12 trends in custom eCommerce website development for 2020

Minimalism, with plenty of white space, dark mode, and accessibility for users with disabilities, is among the most popular eCommerce design trends for 2020. In this sense, it's just more of what we saw in 2019. But that's not so true for eCommerce website development trends. A few of them might surprise and, hopefully, help you when it comes to building your website.

1. Conversion Optimisation: Product Page vs. Homepage Place more emphasis on internal pages and obsess less over your homepage. The homepage is more often seen by returning users who search your brand name in Google or go directly to your site, whereas service, internal product, or blog pages are landed on more frequently by new visitors. For the users visiting on these internal pages first, it is likely to be their first interaction with your site and brand. In 2020, the number of users entering eCommerce sites for the first time through pages other than your homepage will be higher still, and the trend is bound to continue. Look at your product page from through a new visitor's eyes who is interacting with your site and brand for the first time, and ask yourself some simple questions:

  • Is your logo and brand name easily visible and prominent?
  • As a first impression, what do you think of your site and brand image?
  • Can your user navigate clearly to other parts of the site?
  • To help prevent the user from exiting the site, are similar products being displayed?
  • Is your brands USPs clear in the design of the page?
  • Are you addressing queries they might have here, or leading them to a place on your site that can?
  • To help guide the visitor to the next step, are there clear Call-To-Actions?
  • Is the design of the page resonating well with the brand?

These are a few of the things you'll have to consider with your eCommerce site. Spend a longer time on optimizing your product pages and blog posts if you think you may be neglecting them.

2. Social Selling
All the huge social media players have been trying to make it easy for brands to sell on their platform. Instagram has a "shop now" button. Facebook allows brands to use a "buy" button. Twitter is launching product pages, and Snapchat is apparently working on its own eCommerce platform. It's worth the effort it takes to connect your sales to your social media account if you have an eCommerce site. When you make users scrolling through their social media feeds, leave the page to buy something you sell, it leads to friction. The more friction, the less likely is the conversion. Allowing users to click or swipe on the product directly from their social media feed, and then instantly pay through the likes of Google Pay means your buying process is reduced to the lowest amount of time possible. Impulse buys get as easy as 2 or 3 clicks.

3. Mobile-first approach
Your website shouldn't just boast of adaptive design, but have a mobile-first approach, as more and more people use their phones for web browsing. Mobile-first means that you consider the mobile version of your website at the very start of the website development as it can be more challenging to design a competitive mobile experience than a desktop one. Mobile purchases are projected to bring in $175.4 billion in retail sales by 2022.

4. Leverage the available tools to enhance your user's mobile experience
AMP or accelerated mobile pages can reduce page load time significantly, making the mobile browsing experience fast and smooth. A study conducted by Google found that clients who use AMP have seen a decrease in bounce rates by 31% and an increase in conversion rates by 105%. Now PWA or progressive web applications can essentially convert your website into a mobile application without having to code an actual app. PWA is a website which can be accessed from the home screen with app-like results. After the implementation of PWA, a lot of our clients have noticed a 52% rise in mobile sessions, a 17% increase in conversions, and an 11% rise in recovered carts with the help of push notifications.

5. High website performance
Modern websites must load under 3 seconds, to retain a user. There are enough tools and techniques a competent development team can use to make this possible like:

  • Minification of code to reduce code weight.
  • Caching of webpages to load fastly what was loaded before.
  • Optimizing images using WebP image format and tools like Kraken.io and JPEGmini.
  • CDN services which send data from the server nearest to the user, decreasing data delivery time.
  • GZip compression that can reduce file sizes up to 10 times.

Make your website speed a top priority this year.

6. Fast Checkouts
The cart abandonment rate depends mostly on the user experience at checkout. You want to cash in on a user's emotional decision to buy something on your website. If that user has to fill a long-form before purchasing, chances are he or she will abandon the cart midway. Don't give users too much time to overthink their purchase decision. One page checkout, autofill fields, not forcing registration, and asking for only necessary details will help you here.

