Five Design Trends to Give Your Online Business a Boost

Sep 16, 2015
DotcomWeavers


One of the most interesting things about the design of eCommerce websites is that even though the core elements are always the same—there are words and images—how those elements are packaged and presented is always changing. As new technologies emerge and our understanding of customer habits and preferences grows, web developers adapt to that knowledge to improve customer experience and increase sales.

This is why it’s critically important for business owners to evaluate their website in the light of design trends. In most instances, the same-old/same-old isn’t enough. You need to ensure your eCommerce site is evolving to meet the needs of your customers and help you stay ahead of your competition.

Here are Five eCommerce Design Trends that are popping up on websites all over the world. Maybe one, some, or all of them can take your business to the next level.

Ghost Buttons
Like most great website design trends, ghost buttons are more than just a cool feature. These transparent shapes (yes, that’s why they are called ghosts), are filled with text that leads the visitor to another level of information. Here is an exampleGhost Button

As you can see, the difference between a normal text box and a ghost button is that the ghost blends in with the site background. A text box is meant to stand out more prominently. Still, the ghost’s lack of prominence actually works to its advantage. By blending in with their surroundings, the ghost helps maintain a seamless page that is perceived as more visually appealing than its heavily layered counterparts.

Lifestyle Photography
In a very real way, social media sites like Instagram and Facebook have given lifestyle photography a big push forward because this trend is centered on the advantages of showing real people doing real things. On your eCommerce site, that means you should consider incorporating photos of real people using your products. Obviously, you want to show some discretion with the quality of the images (after all, a bad photo of someone using your product is still a bad photo of someone using your product), but you might not need to utilize a professional photographer either. The goal here is to show potential customers that your product is real and useful. In other words, the image should prove that other people have already deemed your product worth buying. Here is an example.Lifestyle images

Hidden Menus
Although a “hidden menu” doesn’t seem like a good idea if you want to help customers find what they’re looking for, the benefits of concealing the site navigation information can actually add a lot to your website’s appeal. Typically, a hidden menu can be located by clicking on the “hamburger” icon—almost always shown as three stacked lines. Here is an example

Hamburger Menu

As you can see, the three-bar icon houses a lot of important information in a very subtle way. This approach is particularly beneficial for content-heavy menus that could be a distraction if listed up front on the site.

Videos

It’s surprising that the video trend has taken so long to catch on because the benefits are so clear. Videos provide customers with a personal view of your company, allowing them to see and hear who you are and what you sell. This is essentially the online equivalent of the in-store experience. Videos also increase your site’s interest factor by providing something to watch rather than read.
Still, not all videos are created equal. So be sure your video looks as professional as possible. Start with a good script, make sure you have decent lighting, use someone who looks and sounds good on screen, and don’t go on an on—keep it to one minute or less. If you have more to share, make another video.
Also follow these other simple rules:
• Use relevant keywords to describe your videos. This will give the viewer a better idea of what they’re about to watch.
• Link to the video from various places on your site. Don’t assume the visitor will find your video just because it is posted on your home page.
• Share the video on social media sites like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. You put a lot of time and energy into creating the video, it only makes sense to get as much marketing mileage as possible.

Cards
This is an interesting development in eCommerce design. When you understand a bit more about it, you’ll (literally) see why. Cards are rectangular or square photos that include information about the image being displayed. The easiest way to understand cards is to visit Pinterest, but the reality is you can find them on thousands of eCommerce sites including Adidas.com, SportsAuthority.com, ReaLync.com, PotteryBarn.com, and many more. The reason cards are so popular is the streamlined way they present important information in a visually appealing format. Cards not only grab attention, they provoke the viewer to interact with your site.

As you think about the impact your website is having on visitors, it’s always a good idea to periodically evaluate ways to improve customer experience and increase sales. If now is the right time to do a review, be sure to consider these five design trends to give your website—and business—a boost!

To speak with a professional about improving your website design, contact DotcomWeavers at [email protected] or 888.315.6518.

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