The trend of online shopping grew faster than anyone predicted when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. People who weren’t frequent digital buyers began seeing the convenience and safety of ordering via their computers and mobile devices.
Probably even more telling than the increase in actual e-commerce numbers is that 39% of millennials said they didn’t miss shopping in person at all, and 35% of all age groups felt that way. People see the convenience of ordering from their armchairs and aren’t likely to backtrack now they’ve experienced the process.
The increase in online shopping and embrace of essential goods and services has changed the way businesses function across the board. Places that may not have seen the need for an online presence now have online ordering, such as local restaurants and mom-and-pop shops. The massive changes bring with them new trends.
What Are the Website Trends for 2022?
Technology advanced at a rapid clip in 2020 and 2021. With those advancements came new trends in website design. Some will likely stay for 2022, while others fade away. There are also a few trends users are likely to embrace in the next year or so.
1. Tell a Story
Great storytelling never really goes out of style, but in a crowded consumer marketplace, it’s more important than ever to stand out from the crowd. What makes your brand unique?
The details about your company and your product are what give you an edge no one else has. Understand your competition and what makes them different so you can point out the benefits to your product. Make sure you do so in an entertaining way that keeps audience interest.
Takara Sake digs into the details of each of their products through engaging storytelling. On the product page for Sho Chiku Bai Organic Nama, they first describe the taste of the sake in detail and talk about the unique micro-filtered basis of their product. Then, they go into the tradition of Japanese sake.
2. Voice Search
Expect the use of voice search to increase as more people invest in smart speakers for their homes and tap into the voice search functions on their smartphones. If your site isn’t already optimized for verbal commands, make sure it is.
One of the best ways of enabling your product pages for voice search is by thinking through your customers’ natural language patterns (NLP). What would their question sound like if they were searching for your product? Once you have an idea of the words and queries they might make, it becomes much easier to repeat them and then answer them on your website.
3. Create a Scannable Page
Consumers are increasingly busy. Many juggle work, family and hobbies. When they land on your product page, they want to absorb information fast. You’ll have a lower bounce rate and higher conversions if you get right to the point.
Many of your users will access your site via mobile devices, so make sure your page is one they can scroll easily without having to jump through hoops. Some things that make a page easy to skim down include plenty of white space, bullet points and icons.
No. 8 offers gummies to help people sleep and to help with energy. Look at this product page for their energy formula. The text hierarchy helps the reader grab pertinent information without stopping to read the actual paragraphs in-depth. There is plenty of white space around elements such as product description, image and call to action (CTA).
One thing we like about this page design is the icons to indicate the benefits of the product, such as low sugar, vegan and non-GMO.
4. Personalize the Experience
People want a personalized experience when they land on your page. They want to know they’re not just another face in the crowd but you’ve thought about their wants and needs.
The best place to start is by creating buyer personas for each segment of your audience. What makes your customers tick? What pain points drive them to your site in the first place and what are the emotions behind those problems?
If the user visited your site before and registered, you can even greet them by name and show them some suggestions based on past buying or browsing behavior. Sites such as Amazon do this well, so are a good model to study to learn how to personalize the visit for your own users.
5. Add a Live Chat
Many customers prefer live chat as an option to communicate with companies. The response is immediate, so they don’t have to wait for an email response or waste their time on hold. A well-trained live agent answers questions and solves problems on the fly.
You can even implement a chat bot to answer common questions and save some money. When done well, a chatbot works so similar to a real agent that the user may never be able to tell the difference. If the customer has a question the bot can’t answer, the conversation seamlessly moves to a sales representative.
What isn’t to love about the Cowboy 4 product page? Moving video parts, details about the benefits of the bike and dark mode all work together for a visually pleasing experience. One thing to note is the live chat box in the lower right corner of the screen. The icon follows the user as they scroll down the page, letting them know an agent is there to answer questions at any time.
Some customers may need that little extra push of knowing customer service is readily available before investing in a higher ticket item such as this one. We like how they give an estimate of under five minutes for a replay and have a guided experience to get you going with your query.
6. Indicate Omnichannel Options
During the height of the pandemic, companies offered online ordering with curbside pickup. Users became used to the convenience of paying a small fee to save time and energy once they arrived at the store.
With the virus still lingering, traditional shopping may not return anytime soon. Shoppers want to know what their options are for shipping, pickup and returns. Make sure your product pages include this information so they have a clear picture of what is and isn’t possible when they order from you.
7. Animate Highlights
The higher screen resolutions and faster internet connectivity drives more animation than in the past. You’ve likely already noticed the brighter, bigger images on most websites, but expect to see even more videos and moving parts.
Things such as parallax scrolling continue to grab user attention and work just as well on a product page as a landing page.
NutriBird uses moving birds to help show the user the screen is moving and changing as they scroll. They even tell site visitors the birds will point the way. As you learn about the stages of a bird’s life and how the food helps them with growth, breeding and maintenance, a bird slowly flaps his wings and hovers in midair.
8. Choose Accessibility
People are more aware than in the past of how a site works for people of all abilities. Imagine one of your visitors is color blind. If you choose high contrast and avoid mixes of blue and green and red, it is much more likely the person sees your site the way you intend.
You should also consider how well your site performs with a reader and voice commands. The more intuitive your page design, the more likely you’ll meet the needs of all your audience and convert them into customers.
9. Try Augmented Reality (AR)
If you’ve been to the IKEA website, you’ve likely tried out their AR app where you can scan the room you’re standing in and plop a piece of furniture into place to see how it looks and fits in your home.
AR has been around for a while, used by real estate agents and a few retailers, but expect to see it used more frequently in 2022. Again, because people are shopping at home more, they also expect a real life experience at the same time. They may not feel comfortable entering a store, so the products must come to them for sampling.
Watch Tech Changes
Some of the more exciting changes in product page design trends come from new technological advances. Pay attention to the features on new mobile device releases. Watch the games and toys teenagers request for gifts. Look for clues about what the hottest new things are and see if it makes sense to implement them on your website.
Pay attention to your analytics, watch what your competitors do and ask for feedback from your customers. With a little practice and a lot of testing, your product pages will turn into high-performing conversion machines.
Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She was the creative director at a prominent digital marketing agency prior to becoming a full-time freelance designer. Eleanor lives in Philadelphia with her husband and pup, Bear.