As Christmas approaches at an alarming rate in a very cold Gloucestershire, it’s about this time of year that we, as a small digital design studio, start to see lots of ecommerce website trend predictions for the following year from companies just like ours.

But as so often very few of them actually materialise we’ve decided to look back on 2016 and see which of the ecommerce trends predicted have actually changed the way we buy online as a consumer and the way we as a creative web studio in Gloucester build ecommerce websites.
Here are our top 5:

Mobile responsive ecommerce websites:

It’s safe to say that the widespread behavioural change of customers expecting to be able to conduct their lives via a smartphone or tablet device definitely happened.

This monumental change in the way the majority of your potential customers use their smartphones and tablet devices means that every e-commerce website needs to be fully responsive, content should adapt and reflow to be easily viewed and navigated from any mobile or tablet device regardless of its screen size. Sales from mobile sites now make up 51% of UK online sales so if you haven’t yet made a change to ‘responsive’ and are selling online, you could be missing out, BIG TIME.

Do you need to make your website responsive? Get in touch, we can help.

The power of peer to peer recommendation and reviews:

In terms of influencing a customer’s buying decision, peer to peer recommendation through reviews and blogs have never been more valuable.

Customers frequently conduct internet searches to ask general questions, solve specific problems or search for products to buy (of course usually from their mobile device). It’s so important that you are aware and able to respond to reviews about your products or services and are proactively highlighting positive reviews and creating conversational content like blogs which will lead potential customers to your website to solve their purchasing problems.

Would you like to add a blog or review functionality to your website? Get in touch, we can help.

Super-fast delivery

Almost instant delivery seemed a mere pipe dream 12 months ago, but look at us now with Deliveroo, Amazon Prime Now and Uber.

Amazon Prime Now offers same day delivery within two hours to key areas in the UK, other retailers are trying to keep up with most now offering next day delivery. Deliveroo are delivering everything from dry cleaning to groceries and Uber is branching out to delivering more than just people to places following the recent launch of Uber Eats.

These platforms can be fantastic for local businesses, by making your products available via any of these, you have the potential to reach lots of new customers.  Delivery is one of the most common reasons customers abandon a transaction at checkout so offering a faster delivery method could be a real quick win.

Would you like to provide more delivery options for products on your website? Get in touch, we can help.

The importance of customer experience

The customer is king, we all know this. But the importance of the customer experience when navigating your website has now been recognised by Google as more valuable than keyword destiny, key phases and backend meta data. ‘UX’ or user experience is a major ranking factor as customers vote with their spending power by finding your product or service fast and with as few clicks as possible.

Customers will close slow to load or difficult to navigate websites and buy the product or service they are looking for elsewhere.  The Trainline, the UK’s 5th largest online retailer, found that reducing their page load times by 0.3 seconds generated an additional £8m in revenue. Could navigating your company website be putting customers off?

Need to improve user experience, website navigation and load times? Get in touch, we can help.

The rise of specialist products and services

There are an increasing number of websites which make it easier for small businesses to sell very specific products which previously may not have been able to reach a large enough customer base to make going in to business worthwhile.

Services such as Shopify and SquareSpare as well as websites like Etsy, Ebay and NotOnTheHighStreet make it increasingly possible for small business selling very specific products to reach customers across the world.

Do you have an idea for a niche product or service? Get in touch, we can help you make it a reality.

Need to improve user experience, website navigation and load times? Get in touch, we can help.