As we move further into a digital economy, research into American consumers found that 51% of people prefer shopping online. With ecommerce shopping becoming ever more vital even for those stores that are traditional brick-and-mortar shops, let’s look at some of the trends in ecommerce web design this year, and what is likely to follow in 2018.

 

Omnichannel Integration

Having an ecommerce presence across multiple channels is no longer going to be enough— the various channels will have to be integrated to suit the increasing number of devices consumers are using to browse ecommerce sites.

The recent popularity of cookie-enabled ads are a good example of this— if a user searches for a particular product on Google and browses a few potential purchases, it’s likely they’ll start to see ads for that product appearing on their Facebook feed soon after.


Personalization

Personalization is becoming key to the online shopping experience, with sites such as Amazon recommending products based on your previous purchases. Chatbots and artificial intelligence will also continue to play an increasingly larger part in this personalization.

These are ideal devices with which to send specially catered marketing content as well as special deals and coupons. They’re also very useful for dealing with straightforward customer requests, enabling staff to deal with more complex customer service issues.


Voice Purchases

2018 will also likely see more voice purchases. People are using devices such as the Amazon Echo or Apple’s Siri to either complete a purchase, or conduct research prior to making one. Greater use of voice assistants may mean that businesses need to change their approach to SEO, as spoken searches can be quite different to written ones.


Mobile Platforms

Ecommerce web design will also have to become more focused on mobile platforms. Research from last year found that although 59% of browsing on e-commerce sites was conducted via a mobile, these mobile browsers made up only 38% of revenue. It is interesting to see that many people are still uncomfortable making purchases directly through their smartphone.

This could be in part that buying products, or making bookings, etc. via a phone is still a newer experience than via a desktop, and yet it could also be that customers struggle to use many businesses’ websites via mobile, and more work needs to be done to make them more user-friendly for those potential customers.


Online to Offline

With the increasing mobile use comes a greater need for a responsive store locator app on your site. A store locator widget enables customers browsing online to find a brick and mortar store with ease, ensuring that you convert user research into a purchase.

It’s also an efficient means of providing customers with useful information, such as opening times, special offers and in-store events. An interactive map meanwhile is a good way of keeping the customer on your site, rather than having them leave for another app or search engine to find directions.

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