E-Commerce Trends and Innovations

June 26, 2014

By Web Programmer Brandon Edmark

The e-commerce field is highly competitive by nature, spurring perpetual innovation as businesses try to shorten the gap between a user searching for a suitable website and purchasing their product. These include advancements in mobile design and the growing popularity of long-form content.

E-commerce sites tend to require more complex interfaces than most public websites, and the first few years of mobile computing left e-commerce behind. Many businesses assumed that users would keep their shopping habits on more traditional devices. However, a recent study by Business Insider revealed a number of surprising facts about the importance of mobile accessibility. 219 million people in the U.S. use only mobile devices instead of traditional computers, those that own both spend equal amounts of time between the two, and mobile devices are the only media delivery format showing significant growth in time use. The e-commerce field has no choice but to respond to this influx of mobile traffic.

Now we are starting to see sites that are not just compatible with smartphones, but optimized for the mobile experience. The Premier Fall Protection e-commerce website adapts to any device’s screen width, collapsing content from multiple columns into one on smartphones and tablets. Drop-down site-wide navigation menus are also becoming popular, as seen on major e-commerce sites such as Lowe’s and Best Buy.

Long-form content is also working its way into e-commerce websites’ SEO strategy. For the first decade and a half of the World Wide Web’s ascent, the common wisdom was that users wished to read articles of only about 400 words. Since then, improvements in screen resolution and navigational hardware have made reading longer articles a more comfortable experience. Services such as Pocket and InstaPaper are made to help users experience content over long periods of time and across multiple devices. Finally, long-form content is excellent for SEO, as Google has gradually raised the bar for content quality in determining search rank. Producing long articles full of content relevant to your business is an excellent way to push your search engine ranking over the competition. Such articles also create a more personable impression of your brand among customers.

Between implementing mobile-friendly design and long-form content, there is much work to be done for the average e-commerce website owner to stay ahead of the competition. However, the potential rewards of doing so are immense.