Top UX Design Trends for eCommerce Websites to Watch in 2021

Thanks to modern-day analytics, we know more about what makes online shoppers linger on a web page. UX design trends are moving toward creating a digital experience that customers will love and want to keep coming back to.

What Does Great UX Design Really Mean?

Delivering a great user experience could look different from one brand to another. Depending upon your industry or niche, online shoppers may prefer easy access to sales agents while others prefer more side-by-side product comparisons.

Many web developers and brands assume that great UX design means an attractive look. While that is not untrue, 21st Century buyers are looking for more by way of value-added content and multi-channel integration

Even after recognizing these expectations, it is not always easy to deliver those user experiences in a way that feels satisfying to shoppers. The following five UX trends to watch in 2021 can help you achieve reliable functionality along with an appealing look.

5 UX Design Trends to Watch in 2021

1. Authentic Interfaces

Consumers are longing for authenticity, as is seen in the astounding rise of influencer marketing in the last three years.

Leading UX designs for eCommerce websites are including more realistic banners and graphics. The authenticity of intentional glitches or enhanced humanity draw customer attention. It allows them to feel like they can relate to your brand and its products.

Textures with depth offer a more engaging 3D perspective. These UI effects make products feel more lifelike - a real plus for merchants without physical showrooms.

[Source: homecult]

2. Omnichannel Integration

Resulting in large part from the COVID-19 pandemic, surviving brick-and-mortar retail has found a way to get online and grow web sales. As consumers return to stores with “pent up demand,” they will expect a seamless experience between desktop, mobile, and physical storefronts.

[Source: eMarketer]

Similarly, online brands that are ready to grow their market into the physical space will need to consider how well their digital synchronization allows for omnichannel capabilities like GPS, voice recognition, and real-time inventory.

Even retail pop-up events are opportunities for your UX designers to provide a more holistic retail experience for customers. Digital and physical channels that operate independently of one another will send mixed signals to consumers and even frustrate them. In contrast, seamless integration among all digital channels enhances each one for a white-glove user experience.

3. Imaginative Product Photography

“Run-of-the-mill” pictures of products are more likely to unimpress online shoppers in 2021. Leading eCommerce retailers are learning how to spark imagination among their target audience in the way they display their products.

[Source: Apple]

Apple (above) is always a winner when it comes to showcasing their products. With impeccable lighting and depth, we feel as though we could reach through the screen and take the phone in our hands. 

[Source: PeakDesign]

Peak Design (above) uses white space to sharpen their product images. You not only get a great view of their products’ functionality, but you also visualize optimum product use. This shrewd photography style stimulates shoppers to envision the bag in their possession.

4. Load Speed

Search engine optimization experts continue to tout 3 seconds (or less) as the ideal page loading speed. Unfortunately, 3D visuals and amazing photography can cause lag in web page loading speeds.

If your page takes too long to load, shoppers will bounce before they ever get a chance to enjoy your product selection and great graphics. 

[Source: Section]

To achieve fast loading speeds, you will need a web development team that knows how to select the best platforms. If you’re still paying for shared hosting, it’s time for you to invest in something more robust. Customers have little patience for slow-loading websites.

5. Microcopy

Written content on any webpage is critical for search engine crawlers and for producing value-added content for consumers. In eCommerce, the ongoing rise of microcopy is leading online brands to provide this value-added content in more concise, bitesize chunks.

Brands that formally used almost no text on their webpages are now adding in blocks or bubbles of helpful, written content. Other brands that used to include thousands of words on a page are radically condensing that content.

Brands with robust blogs are looking for ways to incorporate more infographics to illustrate blog topics. And the paragraph text before and after each infographic offer transitions between ideas rather than being the main vehicle for information in and of itself.

[Source: Etsy]

Etsy (above) fits an enormous amount of information in a relatively small amount of space. Few brands can pull off nine menus across the top, along with an impressive snapshot of what Etsy is. In this example, Etsy provides one of the finest examples of microcopy of any eCommerce brands we’ve seen.

6. Human-to-Human (H2H) Marketing

Between more intuitive customer live chat and 2-way SMS marketing, eCommerce brands are learning that the fastest way to convert customers is to incorporate human-to-human (H2H) marketing in their UI.

Emerging live chat providers can engage customers on website live chat and continue the same conversation on social media direct messaging. This H2H approach extends the user experience beyond the web visit itself.

Similarly, text message marketing has veered away from text blasts toward two-way conversations. Consumers are enticed to return to abandoned carts with personalized promo codes. They can also ask questions from brand representatives via text during and after their purchase.

Key Takeaway

When it comes to eCommerce in 2021, UX design trends balance a great look with impeccable functionality. As brands learn to use better graphics, they will have to pay attention to load speeds.

And as consumers browse product pages, they will continue to abandon carts without the help of human-to-human channels such as live chat and SMS marketing. Even for online vendors without a physical storefront, the rise of H2H marketing requires them to embrace varying degrees of omnichannel tools.

For more information about how you can upgrade your eCommerce website, contact a UX designer expert at Exobyte today.