BIGGEST TRENDS IN ONLINE STORE FUNCTIONALITY AND DESIGN
Some say that if you are not online, you do not exist. This statement is becoming more and more true in today's digital era. This also explains why retail stores are building an online presence, including having an eCommerce website. Otherwise, you are missing the opportunity of expanding your market reach to increase your sales.
In 2020, Walmart's online sales increased by 97%, while Amazon's Q2 sales and profit increased by 40%. Moreover, smaller retailers like Howards Storage World and B-Wear Sportswear are seeing double and triple-digit growth in eCommerce revenues.
If you want to boost your sales and stay competitive in the eCommerce space, here are the hottest web design trends you can use for your online store.
When used correctly, asymmetric layouts can help your eCommerce website stand out from the rest of the competition. However, it also brings the risk of making your online store unintentionally exaggerated, odd, and off-putting.
Proper angles are everything when it comes to eCommerce web design.
Some websites integrate asymmetric layouts and interactiveness. The animations make the layout look smooth and modern. That’s why site visitors can feel like they are in an online gallery.
Videos have been an essential part of websites for a long time. They provide something that online consumers can enjoy and will make them stay on your website. This explains why having a smart video on your online store can be an effective marketing tool.
However, you must be strategic in embedding smart videos on your eCommerce website. They need to be well-produced, high-quality, and meaningful if you want your videos to make an impact for your brand.
Online businesses now recognize the benefits of incorporating AI technology into their eCommerce platforms through a voice-activated user interface. Providing customers with someone that can help them provides a personalized and highly efficient user experience. It is like talking to a sales clerk whenever they visit a physical retail store.
Products and services are becoming highly accessible with a single voice command or voice search. Survey data from Microsoft back this, with 72% of their respondents utilizing digital assistants like Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, and Cortana.
To achieve this, you can start by incorporating a voice user interface into your UX design. It would also help to include voice search optimization in your eCommerce website.
Like search engine optimization, you must incorporate keywords and content that are “verbally” visible. With this in mind, you can add questions or pull keywords that appear on featured snippets on Google. These are search results ranking in “position zero” or in a knowledge panel.
People nowadays spend more time online, not just for entertainment but also for shopping.
That said, we will likely see the resurrection of Skeuomorphism or at least part of it.
Skeuomorphism is a design concept wherein the elements resemble real-world items. In the case of eCommerce, this could mean having a life-like image of a product instead of a simple photo.
Think of this eCommerce design trend as a way of uniting the divide between digital and physical. Do it right, and shoppers should feel more explicit about the eCommerce brands they buy from.
Online shopping lets you purchase anywhere, saving you time and money for gas or commuting. Apparently, it also allows you to do a good deed for the environment.
According to the United Nations, several parts of the world, like Southeast Asia, experienced a tremendous 40% drop in air pollution due to limited activities outdoors during the COVID-19 pandemic. But while the environment benefited from the diminished air pollution during lockdowns, the demand for single-use plastics increased.
To fight this, there is an ongoing transformation in the market in which consumers are becoming more eco-conscious. They expect brands to be accountable for their environmental impact. Now, over 60% of Americans buy from eco-friendly brands, and such a market has given birth to green eCommerce.
This shift in consumer behavior is prompting brands to incorporate green solutions into their operations. It can be as simple as using reusable materials for packaging, using non-toxic raw ingredients in their products, or using a product refill model.
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
Retailers are noticing the benefits of using VR and AR to enhance customer experience. These technologies ease various hurdles in online buying, like realistic product previews.
Ar and VR technologies enable customers to imagine how a product would look like in their house before buying them.
WordPress comes out of the box with an essential search function to add to your eCommerce website’s header or sidebar.
In the coming year, we’ll likely see more online stores with a live search function in both the header and the product sidebar. This will allow online shoppers to quickly locate the items they are looking for.
Micro animations are small animations designed to help customers with easy website interactions. This feature can boost customer experience by making it quicker and easier for them to make a transaction on your online store.
Progressive Web App (PWA)
Progressive Web App (PWA) is a new trend that will soon recreate an essential part of eCommerce development.
Online businesses continuously search for new and inventive methods to sweeten the consumer experience while increasing sales and profitability. PWA can make this possible through its low development costs, app-like look and feel, quick installation, offline operation, and a push notification attribute.
