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Prominent eCommerce Trends and Their Influence on Design [with Infographic]

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eCommerce needs no introduction. It’s spreading at a rapid pace far and wide on every continent through every industry and retail sector—B2C and B2B. It’s putting traditional brick-and-mortar retailers out of business left, right, and center and still has plenty of room to grow.

There is potential for tremendous expansion ahead. eCommerce sales worldwide amounted to 2.3 trillion dollars in 2017 and revenues are projected to more than double to nearly 5 trillion dollars in 2021 (Statista). Amazon has been around for almost 25 years and like an insatiable black hole, continues to devour every retail sector there is.

As eCommerce UX has evolved, certain UX/UI patterns have been established along with other eCommerce UX design best practices. eCommerce trends for 2018 see some fundamentals improving (search and discovery, shipping speeds, mobile UX) while advancing and refining the traditional eCommerce model with innovative layers of tech (AR/VR, artificial intelligence, shop-the-look, etc.).

One of the big trends is personalized, relevant, and seamless eCommerce UX. Given technology’s constant influence on consumer behavior—and people’s reliance on mobile devices—companies must create experiences for today’s shoppers that are based on individual, contextual intent. Seamlessly integrating the “magic hand” of AI and machine learning into the shopping experience will certainly help this trend evolve further and improve the user experience.

Other emerging hot trends in the industry—high-quality photography, AR, GIF animations, quick-start seamless videos, and 360-degree views all help sell products faster.

High-quality product presentation is a hot eCommerce Trend

Cynthia Savard Saucier, director of design at Shopify, suggests that one way to add more high-quality content to an eCommerce experience would be to add a 360° pannable image of a model wearing a product. Experimenting with 360° product views brought golfsmith.com an increase in conversion rates that were at minimum 10%, and for some products up to 40%.

The augmented reality eCommerce trend is heating up, and many established brands, from IKEA and Sephora to Lacoste, are jumping on the bandwagon.

For example, aiming to help customers know their body measurements before buying clothes online, a leading Japanese fashion eCommerce site Zozotown has kicked the game up a notch by recently introducing a smart bodysuit called Zozosuit.

The outfit has stretch sensors that allow users to instantly measure their body. By placing a smartphone in front of it, your body measurement data can be transferred via Bluetooth from the outfit to the Zozotown mobile app.

Current trends in ecommerce: a smart bodysuit Zozosuite is another eCommerce design trend

A smart bodysuit called Zozosuit measures a person's exact body measurements with an app.

There are many exciting trends in the eCommerce industry on the horizon. In the short term, these and other groundbreaking developments will continue to enhance the online experience for the consumer. Additionally, in the longer term, we can look forward to more innovation taking place, from pioneering technologies utilized by established brands and new startups, to trailblazing eCommerce UX designs by savvy eCommerce designers.

Infographic of eCommerce trends - trends in ecommerce industry

Understanding the Basics

What does etail mean?

Short for "electronic retailing," etailing is the selling of goods via the internet.

About the author

Miklos Philips, United Kingdom
member since April 26, 2016
Miklos is a UX strategist and lead product designer with more than 18 years of experience. As a full-spectrum product designer, he mediates between user needs, business objectives, and technical feasibility resulting in product designs that work for the intended audience and impact the bottom line. [click to continue...]
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About the author
Miklos Philips
User Experience Designer
Miklos is a UX strategist and lead product designer with more than 18 years of experience. As a full-spectrum product designer, he mediates between user needs, business objectives, and technical feasibility resulting in product designs that work for the intended audience and impact the bottom line.