Top 10 UI/UX Design Trends for E-Commerce Business

2019 is already over, and we have to thank it for many trends that stuck around this year. In particular, there is one trend that is here to stay for the long haul. At least in e-commerce.

It’s user experience.

More and more e-commerce brands make it their priority to invest in UI and design, and it’s no longer just a whim. It’s a must.

Here’s was the stats say. According to Sagipl:

  • 82% of Alexa’s top 100 websites use adaptive design. So, your investment in UI and UX design is a prerequisite to remain competitive.
  • Shoppers leave a website after 0.05 seconds if they find it not interesting or they have a problem with the interface – a problem, which UX design can fix.
  • Since more and more shoppers prefer buying products from mobile devices (67%), having your website/service, not having a user-friendly website/app can cost you more than half of your audience.

E-commerce has seen some important UI and UX design trends establish this year. These trends are concerned with creating a seamless user experience and increase engagement, traffic, conversions, sales, and attract high-quality leads as a result.

These trends are here to stay, and following them is essential if you want your e-commerce business to remain competitive.

Let’s take a closer look at these trends and analyze a few examples of e-commerce brands.

1. A Call For Minimalism

A trend that gained momentum this year shows the growing tendency to make websites more minimalistic.

Why minimalism?

This trend in UI and UX design is the reaction to complex and ‘stuffed’ design. And, since there’s a growing tendency to simplify the user interface, minimalism offers everything to achieve it.

Let’s take a look at the example of a Denmark-based website of Iskos, the furniture manufacturer:

Design Trends

At first glance, you can already see the main attributes of minimalist web design, namely:

  • Negative space – white space or background of the home page
  • Flat texture – all images and UI elements don’t utilize 3D or other techniques to stand out because they already do it thanks to negative space.
  • Contrasting (hard) imagery – instead of the bright colors of background and UI elements, the minimalist design uses imagery to make the essential elements stand out (in this case, the manufacturer displays their products).
  • Minimalist typography – this website is a great example of minimalist design, as it uses mind decent font size and calm but contrasting font color.

You can also notice a limited color scheme overall. This approach creates a great user interface since it draws the attention of a user directly to the point.

The website is divided into sections only using a simple headline and images of the product.

A contrasting UI element on this website is a pop-up menu window in the corner of the screen:

Design Trends

Design Trends

There’s no need to add more sections to this menu since they are all already on the home page, so this menu serves as an additional source of information for the user, who wants to interact with the brand more.

Such designs, with simple navigation and the product as the main focal point, are perfect to achieve UI/UX design excellence.

2. Making an Emphasis On Branding

Another trend in UI and UX design is about strengthening the connection between user experience and branding.

User experience is defined by how close the user can approach the brand, and this became the point for UI and UX designers to focus on. Besides, a design centered on branding, makes every step of the user experience focused on introducing this user to the brand.

A great example of making emphasis on branding in UI and UX design is Unsubscribe, e-commerce brand of haircare products.

Their website is a masterpiece combining user experience and branding every step of the way. Scrolling through this website, a user will come across different elements, which helps achieve a complete interaction with a brand:

Design Trends

Design Trends

Besides seeing the word ‘unsubscribe’ in their slogans, which corresponds to the name of the brand, they also make their goal a focal point of the website, which is to help active people look after their hair better:

Design Trends

And, of course, the website is done with the best minimalist practices, helping create a simple but versatile user interface and overall positive user experience.

3. Going Bolder

This year, designers have observed a growing trend of bolder but simpler fonts. This tendency coincides with the minimalism trend, mentioned above.

In e-commerce, bold fonts are used to focus a user’s attention on a message that is usually placed in the middle of the page. Here’s an example of Limnia, an e-commerce brand selling fine jewelry:

Design Trends

Although the website uses a video of a model showcasing the product in the background, our attention is not drawn by it, but rather by the message placed in the center of the page in bold letters.

