The New Year is right around the corner, and, as with any other industry out there, there are a lot of trends and changes that come into every industry that impact how they function. So, if you have an online store on Shopify, it is time to take the “New Year, New You” more seriously and catch up with all the eCommerce design trends that will take over your consumer’s hearts in 2022.
Design trends to watch out for in 2022
As more and more people depend on eCommerce stores to make their purchases in 2022, we see a clear trend emerging when it comes to design preferences - storefronts that online shoppers actually want to engage with and buy from.
Here are the top eCommerce design trends for 2022 you need to know about.
1. Textured backgrounds
They say trends tend to come a complete circle, and the new is just the old re-packaged to suit the times. As more and more people are spending more time online, not just browsing but also shopping on eCommerce stores, what we are seeing is a resurgence of an old design trend - Skeuomorphism.
More and more eCommerce websites are expected to bring real-world textures to their designs, These designs will be less cheesy than the ones in early 2010s, with colours that are much more subtler and softer. This eCommerce design trend bridges the gap between the digital and the physical, and, when done right, will make the shoppers less disconnected from the eCommerce brand.
2. Micro animations
The one thing common among all the online shoppers, which the eCommerce store owners, have found over the years analyzing shopper behaviour, is that consumers don’t want to spend more time researching, discovering, and buying products and services online. Designers can help these customers with the help of very well placed micro animations.
Micro animations like hover effects help consumers find many views or variations of the same product in the least possible time. Shoppers can easily find the interactive parts of the store, and micro animations also provide shoppers with easy access to popular actions such as add-to-cart, share, etc. Hover animations allow users to quickly compare products and make a decision, showing how micro animations add to the positive shopping experience.
3. Live search
A typical eCommerce platform comes with a basic search function out of the box, which you can add to the header of the site. The search bar can also be added as an internal widget, like on the eCommerce sidebar. With a large eCommerce site, sometimes this is just not enough. Imagine being constantly redirected for every product search you make.
Live Search will help eCommerce stores enhance the experience of using the search form by applying an AJAX search. This will allow online shoppers to see search results without needing to redirect to a results page, making the experience more seamless.
4. Light mode
Dark mode has been a trend over the last couple of years, but we are going to see a change to this trend in 2022. Dark mode designs have been quite heavy these past years, and, as we move forward, we are going to see more and more all-white and neutral tone backgrounds.
Light mode is projected to bring in more weightlessness to the whole eCommerce shopping experience, which will come as a relief to the customers who have been staring at the screens much more than usual since the pandemic started. See how we have been using this eCommerce design trend for some of our clients here.
5. Enhanced filtering controls
Digital inventories are at an all time high, as the demand for online shopping grows, these inventories are only going to get bigger. This also adds one more pain point to the customer- added hassle in searching through all the options before zeroing in on a product.
To help wade through the sea of duplicates, customers these days extensively use product filters, and this number is only set to grow in 2022. Product filters will most likely go the way of contact forms, where each field is specifically designed for the fastest input. Product filtering process will become much more intuitive, which will make the shopping experience that much smoother.
6. Increased page speeds
Google’s Core Web Vital’s algorithm in 2021 meant that as far as website rankings are concerned, mobile page speeds play a very vital role. This means that more and more designers are going to optimize their eCommerce sites so that they load super-fast, else they stand to lose in the never-ending game of getting to the top of search results.
You can use a variety of tools for this purpose, like a caching plugin or a fast web hosting, which you can use to reduce the microseconds it takes to load the eCommerce site. Remember, time is everything and even a second or two can mean a difference of hundreds of visitors landing on your website.
7. App-like mobile shopping
More and more online shoppers moved from desktop to mobile in 2021, and the trend is only set to grow in 2022. While a majority of these shoppers have only used the mobile option to browse for products, the tides are slowly changing and more and more mobile visitors are now turning into paying customers.
eCommerce websites in 2022 will most likely offer these visitors an experience similar to what the customers are used to on a mobile app. Adding headers, floating buttons, bottom bars etc are some of the easiest ways of doing this. We’re also estimating that there will be an increase in the adoption and implementation of progressive web apps to deliver the app-like shopping experiences.
8. Vertically aligned menus
Horizontally aligned screens have dominated eCommerce websites since time immemorial, but this trend is slowly changing. More and more visitors are now moving away from desktops and laptops to mobile screens, and eCommerce websites now have to adapt to mobile-friendly versions or perish.
As companies realized that more and more viewers were making purchasing decisions on their mobile phones, it soon became apparent that the horizontal menu that worked so well on the desktop.
Vertically aligned menus are more intuitive, and users can browse through the product line a lot more quickly. A vertical menu also takes up less space and can be on either side of the page. It is also easier to scale.
9. Bridging the gap - Digital vs physical
The pandemic pushed a large part of the human population indoors, but it also acted as a catalyst for an already rising trend - the move from the physical store to digital store. Websites were now being designed better than ever, and the competition between companies large and small to attract the vast consumer pool only led to better user experiences and more intuitive designs.
For instance, in a physical store, the consumer would have to physically browse through all the available options, wade through the crowd to choose the item they need, and then wait in a queue to pay the bill. All of these steps become obsolete when they decide to buy the goods online, and the consumers can even check if there are cheaper options available nearby and buy them if needed from a competing store. This new eCommerce design trend means apps and websites can do wonders for a business’s profit margin.
