3 E-Commerce Design Trends to Give Your Brand a Competitive Edge
It’s no secret that the pandemic has accelerated the growth of e-commerce at, dare we say it, an unprecedented rate. Competition is increasingly fierce and consumer expectations continue to evolve.
While the last two years were defined by pivoting and digital transformation as retailers rushed to keep up with demand, this year is all about differentiation as online retailers go bigger, bolder and more creative than ever before to stand out.
Therefore, if you’re looking for a way to deliver something fresh, exciting and, most importantly, memorable to your customers, here are three of the biggest trends in e-commerce design right now that you can leverage to give your retail brand a competitive edge.
E-commerce store builder platforms are great for making building a storefront a straightforward process by offering a range of easily customizable layout templates. However, this also means that many online stores often end up looking similar, and fail to leave a lasting impression as a result.
In order to stand out from the crowd, an increasing number of brands are using unconventional layouts to create a more interesting and memorable interaction for their customers.
Breaking traditional design practices, these layouts read more like a digital art gallery, combining elements such as videos, interactive animation, offbeat color schemes and quotes to weave their brand story and personality directly into the shopping experience.
Appealing to the Senses
Multisensory digital experiences are all the rage right now, but they're often complex and not everyone owns a virtual reality headset (despite Meta’s best efforts to date). Luckily, it's entirely possible to create an interactive sensory experience through great design.
Whether that’s expertly combining different hues, gradients, stylized fonts and shapes to set a mood; using high-res, close-up photography to elevate simple product imagery; or writing thought-provoking copy to support your visual content and set a scene. Consider how you want your customers to feel — and what senses you want to engage — when they land on your website. Then you’ll be able to make creative decisions that enable them to truly immerse themselves in the experience of shopping on your website.
Combining sounds with animation is another way to add a layer of stimulation for the senses. For example, a photograph of a waterfall could spring to life when a user's mouse passes over it, the sound and vision of the water cascading down the cliff continuing until they move on to the next exciting part of your page.
Vertically Aligned Menus
Since e-commerce began, the default menu style has been the horizontal layout at the top of the page. It’s clear to see and easy to navigate, so it made sense when we only shopped on our desktops. But these horizontal layouts don’t work too well on smaller screens, and with mobile shopping at an all-time high, it’s vital your store works across different sized devices.
That’s why an increasing number of e-commerce brands are starting to display their navigation bars and menus vertically instead. Vertical menus are easier to scale, adaptable to different screen sizes and, as they take up less space, they’re perfect for mobile browsing. Additionally, when viewed on a desktop or laptop, users can navigate through your site without cumbersome dropdown boxes obstructing their view of the rest of your carefully curated page, making for a more intuitive and practical shopping experience.
To make sure your e-commerce website stands out and captures people’s attention, it’s important you give your customers something unique and interesting. By getting creative with the design of your storefront and keeping it up-to-date with current trends, you can promote stronger brand retention, increase time spent on your site, and ultimately boost conversion rates.
Shayne Tilley is head of marketing at 99designs by Vista, the global creative platform that makes it easy for designers and clients to work together to create designs they love.
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Shayne Tilley is head of marketing at 99designs by Vista, the global creative platform that makes it easy for designers and clients to work together to create designs they love. He is a wrangler of collaboration, diversity, and creativity who helps bring more opportunities to people all around the world. For more information please visit 99designs.com.