10 Ecommerce Design Trends to Lead Web Stores in 2016

In the fast evolving world of ecommerce it is really a hard task for any web designer to assess what lies ahead. Any vibrant and relevant trend of today can be outdated in the near future. Addressing the customer expectation of seamless shopping experience also put the developers in challenging condition. Moreover, it is the requirement of staying one step ahead of the competition that remains the key while designing online stores.

2016 can just offer the ecommerce websites a wide range of possibilities with user interface design patterns, card-like layouts, more interactive menus and effects that engage the user at a quick pace. Let us have a look at the 10 ecommerce web design trends that are likely to lead the web stores in 2016

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1. Material Design

Material Design being adopted large scale continues to be popular and is still viewed as one of the most promising design element having huge untapped potential. Material design is dynamic, content focused and visually appealing that has already been adopted by number of big sites. It is the unified, transparent and quite playful experience of material design that make it ideal design style to address multiple device and platform specific requirements.

2. Parallax effect

The parallax scrolling or parallax effect has been another popular design style adopted by numerous sites. The effect has become popular largely because of its 3D effect and storytelling.

Providing a vertical or horizontal scrolling motion of layers at varying paces, it creates a feeling of depth and instantly appeals to the vision. Besides this striking visual appeal this great design style can ideally put to use for telling the story of a brand. In ecommerce sites where viewing products, their usefulness and brand story is important, such effect can just make the ideal design.

3. Hidden menu

Hidden menu for the large part of 2015 has been common in great majority of sites and apps. Hamburger menu which is a type of hidden menu is used extensively across mobile web and apps. Hiding the menu buttons completely out of sight and alternatively making them visible when you need them, is a great way to improve user experience. It actually helps cleaning up the visual clutter from the ecommerce site and makes it look purposive and intuitive. Increasing mobile access of ecommerce sites made hidden menu a requirement now, because of small mobile screen size.

4. Large photography and videos

An image or a video in a span of few seconds of viewing can do what thousands of words fail to accomplish and that is not understood any better than on mobile web. Mobile users tend to hate long paragraphs of dense text and in overall regards they prefer visual understanding of a product rather than reading about it. Ecommerce sites getting most of their sales through mobile will naturally give precedence to images and videos over text. Moreover, full blown lifestyle photo has become a design norm across vast majority of ecommerce sites now. In 2016, this trend is likely to grow apart from increased focus on maintaining consistency on site performance in spite of these visual load.

5. Storytelling effect

Storytelling is a thriving trend across all types of web design, particularly with ecommerce sites. Storytelling offers effective communication to express the background of a product, service or brand and create inspiration to drive your consumers. To tell a story that tells about your products, brands or services you can use large photographs in a series, animated characters and graphics intuitively relating various stages of a product development or through effective use of parallax scrolling with visual elements. Storytelling in most website design relates the user benefit and thus offer a customer centric approach.

6. Pop-up merchandising

Pop-up merchandising which is also referred as interruption merchandising refers to the popped-up window opened while visiting a ecommerce website advertising the products or offers. Once greatly detested as disturbance by most users now this type of pop-up advertizing has come up has a new effective marketing tool in business and ecommerce websites. From offering special discounts to asking you for subscribing to their mailing list, this new form of advertizing and merchandising is now part of web design model.

7. Hover effects

Though it is there for some time, hover effects to view a product bigger and in details became popular across wide array of ecommerce sites. It is a CSS-based technique that let the user hover over a certain product or site element or anything and the image becomes larger or certain information is displayed or certain buttons are shown. Hover effect is contextual and it delivers the needful when the user hovers over their subject of interest on the screen. Thus besides adding value to the user experience, this effect also helps minimizing the visual overload of things that are not displayed unless the user hovers over them.

8. Dynamic page views

A static view of product listing on ecommerce sites is going to be a thing of the past. Yes, the new dynamic page view is going to enhance the user experience in an altogether different way. Dynamic page view that is based mainly on JavaScript and Ajax, makes viewing a site page more contextual and user optimized. Instead of offering a static view of the page that does not change unless you click on anything, through dynamic view you can deliver them different page view each time with a new keystroke or even movement of the cursor.

9. Use of rich animation

Animation has always been visually appealing and is always considered a great way to engage users intuitively. For giving customers hints on suggestive actions like going to the cart or for offering an emotional response like saying sorry when not being able to deliver search results, use of rich animation makes shopping a playful and enjoyable experience and in 2016 we can see more number of ecommerce sites catching with this trend.

10. Custom drawing and illustration

Obviously, giving an unique look and feel to the online store is a big priority for many sites and interestingly this is also done best by taking the unconventional methods rather than resorting to common and so called time tested options. Using custom drawing and typography in site illustration gave stunning look to great many ecommerce sites. Obviously, your drawn illustration must incorporate your brand image, product offering and subtle suggestions of your unique position in comparison to the competitors. As offering unique look and feel is getting tougher with increasing competition, a bit of traditional art and craft in design elements can be a good way to create impression.

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