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UX/UI Design Trends that Will Reign in 2021 Ecommerce Marketing

A brilliant e-commerce marketing strategy relies on the functionality of your website. This has never stood more true than in 2020. This past year defined UX/UI design trends for 2021. That’s because, in 2020, the majority of purchases went digital. In turn, the online retail sector grew exponentially.

It’s 2021 and the online retail space is thriving. Consumers are more habituated to online shopping than ever. To have the most advantage, businesses need to be on top of the latest e-commerce trends. 2020 gave us a ton of insight on just how UX/UI design and Shopify are influencing the future.

The Power of UX/UI Design Trends in 2021

UX/UI design is essential for e-commerce marketing. It is a key component of your site’s infrastructure.

UX/UI are two separate terms. You have UX (user experience) and UI (user interface).

UX design is where your web design gets personal. User experience is in the details. It is what upgrades the usability of your site, turning leads into sales. User interface design cannot do this on its own. Therefore, UX lends the intimate touch customers want.

Behind any creative force is a logical framework. UI is what gives UX functionality. Everything you engage with on a site, from a single font to a bold motion graphic, is part of the UI design.

Words are a simple example of the difference between UX and UI. UI would be a webpage’s font while the actual words used are the UX. The font alone can’t sway customers, but the language can. Together, UX and UI are outstanding tools for capturing your target audience’s attention.

User experience on a fashion site's landing page


Source: Design by Vlad Musienko

Why Shopify Website Design Matters

Many don’t often think about Shopify with UX/UI design. But, with this past year, we can’t overlook Shopify’s role in user experience.

In 2020, physical stores closed and Shopify e-commerce sites took their place. It was heart-wrenching to watch businesses close their doors. Yet, Shopify’s hosting offered brands a way to adapt and upgrade their web presence.

“Shopify’s integrated platform makes online business more accessible. You’re no longer limited to standard brick-and-mortar business hours. Instead, your business is online, all over the world, 24/7. That’s why Shopify is a great tool to help business owners adapt,” says Tony Innouvong, KITS Creativ co-founder.

Shopify’s accessibility model further expanded the market reach of our clients. This was significant, as most of our clients represent and engage with a niche target audience: the Asian American community.

Adapting to such changes will carry on into e-commerce strategies for 2021 and beyond. “How we do business is changing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Though the pandemic will come to pass, its impact will affect us forever,” says Innouvong.

This is why Shopify will continue to be an incredible resource. The platform helps to create a unique and user-friendly site. Shopify hosting helps to streamline the backend workings. This gives web designers more creative flexibility with the frontend.

What does that mean? Remember: websites are all about visuals (or the user interface). These visuals must be a bold representation of your brand and your target audience. This is what supports your UX. Through Shopify, the data collecting and other backend facilities are much more manageable. Thus, web designers and marketers have more freedom to enrich the customer experience.

UX/UI design of lifestyle shopify ecommerce site


Source: Design by Zhenya Rynzhuk for Synchronized

Five UX/UI Design Trends for 2021 to Know

2020 did give us something positive – insight into key UX/UI design trends for 2021. These are key in implementing your best e-commerce marketing strategy. That’s because, in 2021, the experience is all about the consumer. 

Motion Graphics

Customers want to be excited when they shop. Motion graphics encourage excitement, making them one of the top UX/UI design trends for 2021.

Rather than a static photo, motion graphics feature movement, color, and even sound. These features help customers remember your brand. That’s because these animations engage more than one of the senses. “Designers are digitizing printed elements into interactive experiences on the web, giving brands more authentic quality. This reflects how the digital realm is in fact our real world today,” mentions Mel Phongsavath, Creative Director at KITs Creativ.

Motion graphics are pivotal tools for optimizing user experience. This goes especially true for the mobile shopping experience. 

Across social media, these animations capture the attention of users better than a regular image could. Above all, these graphics are more likely to be shared, through ways of Instagram stories and retweets. It’s no wonder that Twitter’s 2020 algorithm highly values rich media. Who doesn’t love a well-executed GIF? 

Another effective way of applying motion graphics is through email marketing. Smartphones are currently the main source for checking emails. Motion graphics can illustrate the themes of an email more than a paragraph could. This is also a useful way to bring more traffic to your e-commerce site.

UX design of 3D shopping experience on mobile device

Checkout Made Easy

The convenience of online shopping in 2020 still has customers hooked. Retail shopping can happen anytime anywhere. A phenomenon that has lowered customer patience for troubleshooting checkout issues.

