With each passing year e-commerce becomes an increasingly important aspect of the business landscape, and 2019 was no exception.
E-commerce represented 10.5% of the total retail sales in the U.S. during the third quarter of 2019. And that figure doesn't even tell the whole story, as some industries aren't allowed to incorporate e-commerce into their business model. Automotive manufacturers, for example, are forbidden from selling direct to consumers due to dealer franchise laws. E-commerce likely would account for a much higher percentage of retail sales if verticals such as this were actually allowed to utilize it.
As online ordering has become increasingly prevalent, it has resulted in a number of web design trends for e-commerce sites. One of the most obvious being the practice of making sites mobile-friendly.
Although this has been considered best practice in web design for a while, it's now more important than ever given that mobile is a driver of e-commerce's rising popularity. In the last six months alone 79% of smartphone users made a purchase on their phone. As a result, it's crucial that your site looks good and functions properly on all devices.
Even if users don’t make a purchase online, providing them with a clean, well-functioning site can help make a sale. Roughly 76% of people who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit one of the businesses they find within 24 hours. And of those searches, 28% result in a sale.
Here are six other web design trends you should keep in mind for 2020 to help boost your e-commerce sales:
Incorporating motion into your site’s UX can go a long way. One tangible benefit is that it helps hold users’ attention while the UI transitions. Even if your site has a good load time, some users still might become impatient. Adding movement to your site essentially allows them to forget they’re waiting for a page to load. Another advantage of having a dynamic interface is that it subconsciously adds a level of legitimacy to your site in the mind of the user.
Movements could include anything from full page wipe transitions, to something as subtle as an unfolding hamburger menu. These elements have become increasingly popular as more developers utilize Google’s Material Design language, which allows you to choreograph custom motion animation.
Artificial intelligence is seemingly finding its way into every aspect of business operations, and that remains true for e-commerce. AI-powered chat bots are the perfect way to provide customer service to users of your online storefront. And the best part is that chat bots can be easily integrated with many popular CMS such as WordPress.
Although most people dislike when they call a customer support hotline and are forced to interact with an automated system, that isn’t the case when they seek online support.
The world of e-commerce is all about immediacy – getting what you want when you want it. As a result, customers don’t necessarily care whether it’s an actual person or a chat bot answering their instant message. All that matters to them is that they receive fast, accurate customer service.
Considering landing pages with an embedded video can increase conversions by 80%, it’s unsurprising that video content has become all the rage among e-commerce sites. But increased engagement is only part of the appeal.
Given that e-commerce websites are now required by law to adhere to W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), accessibility is no longer an option. Even if that weren’t the case, however, having a site with functionality that works for all users of all abilities is tremendously beneficial.
Many people, even those capable of using a keyboard, are beginning to use voice search more and more to research products. It’s become so popular in fact, 71% of smartphone users now prefer to conduct searches using voice search features.
Interactive/3D Product Images
As is the case with video content, interactive product images provide you with a unique way to showcase your products. One limitation of online shopping is that customers can’t physically handle an item before they purchase. By providing users with a 3D rendering that they can rotate and view from different angles, you’re essentially giving them the next best thing.
And the best part is there are a wide variety of methods you can utilize to add interactive elements to your site. If you’re an experienced graphic designer, you can utilize programs such as 3ds Max to generate a 3D model of your product. There are also free programs such as Web Rotate 360 that allow you to take multiple photos of your product and stitch them together and provide you with a 360-degree view.
Minimalism has been fairly trendy for a few years now, but for good reason. This design philosophy is all about providing a site with as few distractions as possible, so your customers’ attention stays where you want it. Minimalist sites incorporate lots of white space and subtle flat color schemes, all with the intention of drawing users’ eyes to your product.
While the name might suggest a “simple” site design, that’s far from the case. Although there isn’t much content on each page, what is displayed is relevant to the user and helps them at that point in the purchasing process. You want to provide your customers with enough information to help them make a buying decision, but not so much that they’re overwhelmed and lose interest.
Our team of web developers have experience building visually appealing and functionally sound digital storefronts for businesses in various industries. Whether your checkout system is dated, and you need to incorporate more modern functionality, or you need a new e-commerce site from the ground up - we have you covered. Call Brave River today to find out how we can help you grow your e-commerce business.