Don’t think of your e-commerce website simply as a collection of WebPages that display your brands or third-party brands. Instead, think of it as a store where users can physically come in and take a look at your collection. If you look at renowned brands like Nike, Adidas, and Apple, all of their stores have a unique aesthetic that they promote. The elements of design they incorporate in these stores help customers navigate them easily, and in turn, create a lasting impression on their shopping experience, thus cementing customer loyalty, driving conversions, and gathering leads.
Similarly, web design can enable you to meet the same ends; however, trends in web design keep on changing. Here are some e-commerce web design tips for 2021 that can help you get an edge over your competitors.
1. Dark Mode
More than 50% of users worldwide like to shop on e-commerce websites via their mobile devices. This number is likely to increase as more ecommerce platforms provide a mobile option. Now, we’re all aware of the dwindling battery life of new generation smartphones. Hence, customers look for every opportunity that can help them reduce their device’s energy consumption. Additionally, a dark mode on a website also improves readability (provided it’s implemented correctly), allowing customers to consume information and navigate your web app quickly.
2. Show Related Items
Most customers view e-commerce websites as a convenient way to shop as it requires less time to shop. You can take customer convenience one step further by grouping items that are commonly purchased together. This way, customers won’t have to go through the trouble of having to search for items individually.
Following from the above, grouped items can be inventoried such that it reduces costs of logistics. This saves you time and money that you can use to leverage deals to the customer, allowing you to generate more sales will for the same margin.
4. Keep the Layout Simple
One of the key aspects of design is simplicity. Sometimes developers don’t know when to stop with web design and constantly add design features that don’t match the layout (and, in the worst case, ruin the customer’s experience). This leads to the website becoming a hot mess with a lot going on. Instead of attracting customers, this may make them stay clear of your website.
Having a simple web design helps your website load faster, leads to fewer errors, and makes it easier to maintain, thereby, improving user experience and preventing downtimes.
5. Don’t Underestimate the Content on Your Website
The ultimate goal of any website is to provide information. In the case of an ecommerce website, the end goal is to provide customers the information regarding different items for sale on your website. It’s a no-brainer that users want to know product details before they buy them, but they don’t want lengthy essays that detail every inch of the product. Therefore it is imperative that you keep product details succinct such that it portrays the basic information about the listing.
6. Navigating Listings
As soon as customers search for items they want to buy, they expect to be flooded with listings that give them exactly what they want. Most listings are displayed in a grid fashion with an image of the product and basic details. This doesn’t leave much room to play with as it is the most effective way of displaying listings. However, you can experiment with how users can navigate them to gain maximum exposure. You can incorporate unlimited scrolling so that customers don’t leave the page. Instead of simply scrolling up and down, you can give customers the option of scrolling right and left, allowing them to utilize more of their screen. You can even put up an overlay showing additional product details when a user hovers over a listing so that customers don’t have to leave the page.
7. It's All in the Details
If you think that font, color palette, scale, and texture are not as important as functionality in e-commerce web design, then you’re sadly mistaken. These are just some of the elements of design that give your website room to make it unique. There are endless combinations that you can try with these elements to make your e-commerce website stand out from the competition. However, you need to ensure that the combination you choose is a healthy balance of these elements. Choosing the wrong combination may have detrimental effects on functionality, leading to an unsatisfactory user experience.
8. Incorporate More Dynamic Visuals
Conventional static images in product listings don’t really convey what the product is like. Instead of static images that you can only zoom into, you can substitute them with other options like gifs or 3D images that showcase the product in motion and give it more depth. You can even take it a step further by incorporating moving visuals for transitions, overlays, and promotions. However, be wary that too many visuals can make websites harder to render for customers with poor Internet connections. Therefore, it may be in your best interest to only incorporate them in the most useful places on your website.
9. Utilize Your Homepage to the Max
Your homepage is the first thing that customers see when they visit your website. Other than promoting deals and showcasing new items on your homepage, you can add reviews and user-generated content to it. This allows your customers to get to know your brand better and adds an element of trust, establishing your brand identity in the online sphere. Your homepage has the potential to relay all the necessary information you think your customers will require, like an FAQ section, blog, or privacy details. So make sure that tabs for these are designed such that they are noticeable and easy to navigate.
10. Track User Experience
A customer will need to undergo a series of steps to purchase an item from your e-commerce website. You can monitor customer experience and devise a strategy that can smoothen out user experience on their path to conversion. This helps you track where customers may be facing challenges and pinpoint whether it’s a design problem. The data gathered can then be used to come up with changes in web design that either solve a pre-existing design issue or help avert other challenges like confusing layout, hidden details, or dead links.
When incorporating the above e-commerce web design tips into your platform, make sure that you have the necessary knowledge, resources, and budget to do so. Designing a website is a difficult task and requires patience to figure out which element fits where. Start slow and make iterations as you go along. See what works for your ecommerce website, given that not all ecommerce platforms are the same.