Cliqued Media, website design agency, Ireland, have been at the forefront of ecommerce website design for many years. As Ireland’s leading web design wizards, we’ve seen ecommerce website design trends come and go, driven by changing consumer needs and online behaviour.
As consumers become more sophisticated in their online usage and expectations, so to do the design trends. And it is particularly in the area of ecommerce that websites are having to quickly adapt and improve.
Massive online competition is now the order of the day for almost every organization. And there is no room for complacency when it comes to ensuring that your ecommerce platform delivers on expectations.
When it comes to designing innovative and industry leading websites, artificial intelligence (AI) is the great enabler, giving designers the ability to deliver a seamless, rewarding, and enjoyable on-site experience for users.
Finding website design agencies that fully embrace the new design technologies and are competent in them, has become a pre-requisite. That’s if you want your company to get noticed online and to compete on an even keel, in the world of ecommerce.
What we do know, is that the ever-changing trends and the competition for consumer’s attention online, is driving website designers to new heights, enabling them to develop websites that are both remarkable in their design and performance, and effective in delivering the quality experiences demanded by users.
WHAT ARE SOME SALIENT CONSUMER TRENDS?
To understand website design trends, one must first understand the trends that relate to online customers. As previously noted, trends are driven by changing user behaviour and demands. Consider the following few salient pointers:
Online Buyers are Becoming Better Informed
Today’s consumers are better informed. Information is freely available to them from a myriad of sources. Anything can be Googled. They also have free access to the opinions of their friends and peers on social media and forums. In fact, in many cases a prospective customer may be even more knowledgeable about a product than the marketer or sales people that promote it.
Users are Becoming More Security Aware
While trust has always been a major issue, people are becoming more accustomed to purchasing online and more trusting of credible e commerce sites. We highlight the word ‘credible’. However, a significant number of visitors to ecommerce websites are newbys. That is, they may be buying online for the first time and naturally suspicious of releasing personal information.
Online Users Now Desire Instant Gratification
Why wait for something when you can get instant gratification? This is the mindset of the modern online customer. When people visit an ecommerce site, chances are they have done their research and want to take some action in a simple and seamless manner. And they want to be able to do this from anywhere, 24/7.
Website Visitors Demand a Positive Experience
The stakes are high for an ecommerce site. Online customers are fickle. From speed of loading, to ease of navigation, quality of content and a hassle-free purchase, they demand it all. And if their on-site experience is disappointing, then they will be away at the click of a mouse. Off to competitor sites.
Ecommerce Customers Need More Recognition
By recognition we mean that modern customers demand to be recognised, respected, and appreciated for their interest and loyalty. It comes at a price. The price involves having the ability to interact with customers on-site and to be able to personalise their experience wherever possible.
WHAT ARE SOME CURRENT WEBSITE DESIGN TRENDS?
Many of the current website design trends relate to the more technical aspect of website design and are too complicated for the average mortal to understand. However, the following is a shortlist of some of the more salient design trends that relate to the abovementioned consumer aspects.
Highly Responsive Web Design
Responsive web design is basically, an approach to the creation of web page design. The result is flexible page layouts and images that react to the different screen sizes. So, whether a user visits a website on a smart phone, laptop, or tablet (no matter the brand), the page image will automatically adapt. This helps to provide users with the good quality on-site experience that they demand.
More Mobile Friendly Design
About 68% of visits to ecommerce websites globally are now conducted on smart phones. If your ecommerce website is not designed to be mobile friendly, then you are on the road to nowhere. Being mobile friendly, means that you can cater to consumer demand for instant accessibility, and the ability to make a purchase 24/7. A no-brainer if ever there was one.
Faster Loading Speeds
The latest web designs cater for high-speed loading. Lightning speed that is. Research has shown that anything more than three seconds, will send your impatient potential customer scurrying off to another website.
Remember that the more bells and whistles your site has, the slower it will load. And consider the vital fact that search engines now regard loading speed as a very important factor, that directly influences your websites search results.
AI Enhanced Design
Artificial intelligence (AI) is helping to greatly enhance the design of websites and the features that can be offered on-site. It is AI that has allowed designers to greatly improve the user experience and ability to personalise it.
Some of these include voice-activated interfaces, that allow users to interact with a website using their voice, chatbots, that are becoming more sophisticated by the day, 24/7 interaction and the ability to personalise individual search.
Vertically Aligned Menus
Along with responsive websites, has come the development of vertical aligned menus. Unlike traditional horizontal menus, these adapt well for use on narrow cell phone screens. This makes for a more efficient guide for cell phone users. It gives designers a more practical way of providing a seamless and enjoyable on-site navigation experience.
Part of providing users with an interesting and enjoyable experience is being able to include an element of surprise. And using unconventional layouts has become a way of differentiating websites from the traditional. When combined with high quality content, special imagery and animated effects, an unconventional interface layout can help to increase the number of visitors, encourage more interaction, and improve the time spent on-site.
Synergy Between Digital and Physical
As business models change, companies are finding ways to create more synergy between their ecommerce sites and physical entities. All of this to try and streamline the customer experience.
Ecommerce sites and apps are now commonly used to make the customer’s journey more seamless and convenient. For example, customers can now search and view information on a company’s products or services, book appointments and even pay via the website or app. They can then visit the physical store to secure the product, or to enjoy the service provided. Finally, after-sales service and advice can also be provided via the website or app.
ECommerce Going Green
As consumer demand for environmentally friendly products and services grows, so does the role that ecommerce website design plays in this phenomenon. Changing a distribution model from physical to online, allows businesses the opportunity to align with consumers and commit towards societal welfare and the environment.
Shopping online has no boundaries. It can be done from anywhere. In many cases, it alleviates the need for travel and lowers the environmental impact. Ecommerce environmental benefits can be found in distribution efficiencies, lower staff requirements and packaging to name a few.
More and more ecommerce websites are incorporating green-related content and promoting green products and services as a constructive promotional strategy.
Evolution of Design
Design principles and aesthetics plays a major role in how an ecommerce website interface is perceived by users. The general layout, colours and fonts have a direct effect on overall image perceptions.
Website design is moving on from complex layouts and strong overpowering colours. The developing trend is towards that of simple and uncluttered design, even down to the level of monochromatic web design. This stands to reason, as companies seek to showcase their products in online catalogues and the like.
WHERE TO FROM HERE?
As highlighted, the above are only a few of the many new website design trends evolving in the ecommerce environment. Having a new website designed and deciding on what features to include, can be rather daunting for the average person, and even for the budding website designer.
We suggest that you first consider what the main objectives of the website will be, and the role that it will play in your overall marketing strategy. From there you could set about determining an appropriate budget and simply work from there.
Of crucial importance is the website design agency that you choose to take you forward into the ever-evolving world that is ecommerce website design. Using professional designers like Cliqued Media, Ireland will ensure that the latest trends are reflected in your design, as well as cutting edge design technology. It will also serve to enhance your corporate image as well as sales growth and the bottom line.