eCommerce websites in 2014 – what to look for

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1. Responsive design & mobile eCommerce

We’ve been talking about this for a while, but it will become more important in 2014. While the past few years have been focused on designing for smaller and smaller devices, 2014 will also demand consideration of larger devices. This is why the mobile vs desktop trend will be overtaken by flexible, elastic responsive design. Now that televisions are becoming more popular as a way to browse the web and computers are getting larger, a great responsive design will be able to accommodate an iPhone and a widescreen.

2. Focus on performance

We know that Google takes site speed and performance into consideration when ranking. We also know that our customers and others browsing the web are becoming less patient. On the other hand, websites are becoming more complex, with fancy functionality, image-heavy designs and much more to consider, performance and speed is becoming one of the best ways to get a leg up over the competition.

3. A changing social scene

Let’s face it – the social network scene is no longer owned by Facebook. In fact, young users are rapidly abandoning Facebook in favor of Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Twitter. Your target demographic most likely has a preferred Social Network and a specific way of using it. It’s really important to research this before you develop a social media strategy. And if you don’t have a social media strategy – get one!

4. Trust, accountability, and communication.

Online shoppers are savvier than ever before. If your e-commerce website looks outdated, un-maintained, or sketchy in any way, this will cost you. Earning a visitor’s trust is a major key to selling online. E-commerce sites in 2014 need to ensure customers that they can be trusted with sensitive information and that they are available for help or other communication if necessary. Make sure you design your website to clearly display your security methods, return policy, customer satisfaction policy and contact information.

6. More competition

Expect more competition in 2014 as e-commerce becomes more accessible to more businesses. It’s more important than ever to maintain a strong e-commerce website with solid SEO, updated relevant content, and great customer service.

7. HTML5 Standard

2014 is the target year to make HTML5 the web standard. This doesn’t have a huge impact on your e-commerce website but it can mean better video and multimedia presentation, which can help your present your products in a whole new light.

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Design trends to keep an eye out for:

1. Pantone color of the year

The Pantone color of the year is radiant orchid. A nice purple color, there’s really no way to tell whether this trend will take off. Personally, I like the color. I think, however, that web designers are a little wary of being told what’s “trendy”, and subsequently avoid looking like trend-followers.

2. Flat design

Flat design has taken off and it isn’t going anywhere! In the midst of Apple’s famous and controversial ios 7 update, the web has seemingly transformed into a place where flat design reigns. Gone are the days of dramatic drop shadows, gradients and unnecessary shine, sparkle, and embellishment.

3. Larger, clearer images

Images are always important, but something that has become more popular lately is the use of super-large images as highlight areas or even backgrounds. Some people give these images a slight blur so they can overlay them with readable text, while other designers are using crystal clear images to make a bold statement. E-commerce companies are utilizing this trend with bigger than ever image sliders and product pages that give complete 360 views of products.

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