With the advent of online shopping, traditional stores have been forced to close up shop. Brick-and-mortar businesses have struggled to compete with the convenient and comfortable nature of e-commerce. Virtual merchants like the tech-giant Amazon has earned itself a substantive marketshare of various industries and has displaced companies such as the retail bookseller Barnes & Noble and the electronic department store Best Buy.
Oftentimes, companies have their websites redesigned to adapt to the way their users interact with their content. Mobile traffic has been a major driving factor in e-commerce sites’ attitude to towards embodying responsive design. Daza Design presents four design trends that will make help the e-commerce website invite customers.
1. Hero header
A popular UI design trend that is gaining momentum in the web development community is the use of hero images — Daza Design can attest that we utilize this practice as part of our online design services. These are generally oversized images or videos that seemingly come to life in front of your very eyes. Typically used at the top of the page, these are standardly called as ‘hero headers’.
This design trend is especially popular with web design services today because it’s an eye-catcher and piques users’ interest, especially since hero headers are usually what is seen first on websites pages. It is especially beneficial for an e-commerce website to utilize hero headers because of its visual appeal and its practicality to adapt to whatever needs must be accommodated. Need a retro or minimal feel? Hero headers will do the job.
Check out HP for example. Formerly Hewlett-Packard and rebranded as HP Inc., the American technology company develops and provides hardware like laptops and printers. A major company such as HP that manufactures IT solution designs on a grand-scale surely needs a website that will help them connect with its potential customers.
Accessing HP’s website and right off the bat, interested parties will be greeted with a hero video header that strives to differentiate the company from its competitors. The video displays HP’s innovative measures which does a great job of selling the company and more important, keeping customers on the website. Experiment utilizing hero headers and study whether your audience’s interaction with your site is a fruitful one.
2. Card-based design
Another UI design trend that has captured the attention of many designers is something those in the community refer to ‘card-based design’. Quickly becoming the go-to design pattern mobile-friendly sites use, card-based design has even transitioned its way to desktop websites. The trend is now widely-accepted and is suitable for e-commerce websites.
We don’t realize it, but cards are a really old concept and are practically used in so many different situations. Want to greet someone a happy birthday, we give them a birthday card. When we pay for our groceries, we grab our wallets and use our credit cards. Heck, you can win and lose millions playing cards at a casino. They’re everywhere. Moral of the story: cards are a great medium for communicating quick stories.
Then you wonder how can an e-commerce platform use card-based design to engage its users? Look at Ancestry.com for example. It’s a rather simple layout, with four cards with differing purposes superimposed on a vintage image. This layout is great because the information about the site’s services are framed in a straight-forward order and flows well, which makes it easy for wandering visitors to absorb the site’s information. It also makes it easy for users to find what they’re searching for on Ancestry. Card-based design is a wonderful trend that our web design services use to optimize web traffic.
3. Interruption vs. permission marketing
There are two different forms of marketing that we’d like to distinguish from each other: interruptive and permission marketing. The former is a marketing technique with nearly negative connotations. Interruptive marketing is self-evident in the sense that advertisements can be… well, interruptive. Pop-ups and ads that open new browser windows (especially popular in the 90’s) are almost always a nuisance and a bothersome experience. They can be construed as annoying and can even hurt your brand’s reputation.
In contrast, permission marketing is a novel form of marketing, which many online design services have opted to choose as their form of marketing. This activity is firstly concerned with gaining the permission and privilege to market to the user. Although it may take longer to generate results, the advantages heavily outweigh this limitation. Permission marketing allows companies to personalize marketing material to customers who are already actively engaged with the brand. As such, conversion rates are higher than interruptive marketing as leads can turn into sales with this more meaningful approach.
Nutrisystem is a commercial provider of weight loss products and services. The health and wellness company leverages its e-commerce website to cater to its users and potential clients. Interestingly, the website uses a sort of hybrid approach — utilizing both interruptive and permission marketing. It is interruptive in the sense that upon first visit to the site, a popup modal ad is displayed with an interactive form that can only be use if the user gives their permission. The design is engaging and a wonderful way to market to users as uninterested parties can simply exit the ad and aren’t pressured to complete the form. However, if the user is interested, then one can simply fill the form and avail of Nutrisystem’s potential services.
When applying this design trend to your e-commerce site, consider whether your marketing technique leans toward one form or the other. Nutrisystem leans towards permission marketing more so than interruptive marketing because at the end of the day, customers will only receive more information and content if they permit the company to do so.
4. Dynamic search experience
Finally, a relatively new UI design trend that only few e-commerce sites such as JadoPado have integrated into design of their webpages is a dynamic search experience. This technology, developed by the astounding developers over at Algolia, is completely new to the design community — honestly a refreshing take on the whole search experience, great for increasing satisfaction in user engagement.
As it has been for quite some time, online retail sites have static search experiences. Type a couple keywords, hit enter and the products that match your keywords are displayed. That ’s great and all, but it’s about to be 2016 and the search experience is relatively stuck in the Stone Age. Dynamic search experience is very similar to Google’s search engine, where as you type your search words, the page refreshes in real-time to display your every keystroke.
Alogolia’s search API was developed specifically for e-commerce websites and replicates the same concept; it can be integrated onto any e-commerce website’s design. JadoPado uses exactly that in its site, even going on to brand the product ‘JadoPado InstaSearch’. On their blog, the e-commerce platform reports that their conversion rates have since doubled with the integration of InstaSearch, ergo significantly impacting the company’s revenue. Look out for online design services to begin offering this new design trend as it rears its head in the upcoming year.
There you have it. Daza Design shares these four important design trends for your e-commerce website. Make sure that whatever web design services you find, discuss with your design agency which trends and UI patterns will be the best for your business. The techniques can improve the outlook of your company’s success in the upcoming new year. Remember that you don’t necessarily have to stick to one design trend and can even combine two — or even three (or all!) — of the techniques as long as they’re properly executed. Success will surely be in your future!