5 Web Development Trends to Look Out For in 2018

By Meredith Schraeder, Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Companies know that having an intuitive web design and proper programming will generate more user-friendly websites; however, it can be difficult for businesses to keep up with rapidly changing technology. It is important to be aware of trends in web development so that your company can stay competitive. In a world where almost every business has a website of some sort, it is beneficial to make your website stand out from the rest. Here are some of next year’s upcoming trends, some of which may be advantageous to the success of your website.

Mobile Compatibility

In a Pew Research Survey from last year, almost 80% of Americans said they had smartphones. This shows that the vast majority of Americans are consistently connected to the internet and are increasingly using their mobile devices instead of desktop computers to research potential purchases online. In fact, smartphone revenues from online purchases are expected to be greater than desktop revenues next year.

To put the importance of mobile compatibility in perspective: some of our SEO customers experience over 60% of their total traffic from visitors on mobile devices!

If you do not optimize your website for mobile devices, you will be ignoring many future customers and limiting your site’s attractiveness and usability. Are you unsure of how to make your site compatible with mobile devices? Consider working with a professional web development company like WEBii to build a custom mobile site.

E-commerce Automation and Machine Learning

Think about the last time you visited Facebook. Did you see ads from websites you recently visited? Were there specific items advertised that you had viewed on a different website? Were your suggested articles and events relevant to you? Your answer to these questions is most likely yes, and here’s why: Facebook knows us so well because it implements machine learning. Machine learning includes systems that “learn” user inclinations and show content accordingly. Another popular platform that uses machine learning is YouTube. YouTube recently implemented an AI system that screens for offensive comments and extremist content. Machine learning helps websites better monitor both the content displayed and user activity.

E-commerce automation includes deterring and detecting fraud, as well as the personalization of websites based on the user’s preferences. This automation allows the site to learn what someone likes or is looking for, and can provide a tailored experience. Payment is also streamlined with this automation – no one wants to spend 16 minutes going through a grueling checkout process. Making this process seamless and quick keeps customers satisfied. Automation can drive efficiency by saving time on tasks such as scheduling price changes and promotions, as well as by tagging customers that come from different channels, such as Amazon. Automation puts the decision-making into the computer’s hands, which saves time and can improve accuracy.

Online Support

In the past few years, chatbots have become ubiquitous. Chatbots can help customers on your site if they are experiencing an issue or have a question. These go hand-in-hand with automation because they save companies time and increase efficiency. Chatbots are already commonly used on websites, and 2018 will see many improvements to these existing chatbots. The quality of service that you provide on your website is enhanced by the use of chatbots because they give your customers a personalized experience, as well as provide instant customer service 24 hours a day. It is even predicted that 85% of all customer interactions will happen without human assistance by 2020. Providing your consumers with customer service that is intuitive will keep them satisfied, and will save you time and money in the long run.

Single Page Websites

Some companies are finding success with single-page format websites. Having content all on one page is simple for users and potential customers to navigate just by scrolling. These sites eliminate any clutter and provide a more simplistic design. While this is becoming trendier, this type of website only works in some cases. It is not realistic for e-commerce sites or blogs that require multiple pages and capabilities to adopt a single-page format. It also isn’t practical in terms of SEO. Keeping all of your content on one page does not help with optimization, and can hurt your website’s ranking on search engines. A single-page website is not necessarily a feasible permanent content strategy for the future. If you need help deciding on the best format for your company’s website, don’t hesitate to contact a professional web development company to assist you.

Virtual Reality

2017 saw the rise of video marketing and an increase in videos displayed on websites. Many companies now have video introductions on their websites or video backgrounds on pages. Companies in 2018 are expected to take it a step further by adopting 360 videos and 360 modeling to their sites. For example, companies can show a tour of their office or a model of a previous project. The interactivity of this virtual reality technology is important because users are more likely to engage with it. This technology may seem expensive and time-consuming, but there are many applications and software already available that make it more accessible.

The goals of companies’ websites vary, but they all have two goals in common: they want to engage consumers and improve customer experience. 2018 will see the advancement of mobile e-commerce, machine learning, intelligent chatbots, and virtual reality features. To stay competitive, review these trends when developing or updating your website. For custom web design or web development advice, consider consulting a company like WEBii. We can help you build a website based on your needs while also taking current trends into consideration.

Posted in: E-commerce, Mobile Web Design, SEO, Web Development, WWW Learning Center

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