At LeapGo, it’s our job to stay on top of the latest trends in ecommerce web design.
Many of our clients run large stores on Shopify, BigCommerce, and Magento, and for them staying ahead of the competition is the key to making more sales and growing their businesses.
If you run an ecommerce store, a website that is fresh, modern, and user-friendly is crucial to your success, more now than ever before with the growing amount of competition you face online.
So what are the trends you need to be keeping an eye on in 2018? Here are some that we’ve noticed emerging in 2017 and that are certain to play a big role over the next 12 months.
Rise of the Chatbots
Automation is making its mark on ecommerce, and more store owners are shifting to chatbots for the opportunity these provide to scale their businesses.
Chatbots can be used to take over manual tasks and automate the process significantly, which is the perfect way to save time for busy business owners.
Customer service is one way that chatbots can be used. By setting up a chatbot that provides helpful advice to your customers, you can save yourself a lot of time while also improving the experience at your store.
People are becoming increasingly used to chatbots—and they like them. Chatbots are fast and efficient. And, when implemented correctly, they can also be fun.
AR and VR
It seems like augmented reality and virtual reality have been around for years while never quite breaking through to the mainstream. While it’s by no means certain that 2018 will be their year, it’s likely that they will make a bigger impact over the next few months, and the effect could be felt in ecommerce.
Part of the reason for this is that the technology is getting cheaper. Cheap devices like Google Cardboard are bringing VR to the masses, and this will encourage more retailers to start experimenting with AR and VR, especially when it comes to marketing.
One way you might be able to capitalize on this is through creating your own VR videos to show off your products. Images and videos have long been important for ecommerce sales, so think what you could achieve if customers were able to get a much more detailed look at your products via their VR headsets.
You might not quite be ready for this, but keep an eye on what your competitors are doing and start thinking about how you could adopt VR or AR this year to make more sales.
Stunning Photography & High-Quality Videos
Photography has always been an important element of selling online. Where customers cannot physically handle products before buying them, images are the next best thing. And this is only set to become more important over 2018.
While it’s always been a bad idea to use low-quality stock photography to show off your range, which only cheapens your brand, these days more than ever you will want to steer well clear of this.
Instead, invest in high-quality images of your products, especially images of people using your products. Original images involve a cost, but the investment is well worth it.
You might even want to explore 360-degree images to provide a more detailed view of your products so that your customers can feel like they are almost touching them.
It’s the same with videos. Videos are being used more than ever now, and they have an important role to play in 2018. This year, expect to see a lot more high-quality product videos used on ecommerce sites, and you should be doing the same.
Videos are ideal for telling stories and getting across complex information in a simple and engaging way. If you have a product that is hard to describe with text alone, show it off in a video to provide a clear example of how it works.
Videos also have the benefit of being highly shareable via social media, especially if you inject some humor into them.
People want to order their shopping faster these days, and that means you need to provide them with a fast and efficient checkout system.
Now is the year that you should seriously consider implementing Android Pay and Apple Pay if you haven’t yet done so.
Creating a seamless checkout process boosts conversions. But the checkout is constantly changing, and the traditional checkout may well start to change this year to become more direct without the need to fill out any details.
Of course, proper mobile optimization is the first thing to get right. Many people will be buying from your store using their mobile devices, so you want to make it as easy as possible for mobile shoppers to buy what they want quickly and easily.
Voice search is becoming increasingly commonplace in our everyday lives. Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant are slowly taking over our homes, and speaking into our devices has become second nature for many of us.
It won’t be long before voice search makes an impact in the world of ecommerce.
In fact, it’s already beginning. Just look at Walmart, which recently partnered up with Google to provide shopping via Google Assistant. Expect to see more of this in the near future.
When it comes to your online store, remember that more search engine queries are now voice searches, and this is a trend that is set to grow. What this means is that you will need to optimize your store for voice search to reflect the language of your customers and help you get found in search.
Voice is ideal for ordering simple items and making everyday purchases, and if you can reflect the language of voice search in your store, you will stand a better chance of getting found and making more sales.
And Trends that Will Become Increasingly Important…
There are some areas that can’t be considered trends exactly, but rather areas that have been important for a number of years and will remain fundamental in the year ahead.
We’ve already touched on mobile, but it’s worth repeating. Mobile commerce is big, and getting bigger. It will inevitably become even more important during 2018.
The focus is now on creating a mobile site first and basing your desktop version on that. The mobile experience is what matters most, and you should absolutely ensure your mobile experience is a positive one.
Better Performance and UX
Performance is the foundation of any successful ecommerce strategy. If you don’t get that right, your store will never reach its potential.
Performance affects user experience, and a good experience makes all the difference. So if you do nothing else this year, focus on speeding up your site, making sure the navigation is intuitive, and doing everything you can to provide a satisfying experience.
Smash Your Sales Targets in 2018
Ecommerce is constantly evolving, and it will continue to change in 2018. These are some of the areas we think you should look out for in the months ahead.
But never ignore the basics. A fast website with a clean and modern design, along with good use of conversion optimization strategies and an excellent mobile experience are the things that really matter.
So go into the new year with this in mind, and make 2018 your best year yet for ecommerce sales.