E-commerce is a rapidly changing field, with new developments coming in every day to make yesterday’s cutting edge ideas seem redundant. As a web designer it can be difficult to judge the importance of each new trend and establish a direction for your own website that’s going to stand the test of time.
In order to make this decision and come up with some solid web design ideas for your online shop, a good place to start is reading up on current trends. Even better, let’s take a look at what the rest of this year has in store for the world of e-commerce.
- Material Design
Since Google introduced it in 2014, Material Design has proven itself to be a versatile and popular design language. It’s perfect for e-commerce sites as it lends itself well to a broad range of products, tying together unrelated content smoothly and emphasising the most important visuals. Material Design makes your website look professional and sleek without distracting from the products you need to sell.
- Concealed Menus
Hamburger menus are the most popular form of these, which you will have noticed replacing the main menu bars on most mobile sites. Since they’re so effective at keeping clutter to a minimum while making it easy to navigate around an e-commerce store, these are creeping into desktop versions too. This is another trend focused on taking away distractions and letting the content do the talking.
- Upward responsiveness
We know how important it is to design websites so they suit smaller screens, thanks to the popularity of mobile web browsing. But what about much larger, high definition screens which are also increasing in popularity? If you can design your website so that it expands to make the most of a larger resolution display, the results can be stunning. A perfect responsive design will look great on a 4-inch display, but even better on a 40-inch one.
- Animated Design
Although it’s important to keep it relatively simple, some subtle animation can go a long way to improving your user experience and making your e-commerce site look a lot more impressive. Mobile devices and desktop browsers can generally support animated icons, menus and clever displays which emphasise your key content. That’s all you need to give your online store a competitive edge.
- Visual Narratives
Want to make customers feel a connection with your products, loyalty to your brand and an understanding of your business? It isn’t going to happen by magic, but it isn’t complicated. Focus your design on a narrative that presents your products in a context that makes them part of your ideal customer’s life, and use visuals to tell the story of your brand. With a bit of work you can create that emotional connection very quickly, and watch it translate into business.
- Modular Cards
A design that fits perfectly with responsive, Material Design-inspired e-commerce sites is the use of cards. Arranging your content in modular blocks that can scroll, slide and rearrange themselves to make the best use of the available screen space is a great strategy for maximising visual engagement. Cards make it easy for customers to familiarise themselves with your products and the layout of your website within a few seconds, which is very valuable.
- Big Backgrounds
Another feature that works well on both large and small displays is filling the background with a strong featured image. This is the most immersive way to pull customers in immediately and get them to focus on your product. You can even use giant videos for a stronger impact.
If you’re able to combine all these features in your e-commerce web design, the chances are you’ll be able to come up with a design that’s fit for the modern age of online shopping and start boosting your profits in no time.