These days, online storefronts are more crucial for a business than their physical outlets. Going digital is not the trend anymore. It is the default mode to adopt for any business that wants to increase its customer base beyond its immediate geography.
With billions of web stores all around, the design of your eCommerce platform must stand out from the rest. Yet, the effort should not end at bringing the traffic.
The design should be such that it is easily comprehensible to the user. The navigation should be hassle-free. The designs should be pleasing to the eye and, at the same time, offer every information that a user needs before confirming a purchase.
The design should be interactive enough to encourage the user to delve deeper into the site and explore the products available. The design should not act as a stumbling block for a user who only wants to explore without having a specific product in mind. It is important to have these qualities to increase conversion.
Finally, the design should be device-agnostic. It should be as smooth and responsive on a smartphone as it is on a desktop.
Since these factors that drive the efficiency of eCommerce sites change from time to time depending on the users’ demand and technological innovations happening around, we must know what the recent trends are.
You should be able to share this information with your team of graphic designers and marketers and discuss how to implement these design trends to further propel your business forward. To make the collaborative effort easier, use a visual feedback tool like Instacap. This tool helps you collect feedback from various team members using a single link.
Here, we provide you with 13 top eCommerce trends that are shaping the current market.
For years at a stretch, square grid layouts were the most prevalent in eCommerce. The layout is one of the most important aspects of eCommerce graphic design. A correct and efficient layout can draw new users and retain them for a longer time, increasing the average page-visit duration. It is why graphic designers have always experimented with layout types.
After being in trend for a significant time, square grid layouts left space for unconventional layouts that did away with homogeneously sized product shapes with everything structured in strict rows and columns. Unconventional grid layouts, where none of the product-box sizes matched with the other, helped brands distinguish themselves and draw eyeballs. Modern brands, with the lookout for an edgy feel, decided to go with these designs.
But, now that trend has evolved further and appeared as unconventional grid layouts. Brands are currently experimenting with multi-product galleries that not only go up and down but also left-and-right, diagonal, and sometimes even forwards and backward. The trend is gaining momentum as its intuitive navigation design principles help mobile users move around the page as they wish. Being mobile-first is crucial for design layouts these days as mobile has moved ahead in its share of online traffic when compared to desktops. Mobile draws 52% of the online traffic as compared to 45.3% of the desktops.
The incorporation of rich animations is seeing an increase in e-commerce graphic design. They serve two vital purposes. First, they make the page more engaging and exciting to spend time on. Secondly, they provide a sense of movement to the otherwise static page. eCommerce brands are increasingly using them to add homepage banners and background images to deliver fun and make the page more enjoyable.
Cinemagraphs are nothing but a still picture with a small animation effect added to it. It gives the experience of a mini video and is pleasing to the eye. Apart from using cinemagraphs, eCommerce designers are also using several animation features such as button spins, icon rotations, loading bars as call-to-action functionalities.
For a long time, eCommerce graphic design was largely about the color white and minimalism. However, that trend has changed into the use of striking colors. Designers are experimenting more with bold and bright colors. The efforts are mostly aimed at making the website pop. More than the aesthetic value of colors, designers are experimenting with colors that help connect with their target audience.
The use of bright, striking, and impactful colors often brings a positive and satisfying shopping experience. They also help convey messages when combined with neutral backgrounds, big typography, highlighted letters, and intuitive and interactive navigational tools.
Using stock images in product description pages was a common practice for eCommerce graphic designers even in the recent past. These images fail to connect with the audience as they lack originality and are often used by other players as well.
Doing away with this trend, the use of original high-resolution images is gaining ground. It helps people make informed decisions. Since there is no gap between what the customer orders for and what they receive, trust between the brand and its target audience increases substantially. Some brands are also experimenting with the latest technologies of VR, AR, and 3D imaging to take the impact of these original photographs a few notches higher.
Earlier, eCommerce graphic designers used to treat homepage and product sub-pages as mutually exclusive domains. The shoppers had to first reach the homepage and then head to various subpages to locate the products they are looking for.
But, these days, the trend is to add more elements to the homepage. Designers are leveraging this trend to bring forth the searched products on the homepage itself. They are also using such hybrid page designs to highlight newly launched products, products that have allowed exclusive selling rights to a particular eCommerce company, or products that have a time-bound offer going on.
These hybrid designs help create mini-stores focused on one or multiple products on the homepage itself. It helps in targeted drives and makes navigation easier on the site.
