10 top UI/UX trends ruling the e-commerce space in 2021

No matter how cool your products are, your shoppers would leave your online store in less than 1 second if you can’t provide them with a comfortable browsing experience. And when it comes to ensuring a seamless navigation across your online store, you have to zoom in on the UI/UX interface of your online portal. 82 percent of best 100 websites on Alexa bank on adaptive design today. Thus, the message is loud and clear- you have to make serious investment in your online store’s UX and UI design to elevate your competitive edge.

When you set out to facelift the UI/UX design of your online store, the trends outlined below will be your guiding light.

1. Swear by minimalism

The minimalist approach is gaining traction in the design world lately, including the UI/UX design of websites, and we could not be happier.

A minimalist layout creates a very neat, tidy, and streamlined outlook that offers a refreshing break from the traditional stuffed and complex design. The insider news is, there is a rising tendency to cut the clutter and carve out a simplified user interface. The minimalist approach comes handy here.

Below are some tips that can help you to achieve a minimalist UI/UX design:

  • Flat texture - refrain from using heavy 3D design unless absolutely  essential
  • Negative space- Maintain white space wherever possible, especially across your site’s  home page
  • Hard (Contrasting) imagery- The current trend is to focus more on hard imagery instead of zooming more on bright colors at the background
  • Minimalist typography – Go for calm yet contrasting color for the font and also streamlined yet easily legible font size
  • Limited scheme of colors- Keep the use of colors to bare essential; it will help to draw more attention to the most significant elements across your website

2. Branding on center stage

User experience primarily focuses on making your visitors connect to your brand. So, you get the drift- you have to integrate your branding efforts with the UI and UX design to cement the bridge between your online store visitors and your e-commerce brand. A branding-centric user design will go a long way in helping your brand to create a dominant impression on your store visitors.

The bottomline is- your UI/UX design  must emphasize on improving brand interaction.

3. Bold is beautiful

Another major UI/UX design trend that’s picking momentum for online stores is use of bold fonts. But no mistake- we are not talking about the clunky fonts here- the idea is to create a string impression without going overboard. So, focus on bold yet streamlined fonts to stay true to the minimalist approach mentioned above. The best examples here would be Sans, Helvetica, and so on.

Here are some tips to remember while choosing the font:

  • Density of boldness must make a fine contrast to overall layout of the page
  • The chosen font size must complement the existing design
  • The chosen font (color, size, boldness level. Type) must complement the overall aesthetic and vibes of your brand

4. Buckle up the speed game

You only have a few minutes to convince a new visitor to stay on your store and a delayed browsing experience could spoil the whole game here. So, you need to be extremely particular to ensure a pacey page loading speed.

Per the experts, your online store pages must not take more than 3 seconds to load.

5. Think e-Commerce, think mobile

Around 67% of shoppers today prefer to shop through mobile devices. The number metric boils down to a very simple inference- mobile responsive interface is the order of the day for online stores in 2021 and beyond. If you don’t invest in mobile adaptive design, you are going to lose out on a big chunk of your potential customers. You certainly don’t want that, do you?

Essentially, mobile UX for an online store implies a responsive design that will allow mobile users complete access to each and every aspect of the online platform. Also, the user interface should be easy to navigate for mobile users. Easy discoverability and efficiency are two major cornerstones of a mobile-adaptive online store portal.

To make things more convincing, it should be noted here that Google rewards higher ranks to e-Commerce websites that assure excellent mobile-adaptive experience.  The search engine giant has also laid down a list of tips to be followed to ensure industry-leading mobile-adaptive UX design. Here are the tips to be followed –

  • Research first, prototype later

UX designers can be biased. Thus, Google has warned them not to jump into prototyping straight away. The smarter idea would be to carry an extensive research on target niche through AB testing and heuristic analysis.

  • Touch targets need more attention

The responsive level of touch targets plays a key role in determining the mobile responsive experience of users. Any problem here might derail the whole experience and shoo the visitors away from your store. According to Google’s recommendations, touch targets should be minimum 7 to 10 mm in width.

  • Less is better

Try to avoid clutter as much as possible.
 

6. Hi-five for visual storytelling

Did you know marketing messages that are conveyed as stories tend to be 22x more memorable and engaging? Well, yes- and you have got the drift for our 7th point by now.

Humans, by nature, love stories. And when it’s visual, well, Voila!

No wonder, UI/UX designer gurus are stressing hard on incorporating visual storytelling into your e-Commerce store’s website. The point is visual storytelling brings website visitors closer to the store, thereby enabling exclusive participation for them in defining the brand.

However, just be mindful of the language of your target niche while placing the content. For example, if your niche reads left to the right, place the content at the center or at the left, with 75 characters in each line.

7. Virtual dressing room a game-changer

One of the major problems faced by online shoppers is that they can’t touch, feel, and try the products before shopping. But, the coolest part is modern technological advancements have now made it possible for online shoppers to experience a virtual dressing room on e-Commerce stores. Talk about buzzing trends in e-Commerce UI/UX sector and the trend of virtual dressing room is sure to take the cake away. Needless to say, it’s a must for e-Commerce sites and apps today to adopt virtual dressing room functionality.

The online dressing room concept is achieved through the merge of AR aka Augmented Reality and UX. Backed by computer-generated advanced  sensory modalities, the technology enables shoppers to interact with products on online stores almost the same way they interact with physical products.

8. Win hearts with Personalized offers

Do you know when you have a satisfied customer or store visitor? Well, it is when your visitors or customers feel aligned with your brand. Personalization or personalized offers designed as per the specific convenience or needs of the customers, is/are the key here. A personalized layout will make your e-Commerce store visitors feel at home when they would land up on your site. It will create an unmatched level of trust that will eventually render a special competitive edge to your brand or online store.

The idea is to personalize the user experience of every user in alignment with the brand goals.

Surveys are a great tool to help you comprehend the expectations and needs of your potential customers. You can bank on the survey data to personalize your offerings as per the requirements of your customers.

Bottomline is- make them feel your store is “their store” too.

9. Brownie points for breezy checkout

Poor, clumsy, or confusing checkout process could lead to an alarming spike in cart abandonment.

As per a recent report, average rate of cart abandonment is around 65.23 percent. The major reasons include-

  • Limited payment options- 7%
  • Complicated checkout process- 11%
  • No option for guest checkout- 14%

Checkout and payment completion is a crucial part of UI experience and hence must be designed with care.

If an online store is struggling with high rate of cart abandonment, here are some tips for the UI/UX designer of the site-

  • Conduct usability testing based user interviews as well as customer support center data
  • Map customer journey based on usability testing results
  • Run AB testing

10. Bank on Interactive chatbot

Powerful and responsive customer support is one of the base pillars of any successful UI/UX design of an e-Commerce store or any store for that matter. While telephone and email support are effective, your visitors want to interact with you live. Your customers will love you even more if you can provide 24/7 live chat support. However, new stores might not have that infrastructure or strength to provide live chat support by human executives round the clock. In such situations, interactive chatbots will be your saving grace.

Interactive chatbots are intelligently designed to provide a near-human live chat experience to the customers. A smarter idea would be to prepare a list of most searched queries that your customers or website visitors might have and then get the site chatbots answer them. This way, whenever a customer would click on chat support, s/he will have a chatbot waiting to greet him/her with answers to possible questions.

Wrapping up

Essentially, UI/UX design aims to add value to a person’s  browsingor shopping experience across your online store- while keeping up the appeal of the website with smart design elements. So, whether you follow all the trends mentioned above or a few major ones, make sure to abide by the ethos of a value-added and comfortable experience for your store visitors.

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