Are you looking for eCommerce design inspiration? As we move into the halfway point of 2023, we’ve rounded up the top ten latest design trends shaping the year for eCommerce retailers, complete with examples for inspiration. Here are some of the most notable design trends that we’ve seen:

1. Minimalistic design.

As eCommerce becomes more competitive, businesses are looking for ways to stand out from the crowd. One way to do this is by embracing minimalistic design. This means using simple, clean lines and a limited colour palette to create a sleek, modern look that is easy on the eyes and easy to navigate. This trend is particularly-popular among fashion and beauty brands but can be applied to any eCommerce site.

Example: unpackaged with ReGrocery.

ReGrocery employs strategic implementation of negative space in the arrangement of sections, as well as in the presentation of product cards and brand content to achieve a minimalistic aesthetic. The incorporation of duo-tones and curved imagery throughout imparts a contemporary and minimalist visual appeal.

Regrocery utilises the power of large typography as a form of navigation and a way to break up visually heavy sections, giving the content room to breathe and an editorial feel.

Example: handcrafted simplicity with Bembien.

Firstly, the Bembien website utilises a minimalist approach with ample white space, allowing the content and visuals to breathe and stand out. The colour palette employed by Bembien is muted and understated, featuring soft, neutral tones, contributing to a refined and sophisticated aesthetic while avoiding visual clutter. Carefully selected product photos, lifestyle shots, and minimalist graphics are utilized to showcase the brand's offerings in an appealing and cohesive manner.

2. Personalisation.

Personalisation is becoming increasingly crucial in eCommerce as consumers demand a more personalised shopping experience. This can include personalised recommendations based on browsing history, customised email marketing, and even personalised product pages. Personalisation helps create a sense of connection between the brand and the customer, which can increase loyalty and sales.

Example: perfectly tailored with Quince.

This product page from Quince incorporates a wide range of personalized upsell and cross-sell options tailored to individual customers. Noteworthy examples include "Complete the Look," "You May Also Like," "Related Products," "Based on your Taste," and "Shoppable UGC." These features effectively showcase additional products that align with the user's preferences, stimulating further website exploration and ultimately boosting the average order value (AOV). Additionally, the inclusion of an impressive mini-cart upsell further enhances the overall shopping experience.

Example: evoking youthful creativity with Volcom.

The Volcom website leverages the capabilities of Lime Spot, an application that delivers a tailored and personalized experience for customers throughout their journey. Lime Spot achieves this by dynamically showcasing personalized product options based on the user's browsing history and interests in specific product categories. Notably, Lime Spot extends its influence beyond product recommendations, as it dynamically modifies homepage layouts, including banners, to further personalize the user's interaction. This implementation has demonstrated a substantial impact, resulting in revenue increases of up to 12-28% and conversion rate improvements of 2-5 times.

3. Micro-interactions.

Micro-interactions are small animations or interactions that are added to a website to make it more engaging and interactive. This can include things like hover effects, scrolling animations, and pop-up notifications. These small touches can make a website feel more alive and engaging, increasing conversions and customer satisfaction.

Example: micro-interactions with Wild Souls.

Wild Souls implements a highly brand-centric approach to their product page experience, which can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, the utilisation of a fixed product image as the user navigates through the product information fosters an immersive environment.

Additionally, the distinctive and captivating nature of the CTA hovers enhances user engagement. Moreover, the presentation of related products showcases a design-driven approach, featuring curved colour backgrounds, on-brand patterns upon hovering, a mouse takeover prompting click-through actions, and an autorotate function to instil dynamism and encourage user interaction.

4. Scrolling storytelling.

Scrolling storytelling is a new way of presenting information on a website. Instead of having a lot of information on one page, scrolling storytelling uses a long, scrolling page to tell a story or present information more engagingly. This can be used to create a sense of immersion and help customers understand the brand and products better.

Example: magical storytelling with Magic Spoon.

Magic Spoon exemplifies a brand that exudes boldness and vibrancy, which is seamlessly reflected in the entire shopping experience. The power of storytelling is harnessed throughout the website, particularly on the homepage, where a series of thoughtfully designed sections effectively highlight the brand's unique selling propositions (USPs) and product information. Engaging the user at every step, the website employs captivating animations, such as the rotation of a spoon upon scrolling, alongside intriguing and informative hovers that provide insights into the ingredients. Additionally, the use of bold informational graphics further enhances the narrative, successfully conveying the brand's story and product details.

5. Augmented reality.

Augmented reality (AR) is becoming more popular in eCommerce as it allows customers to see what products will look like in their own homes before they buy. This can be used for furniture, home decor, and clothing. It can also be used to create a more engaging shopping experience, such as a virtual try-on for makeup and sunglasses.

