Did you know that 29% of small businesses don’t have a professional website? What about the fact that 75% of users make judgments about a company’s credibility based on their website’s design?

No? Hmm. Did you also not know that 48% of visitors consider a website’s design to be the most telling factor about their credibility, and a larger 94% bounce from a website and stop trusting it because of a degraded web design?

Whether you already knew the statistics above or not, the fact remains that running a business in the 21st century means pairing it with a website that can convert prospects into customers.

More than that, you can’t have any website; you need a website that stands out from your competition and draws your audience in.

After all, all things equal, if both you and your competitors have websites, then what’s going to push users to you instead of them is an attractive website that keeps them engaged until they checkout.

To get such a website, you’re going to have to delve into upcoming website trends for 2019.

eCommerce Website Design Trends for 2019

As is the norm, trends for eCommerce website design in 2019 are based off of the trends we saw in 2018.

For instance, many trends last year revolved around artificial intelligence (AI) and smartphones, and trends for 2019 like conversational commerce designs and voice search optimisation are following suit.

As such, the importance of a web redesign is vital; if you’re not regularly updating your website with new features modeled after what’s popular amongst your audience, they’re going to go with someone who is.

With that in mind, let’s go over five web design trends for 2019 you should consider while redesigning your website:

  1. Pairing a Chatbot with Your Website
  2. Optimising for Voice Search
  3. Optimising for Visual Search
  4. Enabling Augmented Reality Functionality
  5. Embracing Minimalism

1. Pairing a Chatbot with Your Website

Through a combination of machine learning and natural language processing, a chatbot is a form of AI that can act as live customer service representatives who lives on a website 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

With this level of automated communication, chatbots can be used by businesses to fill an array of roles that range from sales representatives who are always ready to take your users through the journey to checkout, to customer service representatives who can answer any question at the drop of a hat.

In fact, as long as they’re getting the help they need, 40% of consumers don’t care whether a chatbot or a real human helps them, and 47% would even buy items from a chatbot.

2. Optimising for Voice Search

Voice search, the act of searching for something on the internet through voice commands as opposed to typing things out, has grown in popularity as more and more people adopt digital assistants like Siri and Alexa into their lives.

As a streamlined way of looking things up, voice search is intuitive and doesn’t come with the hassle of unlocking your phone, opening a browser app and searching there.

Instead, all you have to do is ask — simple as that.

voice search, appnova

To optimise for it, you’re going to have to start thinking about how a person talks with a person versus a search engine.

For instance, until now, speaking with a search engine had always been accomplished through typed queries that valued shorthand (e.g. typing “pizza nearby” when you want to find a pizza place near you).

With voice search, people tend to talk to their digital assistants as if they were real people as well, which leads to queries that are more natural and conversational, and also capture intent.

For example, by exchanging “pizza nearby” with “where is the cheapest pizza place near me?” the searcher is telling the search engine that they’re not only looking for a pizza place nearby, but a cheap one as well.

For you, this means using natural and conversational language in your content, and making sure that all of it answers any potential question your users may be asking.

Apart from optimising for voice search, you could also offer the functionality directly on your website so your users can have an easier way of searching through your catalogue until they find what they’re looking for.

YouTube Kids, for example, did just that.

Knowing that most children aren’t exactly savvy in terms of spelling, YouTube decided to include a voice search feature for kids to use when they’re looking for a video, essentially allowing them to find any video, even if they don’t know its title or how to spell it.

3. Optimising for Visual Search

Like voice search, visual search increased in popularity thanks to the smartphone and improvements to AI in fields like machine learning and image recognition.

In use, imagine walking outside when you suddenly see a mannequin wearing a pair of shoes that would go great with your favourite jacket.

Unfortunately, the price tag is about as much as you earn in a month.

Thanks to visual search, you can now take a picture of those shoes through an image matching tool like Google Images or Asos Style Match and use it as a discovery tool to find similar styles that fall within your price range.

Now that this search option is opened up for your audience, you need to make sure they can find you if they’re searching for something similar to what you’re offering.

For starters, this means uploading crystal clear HD images of your products in all their angles so image search engines can have as many data points for matching as they can get.

Similarly, if you’re selling something with specific features, such as a jacket with studs on the side, make sure to include them in the images so search engines can use them for better matching.

One more thing, ALWAYS include alt text on all your images so your users can know what they are, even if some sort of error is causing them to not render properly.

Tip: Definitely get in touch with an eCommerce agency for your fashion or lifestyle brand because optimising for visual search for these particular industries is close to no longer being an option.

4. Enabling Augmented Reality Functionality

Augmented reality (AR) is very big today because of the popularity of apps like Pokemon Go and Snapchat.

By being able to combine the real with the imaginary in an amalgamation that accentuates both, AR allows users to experience an enhanced version of reality that not only leaves them engaged and satisfied until the end, but also makes it more likely that they’ll convert with the brand offering the functionality.

For example, Sephora offers Sephora Virtual Artist as an AR feature on their website and app that lets their users “get inspired by and try looks created by Sephora experts,” and Warby Parker offers Measure PD as a way for users to measure the distance between their pupils, which is used to center a prescription correctly in glasses frames.

With the former, Sephora is making it more likely that their users will buy their makeup if they like the way they look after “trying” it on, and the latter streamlines the process of buying a pair of glasses.

For your website, you’re going to have to do like Sephora and Warby Parker and make sure that any AR functionality actually enhances their experience with you and satisfies a need they may have.

5. Embracing Minimalism

Finally, minimalism has been an ongoing trend in eCommerce for the past couple of years because it presents products without too many competing elements.

In other words, it takes all the noise out of shopping and highlights exactly what you want to be highlighted.

For example, instead of bombarding your users with a landing page that lists 20 different offers, minimalism cuts down their searching struggles and allows you to make use of white space so your users only see what they’re interested in.

Key here is ensuring that only essential features are seen, such as your CTAs, the cart button and links to other site pages like your different category pages, and making it so that your users can intuitively find them if they choose to do so.

Final Thoughts

You should always start a new year by going over the trends of the past year and preparing for the ones to come.

When it comes to eCommerce, the trends you should be keeping an eye on for 2019 are:

  1. Pairing a Chatbot with Your Website
  2. Optimising for Voice Search
  3. Optimising for Visual Search
  4. Enabling Augmented Reality Functionality
  5. Embracing Minimalism

If you’re doing everything right with what’s above, you’ll be sure to gain benefits like increased traffic, leads, sales and revenue.



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