E-Commerce Design in the UAE & GCC in 2018
The Middle East E-Commerce Market is set to double to more than 69 billion USD by 2020, according to the recent report by PayFort. Out of this, the UAE alone will have a 27 billion USD E-Commerce market share and Saudi Arabia around 22 billion USD, which will be the two largest markets dominating the region by 2020.
Staying ahead of your competition with a cutting-edge E-Commerce web design is hence becoming more and more crucial as it sets your business apart. Assuring a straight forward design approach that ensures a solid and simple user experience is key.
We have gathered the top 5 E-Commerce design features and trends below for you, where we can recognize popularity based on our experience within the UAE and GCC E-Commerce market.
1 Mobile Friendly Design
As you browse through E-Commerce websites in the Middle East, you will undoubtedly come across many examples of static websites, displaying cluttered layouts, vaguely defined designs, and features, combined with information overload. Mobile friendly and responsive design is key to providing a smooth user experience (also known us UX design). Users are increasingly accessing E-Commerce sites from mobile devices and, needless to say, a neat and smooth mobile experience will enhance the user experience and sales by a large margin.
2 Simplicity is the Challenge and the Key
Sleek and straightforward designed websites are easy on the eye, pulls in user attention, and reduces your bounce rates (i.e. users remain longer on the website), hence the simplicity is elemental in how a user interacts and how long they remain on the website.
Simple, intuitive designs can help drive customer engagement and therefore lead to sales. Adding well thought out white spaces, building only a few pages for users to navigate through, and including a lot of images are three ways to prioritize simplicity when designing your website. Avoid text-heavy sections and unnecessary features that overload the users optic and load time.
3 Hamburger Menus
These type of menus have become an increasingly common sight across E-Commerce websites within the Middle East, predominantly the UAE. The Hamburger menus offer a convenient way to hide and reveal a menu on a website, making the sites much easier to navigate through, particularly on smaller screens.
Hamburger menus are identifiable by the three horizontal lines that the user must tap or click on to reveal the underlying expanded menu, pressing the bars again will hide the menu and de-clutter the screen.
In short, these menus are simple, efficient, convenient and save large amounts of space compared to a menu displayed within a frame.
4 Grid Designs
From smartphone operating systems to the Amazon website, grids have proven themselves as one of the simplest yet most effective forms of design. Grid designs are not only clear and easy to navigate, but they also use the space available efficiently. A common trend among E-Commerce sites in the UAE and the Middle East now is to adopt the grid layout but to remove borders, allowing the grid to blend into the rest of the page. This is a powerful design trend in 2018, and one that is expected to stay in the foreseeable future.
5 Motion Graphics
Motion graphics is a cutting-edge trend in many E-Commerce websites, used in a variety of situations from product displays and promotions, to entertaining and engaging users. It represents the best of animated GIFs and still images, and boasts a high sharing rate thanks to its dynamic eye candy factor.
Motion graphics design is the art of combining motion with still images and photography, text and typography, and video content. The unique aesthetics of this has made it very popular among leading brands such as Coca-Cola and Netflix who frequently use it in a variety of marketing situations. Web designers also incorporate this trend in their designs, and they appear across many websites in unique and striking ways. The art of motion graphics is ever expanding, and a trend that never falls out of fashion.