If used well, these features guarantee that your business can stay ahead of your competition.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI helps you gain insight on customer purchase behaviors like prior purchases, product searches, and internet surfing routines. From there, AI can help determine what other products you can promote and when. This can lead to an increase in conversions and sales.
Headless and API-driven eCommerce Websites
Tech innovation made way for numerous unique features like intelligent voice assistants and virtual reality. However, using multiple features can take a toll on server management. Managing an online store with multiple features can also be time-consuming and complex.
Enter Headless Commerce.
Headless commerce separates the various user interfaces (front-end) from the server-side (back-end). Doing so enables you to layer necessary functions in your eCommerce website while maintaining and keeping your back end intact.
Each critical component can also be easily edited and updated independently without depending on software developers. As a result, headless commerce lets you have the flexibility to scale up and meet the unlimited demands of your customers on time, leading to a smooth user experience across all channels.
Well-established brands like Nike, Target, Redbox, and Annie Selke use a headless commerce method.
Nike, in particular, has utilized React SPA and Node.js, tools for constructing interfaces, to form an AR-powered app feature and prevent bots resellers from getting limited edition products. It also boosts their market reach among mobile users and supplies an interactive experience.
Nike also added an AR-powered app feature that accurately measures your customer’s feet, bypassing any mishaps. This also means lesser product returns for Nike, which cannot be bad.
Omnichannel commerce is a sales approach that concentrates on offering a consistent customer experience across various channels.
Making your sales approach omnichannel-proof takes a lot of work. It demands different departments of a business to work well together to have a deeper understanding of the customer experience. On a brighter perspective, your time and money will, however, be well spent. Consumers who use more than one channel to make their purchases almost always spend more money than those who only purchase online.
You can also collaborate with branding agencies to conduct cross-channel trade and branding campaigns to reach your potential customers.
Minimalist Interface Design
Following the prevalence of remote work setup, the eCommerce market saw the beginning of flat design. Complicated features were cultivated in digital tools making users feel more confident. With a simple yet stylish UI, customers can have a professional and clear impression of your online store.
This goes beyond just aesthetic advantages. A minimalist interface loads faster, uses fewer resources, and takes less time to design. Thus, you should redesign your website if it has a lot of complexities that may hinder customer conversion.
Mobile Navigation With Thumbs
When users navigate through an app while holding the phone in one hand, they predominantly use their thumb. The mobile-thumb zone is the comfortable reaching zone. This means that clickable items and important navigation buttons must be within reach of the thumb.
Larger displays are great for exact finger tapping, but they make single-handed thumb navigation more tricky. Naturally, app developers must establish a greater emphasis than ever before on thumb-friendly design.
Material Icon Design
Material design is a rudimentary and straightforward method for gaining significant milestones quickly. Icons in the Material Design system are uncomplicated, contemporary, welcoming, and occasionally whimsical. Each symbol uses design principles to depict universal themes found throughout a UI in basic and minimal shapes.
A single prototype design may be employed for web, mobile, and application development. This reduces the cost of hiring a designer and a user experience engineer for multiple platforms. It also provides numerous free resources, including icons, color palettes, templates, and wireframes.
Material Icon Design
Retro color palettes and typography are becoming increasingly popular in numerous applications, from oranges and yellowish-browns to off-white and blues. However, customers notice more mod, flat, and art deco-style hues in some online stores.
It’s challenging to deliver information in an interesting manner. However, data visualization makes this possible.
Infographics and graphs allow you to exhibit your data in an engaging, creative manner. With data visualization, people are more likely to quickly understand the information you’re trying to convey.
Dark Mode Theme
When websites are developed in dark mode, it serves a variety of purposes. It reduces eye strain when we spend more time in front of screens. It also has a very aesthetically alluring modern look. It’s no surprise that dark mode will become popular in the coming years.
Graphical Elements In Photos
Overlapping graphics on photographs are undoubtedly more attention-grabbing. This collaborative approach to images adds an element of originality to them. Using the power of graphics and photos together can help you construct a memorable brand for your company. This will keep visitors interested in what’s going on within your website, boosting conversion rates!
With a retail eCommerce sales forecast of over $1 trillion this year in the US alone, the competition can be challenging yet rewarding. By staying current with the biggest trends in eCommerce website design, you can ensure that your online will be optimized for browsing comfort and performance.
We recommend applying the web design trends listed in this post to stay ahead of the competition. You can do it yourself or work with a website design and creative agency to help you achieve what you want for your online store.
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