7. Personalization
Customers today have come to expect their experience to be personalized. They want your webpage to know what they are looking for and who they are. This could include anything from greeting a first-time visitor, up-selling or cross-selling, and personalized product recommendations to customized sizes, language, and currency. High-level of personalization can be met with the help of machine learning and AI. We'll see a lot more of this in 2020. These technologies will provide advanced personalization of customer experience on and outside the website, including ads and email marketing.

8. Chatbots
Chatbots are a real trend today because they can provide better customer experience and replace a large physical support team. Chatbots have mostly been used as support, but customers are increasingly using them for suggestions and making a purchase. With the implementation of even rudimentary AI, it can be as advanced as dialog with a real person that remembers your preferences from a previous conversation. Moreover, users won't have to wait in a queue to get an answer from the support team. The number of customers opting for a chatbot to human assistance is increasing year by year as more people would rather decrease the wait time and get a quick response.

9. Omni-channel eCommerce
This is part of the digital retail transformation. It means delivering a seamless shopping experience across different channels like an offline store, a website, a Facebook marketplace, or Amazon. There are a lot of places in the modern digital world where a user can make a purchase, and you must cater through every possible platform, connecting every independent channel into a single ecosystem.

10. Payment Options
Fast payment methods and convenience that doesn't demand long forms to be filled up will increase conversions by over 25%. And mobile wallets can increase conversions by more than 4 times. Mobile payment is no longer an eCommerce trend, but more of an eCommerce need. As cellphones become more secure, and consumer confidence in it rises, the number of purchases made online on mobiles is bound to keep rising. There is a variety of online payment methods available to users today from cryptocurrency and digital wallets like Google Pay or Apple Pay to solutions like ZipPay or Afterpay that allow for paying later. Every user has their own likes and dislikes. Offer a wide array of payment options to create the smoothest shopping experience.

11. Voice Search
Voice recognition and voice search is now impressively accurate, and already a hot trend in the tech industry. With a 95% accuracy rate and mighty investments on voice-powered tech, it's already seeped into the digital world. Integrating this into the eCommerce landscape and website design is the next logical step.

12. Subscription-Based Business Models
See if there is a subscription element that won't go stale that you can add to your business. Is there a popular product that users regularly need or buy alongside certain products, like a refill? Is there a service you can offer weekly or monthly? Subscriptions can improve user experience and a user's relationship with your brand by having a repeat delivery and payment set up to make their lives easier. For consumers in their twenties, disposable incomes are higher than before, but overall savings and income are lower, meaning they are making far less one-off big purchases. So the excitement of a monthly product or service and the ease of a monthly automated direct small debit is enticing for many customers. But especially so for Millenials who assign greater value to personal experiences than larger, more generic purchases like homes or cars. Companies like Airbnb have this 'experience-buying' mentality to thanks. Celebration of certain festivals are becoming more popular than ever, and hiking or touring has become a 'must-do' in life for the current generation.

User experience, conversion optimization, and the delivery, payment, and engagement options you offer to site visitors will always remain differentiating factors that affect your bottom line. Optimize each area you can of your site, if need be, don't be afraid to take away the focus from your homepage and use your analytics effectively.

Much of the eCommerce website development trends talked about in this article are derived from the success they have brought to the brands we've worked with. New strategies, tools, techniques, and technology are all there to be taken advantage of, but only if you can capitalize on the opportunities that arise and keep up with the changes. They are not far out of reach or too difficult. Predictive Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, and Voice Search can help give a strong competitive edge in a tough landscape. Due to their effectiveness and ease of implementation, by 2020, these will be commonplace in the eCommerce industry. If you're looking for an experienced tech firm to help you capitalize on the opportunities available to eCommerce stores these days, or for help optimizing your website and digital marketing, don't hesitate to contact us.

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