Today’s article on How to Cope with Risky eCommerce Design Trends: Real-Life Website Examples is brought to you by Lana Miro – Partner Manager at TemplateMonster
Let’s welcome Lana in our blog, and learn from her invaluable experience!
Risky ecommerce design trends can lead to the collapse of your online business faster than you can say Jack Robinson. That is why it makes sense to learn how to cope with risky ecommerce design trends before they actually affect the performance of your estore. To so so, you have to know the difference between changes you are advised to make. Yes, some of the changes you have to introduce quickly to stay afloat. But there are also others that you need to put on hold.
So, in this article, we want you to get a clear picture of what ecommerce design trends are risky by nature. To single out those trends, we will first analyze top ecommerce design trends in 2018 and then learn how some of them can have a harmful effect on your estore if misused.
Risky Design Trend #1. Too Visual?
One of the most common dilemmas of online entrepreneurs is to find the balance between being informative and legible. In other words, many owners of estores fight with the question how to showcase products, provide individual products details, and leave some white space at the same time. The overall tendency that is clearly observed within the last couple of years is that web designers let imagery do a lot of heavy lifting. Images are used for attracting the attention of a potential customer and “talking” him or her into buying a product.
Be it as it may, imagery can do more harm than good in some cases. For starters, there are many types of goods that would only benefit if you put text first, and not an image. If we want to say, let’s say, an electronic equipment, then a photo (or three, for that matter) will not be enough to persuade our prospective customers to click the “Buy Now” button. As in this case customers will expect more technical details about the equipment, technical details have to be provided as soon as possible.
In addition, not all images, no matter how breathtaking, will compliment your content. A disturbing example you can see below demonstrates that imagery can compromise your Homepage big time. Can you read what comes right after the word “Clothing” in the very middle of the page? Neither can I. What are the chances that a first-time buyer will not get distracted by the lack of the clear marketing message right in the middle of the Homepage? Exactly, the chances are really low.
One more example of negligence is the Homepage of Givenchy website. You don’t expect to see a black-and-white photo accompanied by a white(!) message, do you? Especially, if you are navigating a website of a renowned international brand like Givenchy. Yes, commemorating the contribution of Hubert de Givenchy into fashion is important. But would he be pleased to see such a poor combination of imagery and text on the official website of his brand? Hardly.
Risky Design Trend #2. Too Personalised?
It has already become an axiom that getting to know your target group is 100% beneficial for your ecommerce business. This is why it is a common trend in the ecommerce field to personalize the websites to the fullest. The main goal of personalization is to create an estore capable to offer the products/services that are more likely to be paid for. In simple words, prospective shoppers are targeted with all sorts of goods based on what they searched/bought/shared/liked/added to a shopping cart in the past.
The problem with this trend is obvious. A customer makes a one-time purchase that is a direct result of a sudden whim. Out of the blue (s)he ends up seeing similar/related products all over the web (your website included, of course). What is more, the user experience will even worsen in case the initial purchase was a complete bummer. The outcome is increasing irritation and insecurity. Sure thing, this is not what you (as an estore owner) expect, isn’t it?
So, if you want to go personalized, remember to keep your estore approachable. Any personalization should be in moderation. For instance, you can try to cater to the needs of new and returning clients separately. As these two groups of people have dissimilar aims, you will benefit from offering them, let’s say, different Homepage layouts. Another idea to personalize your website is to create different presentations for your estore for international and local buyers. This is exactly the tactics that Meiji has chosen to try. Whereas a domestic estore is trying to represent the company as a team of highly-trained professionals, the global version of this website contains a homepage with an image of a baby drinking milk. No matter what part of Earth you come from, you will be able to relate to drinking milk when looking for nutrition products for babies, right? In other words, it makes sense to develop several business concepts, each aiming to create a personalized image of your estore.
Another great example of the personalization is Nike’s website. A first-time visitor sees “Select Your Location” and gets excited for two reasons. Firstly, Nike makes it clear that it is an international brand that is represented all over the globe. Secondly, after clicking a few buttons as instructed, a user gets less resistant to clicking other CTA buttons along the way.
Risky Design Trend #3. Too Mobile-Friendly?
The boom of mobiles and tablets has changed the ecommerce business, no doubts about that. As more buyers prefer buying online using the devices they have at hand, responsivity has become a must for any ecommerce website.