10. Voice search
For a large section of the population, searching in the past meant typing out your query on a search engine and then browsing through the web until you found what you looked for. But then big names such as Google and Amazon decided to change the game and gave us Assistant and Alexa, respectively. Apple did it with Siri too, lest we forget.
Voice search may not have been a design trend in the past, but the AI is getting increasingly sophisticated and as we move into the future, this is a trend that is bound to re-imagine the way people search, browse, and of course, shop online. A voice activated user interface will enhance the chances of you gaining that customer astronomically, and you need to seriously consider investing in technologies such as voice search optimization if you want to stay ahead in the game. Thanks to AI, most of the shopping that we do in the future may not need a keyboard, mouse, or even your hands.
11. Unconventional layouts
Building an eCommerce website used to be challenging, with a fair amount of knowledge required about coding, data structures, servers, APIs etc etc. Then there were sites like Shopify that came with a set of templates that you could use to build your eCommerce website in a certain way. The problem? The design for most of these websites looked similar, with only a change in colour theme or a few basic aesthetic changes, leaving the more important bits such as navigation remaining conventional.
An important eCommerce design trend we see for the next year is companies trying to break out of this mold, by experimenting with unconventional layouts, animated photos and interactive videos. The website, app and their online pages all incorporate these design elements to give them the feel of an art gallery. And the result? Reduced bounce rates, increased time on page, and as a byproduct - increased customers.
12. Humanizing brands
As the pandemic ravaged across the world, more and more businesses joined hands to beat it in their own small way. Factory floors turned to hospital beds, company cabs turned into makeshift ambulances, and the “human” side of business came to the fore, now more than ever. Many businesses showed that they are in the game not just for financial gain, but also to be known as an enterprise that did well for the society.
One emerging design trend from the pandemic is that creating a personalized user experience has matured to a point where brands are showing their thoughtfulness and sensitivity. Brands now are communicating authentic brand values to users, and are showcasing their “human” side by providing a more personalized approach to buying than ever before.
We’re seeing an uptick in the set up of about us pages, as well as an increase in pages that help them share their vision and mission with the audience.
13. eCommerce to Green Commerce
In many parts of the world, the lockdown meant that more and more people spent a major portion of their day indoors, with reduced commute. This meant reduced air pollution in certain parts of the world, which was good for the environment. It also meant that more people were ordering groceries, food and clothes online, which led to a rise in the use of single-use plastic. A problem that the brands decided to solve innovatively.
Enter the era of Green Commerce. More and more consumers are now becoming eco-conscious, and are expecting the brands to deliver items which are not damaging to the environment. This means working with less damaging materials such as paper utensils, bio plastics, non-toxic materials and reusable packaging - which is laying the emphasis on designing packaging that is easier to adapt to sustainable materials.
14. A sensory approach
eCommerce platforms can certainly benefit from using a lot of these technologies that we have mentioned, including AI and virtual reality. But there is a low - cost approach to this problem when it comes to attracting and keeping customers on your website using a basic human trait - creativity. Stylized fonts, brilliantly captured photos, and the use of a variety of hues, shapes and forms can go a long way in giving that extra oomph to your eCommerce website.
You could use sound to enhance the sense of sound on your website, and a combination of colours to change the way a customer perceives what you have to sell. It could range from a variety of things such as a small ‘ting’ when a customer clicks the checkout button on your website. If you are running an eCommerce store that sells pies, then a picture of a blueberry pie with honey dripping, taken with proper lighting and from an interesting angle, is sure to leave a lasting impression in the mind of the consumer.
15. Headless eCommerce
Selling on multiple platforms has its pros and cons. While being present on desktop, tab and smartphone can increase your reach, it is also time consuming and complex to handle. This is where headless eCommerce comes into the picture. Headless eCommerce means removing the various user- interfaces of your website (front-end) from the server-side (back-end).
When you use headless eCommerce, websites, microsites, virtual reality features, AR etc can be properly layered and you can customize them to your liking. You can also edit and update each individual component without relying on software developers. Scaling your eCommerce website is easy with headless eCommerce, which means your end users get a seamless user experience.
Want to know more about Shopify’s capabilities to adapt to headless commerce? Contact our Shopify experts today.
16. Dynamic content
Is there a way designers can build bigger, faster and more complex websites without relying on developers who always seem to be short on their deadlines? The answer is “yes, with dynamic content”. As more and more people move to a no-code platform to build things for the web, there are database tools enabling a whole new generation of content creators to put their work across to the customers.
Repeated structures linked to a database is what dynamic content is built upon. Change one part of the structure, and you can expect the other elements of your website, like blog posts, to be changed without having to manually adjust each one. eCommerce business owners can greatly benefit from dynamic content, since their websites deal with content that is constantly changing.
In conclusion - Is it time for a Shopify storefront overhaul?
In a world crowded with eCommerce stores, a good-looking store is no longer enough to attract customers. You need to appeal to all of your customer’s senses, not just in terms of the products that you have for sale, but the storefront they’re interacting with.
If you have seen your on-site engagement slow down this year, maybe it’s time to explore a new design for your Shopify store.
Want to know what you can improve about your Shopify store web design and which of these trends will impact your sales positively?