The eCommerce age is upon us and website development has become more exciting, critical and complex as a result. With increasing competition across and within retailing formats, the growth of new technologies and customer level data, comes the need to go global. eCommerce web development has changed the way we look at shopping forever. While making sense of the changes the 21st century brought on is not easy, it is vital.
Retailing and eCommerce in the 21st century is all about state-of-the-art sites that offer user-friendly, intuitively designed interfaces. Responsive sites, mobile first technologies and round-the-clock adaptability sets 21st century eCommerce web development apart from previous eras, where a site was just a basic digital calling card.
Now a website is a visual storefront, an online brochure and an ever expanding catalogue that presents vital information to shoppers. Let’s decode how eCommerce web development has changed for the better in the 21st century.
- Responsive Design and Mobile-First Approaches
When established eCommerce players like Amazon led the movement, online business web specialists supported a responsive, mobile-first approach to meet the developing needs of their customers. The biggest change in online retail web development at the turn of this century was the arrangement of sites working perfectly on any screen, OS, browser or device.
With the algorithm updates by search engine giant Google in 2015, this approach only become more important. As more smartphone users utilised their devices for online transactions, the sites worked towards creating a mobile responsive design.
Consistent device-friendly experiences while viewing eCommerce business websites became the focus of web development teams worldwide. With increasing technological sophistication, this level of precision only grew.
- Chat-Bots and Instant Communication
Yet another evolving trend is the use of online customer support through chatbots, your virtual right-hand man. These are conversational bots that offer customised internet shopping experiences to one and all. Chatbots work through the in-depth comprehension of customer needs and tackling shopping enquiries up front. AI, algorithms and a conversational UI ensure that customers remain connected while carrying out online transactions, and deals. Chatbots also enable e-commerce companies to provide a smoother, quicker web experience for users online as well as reducing cart-abandonment rates.
- From GIF Images to Animation
At the start of this century, images were more in demand, as eCommerce site developers focused on using pictures that spoke a thousand words. As technology evolved from JPG, to PNG and GIT, the cinemagraphs were next. Still pictures with elements of animation, they give superior web based shopping inputs to customers. These are increasingly being used as item pictures, category headers and landing page banners. When it comes to images for eCommerce website development, the power of graphics is only exceeded by the technologies that make it possible by advancing at blazing fast speeds.
- From Long Scrolls to Cutting the Story Short
Once upon a time, long scrolls were in. But with the turn of the millennium, single page loading and powerful visual stories are the new normal for eCommerce sites. Drawing customers through compelling stories and a powerful brand narrative is undoubtedly the key. Design has become a crucial part of online retail web development too. Material designs with card type formats, vibrant hues, responsive animation and shadow impacts are on the rise. The new age eCommerce sites are also embracing strong and compelling reviews of their items on the site page itself, with ratings.
- From Mass Marketing to Personalised Messaging
The eCommerce websites have made the transition from mass-market communication to a more personalised approach, appealing to different customer segments on an individual level. This offers digital -age web entrepreneurs a rich wealth of customer data as well. Online shopping sites are customised for web purchasers right now. As time and technologies have advanced, the level of customisation is becoming increasingly sophisticated too.
- Catching Shoppers on the Move
This is undoubtedly one of the biggest trends in the eCommerce web development industry. Motion animation, videos and vlogs provide customers an opportunity to access an exceptional shopping experience. For online retail businesses, the customer is king, and video is the new royalty. Video reviews, how-to videos and many more apps that present a visually compelling narrative for tech-savvy users has liberated the 21st century eCommerce shopper.
- Quality Visual Treats, Blast of Bright Colours
eCommerce design and development trends would be incomplete without discussing the evolving role of features like visual special effects and colours to add vibrancy to the online shopping experience. Playing with colours and using bright, bold hues was a trend born in the 21st century, as the world made the shift from boring monochrome to the world of colours.
- Intuitive Designs, User Friendly UI
A simple, user-friendly and intuitive design drives customer engagement and spurs sales. This discovery at the turn of the century prompted web developers to change the way business (or rather shopping) is done online. Simplistic designs are in huge demand, especially in the past decade, with an increase in shopping requirements and a corresponding reduction in time available.
The whole point of eCommerce is to provide convenient and time saving measures for shoppers. As such, websites for online retailers increasingly reflect this now, avoiding text-heavy sections and features that are unnecessary. The basic aim is that design elements should not distract users and always have a purpose. Features like trending sections, live chats and pop ups changed the way websites were developed and designed.
- The Rise of Social Media
Social media buttons on sites are another trend of the 21st century. Facebook was born, Twitter soared and LinkedIn created deep connections. This changed the way eCommerce websites developed too. With social sharing, social media buttons and call-outs for social media handles, online retail sites are keen on joining the conversation.
- The 21st Century: A Digital Era for Hi-Tech eCommerce Sites
With the emergence of advanced digital technologies progressing at breakneck speed, eCommerce web development has kept up. The changing face of modern eCommerce web development processes have brought about a transition in shopping experiences, making the leap from good to great not just possible, but inevitable.