Our New Site is Now Live!

Our new website is live and we couldn’t be happier! Our talented team have been working extremely hard to reposition the Star Digital brand and produce a new website that demonstrates our creative web design and development skills and our digital marketing prowess. Star Digital New Website Now Live

The ‘Commerce Collective’

The new site focuses on our repositioning to a ‘Digital Commerce Agency’. As eCommerce experts, we believe it is important for us to exhibit our digital commerce abilities throughout the site. Our talented graphic and UX designers have crafted a unique brand logo that portrays our individuality in the eCommerce industry and a first-class user experience to go with it. The ‘Commerce Collective’ combines the disciplines that are vital in today’s world of eCommerce into an easy to understand ‘collection’. Connected Commerce is agnostic meaning that clients are not locked into a single eCommerce platform, and can run their digital commerce across multiple commerce platforms (including ERP and CRM systems) and geographic areas with ease. The team have many years experience in building numerous eCommerce platform solutions using Magento and ShopifyPlus. Communicated Commerce focuses on our expertise in email automation software such as SendGrid, Bronto and IBM Marketing Cloud API’s. The Communicated services include managing designs, messaging, delivery of email marketing campaigns utilising a seamless integration between web applications and email marketing systems. The Curated Commerce programme includes content and SEO marketing tactics, landing page campaign design, build and measurement, PPC management and strategic digital commerce consultancy. Being experts in SEO management, Google AdWords and social media management, we can ensure outstanding results. Our Creative Commerce offering allows our talented design team to implement innovative concepts and ideas and turn it into a digital commerce solution. By understanding the importance of user experience and interfaces across desktop and mobile, we are able to create highly effective digital experience and designs. Together, the Commerce package delivers growth for eCommerce businesses.

So, what’s changed?

Our aim was to create a responsive site in which clients and viewers can understand who we are and the type of work that we produce. We have enhanced the structure of our content so viewers can effectively navigate from page to page and endure a smooth browsing experience from the moment they enter the site. After producing some amazing work for clients over the past few years, understandably, we want to shout about our success stories. For example, we have developed a number of highly effective mobile merchandising applications, powerful Magento Enterprise builds and successful email marketing strategies for world-class clients. We have guaranteed that our case studies are displayed on the majority of the web pages as well as a dedicated page to our work to ensure that you view our on-going successes. The services we provide are listed individually on the new site with successful case studies displayed in each, so you have an idea of the remarkable work we produce. Overall, we hope for our new site to successfully engage with our viewers and assist them in their digital eCommerce journey. So, what are you waiting for? Visit our new site now! We hope you appreciate the changes, please tell us below what you think.

