Online retail continues to be a place of innovation for brands regarding their retail strategy. From driving sales to obtaining customer insights, deploying on-site initiatives can be a valuable way to evolve and distinguish a brand from direct competition. So what are some of the emerging on-site retail trends as we plan for holiday 2014? Here are 6 on-site eCommerce trends for online retailers…
1) Flat design accentuates products, increases usability – The minimalist nature of flat design is popping up all over the internet. While this style of design works for some content-focused sites, it can really excel on eCommerce sites where it shifts the focus more towards the products available on the site. The simple, fixed position navigation (as shown above) is becoming a common element of flat design.
2) Responsive design development continues to increase – Flat design is also very popular in responsive design sites, or sites which are automatically customized to fit the size of your device (PC, tablet, smartphone, etc.). Responsive design can greatly help usability and increase conversation rates, but retailers must be careful that responsive elements do not drastically increase site loading time.
3) Touch-based interfaces are becoming more popular in site re-designs – As responsive design and touchscreen technology becomes more widespread, large buttons that are easy to click on or touch are becoming more popular. These buttons also transition well into mobile site designs while still maintaining an appealing appearance to the traditional PC user.
4) Increased use of visual and interactive content – As mobile networks improve so do video and image consumption capabilities on these devices. Video creates a new medium for online retailers to be more in-depth and interactive, especially as a compliment to product descriptions, with HTML5 helping to cut down on file size. Larger images, especially of products for their pages, are also becoming more common.
5) More content on one page – Especially on product pages, consumers are showing that when they don’t need to click around to find information their conversion rate increases. By having more and different styles of information on one page, it provides fewer avenues for consumers to bounce off a site. More robust reviews and applicable on-site coupons that are easy to use are just two ways retailers are providing applicable content to site visitors.
6) Unique optimization through research – Some online retailers are beginning to understand that some trends are unique to their site or their consumers. By using tactics such as on-site heat mapping and real time A/B testing, retailers are able to optimize their site to increase page views and conversion rates. Some online retailers are even using eye-tracking technology in a controlled environment to understand the unadulterated habits of consumers on their site.
In conclusion, the online retail industry has shifted towards on-site trends focused on simplicity and maximizing the current state of mobile technology. Looking forward to future trends, creating personalized experiences for consumers will likely become important, especially providing relevant and researched information to increase future conversion rates.