Small businesses are an integral part of our economy. Every business aims to solve a problem and create value in doing so. This is particularly true of small businesses. They provide a service or product that meets local needs and can fulfill requirements for larger businesses.

The benefits of small businesses are numerous, but often they can have difficulty creating, establishing and sharing their message. Entrepreneurs, startups, and freelancers watch their budgets carefully and expenses outside of delivering the product are kept to a minimum. That means marketing budgets get shaved first.

Websites for any product or service are today’s version of a first impression. Consumers make a variety of instant decisions about whether to continue on a site or jump to a competitor. A person’s eyes take just 2.6 seconds to focus on a particular element of a web page when it loads, according to research from Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Brands working to establish and expand their digital identity can expect to see increased competition for consumer attention online. Consumers increasingly form opinions about brands based on their browsing experience, making it imperative to establish a positive digital identity. Here is what else we can expect in the evolution of small business website design.

Less Reliance on Custom Code

Businesses have traditionally hired design firms to design their websites. Websites are perceived to be difficult to create and highly technical to maintain. But platforms that allow non-tech savvy individuals to develop their sites in a drag and drop format have begun to rival the value of web design firms. For small businesses, do it yourself websites are a viable alternative.

The less you rely on coding to create a beautiful site, the less complicated it will be. According to Uri Foox, President of the e-commerce website design platform Zoey, despite SaaS platforms’ ability to remove much of the complexity associated with running an online store or website, for almost all platforms, code is still needed to customize the front-end design of a site.

Motion User Interface (UI)

Motion and animation capabilities in website design will continue to increase. But motion is more than just a good video or caricature on the website. Since vision is the strongest of the human senses, sites will benefit from fluid motion throughout their page. Thanks to advances in bandwidth and data compression, users won’t suffer from slow load times either.

The website animation company Brikk is an excellent example of using video to showcase your work. Animation and intense color on the homepage make the reel a quintessential example of animation.

B2B Takes Inspiration From B2C

Over the last decade, most of the advancement in e-commerce has happened in the consumer market. Technologies have rapidly evolved, empowering consumer brands to create great buying experiences that their customers love.

The next big wave of e-commerce growth will happen in the B2B market, Foox believes. These brands are turning to their B2C peers for guidance on how to take advantage of modern technology to create buying experiences that differentiate them from their competitors and help them seize a greater share of the market. He says, “The next big wave of growth for e-commerce is in the B2B market and in order to take advantage of it, B2B brands are trying to create websites that let their customers buy much like they would from a B2C site, such as Amazon or Zappos.”

Internet of Things

The Internet of Things has taken website development to a new level. According to Technavio, IoT will grow by 31.72% between now and 2019. The new report draws attention to the increasing number of smart connected devices, which is expected to pass 17 billion in the next five years.

Gartner also predicts that at least half of the IoT development will come from startup companies which are in business for less than 3 years.

By linking smart objects to the Internet, IoT enables the exchange of data that was never possible before. Thomas Peham from UserSnap says the more devices that are being connected and accessible to their network, the more we’ll find web developers coming up with upgraded solutions to help users control and communicate with their everyday gadgets and equipment.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.