2017 was a banner year for mobile e-commerce.
Google’s decision to index mobile websites first was a landmark moment, officially making a company’s mobile site more important for search placement than its desktop site.
At the same time, e-commerce brands need to keep up with changing technologies and consumer needs. Only the best e-commerce design practices can keep eyes on your site in a fast-moving era of reduced attention spans.
What are the biggest e-commerce design trends to implement in 2018?
Our experts have compiled this list:
1. Conversational Chatbots
Chatbots provide users with a pleasing, interactive experience. Bots provide the advantages of talking to a live representative without the drawbacks. Unlike humans, bots can draw on data from across your product catalog and respond to queries almost instantly.
It would be an exaggeration to say today’s chatbots are perfect, but they’re growing in popularity by the day. Deloitte asserts that chatbots are more scalable and simpler for users than talking to human reps. As AI continues to advance, they’ll only be getting better.
2. Augmented Reality
Late in 2016, 40% of consumers said they’d be willing to spend more on a product that offered an augmented reality (AR) experience. AR refers to the ability to experience the sights and sounds of a real-world environment through your mobile device.
Augmented reality is key to the emerging retail shift from products to experiences. Consumers will no longer be limited to comparing e-commerce brands for price alone. Modern e-commerce design will allow a shopper to experience a product and truly envision owning it.
3. Fully-Responsive Design
Responsive design is hardly a new idea. It refers to designing websites that combine beauty and clear-cut navigation no matter what kind of device or screen size the site is viewed on. That should include, at a minimum, laptops, smartphones, and tablets.
To be truly responsive, however, a design should seamlessly reposition content vertically and horizontally depending on how a device is held. 2018 e-commerce design will focus on delivering a fluid transition that compensates for vast differences in display size.
4. Personalized Content
Personalized content is a core ingredient in modern digital marketing. Customers want to see messages that are relevant to them and attuned to their needs. Ideally, they want it without the “creepy” feeling that heavy-handed tracking and retargeting can create.
There are many cues you can use to integrate personalized content into e-commerce design: A user’s location and device type, for example. In 2018, location-sensitive content will be more valuable but so will content that builds on a customer’s past purchases and behavior patterns.
5. UX Minimalism
In the midst of all these exciting ideas, it’s vital to remember that less is more when designing a mobile interface. Many would-be customers find it challenging to navigate with a small display and even smaller keyboard. One extra step during checkout can cost you a sale.
In 2018, e-commerce brands would be well served by auditing their mobile sites from top to bottom. Take out menus and layers of navigation few customers use. Push customer-facing content to the top and get “must have” pages nobody reads, like About Us, out of the way.
The future of mobile e-commerce design might seem pretty complicated. With a sound design philosophy, it becomes simple. Think things through from the customer’s perspective and always prioritize what’s truly useful and interesting. Even the most complex new technology is simply one more method of creating a compelling experience for every visitor to your site.