The eCommerce industry is poised on the cusp of phenomenal growth with sales set to reach around $27 trillion by 2020, as per one estimate. The diverse roles that eCommerce businesses fulfil in a consumer-driven world thrive on innovation. The eCommerce businesses encompass a wide range of services, and every product imaginable is now available for purchase from anywhere across the globe. The entire premise on which eCommerce website development is based changes as a result of this.
As technology advances, eCommerce website development has to change with the times. For a long time, eCommerce transactions were carried out chiefly via laptops and computers. Now smartphones and tablets have left the other devices behind. Numerous apps are available for purchasing products and mobile-first approaches to eCommerce development are becoming a must. Read on to learn the important eCommerce website development rules that offer online businesses the winning edge.
#1 Website Development must be Responsive
Responsive websites are an essential component nowadays. Early eCommerce websites used design practices that resulted in too much clutter and slow loading times. As technology has advanced, text-heavy sites are replaced by clean, minimalistic and simple designs which are also extremely responsive. In the pre-broadband era, pages loaded in stages. Modern eCommerce website development needs to focus on a smooth and seamless user experience.
Embedded scripts were an obstacle early designers had to contend with. Now, as internet connection speeds have picked up, a lot more can be accomplished. Sophisticated eCommerce website development has caught on, with the adoption of smartphone-friendly technologies and a mobile-first approach. Sites with apps also make browser-based offerings mobile-friendly.
#2 Sites Need to Have a Simple Layout and Load Quickly
The number of smartphone users will hit a new record as mobile phones become a basic means of accessing sites. But for mobile users, data usage is a real issue. Consequently, to capture the attention of the largest audience, savvy web designers and developers are looking to provide neat and clean layouts where maximum efficiency is attained by only loading that which is necessary.
This applies to product listings in the context of eCommerce website development. Rather than listing thousands of products on a single page, it makes more sense to load the first few and then subsequent sets if the user scrolls to the existing list’s bottom. New eCommerce sites are built to handle loading times, appealing to mobile-first customers. Data-hungry sites can face stiff competition from their more responsive and quicker counterparts.
#3 Have a Hamburger Menu
Hamburger menus are becoming highly popular across different eCommerce website types. They offer a convenient means of hiding and revealing the menu as and when necessary, making it much easier to navigate sites, especially on smaller smartphone screens.
These menus are identifiable by 3 horizontal lines that must be tapped or clicked to reveal underlying menus. Additionally, pressing the bars again hides the menu. These menu types are efficient, simple, convenient and save considerable space as compared to a menu displayed within a frame.
#4 Cinemagraphs are the key to a vibrant eCommerce Site
Once upon a time, the GIF used to be the king of web embedded animations. But these are extremely resource-intensive and power-consuming for most mobile users. They add up in terms of data requirements, especially when a whole bunch of them are on a single page.
Cinemagraphs indicate a middle point between animated GIFs and still images. Using a combination of text and image that is not as power hungry or data-intensive is a boon for eCommerce sites.
#5 Personalisation is the Way to Go.
Users prefer websites that adapt to their needs. Sites must now be able to adapt to not just the devices used to access them. What matters equally is the users themselves. Based on the age and visual acuity, websites can reorder themselves to have larger elements.
For users who are right or left handed, the site could shift elements to the screen accordingly. With features like custom content and personalised touches, eCommerce web development is changing for the better.
#6 Use Grid Layouts to Offer Easy Navigation
From smartphone OS to larger eCommerce sites, the gap between the two can be bridged through simple grid designs. The grid design is easy and clear to navigate, with space being used efficiently. A common trend among such eCommerce sites is to adopt grid layouts and yet blend in with the rest of the page. Keeping ahead of the curve may be more important than keeping up with it. This is why site owners and designers should lookout for new designing opportunities, that foster loyalty and demand for eCommerce products.
#7 Use Unique Designs and Micro-interactions
One of the most popular designing trends is Google’s material design. Another hot favourite is the Apple flat design. Either which way, micro-interactions and subtle animations pave the way for user-friendly and intuitive browsing experiences. Each website gives attention to user-centric elements to bring about a higher conversion rate. Depth and shadow are integral parts of a material design. Card-like layouts have made their own mark on website design trends. Card designs come with short text, images and some buttons. Design is scoring big in website development.
#8 Call to Action Buttons/CTA are Critical
Ongoing web trends also display the use of ghost buttons outlined slightly and call-to-action text within the frame. Designed in a strong contrast against the background colour, the CTA is also made keeping attractive taglines in mind. Buttons are trendy and work exceptionally well for websites in the present year.
#9 Long Scroll is Still Important
With storytelling and strong brand narratives on the rise, long scrolling has caught on. Extensive use of smartphones has given a further push to long scrolling. It is essential for users to get upgraded interactions. Engaging images in between add to the user’s interest.
#10 Hover effects get user attention
Hover effects are perfect for attracting user attention. Hovering the mouse over an image shows related content and data. This design is extremely essential for eCommerce websites. It has the ability to provide essential information for users at a glance, saving precious time. Without even clicking on the site element, you can acquire information such as product specifications easily.
More personalised websites are also more interactive. Investing in unique designs, fonts, styles, iconography or even visuals could be the way to attracting and sustaining the attention of new and exisitng customers as well.