desktop device. Every store has primary and secondary CTAs: “Buy now” vs. “Subscribe to know more”. Arrange them as per the principles of visual hierarchy based on significance and allow the customer to interact with them seamlessly. 


It is easy for your customers to get lost in your website especially if they are viewing it on a smaller screen. This can hamper their experience and impede the sales process due to their lack of ability to navigate easily. Avoid those by including breadcrumbs in your responsive web design that tell users where they are on your site and help them move around easily. 

4. Improve your search function

Your responsive web design is a success when it has a flow that matches a customer’s typical journey on your website. Not every customer would have the habit to look for menus and go by category. Often, this is not the most feasible option on smaller screens as well. So what do customers do? 

They look for a search option that allows them to find the product they need without jumping through too many hoops. 

It is important that your responsive UI handles searches carefully across all devices. Change in the device must not mean a loss in functionality, nor should the search function interrupt the user flow or other elements in the interface as it often happens. 

Ensure that the search bar is prominently visible across all devices and is placed well for maximum impact and usability. 

For best results, Implement :

5. Design for touch responsiveness

When we speak of responsive UI designs, this feature plays a significant role in the overall success of the Ecommerce website. Many screens now have the touch interaction ability. This is true for mobile phones, tablets, some laptops, and even desktop screens. Touch interaction is extremely user-friendly and is obviously a winner among most customers. 

So if you want your Ecommerce website’s UI to be a success in these touch-friendly devices, the design has to account for touch responsiveness. 

What are we talking about? 

We know how frustrating it can be to unlock a phone or click a button in a moving vehicle. Touch-sensitive screens demand that you interact with them from a precise angle at a precise speed. This is unlike any other mouse or trackpad-based interaction on other devices. 

This means, that while designing a responsive UI, your website must factor : 

A responsive UI is a necessity, not a luxury 

At its core, responsive Ecommerce UI is a tool to enhance customer experience and improve brand credibility in the market. To understand what works better for your Ecommerce store, talk to your customers and seek to understand them first. Responsive UI will make everything else work itself out. 

If you are finding it hard to keep up with the ever-changing requirements when it comes to UI design you can outsource the work so that an expert can take over. Some unlimited design subscriptions also include UI design as a part of the plan. 

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