Ecommerce websites are part of a thriving and growing industry, one which is expected to go from strength to strength in the coming years, with one study putting the expected sales increase at an over 240% rise by 2021. The ecommerce website sector is also one with a tremendous diversity when it comes to business size, type, products and niches, ranging from commercial giants such as Amazon, to smaller communal enterprises, and with vendors selling products across every niche and customer base, its importance can’t be understated. As such, whether you’re operating an ecommerce website, or you’re looking to work in partnership with one, it’s imperative that you’re aware of all the latest trends and developments affecting ecommerce websites.
One integral area that needs to be monitored when it comes to ecommerce websites is that of web design and layout, just as a brick and mortar store needs to create a strong first impression with its layout and appearance, an ecommerce website must do the same in a virtual space. As such, being up to date with the latest trends and innovations in web design will be key to understanding the ecommerce website industry, as well as to maximising the returns on your own ecommerce website. There are a number of aesthetic and graphic trends within web design that will be important when it comes to ecommerce websites, for example the use of animation and dynamic elements. These elements, as deployed to great effect by sites such as Etsy, can be used to convey a sense of vibrancy and motion, attracting the consumer and drawing their attention. This also blends into another key trend in web design, the focus on minimalism and subtle approaches. These ideas also apply to the layout of an ecommerce website, with white space and minimalist buttons also trending in web design, as designers seek to stimulate audiences without overwhelming or annoying them by using sleek yet stylish aesthetics.
Beyond the website itself, one of the other essential areas for any ecommerce website, is that of the product. Whilst this is something where trends will fluctuate depending on the industry in question, the delivery of that product, in particular in terms of shipping and payment is one area where trends and innovations will shape the industry as a whole. A particularly important factor to be considered here is that of convenience, customers can often be put off by large shipping fees or long delivery times, especially if this is their first purchase. Therefore, expect low cost shipping and expedited delivery to be a growing trend and point of emphasis for all ecommerce websites. Another key issue is payment options, with a need for not only mobile responsiveness but also flexibility, especially when it comes to dealing with cart abandonment, an issue that costs ecommerce websites an estimated $4.4 billion annually. As a response to thisIt’s we anticipate pay later programs becoming a key innovation and strategy for many ecommerce websites
A final area worth watching in terms of trends and developments for ecommerce websites is that of marketing. With regards to this, some of the biggest trends will be in relation to how the customer journey is becoming increasingly fragmented and multi-channel, not just for ecommerce websites but for businesses across all sectors. For the ecommerce industry this will result in an increase in the usage of research online/purchase offline shopping, with customers increasingly using their mobile devices to research the best possible purchase and then deciding later based on their information. Responding to this trend will be an important conversion tracking and marketing strategy for ecommerce websites. Another important trend will be the usage of social media apps for selling and marketing, with customers more and more likely to research and make purchases via these apps, and their ubiquity in the daily lives of consumers continuing to grow. Utilising Twitter, Facebook and Instagram via carefully targeted and progressive digital marketing strategies will be essential for any thriving ecommerce website going forward.
One of the most significant emergent trends when it comes to marketing and technological innovation within the ecommerce industry is that of the integration and usage of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning. Currently, these technologies are already being used by many ecommerce websites in order to aid with things like product recommendation and search functionality, as well as offering assistance with customer service via Chatbots. Expect this trend to continue with advances in technology, and a need to further optimise the customer experience.
Finally, the last crucial area when it comes to trends and innovations related to marketing for ecommerce websites will come in the form of one of the most progressive, and remarkable technological innovations, augmented reality. As the technology for it becomes cheaper and more suitable for a mainstream mass market, ecommerce websites will be able to offer customers an immersive experience where their products can be viewed in the same way as a physical store.