As the face of your brand, it’s important that your website really delivers - especially if you run an online business. Not only does your site have to provide an excellent user experience (UX), it also has to deliver when it comes to conversions.
In 2017, global e-commerce sales came to $2.3 billion, a figure that is set to increase by 52% by 2021. This shows just how much competition there is out there. So, when a site doesn’t live up to customer expectations, it’s easy for them to just click on over to a competitor. In fact, Google reported that 40% of users that have trouble accessing a site go to a competitor instead.
Therefore, as an online retailer, it’s important to prioritise web design and ensure your site delivers the best experience possible. You’ll need to stay up-to-date with current trends to create a site that’s fully optimised for today’s technology and user expectations.
To help, we’ve put together the following round-up of e-commerce web design trends that you need to know about in 2018.
This is an obvious one and unless you’ve been hibernating under a rock for the past few years, you’ll know that mobile is the way forward. Now that over half of global web traffic is mobile, sites that are not optimised are quickly falling into the abyss and down the search ranks on Google. You’ll know how frustrating it is to zoom in on an unoptimised site on your mobile - let alone try and buy something!
It’s therefore essential that e-commerce sites provide a mobile friendly experience for the increasing number of users making purchases on the go (or at home to avoid booting up the computer). These users expect quick, snappy information and don’t want to be bombarded with reams of information. Most also have a 3 second time limit for a page to load - any longer and they’re likely to look elsewhere.
So, when optimising your site for this key audience, be sure to keep things simple. Don’t over egg things or your site will take far too long to load. Once you’re happy, test it out on your own phone. Is the user experience seamless? Are the pages loading quick enough? If not, take time to smooth out any glitches and create an experience that will keep customers coming back for more.
In this day and age, it seems like everyone is in a hurry. People want to make quick decisions and be taken on a slick customer journey. This is where animation comes in. Brands are increasingly using it over text where possible, to make the UX far quicker and more enjoyable.
From iconography to annotations, animation is being increasingly used to make the path to conversions as seamless and streamlined as possible. Proceed with caution, however, and don’t overdo things. Users don’t want to be bombarded with flashing images and annoying gifs - try and keep it slick and understated.
Take Nice Laundry for example. By using animation, they make buying socks a fun, user friendly experience. Customers are able to visualise their selection digitally and using an animated bar, the site shows how many socks they have left to choose. The simple, slick platform demonstrates how animation can improve the customer journey and help to boost conversions.
Plenty of e-commerce giants including Amazon and ASOS use grid layouts on their websites and it’s not just a coincidence. A grid design has many benefits, particularly for e-commerce and is a design trait we’re going to see increasingly rolled out. So why are they so effective?
Grids provide order and help to display items in a coherent manner. Users know exactly what to expect when scrolling which makes the UX far more efficient. This two dimensional design also acts as a framework in which to add new elements and content.
Text can also be displayed more effectively when incorporated into the grid system. Retailers can list product information and prices over the exact item. This helps to minimise confusion and keep things simple for potential customers.
For the last few years, whitespace and minimalism have ruled the waves when it comes to e-commerce web design. However, as we progress through 2018, it’s clear that more brands are beginning to experiment with and incorporate bold colours into their web design.
In e-commerce, colour can help bring about a more positive shopping experience by helping to convey messages more clearly. You may have come across colour psychology and how it can shape perceptions, change emotions and compel people to act.
For example, red is one of the most popular colours used online today as it’s very difficult to ignore. It therefore evokes a sense of urgency and compels users to act. Blue on the other hand is quite the opposite and gives off a more calming, reassuring vibe. Hence why it’s a popular colour amongst banks and online payment services such as PayPal.
When it comes to colour, it’s important to ensure that your choices reflect your brand and the message you are trying to convey. Take a look at this nifty little guide as a solid starting point.
To sum up
In the world of e-commerce, and e-commerce web design, it goes without saying that your website is a key priority. Ensuring that users have the best possible experience is crucial for repeat business and preventing them from looking elsewhere.
These are just a few trends to consider and will help you to establish the areas of your website you may need to work on. Just remember to ensure any changes you do make are in line with your brand and the overall image you wish to convey.
For more information on designing your e-commerce website to bring in the maximum number of customers, take a look at these e-commerce trends for 2018