The Importance of a Mobile-friendly Website

With the rise of smart phones, it has become more important than ever to have a mobile-friendly website that can be easily accessible on all devices. Mobile devices are becoming the preferred method of Internet access with over 51% of web traffic coming from a smartphone and only 43% of traffic from a desktop or laptop. It is essential that websites are to be optimised for mobile, meaning it has been designed and formatted to read and navigate easily on the screens of various mobile devices. More than likely, you have probably come across websites whilst browsing on your mobile that are not mobile-friendly, and understand the frustration this can cause. Mobile-friendly Website It is better for SEO Google will penalize websites that are not mobile-friendly and prioritise those that are. This means that Google will recognize if a site isn’t mobile friendly and will rank the website at a low result due to the mobile responsiveness which can affect the search visibility of the website. Having a mobile friendly website is an important factor in determining your ranking potential as there are an increasing amount of mobile users that are utilizing search engines frequently to find products, services, and general information. Users are more likely to click through to links at the top of Google’s search results and having an unresponsive website could see you steadily slipping down the search page rankings. A responsive website enables businesses to reach potential customers 24/7 and it means they can stay highly ranked on Google when it comes to mobile searches. For more info on the impact of SEO on your website, read our 5 tips to boost your website ranking. It offers a better user experience Delivering a mobile-friendly website will provide a much better overall experience to the site’s users and visitors. As an increased number of customers are using their mobile devices to access the Internet on the go, it is important that the user experience is simple for them. In fact, 83% of mobile users say that a seamless experience across all devices is very important. Easy visibility, fast loading content and simple navigation from each web page is important for users so they can successfully browse and shop whilst on mobile devices. If a site is well optimized for mobile, this can ultimately increase your number of conversions. Average smartphone conversion rates are up 64% compared to the average desktop conversion rates. It is predicted that UK consumers are to spend £53.6bn a year using smartphones and tablets by 2024! Without having a highly optimized website for mobile devices, you are not likely going to be able to provide an excellent all around experience which is likely to reflect in the number of bounces you have on your website. 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing it and 40% will visit a competitor’s site instead. As there are so many different screen sizes that people use from mobile phones to tablets, it is important to provide them a responsive theme that is going to properly adjust based on the size of screen they are using at the time. Otherwise, it will make it hard for users to navigate round, causing you to have poor statistical numbers that will negatively impact your website performance and ultimately your rankings. It will decrease bounce rates An increase of bounce rates can occur if a website is not mobile-friendly and a user is attempting to view the site on a handheld device. The majority of the time, the web page will be slow to load which causes the user to click off the page immediately and not visit any other pages on the site. Visitors will be less likely to stay on a site if they have to pinch and zoom or squint at unreadable text, or worse yet if it runs flash or anything that requires add-ons to display in a browser. When a website is responsive, the number of bounce rates will decrease because the user will be satisfied with the experience and will move around other pages on the site. You can read our blog post on how to successfully ensure your website is mobile-friendly. At Star Digital, our team are experts in creating mobile friendly websites, please don’t hesitate to give us a call today on 01604 696 385 or email us on info@star-digital.co.uk. Sign up to our newsletter below, to stay up-to-date with all the latest digital marketing news and insider tips.

Web Design Trends for Ecommerce in 2017

Designing the perfect shopping experience for ecommerce websites requires creativity, ingenuity, and a deep level of understanding of consumer buying behaviour. Our digital design guru, shares his thoughts on today’s web design trends for ecommerce. Applying the latest design trends to e-commerce can be tricky and a topic that divides opinions industry-wide. Although minimalism, sleek UI and limited content are all the rage in some of today’s digital projects, they may not be as effective for ecommerce. Therefore, certain design rules should be carefully considered and tested, to ensure you provide your customers with an enjoyable and user friendly shopping experience. Digital design is constantly evolving. However, here’s the web design trends that are predicted to take off massively in the e-commerce world this year.

Styling & The Extra Details

Styling and a focus on the ‘extra details’ allows an e-commerce site to stand out against its competitors. Suitable consideration for design elements such as use of space, original artwork, smart implementation of typography, and micro animation effects are very important. These can be highly effective tools to make the user want to engage with the site, explore and return. It’s important for e-commerce sites to also consider smaller additional details, such as telling a user if products are in stock, what styles/colors are available, product filters and easy access checkout.

Original Photography & Personalised Artwork

Photography will always be an important tool within web design. However, in today’s climate, brands want to see originality and authenticity over generically staged stock photos. Large, well considered hero images are appearing more and more on e-commerce sites to help sell the brand and products. The other road that creatives will look to explore is the use of personalised illustrations. They can be versatile visuals that are playful and friendly but easily represent the tone of a brand. Although this approach is not seen as much within e-commerce, there is potential for this medium to transfer across in time. Dropbox isn’t you’re a-typical ecommerce site but its use of personalised illustrations is a prime example of unique brand engagement. Bespoke Illustration Example Image Source: Dropbox

Large Typography

The use of large and decorative typefaces combined with simplistic forms allows a designer to control space and a reader’s attention. An engaging way to invite a user to find out more about a product or brand.

Brighter Colours

Appearing more and more in web design trends, expect the application of bold colours to transfer over to e-commerce sites in due course, as gradients and bright colours are used to create effect and appeal. Colour can be a friendly yet edgy way to keep a user engaged with what they are seeing.

