Technology moves at such a fast pace that we were wondering what web trends were predicted for this year and are those predictions coming true as we pass the halfway mark of 2018. We’re ready to place a good bet that most of what was predicted could be out of date already and have been replaced with the next shiny thing!
We’ll highlight a few key predictions and then explore them over future issues of our newsletter. Put a note in your calendar to remind us to do a review at the end of 2019 and see how accurate the trends were!
Before we dive in, here are a couple of eCommerce facts from the New Zealand Herald on 9 July 2018 which starts with the jaw-dropping headline that Aucklanders spent a whopping $1.3b (yes, that is billion) last year shopping online. The Canterbury region spent $427m and Wellington spent $409m. These could be considered lightweight by Auckland spending figures– but they are still huge. New Zealand combined spent a total of $3.6b on online purchases last year - the equivalent of 8.1 per cent of all retail sales or $746 for every resident.
In the article, Bryan Dobson, Chief Marketing Officer for NZ Post states "Online sales are growing ten times faster than offline sales, by 2021 it is projected 17.5 per cent of all global retail spend will come from eCommerce."
Another interesting statistic was that more Kiwis are shopping online than ever before, with women opting to shop on the web more frequently than men. Is this perhaps a signal to design websites that are more ‘women-friendly’ if there is such a thing?!
So, onto those web trends – we researched and evaluated and, in no particular order, here’s our pick of what experts predicted…
- Voice technology - as consumers continue to do more on smaller screens, more voice-designed experiences are appearing on websites. Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home are both good examples of this
- Websites including more elements of interactivity for consumers - puzzles, quizzes and games will begin to pop up more often
- Artificial Narrow Intelligence - Artificial Intelligence has already worked its way into mainstream web design, through technologies like conversational chatbots. Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI) is already hard at work powering voice assistants like Google Home and Apple’s Siri. It runs recommendation technologies for the likes of Amazon, Spotify and Netflix etc.
- Security – the increasing amount of malicious viruses out there means the focus on web security will increase to ensure your data and systems are safe
- Shopping via image based search – Instead of typing in words, users will be able to shop for items based off an image they have. For the first time in 2018 consumers will shop via image based search.
- Consumerisation of B2B – Many B2B buyers and users will experience their first frictionless, B2C-like purchasing and ordering experience in 2018 as they continue transitioning their product discovery and buying behaviors to online and mobile
- Experimentation will continue – the clever-clog developers are always exploring and experimenting as to what more can be done with websites in terms of the technology, design and functionality. As an example, this will include more 3D/webVR effects, AI etc.
- A renewed focus on the consumer – customer experience has always been critical with the business driving and striving to deliver the best customer service and experience
- Story-telling – huge emphasis on storytelling through design, conveying often complex information as simply and as engagingly as possible to a variety of audiences
- Colour schemes - 2018 is definitely the year for super excess colours online, partly helped by technological advances in monitors and devices with screens that are more suitable for reproducing richer colours to instantly attract attention, also perfect for brands who want to set themselves apart the ‘web-safe’ and the traditional
The list is long, and as web-developers, we are implementing many of the above web trends in the eCommerce sites that we develop. We’ll explore more about these over the next few issues of our newsletter. If you’d like us to focus on one in particular, let us know – email Jason@oneclick.co.nz