Among the most-used fonts, UI and UX designers prefer Helvetica, Sans, and Univers. However, you cannot randomly choose the font for UI/UX design. This choice depends on several different factors, namely:

  • Level of boldness in contrast to the rest of the design.
  • Size of the font and how it is perceived in contrast to the rest of the design.
  • Type, level of boldness, size, and color of the font in relation to your brand’s aesthetic.

All these factors influence how a user perceives and interacts with your brand, so the choice of fonts should contribute to the consistency of UI and UX design.

4. Adapting For Mobile

We mentioned in the introduction to this article that more than half of your customers prefer shopping via mobile devices. And since e-commerce brands predominantly operate online (with only some of them having physical showrooms), investing in mobile UX design is mandatory.

According to the Interaction Design Foundation, mobile user experience is aimed at creating positive mobile experiences via websites, applications, and other services used on mobile devices. The key objectives of mobile UX are efficiency and discoverability.

For an e-commerce brand, mobile UX means, first and foremost, the complete accessibility to all the elements of the website and the simplicity of the interface.

A great example of adapting a website for both desktop and mobile devices is Boria, a French e-commerce brand selling home décor:

Design Trends

The mobile version of Boria’s website has fewer design elements. However, it preserves all the key sections necessary for the clients to shop via mobile devices:

Design Trends

Investing in mobile UX is not only a prerequisite for great user experience. It is also important for the SEO ranking of your e-commerce brand.

Google ranks brands with high-quality websites adapted to mobile devices very high. But there are several rules that make a mobile site great. That is why, in 2015, Google posted mobile UX design tips for developers, regularly updating these tips as new trends come along. Among these tips you can find:

  • Research before you prototype. Since UX designers are biased, Google advises not to get into prototyping right away, but research the target audience first by means of heuristic analysis and AB testing.
  • Work on touch targets. Even if the interface of a mobile website is user-friendly and website loads fast on mobile devices, users will still abandon the website if it has elements that do not respond to their touch. This means that these elements have touch targets that are too small, and Google recommends making them at least 7-10 mm wide.
  • Less clutter. Synonymous with the minimalism trend in UI and UX design, this tip indicates that Google ranks cluttered mobile websites lower, as they are hard to interact with.

In other words, e-commerce brands should pay equal attention to the functionality of their websites both on desktops and mobile devices to deliver the full brand experience.

5. Focusing On Speed

At the beginning of the article, we also mentioned that customers make a decision whether to interact with your brand in the first 0.05 seconds of visiting your website.

For e-commerce brands, low page load speed can be detrimental. Since it is a very competitive industry, there is no problem for a user to go and find another e-commerce brand with a similar product but a fast-loading website.

Performance is also a part of user experience, and it says a lot about how you value your visitors as an e-commerce brand.

So, what’s the goal for a UX designer when it comes to a perfect page load speed?

According to Unbounce, it takes 15.3 seconds on average for a landing page to load. This, however, is already very long if your goal is to create a positive user experience.

Thus, Unbounce claims that the best page load speed is from 2.4 to 3.21 seconds, but sites that load in five seconds also get longer average sessions (70% longer according to the source).

Thus, the ultimate goal for positive user experience is achieving a page load speed of 3 seconds on average.

6. Creating Dressing Room Experience

Now, let’s switch from the technical part of our discussion to the trends in services that e-commerce brands can offer to enhance user experience and user interaction with the brand.

One of the growing trends in UI and UX design this year has been the introduction of virtual dressing rooms.

Online dressing room experience came as a response to the growing demands of consumers to interact more with the products and try them on. We all know that we are buying a pig in a poke if we cannot physically touch the product. This is especially true when it comes to e-commerce brands that sell clothes or accessories.

One of such e-commerce brands is Warby Parker, an online company that sells glasses, responded to this issue by launching a mobile app, where users can try on different shapes of glasses by simply taking a picture:

Design Trends

This app has been very helpful for the customers, who want to buy glasses but are hesitant as to what shape of the glasses will fit their face.