Micro Animations

Micro Animations have started to appear across a broad spectrum of web design. So, expect them to start appearing on ecommerce sites, especially homepages and landing pages where grabbing a user’s attention is key. They help call attention to important CTA’s, encouraging user to travel down specific journeys, such as promoting the brands newest products. A great example of this is protest.eu, a sportswear brand who use subtle hover animation to encourage a user to view a product. Another great example of how micro-animations have been utilised in a fun and effective way, is the beloved stripe.com/gb, a fan favourite amongst many web designers. Protest.eu Image Source: protest.eu

Mobile First Approach

With an increase in web browsing and purchasing via their mobiles, it was inevitable that one day there would need to be a shift in design priority. Due to restrictive mobile screens, designers must focus more on the core content of a website and the key messages brands want to communicate to their consumers. This means stripping back the unnecessary elements that would usually appear on the desktop format. Designers must consider features such as large full width images, clear CTA’s, obvious and sensible icons and hidden menu navigations. Two examples of very different sites that have nailed the art of the mobile display are Skinny Ties and Etsy. The latter being the most considered design, as the level of products and their eclectic varieties needed to be clear and obvious to navigate. However, as most sites were desktop first it’s now a game of catch up for many brands, making sure they deliver the best mobile first experience. This is where deprecation of elements becomes the most important marketing and creative decisions to make. Some brands may even consider a full re-design in order to deliver what the consumer is demanding.

Minimal & Flat Design

Thanks to Google’s Material design concept, a lot of companies have adapted this idea using flat and minimal designs to help establish their brand identity. The use of flat colours and simplistic design is an effective way of applying the classic ‘Say more with less’ approach. Minimalism is a great way for brands to focus their sites on an uncluttered user experience, allowing a customer to interact with their site more instinctively. Many e-commerce sites are now picking up this trend, especially within fashion, where the focus is purely on the product and making it easier for a customer to find what they need quickly. An obvious example of this is the e-commerce giant ASOS. Their clean and clear creative allows a user to navigate easily through the site without any unnecessary distractions. asos.com Image Source: asos.com With a shift in browsing patterns and priorities, it’s more important than ever to nail the UX journeys a consumer will take. The demand for speed and ease is top of the list, with the following concepts up for consideration:

Personalisation

This would start as something simple like a personalised welcome message but then become more complex such as recommended products based on the users browsing history. Although possibly considered intrusive, it creates a time saving experience for a user. There is no one who nails this better than Amazon who’s main focus is upselling as many products as possible. Personalisation Example

Fewer Menu Options & Time Saving

 This was a concept that started to develop in 2016 and is likely to continue in 2017. Due to increased demand of speed and ease, quicker navigation menus are required to improve the user journey. This may result in sites shifting their focus to advanced product level filtering, allowing UX to be intuitive and interactive, ultimately saving users time. This concept is often seen on designs based on the user taking actions one step at a time.

Experimental takes on traditional UX

This is all about standing out against your competition without losing the familiar functionalities of an e-commerce site. The skill here is coming up with something creative and unique that appeals to the target market. Some of the more contemporary and younger brands are stepping away from the traditional e-commerce vibe and trying something more experimental. These sites will still include your classic elements like photo carousels and minimal navigation menus, just treated in a new way. Adam Underwear is a prime example of a brand who have embraced an experimental design but based it purely on their younger audience which is why it works so well. Traditional UXImage Source: adamunderwear.com

Key Takeaways

Only some of the design trends for 2017 have been touched on here. There are many more out there that are up for deliberation, but ultimately only time will tell as to which trends will successfully transfer over into the e-commerce world and which ones will die off. It is, however, clear to see that UX journeys will shift to a mobile first lead approach with an increased focus on time saving navigation and ease of use. Web designers will need to become more creative with their approaches, considering many factors to deliver this ultimate e-commerce experience. If you would like to learn more about our ecommerce design services, call our friendly team on 01604 696385 or email info@star-digital.co.uk Sign up to our newsletter below, to stay up-to-date with all our latest news.