With the growth of mobile-first designs, designers are increasingly leveraging icons that express what the designers intend, without occupying a lot of space. Hamburger menus are generally used on the right side, and they expand on clicking to give the full menu of items and features present on the website.
However, in 2021, designers are increasingly experimenting with the positioning of the hamburger menu icon. Instead of placing them on the right, the trend is to put them on the left side of the navigation.
The shift ensures that it is the menu that grabs the users’ attention first. Even stalwarts like Google are also using placing their Hamburger menus on the left to make them more visible and easy to locate.
The vaporwave scheme of aesthetics has been gaining popularity among eCommerce website designers. Experts define it as a mix of nostalgia, futurism, and surrealism in visual art. It brings together several design elements of retro pop culture from the decades of the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s.
There are several symptoms through which the Vaporwave aesthetics manifests itself. These symptoms include the sense of an otherworldly atmosphere, psychedelic typography, neon pastel color schemes, loads of bubblegum pink hues, gradient color blending, etc. It also often incorporates abstract shapes, grainy and low-resolution visuals, glitch art, and a splash of Roman sculptures.
The amalgamation of so many rich elements may often prove to be a bit heavier than what your brand requires. But an experienced graphic designer can create a stellar eCommerce design by properly adjusting the elements to one another.
The graphic designers who follow the principles of material design use boxes that stand out from the grid. They also make use of shaded backgrounds that help add depth and grab attention. Many upcoming eCommerce websites are leveraging the material design scheme.
The advantage of the material design scheme is that it brings vibrance within a minimalistic appearance. Another factor driving its popularity is that the design is modernistic and helps keep the focus on the content. The use of shadow effects helps bring a sense of motion along with depth. Ultimately, the designers can effectively create a clean and proper interface that seems real and relatable to the user.
The fun filter functionalities help resolve confusions that arise out of logical categorization strategies. Fashion and apparel brands mostly face these issues. For instance, people searching for men’s shoes on the site feel confused over whether they should search in the men’s section or the shoe section.
Fun filters help choose sub-categories or a mix of both categories through interactive designs. They are more attractive and interactive than the generic dropdowns. Fun filters also often come in the form of a sliding scale where moving the slider on the scale, you can reach the exact data point within a range. Being entertaining and effective at the same time, fun filters are something that will gain more traction in the days to come.
From more dynamic images than static ones, the trend is now shifting towards the incorporation of more and more videos, movies, animations, and micro-interactions. Instead of providing static images on the product description pages, designers are leveraging motion graphics to give a 360-degree view of the product.
Seeing the product in movement increases its credibility and relatability. Models wearing the dress and moving around offer a practical view of how the product is going to look on someone once delivered. The understanding of the shoppers about the product increases. In turn, it helps to reduce returns and increase conversions.
The innovations that VR, AR, and 3D imaging technologies bring with them make it possible to convert static visual designs into advanced interactive ones. These technologies are not expensive to use. Even niche small-sized eCommerce websites can leverage them. By hovering over the image, you can ascertain the nitty-gritty of the product. It leads to a better and more informed shopping experience.
The use of these technologies proves the best for fashion accessories, furniture, and home decorations. It gives the user more control over their viewing experience. Interactive designs are helpful, and the technology that these designs are based on is evolving with each passing day. We can expect this trend to grow further, making the viewing experience nuanced and exciting.
Typography has always been a key part of any graphic design scheme. Designs for eCommerce websites are no exception. Yet, designers often focus too much on visual design and forget the importance of the fonts they use. Fonts should not only complement your design but should accentuate the visual design of the site.
These days, the trend is to go with unconventional fonts. Designers are increasingly thinking out of the box and attempting to go beyond the limitations of the Sans and Serif typefaces. The use of unconventional fonts helps brands stand out from the crowd. They also help generate interest among their users. Unusual fonts create a memorable impression and enhance the recall value of the design.
Severely increased use of digital platforms has made dark modes popular. Google implemented it in 2019, followed by several social media platforms. Ecommerce platforms have also been implementing dark mode-friendly designs with increased frequency.
Darker colors help alleviate eye strain. Yet, websites often suffer from the device’s dark mode preferences. Therefore, designers must optimize their visuals, fonts, textures, and backgrounds keeping in mind the increasing prevalence of dark modes.
By keeping up with the latest trends, you can ensure that your eCommerce store is always on the cutting edge. In addition, following these trends can help you build a strong brand identity that will attract and retain customers.
So, if you're looking to take your eCommerce business to the next level, be sure to keep an eye on these graphic design trends. Keep these in mind the next time you ask for or provide feedback to your team regarding your web design.