Global e-commerce is expanding at an exponential rate and it’s a race to see who is going to stay ahead of the curb. In places like the US, e-commerce is now a huge chunk of all retail sales. With the rise of e-commerce also comes the rise of website design creativity. Designers from around the world are picking their brains to come up with the next best thing that will attract and keep customers on their website.
Among them, there are some trends that are starting to stand out from the rest:
Over the years, designers have figured out what people like best. Certain shapes and compositions are just attractive to the average person and using them will make something stand out. These frameworks have been used time and time again to create interesting products and websites.
Unfortunately, you can’t rely on the same designs forever, they’re going to look stale after a while. This is exactly what’s happening right now as certain frameworks are going out of style due to their overuse.
It’s easy to find inspiration in the brilliant work of others, but users are going to get tired of seeing the same old designs. When it comes to efficiency, using well-established patterns speeds up the design process and allow you to put your own twist, but at the cost of looking like a lot of other things.
Visual literacy is rising among the average web surfer and they’re not going to be easily impressed by the basics of design. It might take something extraordinarily unique to get them to pay attention. Sometimes, that something could even be considered unorthodox or wrong from a design standpoint.
The well-established rules of aesthetics could just be a limiting factor for future designers. Free online courses have made it possible for just about anyone to dabble in web design. This has led to an increased number of designs that follow one or two of the most popular styles of illustrations, but it has also led to some very creative ideas from amateur creators. A carefully crafted and unique user experience more than makes up for a lack of formal education in the subject.
More Ambient Design
Staring at the same exact website for hours is a relatively new concept. Once upon a time, you would visit a website, get what you needed out of it, and eventually leave. Nowadays certain websites are pretty engaging and users might spend a lot of time staring at a similar screen.
This isn’t exactly good for customer experience. It might be time to introduce some more dynamic concepts to them. The ambient design is nothing new, desktops have had day and night cycles for a while now. With the massive improvements in new technology, even websites can offer something akin to this. As a matter of fact, personalized website experiences see an average of 19% uplift in sales and 42% more CTA clicks.
There's no limit to creativity in ambient design. You can start with something relatively simple like changing what the website looks like depending on whether it's day or night. Switching up the weather in the background is another viable choice. Time, location, and weather are just some examples of things that can influence what the website looks like, but you can take it a step further.
Perhaps the color pattern will change depending on what part of the website the user visits, or how far they've explored it. If your website has a specific theme, perhaps that theme gets more pronounced after some time. Changes like this make it impossible to get bored on such websites and users will definitely appreciate the work that went into them.
Using Different Channels
The simple days of e-commerce are pretty much over. It’s been a long time since you could just slap some nice designs on your website and call it a day. Nowadays you need to look at the big picture. You need to know what stage of the journey your user is in when they visit your website. Perhaps they heard about a product on social media or they opened one of your e-mails and were interested in what was shown.
To deliver more appropriate content, you need to know the full context and the demographic that you’re talking to. Better personalization and more diverse tools are the future of inclusivity in design.
Component content management has been used by communicators for a while now in order to do omnichannel marketing. Its uses have been limited for semantic content in closed systems, but marketing experts are looking to implement it in the messy world of content marketing. What you can’t do with brute force you can do with technological advances.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence are going to become the cornerstones of personalized marketing. They will know what users want before the users know what they want. Bots and voice interfaces are already used, but they’re going to become a lot smarter from this point on.
Mobile Commerce Expansion
Once upon a time, the job of the designer revolved around creating a desktop site first, with other things staying in the background. Mobile websites were secondary and apps were close behind them.
Well, now that Google has announced that they’re starting to roll out mobile-first indexing, online retailers are waking up to the fact that mobile should be the primary focus. There is even a rising trend of using SMS to communicate with customers. Integrating marketing directly into your phone is a unique challenge as attention spans vary on these small screens and you have to get creative.
Alongside that creativity, you need to look at efficiency. Making an attractive mobile website won't mean a thing if nobody can see it. Optimizing your mobile website for speed is just as important, if not more important, than just making it look nice. Experts in optimization from Brisbane SEO company often put emphasis on the importance of efficient design in mobile websites. What makes search engines happy also makes website designers happy with the results. With mobile e-commerce on the rise, being the first to optimize for efficiency is going to be an important advantage in the market.
Telling Real Stories
Storytelling has always been an integral part of innovation in science and technology. There’s no reason it can’t be more prominent in design as well. Audiences want to feel something when they interact with things online. If you can put your products in a creative context, more people will flock to your website or websites. It’s crucial that you find a way to make users connect with the product on an almost emotional level. You have to be the Walt Disney of designers stay ahead of the competition. Details, both small and large, can’t be disregarded.
Setting the scene just right isn't easy. Creating this kind of experience for users requires immense knowledge of characters and storytelling. You have to make the users of the products the real heroes of the narrative. It's all about creating that positive user experience.
As a designer, you bridge the gap between user experience and business expectations. You translate the needs of the business into the needs of the user. If you can make the user feel something in the short amount of time they interact with your website, you‘ve done your job right!
Get With the Times!
E-commerce continues to evolve at an incredible rate and it’s only projected to continue this way. More and more websites are getting creative with their designs and content in order to not get lost in the sea of competitors.
Nobody likes being in second place when it comes to retail. If you and your design team want to be ahead of the competition, you have to be open to some unorthodox ideas. If you consider some of these tips, you might just be on your way to having a bright future in the evolving world of e-commerce.