Example: Evengreener’s augmented reality will have you green with envy.

Even Greener is a sustainability-driven brand that supplies products for recycling, composting, and water-saving; the range includes everything from water butts and tanks to compost bins and food waste solutions at affordable prices.

Due to a user pain point of difficulty understanding the scale of products such as the water butts and tanks, we implemented Augmented Reality on the product pages to enable users to see 3D renders of the products. Customers simply click on the ‘See it in 3D’ button to rotate the product image every which way. From there, by clicking ‘View in your space’, they can view the product (overlaid to scale) in their home. By clearly showing product dimensions in a user-friendly way, we’ve given customers the confidence to purchase.

6. Accessibility.

Accessibility has become a significant trend in eCommerce websites as it ensures that websites are designed and developed to cater to individuals with disabilities or impairments, allowing them to access and navigate the site effectively. By making eCommerce websites accessible, businesses demonstrate a commitment to inclusivity and reach a broader audience, including people with visual, auditory, cognitive, or motor disabilities.

Many countries have implemented accessibility regulations and standards, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the United States and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) globally. Meeting these requirements is crucial for eCommerce businesses to avoid legal implications and potential lawsuits related to discrimination against individuals with disabilities.

Example: Everlane nailing accessibility.

Everlane is a great example of a brand that has focused heavily on ensuring its website is accessible to everyone. They have implemented a very interesting app called AccessiBe, which gives customers the ability to customise the font sizes, colours, and aesthetics of the site to assist with the users' specific disability.

7. Asymmetrical layouts.

Asymmetrical layouts are becoming more popular in eCommerce as they allow for more creative and unique designs. This can include things like off-centre images, irregular grids, and unexpected typography. This trend is particularly popular among fashion and lifestyle brands but can be applied to any eCommerce site.

Example: Aware’s asymmetrical aesthetic.

Aware exemplifies the skilful implementation of asymmetrical layouts and striking offset typography, resulting in a captivating webpage design. This approach effectively sustains user interest, promotes seamless transitions between different sections, and imparts a distinct editorial and visually appealing aesthetic to the homepage.

8. Mobile-First design.

With more and more customers shopping on mobile devices, it's important for eCommerce sites to have a mobile-first design. This means designing for smaller screens and touch navigation, as well as making sure that the site loads quickly and is easy to navigate on a mobile device. This can help increase conversions and customer satisfaction.

Example: RIXO rocking mobile-first design.

As the creators of the RIXO website, the team here at blubolt prioritised the seamless mobile-first experience, considering the predominant mobile traffic. Our efforts encompassed various features to optimise mobile usability, including mobile-friendly navigation, prominent touch points, legible font sizes for accessibility, mobile-friendly quick add functionality, filters, and the option to switch the collection page layout from two products per row to a single product per row, enhancing immersion and aligning with mobile-centric design principles.

9. Authenticity.

Authenticity is becoming more important in eCommerce as customers are looking for brands that are genuine and transparent. This can include things like using real customer photos, sharing behind-the-scenes content, and being open and honest about the brand's values and mission. This can help create a sense of trust and loyalty with customers.

Example: Rave Coffee oozing authenticity.

We polished the new Rave Coffee site with a carefully curated group of tech partners to enhance the already impressive build and showcase authenticity. To encourage loyalty, repeat purchases and boost the community-driven content, we used reCharge delivered subscriptions and Feefo for customer reviews, Klaviyo for email marketing, Covet Pics for the Instagram feed, and Smart Wishlist.

Furthermore, we meticulously designed numerous content areas throughout the Rave Coffee website, strategically showcasing their unique selling propositions, compelling reasons for purchase, and comprehensive product information. This encompassed engaging narratives, origin stories, flavour profiles, and Rave Coffee's unwavering commitment to donating 1% of all sales to environmental causes. Visit Rave Coffee here.

10. Retro.

We have seen a resurgence and incorporation of retro design elements, aesthetics, and nostalgic references from past eras into the visual and user experience of online shopping platforms. This trend aims to evoke a sense of nostalgia, create a unique brand identity, and engage users by tapping into their emotional connections with the past.

Example: step back in time with Vacation Inc.

The Vacation Inc website effectively utilizes retro design elements, including a vibrant colour palette, retro typography, nostalgic grainy imagery, and a vintage-inspired layout, to create a visually engaging and nostalgic experience.

Need help designing your eCommerce store?

After our round-up of eCommerce design trends for 2023, are you looking to refresh your site design? Get in touch with us to discuss your requirements. We would love to help!

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