E-commerce insight:
the future of design and customer experience

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Design plays a huge role in product development, marketing and e-commerce, with every shape, colour and texture playing its part along the customer journey. The ongoing boom of online shopping in recent years — and in particular during the Covid-19 pandemic — has necessitated the advancement of design to meet the needs of the modern-day consumer.

With the rise of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) heavily influencing an ever-changing industry, we explore what the future of design looks like across branding, retail and e-commerce.

future of design is to be versatile

Versatility of logo design and branding

It’s more important than ever to be instantly recognisable and with more businesses looking to establish themselves in already crowded e-commerce marketplaces.

It has always been seen as best practice to prepare a logo design or icon for use on smaller marketing material or in crowded surroundings. But over the past decade, with the rise of social media usage and importance of e-commerce platforms, versatility is key. In 2019 m-commerce comprised over a quarter of total e-commerce in the US – more than doubling since 2015.

More companies are simplifying their brand or creating adaptable logo variants to allow it to be recognised on smaller, digital screens such as mobiles and smart watches. In 2012, Amazon dropped the ‘.com’ from their logo in order to streamline the design and the ‘Amazon smile’ itself can now be seen as a standalone variant of the design on almost all their marketing material.

Future of design - VR in action

Changing the industry with AR/VR

Augmented reality (AR) has been around for a few years now and allows for consumers to place products in real-life settings. Whilst virtual reality (VR) allows consumers to walk around a virtual store and interact with products, AR provides the ability to show products in our homes.

The global AR market is forecast to reach a value of $70.01 billion by 2023 and 72% of customers purchased items they didn’t plan to buy because of AR.

Future of design AI apps by Dulux and Ikea

Shining examples of AR

Dulux Visualiser:

A highly effective yet simple way to visualise your paint choices within your home.

IKEA Place:

Allows users to place Ikea furniture into their own home to see how everything might look once assembled.

Although VR features strongly in the works of gaming and virtual presentations it’s still not as popular amongst e-commerce platforms when developing user experience (UX). With the implementation of such features appearing on e-commerce websites, users are now able to immerse themselves in this virtual world. This may translate to the shopper spending longer periods in online stores, which may in turn lead to further purchases.

There’s a strong debate that it’s just a matter of time before brick-and-mortar stores disappear in favour of the seismic shift towards online shopping. According to a recent study, 85% of people prefer to purchase products from physical stores! But with the need for retailers to reduce overheads and the recent pandemic closing or preventing consumers visiting their store, it seems that VR is the perfect solution to provide a 360-degree shopping experience.


Graphic design is on an exciting collision course with experience design. Within the next 10 years you can expect to see a huge increase in website and e-commerce platform designs that allow for AR/VR to be applied to product listings.

Consumers will be heavily influenced and guided by the need for immersive experiences and static visuals will begin to fade out, with more 3D variants taking their place. We’ll soon be in a world that expects to step into a broad range of 3D surroundings without needing to leave home.

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