Posted by Murray Sye
on Thu, Dec 4, 2014 @ 10:00 AM
Is your eCommerce website ready for the New Year?
You probably already know that online shopping is enjoying exponential growth, but are you losing out on potential business by running a dated eCommerce site?
First impressions are important and design can have a huge impact on your online sales. Online shopping should be a fun, frustration-free experience for your customer. Good website design can help you achieve this.
Here are four design trends that are worth knowing to get your site ready for action in 2015.
1) Flat design
In the past, many websites were crammed with an abundance of flashy illustrations and animations. All of these bells and whistles often left the user confused or frustrated. Now, in a return to simpler times, flat design is where it's at.
This back-to-basics approach showcases products, rather than fancy design elements, that may clutter the screen and potentially annoy your customers. Flat design strips out the excess, such as drop shadows, textures and gradients, and instead puts the focus on functionality..
With flat design, your valuable content is able to shine.
Even the big boys, Microsoft, Apple and Google are using flat design. And though it puts functionality first, flat design doesn't have to be boring. There's still plenty of room for bright, contrasting colours and interesting icons.
The emphasis is on being user-friendly.
Flat design also lends itself to being more responsive, which will help you capture valuable mobile device shoppers. Here are a few favorite examples of flat design.
2) Micro Transitions
Though the trend is toward simpler website design for eCommerce, you still wan to grab your customers' attention and make their online shopping experience enjoyable. By adding a few fun user-experience effects, such as subtle transitions and animations, you can keep customers on your site.
Here are a few things you can try that add a little pizzazz to the user's shopping experience.
- Thumbnail Product Details – hover to reveal more details and expand options
- Direction-Aware Hover Effect – animates individual panels as user scrolls over
- Motion Blur Text Scrolling – as user scrolls up and down, the text blurs slightly
- Sliding Boxes –– when a cursor moves over an image, it slides away to reveal more information underneath
- Collapsible Menu –– when the user clicks, the menu slides across to reveal new information
3) Tiled Navigation
You want to make browsing on your site fun.
Using image tiles for navigation is another way to enhance your customer's shopping experience. Plain old text boxes can be dull. Images are much more appealing and can give your customer a better feel for browsing your products.
You should use high-resolution pictures for added pop and to give the customer the feel of shopping in a real store.
Tommy pulls out all the stops to showcase their products using only the best photography.
4) Device Agnostic
There are more active mobile devices that people in the world today (7.2 billion). Yikes––that's a lot of different phones, tablets, etc. in our customers' hands. Now more than ever, a responsive web design is essential.
Nowadays, people may check out your online storefront on their desktop in the morning and then jump over to their smartphone in the afternoon. Users expect the same experience across all of their devices.
eMarketer projects that smartphone retail mobile commerce sales will continue to grow, reaching $34.8 billion by 2018. That's a huge chunk of business that cannot be ignored.
You want to keep your customer happy on whatever device they're using. Netbiscuit conducted a study, which included 6,000 mobile users. They found 80% were inclined to recommend a brand solely by having a good mobile experience with that site. Now that's powerful incentive to have your site mobile device-friendly.
Smart website design can only improve your eCommerce site. An intuitive, easy to navigate website infused with some attractive and fun elements will keep your customers happy and on your site longer, where they can research your products and ideally make a purchase.
Written by Murray SyeMurray is the CEO and Creative Director with the award-winning
Toronto HubSpot agency partner, WhiteSpace. You can
connect with Murray on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.