Online shopping is on the rise according to the latest reports and does not show signs of ever slowing down. However, the Internet is a busy and loud place, competition is fierce, people change their online shopping behaviors by the minute, advertising is more expensive, and customers become more and more digitally conscious than ever before.
In this confusing landscape, having an online store and hoping that money will flow your way is not enough anymore. Today, we will discuss the top e-commerce trends and strategies to follow in the upcoming years to stay ahead of the competition and offer new and returning customers a memorable web experience that improves sales.
1. Modern Designed Business Website Templates
Whether you are a debutant business or an established one, you need to match your e-commerce website design with the users’ needs and wishes. If your e-commerce store uses the same old full-width hero home page template, maybe it is time to make a change. Luckily, you now have fantastic website builders offering professionally designed business website templates that come with all UI and UX elements incorporated into their framework. From the creation of entire e-commerce stores from scratch with no coding skills to the building of product-centered landing pages, such platforms are a godsend for small businesses.
Here are some design elements to consider, according to the significant growing trends in web design this year:
- Split-screen design and unconventional grid layouts, especially if you don’t have many products to sell;
- Landing-page/product page hybrids or store-within-a-store. Such revamped pages look like landing pages for a specific product but allow the user to navigate the website and connect with all the other related products.
2. Cyber Security and Trustworthiness
No respectable online store these days can get away with not having top-notch cybersecurity up and running. If you think that cyber-attacks only address major retailers, you are wrong. It is common practice for cybercriminals to hit small and medium online businesses as well, especially when it comes to getting their hands on credit/debit card information, personal data, and more.
If you already have an online store and you fell behind security and generating a sense of trustworthiness in the hearts of your customers, here are the leading e-commerce website security strategies:
- The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS);
- Secure Sockets Layer (SSL);
- Multi-factor authentication (MFA), 2-factor authentication (2FA), or 2-step verification (2SV);
Protecting the personal data of your clients is paramount now. According to research, over 60% of consumers say they will not engage again with a business that allowed personal data theft.
3. Personalized Experiences to All Shoppers
Like all businesses, retail struggles to offer new and established customers a more personal, human approach. An important – if not vital – part of business storytelling and digital marketing, offering customers a personalized experience is easy to achieve with today’s technology.
A product display with an image, a description, and some bullet points worked well until now, but customers want to engage with the brands to offer them their trust and money. New approaches to e-commerce websites include the following:
- Quizzes that match the users’ needs to the best product meant to satisfy those needs. They are particularly useful for new and skeptical clients;
- Listing the benefits of the product in a copy that echoes a sensible tone of voice and puts the focus on the shopper’s needs, wishes, expectations, etc.;
- Product usage advice that is real and actionable and answers peoples’ inherent question regarding whether they need that product or not;
- Reviews. While nobody believes in testimonials anymore, and everybody questions the believability of online appraisals, you should not give up on them. Users’ reviews are crucial to the selling capacity of a product, so make sure you integrate them smoothly into your e-commerce web design;
- Product and business story. Digital marketers will never stop emphasizing the importance of business storytelling in brand loyalty strategies, so if you can attach a compelling story and an emotion to the products you sell, you are on the winning path. You can achieve this with professionally written copy, custom illustrations, engaging videos, and images that all speak of your brand’s mission, vision, and values.
The golden rule of UX is to make everything a no-brainer for your customers – from the moment they enter a product page to the moment they exit a successful shopping cart transaction. Being “close” to them, every step of the way is crucial in today’s ferociously competitive retail environment.
4. Go Mobile
Mobile commerce IS online commerce. Financial experts predict that m-commerce will take over 44% of the total e-commerce market by 2024. If your online store is not 100% responsive, leave everything, and make it mobile-friendly as soon as possible. Google’s “mobile-first” idea will shortly turn into Google’s mobile-first indexing and ranking factor. Luckily, the majority of modern website builders allow you smooth website responsiveness across all screen sizes and device types. If you are not new to e-commerce, a full website revamp to rank on mobile and AMP is mandatory by 2021.
5. Social Media Integration
We are not talking about the simple display of social media accounts’ icons on all e-commerce store pages, although it helps. With Facebook’s “Buy” button, the Instagram Checkout, and even Tik Tok’s integration of online shopping, boosting sales has never been easier, primarily if you address Millennial and Gen Z shoppers. The main idea here is that users shop through social media platforms and never leave their favorite playground to shop on your website. This means striking UX gold.
E-commerce is thriving, and it is on an ascending path that nobody can deny or stop. As a beginner or seasoned business in online retail, you need to stay ahead of the competition and ride the trending waves having the future in mind.
Nobody says to try all strategies, implement all trends, and mix the solutions at the same time. However, take your time (but not too much), do your research, and invest time, effort, and money in the strategies that best serve your business and your audience.