This is exactly why securing a reliable checkout design is a major UX/UI trend. Orders need to be seamless for customers. Payment options need to be versatile and mobile-friendly.

The KITS team saw the future of checkout options when building Love & Pebble’s site. This Vietnamese American and woman-owned business offer confidence-boosting skincare products. To keep customers returning, we made Love & Pebble’s checkout super smartphone-friendly. We integrated the most popular mobile payment options, including Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Shop pay. These methods not only give customers options but make check out a breeze from any device.

Personalization Through Omnichannel Marketing

Everyone loves to feel special. In 2021, the customization and personalization of your eCommerce site will take over the role of the sales associate.

Integrating an omnichannel marketing approach is how it happens. This method allows you to reach new customers and understand their spending habits. Most importantly, omnichannel marketing maximizes the brand experience for customers. 

In this day in age, consumers rarely stay on just one channel. We bop from Google searches to Instagram feeds in a matter of seconds. Yet, this behavior is actually a great resource for grasping consumer interest. Every channel is an opportunity for your brand to set up touchpoints. Selecting and aligning the right touchpoints creates a seamless pathway for customers to access your brand. 

A simple omnichannel touchpoint is discount codes on social media. Promoting a discount in exchange for a simple email sign up both provides you with customer info and brings traffic to your brand site. This customer data can be employed in various niche campaigns. Nurture email campaigns, for example, require specific customer behavioral data. These targeted emails can help to lead customers to more offers you know they’d love.

AI-based customer segmentation will also be more super-charged in 2021. Utilizing machine algorithms can help further identify and isolate customer data. Google in particular is working on something special. Google Cloud is accelerating the progress of individualized searches. Its new program offers a non-invasive cloud infrastructure with some unique capabilities. We are excited to play with its options for image-based searches.

Utilizing Shopify Messenger Apps

With shopping comes questions. That is something that will never change. With AI messenger apps, a site gives a customer a more versatile shopping experience. While these apps are not new to 2021, their recent advancements make them a tool for a smoother user experience.

KITS saw this to be especially true when designing dose+remedy’s website.

By linking Facebook messenger to the dose+remedy site, we’ve been able to amplify customer engagement. Customers can now ask further individual questions about the company’s plant-based products.

AR technology in a beauty brand's ecommerce strategy


Designed by Farah Luthfiyani

AR and VR Integration

Feeding straight into customization is AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality.) These two technologies are more important than ever for UX/UI design because they bring the store to the customer.

These technologies go beyond graphics. They showcase 3D developments at the next level. In 2020, customers felt idler than ever. Instead of physically shopping, they were scrolling; many on their smartphones. AR/VR amplifies this experience by elevating product engagement without leaving home.

With AR technology, the digital interface transforms reality. Remember the hysteria Pokemon Go caused? While it may not be an e-commerce platform, the Pokemon Go app is a perfect example of how AR enhances the world around us. The app uses location-based technology to identify and contextualize a player’s surroundings. It is then augmented with digital and interactive elements (the Pokemons!) 

That’s why the app was such a huge success – it turned a player’s reality into a game. The same can be applied to retail shopping. With the help of a smartphone, consumers can decorate their living room or even try-on glasses.

VR, on the other hand, takes it a step further. It creates a brand new reality for users. Customers can browse stores straight from their couch, driving a shift from physical to digital shopping experiences 

Social media platforms are excellent examples of where AR/VR technology is going. Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram are trailblazers with their bold and customizable filters. Altogether, AR/VR are great tools for product marketing. They undoubtedly stir up creativity and excitement in customers.

Wrapping Up UX/UI Design Trends for 2021

The e-commerce marketing world looks bright for 2021. Shopify’s platform is growing more powerful and efficient. UX/UI trends are more innovative than ever. There are plenty of tools to empower your brand presence. From bold motion graphics to virtual reality shopping experiences, there are detailed opportunities to build a robust e-commerce platform.

At KITS Creativ, we believe that engaging in the e-commerce marketing community is the best way to learn and grow business together. We want to help you achieve your e-commerce goals for 2021. 

Need a hand? 

Let’s connect.

About the Author

Victoria Cece

Victoria Cece

Aspiring Editor in 'Chef,' Victoria spends her time between her kitchen, Google Drive, and a good pasta scroll hole. She lives for discovering new words and foods, especially the ones she will struggle the most to pronounce. A passionate storyteller, Victoria currently works as a content strategist & copywriter for KITS Creativ.

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