“What can possibly be wrong with responsivity?”, you may wonder. Well, the problem is that some modern entrepreneurs choose to create a mobile-friendly website first and then adapt it for a desktop. This is simply wrong on many levels. For starters, by putting a mobile mode first, you neglect (at least, to a certain extent) a desktop mode. H&M is a telling example of the fact. Its mobile version is a balanced presentation of clothes, which contains the right volume of the white space.
(Source: H&M USA)
In contrast to the mobile version, the desktop mode of the website goes heavy on the white space, looking abandoned and empty (s. the photo below).
(Source: H&M USA)
In addition, let’s have a closer look at the statistics concerning shopping device preferences in 2017 (s. image below). The numbers speak for themselves, don’t they? People prefer to buy goods online using their desktops/laptops on a weekly, monthly, and yearly basis. In other words, although the role of mobiles in ecommerce is getting more important, it is still far from becoming the dominant tendency. A desktop/laptop clearly outperforms a mobile. So, a desktop mode should remain the starting point for web designers who develop estores (at least, for a few more years).
Risky Design Trend #4: Too Colorful?
Minimalism in design is losing its dominant position as too many minimalistic estores have already been created. It is not a surprise that achromatic colors like white, grey and black, as well as neutral color scheme, are losing their dominance too. These days, it is trendy to create ecommerce websites using contrasting colors. The main goal is simple – to help an ecommerce website stand out and look different from thousand of minimalistic designs.
However fantastic it all sounds, colors in ecommerce need to be chosen carefully not to distract the attention of prospective customers. Although it may seem self-evident, some estores are so bright you can actually mistake them for Christmas trees. Grocery Gateway is a representative example of how one can misuse colors. So many different shades of green on the Homepage can be a bit too much to process, especially for a first-time visitor.
(Source: Grocery Gateway)
Well-designed eCommerce templates allow you to waste less time during designing your Store. One of the example Shopy template with clean and beautriful design, 13+ pre-made layouts for any taste and Store category.
(Source: Shopy Template)
Risky Design Trend #5: Too International?
Thanks to the globalization, it has become easier for many estores to enter the international market. Conventionally, the first step towards becoming an international brand is to translate a website into one of the international languages, e.g. English.
Why is so risky about translating a website? Once you translate a website, you are going to be assessed as an international estore, implying that your online visitors can be more demanding. The pattern is predictable – a mistake in translation leads to the considerable decrease of shoppers’ trust. Let’s see how this pattern functions, using Patscheider as an example. Their website is available in two languages, namely German and English. However, some categories are mixed combinations of both languages (s. photo below). If you speak German and English, you will probably guess that “How to Skimiete” means “How to Rent Ski Equipment”. But what if a visitor does not speak either of the languages? Then, (s)he is stuck with a category that does not make any sense. As a result, the reputation of Patscheider is thrown into doubt by a translation mistake.
Risky Design Trend #6: Too Interactive?
An estore has to be interactive to look modern. By interactivity one often means the intensive usage of different media, i.e. visual and audial. Sure thing, visual stimuli such as animations, GIFs, cinemagraphs, and videos remain the dominant factors to excite the attention of your target group.
How can interactivity be risky? Well, for starters, your website can get so interactive that your prospective buyers would rather stare at animations than browsing the product catalog. This phenomenon is easily observed on Bellroy website. Believe it or not, all four wallets you see in the photo below are moving, each in its own manner(!).
Furthermore, interactive elements can jeopardize the rest of the content on a page. For instance, Chanel is using background videos intensively. Sadly enough, the majority of videos is black and white. For a minimalistic website designed in achromatic colors, black-and-white videos is not the smartest choice, isn’t it?
As an owner of a profitable online business, you know how competitive the commerce environment is and how important it is to keep up with all the changes. Yes, there are many risky ecommerce design trends that you may need to cope with in the nearest future. No, there is no need to panic at this point even if:
- The imagery makes texts hard to read.
- The target audience is bombarded with annoying ads.
- The mobile mode looks better than a desktop one.
- Colors are a bit too bright.
- There are some mistakes in the categories’ descriptions and product catalog.
- You use too many interactive tools.
Instead of perceiving everything new as a must, give other behavior patterns a try. Remember that balance is the key. Look into the essence of ecommerce trends and single out the ideas that seem reasonable enough. Forewarned is forearmed, as people say.
We feel honoured to have Lana’s insights featured in our blog, and we are incredibly thankful for the knowledge she has shared with us.
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