This trend is the merge between UX and AR (augmented reality), as customers interact with real-life objects, which are enhanced by computer-generated sensory modalities, to receive complete user experience with the brand.

7. Telling a Story Through Visuals

Another trend that aims at improving user experience via the contents of the website is visual storytelling.

The role of storytelling in marketing is huge. The research shows that marketing messages delivered as stories are up to 22 times more engaging and memorable. Storytelling means more value, which is why it successfully migrated to UX design and became visual storytelling.

For an e-commerce brand, visual storytelling is essential to user experience, as it brings customers closer to the brand and offers them exclusive participation in defining this brand.

One of the brands that successfully combines visual storytelling and positive user experience is Always, P&G’s personal hygiene brand:

Design Trends

Using visual storytelling, Always tells how the brand participates in a number of social causes, revealing the stories, how people interact with the brand and its product through their personal point of view:

Design Trends

There is, however, an issue with content placement when it comes to visual storytelling in UX design. Depending on what language target audience speaks and in which direction they read (left-to-right or right-to-left), the content will be placed differently.

For instance, for the audience that reads from left to right, the content should be placed in the middle or to the left and with around 75 characters per line:

Design Trends

Visual storytelling is an underlying methodology in UX design, which is essential for e-commerce brands, as they base their whole experience with the customer on online experiences.

8. Making Checkout Effortless

Another trend from demanding customers is making checkout more effortless. Effortless checkout is also one of the biggest challenges in UX design.

According to the recent stats by InvestCRO, the average shopping cart abandonment rate is 65.23%, to which the following reasons make a considerable contribution:

  • 14% – no guest checkout option
  • 11% – complex checkout process
  • 7% – not enough payment options

Since completing payments and checkout belong to user experience, UX designer is the one who should be concerned with making it more effortless.

If the website struggles with high shopping cart abandonment rate, it is a task of a UX designer to:

  • Find out why this is happening with the help of usability testing (through user interviews and data received from customer support).
  • Map the customer journey with the consideration of the data gathered from usability testing.
  • Do AB testing to see how the solution is working.

Since the success of an e-commerce brand depends a lot on a customer’s experience with checkout, making this process more effortless with UX design is an important contribution to positive user experience.

9. Focusing On Personalized Offers

Personalization is the trend that is here to stay. And UX can take it to another level by designing personalized offers.

Many e-commerce brands are already making great use of it.

For instance, Thinx, an e-commerce brand that sells underwear and personal hygiene products, has designed a survey to help pick products that suits the needs of a user:

Design Trends

Following the results of the survey, the brand creates personalized offers, which is perfect for first-time customers.

Another company, Tobi, an e-commerce brand that sells clothes, has made a focus on inclusivity by designing a pop-up window to help people with disabilities adjust the website to make the user interface more comfortable for them to use:

Design Trends

These UI and UX design contributions have the goal to personalize every user’s experience with the brand, acknowledging each user’s unique characteristics and behaviors.

10. Conversing With The Customer

In e-commerce, chatbots play an important role, providing customer support. They are also a part of user experience, no matter whether they use graphical UI design or voice UI design.

UI design offers great versatility to e-commerce brands when it comes to creating chatbots. For instance, MeUndies, an e-commerce brand selling underwear, use their website chatbot to answer the most searched questions:

Design Trends

Some brands go for a more interactive chatbot experience. Always, for instance, turns a conversation with their chatbot into a lifelike interaction with human:

Design Trends

Choosing a chatbot depends on how you want it to represent your brand. But there’s no denying that the chatbot trend will remain a part of UI and UX design since it has a direct impact on the quality of user experience.

Don’t Forget About the Value

Every trend that we’ve been talking about in this article has a strong focus on delivering value to the customer. They focus on the design that does no harm but puts an emphasis on value instead. These trends also aim at bringing your e-commerce brand closer to the customers through visual storytelling, conversational AI design, and UX branding.

Keeping up with these UI/UX trends can help e-commerce brands bring user experience to the forefront, ensuring that they remain successful in this highly competitive industry.

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