6 Ecommerce Trends We’ll See Next Year
Even with the popularity of online shopping on the rise, there is plenty of competition, especially among smaller businesses. As businesses become savvier and technology more streamlined, smart eCommerce store owners should pay attention to the trends and keep their sites updated and on the cutting edge.
In 2018, experts predict global eCommerce retail sales will reach about $653 billion. Now is the time to revamp your site and get it ready for the next significant trends.
Here are six to look at for the next year and work into your eCommerce designs.
1. Adding Website Animation
Animation has been around for years, but it’s made a recent comeback as designers have found exciting new ways to implement animation on their sites. Animation includes minor changes, such as creating an effect when a user hovers over a navigation tab, or adding more dramatic features such as videos. Incorporating video may get you as much as 66 percent more leads annually.
As connection speeds grow faster and more reliable, expect to see more and more animation.
2. Focusing on Mobile
Mobile trends continue to rise year after year. Experts predict smaller retailers will see higher conversion rates than larger ones by as much as 30 percent. As more and more people buy smartphones and the Internet of Things increases along with higher-speed wireless such as 5G, expect to see these numbers increase even more.
Expect eCommerce stores to continue their focus on mobile responsiveness. Smaller companies will add apps and figure out ways to make mobile browsing and buying more accessible than ever before.
Nationwide Insurance does an excellent job with their mobile responsiveness. Note how their desktop and mobile websites look similar, but they optimize their mobile site for a smaller screen. The company also offers a mobile app for both iPhone and Android that allows customers to pay their bill, view their insurance cards, check on policies or even start a claim after an accident. Their foresight enables them to build on their business model and gain new leads from the younger generation as they come of age.
3. Using Hashtags
In the last couple of years, about 68 percent of U.S. Internet users stated they used their mobile devices to interact while watching television. This trend of using a second screen has become wildly popular. Expect to see more and more uses of social media as a way for people attending an event in person or viewing it on TV to interact online.
Adding hashtags is a great way to get people interacting and spreading the word about your brand. One idea is to add hashtags to your trade show event. Create a photo op for booth visitors and ask them to upload their photos with a specific hashtag. Choose a few of them for additional prizes and offers to provide some incentive to upload the photos. Keep the interaction fun, and people are more likely to participate.
4. Implementing Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Expect AI to continue its upward growth trajectory. Use AI through translation services that allow the site visitor to choose a language to translate the site. Google is one of the biggest providers of this and on the cutting edge of AI technology. The tech giant even offers a widget you can add to your site that allows visitors to translate your site easily into the language of their choice.
The City of Phoenix uses Google’s translation widget on their site. This feature allows site visitors to translate the content into the language of their choice. Note in the screenshots the default of English and then the translated Spanish version of the site. You can also choose to translate into French, German and dozens of other languages.
5. Speeding up Your Site
Mobile sites historically haven’t loaded as quickly as desktop versions. As more and more people go online, this becomes a problem and translates into lost sales. The average eCommerce site in the U.S. loaded in about 6.9 seconds, but studies show 40 percent of consumers leave a page if it doesn’t load in three seconds. Speeding up delivery will trend into 2019 and beyond. The faster your site loads, the better.
6. Add Voice Search
Experts estimate half of all searches will be via image or voice within the next few years. Adding voice search now gets you ready for the coming changes. It is also much easier for people to complete other tasks and use their voices to search your site for what they want. Adding voice search isn’t an easy task. You may need to hire a programmer to implement this function on your site. If your site is on a WordPress platform, you can use the plugin Voice Search.
Ecommerce Trends in the Next Five Years
Expect websites to get faster and provide a more engaging experience. Today’s consumer wants to get news, information and entertainment on a personal level. Even though we can look at some trends and see where the future of eCommerce is heading, a few unexpected things will undoubtedly also make a splash. No matter what the trends are, some basics will remain the same and make your site attractive, such as sound design with a good balance of white space and a website that delivers what the audience wants.
Lexie Lu is a web developer and UX strategist. Her work is on Creative Bloq, Marketo, Website Magazine and Marketme. Check out her design blog, Design Roast, and follow her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.