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10 Beautifully Designed eCommerce Websites

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10 Beautifully Designed eCommerce Websites

Note: This post was originally authored by Quincy Smith. 

I look at a lot of websites.  Some are good, a few are even great, but many are terrible and doing more harm than good.

 

I am constantly scrolling through blogs, checkouts, online stores, and apps looking for research, inspiration, and examples.  And even though I spent the past few weeks writing about eCommerce sites, including posts on product page design and pricing strategy, there is one aspect I neglected to tackle head on: design. While both of those posts related to design indirectly, I wanted to write something that recognized the importance of a good design and the impact it can have on conversions.

 

In the context of conversion rate optimization, it should come as no surprise that design plays a huge role.  In fact, 94% of first impressions are related to design, and when you consider that it takes less a second to form an impression, it’s clear even the cheapest prices in the world aren’t going to save you from a crappy looking site.

 

When it comes to good design, I love how SumAll breaks it down: good site design is the marriage of usability and visibility.  Yes, this is a very simplified and arguably vague definition, but to me it really does provide a great starting point for anyone looking to make a killer site.  And since I have next to no design experience (especially compared to CRO), this post will be focusing much more on the conversion aspects of site design rather than colors, textures, etc.

 

A few ground rules:

  1. I am only interested in eCommerce sites, meaning they must sell a product or service
  2. I am only looking at the home page
  3. I will only focus on the good, or what I like about the page
  4. These are simply my opinions, we aren’t handing out any awards so if you disagree or want to suggest a different site, feel free to do so in the comments

So, without further adieu, here are some sites that some industry pros and myself really admire:

 

Snake River Farms

If you like meat (and who doesn’t?) then Snake River Farms should really be on your radar. They are a family run business with a professional looking site focused on providing high quality beef and pork.  Most food sites (and ads for that matter) make me hungry, but SRN does an exception job through their images and additional features.

 
<h3″>What I like:

  • Beautiful, simple, and mouth-watering pictures
  • A clear dedication to customer service with both an obvious phone number and chat function
  • Clear shipping policy (even if it’s not free, hidden shipping costs are responsible for a lot of abandonment)
  • Easy-to-find specials located at the top of the page
  • The featured recipes and guides are extremely tempting and make me want to cook some beef

 

The Coral Pear

I do not have any children that I am aware of, but seeing how well The Coral Pear displays their shoes makes me want to deck out my future offspring in a pair of their moccs. Images and copy rule this site aimed at providing high-end footwear to the young and stylish.

  

What I like:

  • The above-the-fold hero image leaves no doubt as to what they sell
  • The simplistic style of their product images with white background really let’s the user focus on their shoes
  • How they included their Instagram feed on their homepage to not only create social proof, but also to show off their shoes in action
  • The copy of their story is expertly tailored to their desired customers
  • Payment options in the footer create a bit of reassurance

 

Alex and Ani

This is one of my sister’s favorite places to shop and after seeing their site it’s not hard to figure out why. As a boutique jewelry store with both and online and brick and mortar presence, Alex and Ani does a great job of enticing shoppers to explore their site (or store) in its entireity.

  

What I like:

  • Their header bar stands out against the rest of their site and easily draws attention to their shipping promotion (free shipping!) and menu geared towards customer service
  • Their centered logo.  I’m not sure why I dig this but it’s different that most sites that put their logo in the corner and is probably helping cement their brand in the minds of their visitors
  • Their footer copy focused on customer service with titles like “Need Help?” and “Stay in Touch”
  • The fact that there are no products for sale on their home page.  This uncommon tactic encourages users to go deeper into their site

 

Made

Made offers awesome designer furniture direct from the makers. They offer a ton of items but I find their site much less overwhelming than Ikea, probably due to its stripped-back design. Their amazing pics don’t hurt either. (Thanks to the Formisimo team for recommending this).

  

What I like:

  • Beautiful, in-depth photography for every item
  • A minimalistic design to match the furniture style it’s known for
  • Great navigation with clear and helpful product filters
  • Multiple language options
  • Incentive to join their newsletter
  • A dead-center testimonial you can’t help but read (and it even invites you to read more!)

 

Carnivore Club

I love subscription boxes, there is something exciting about anticipating and finally receiving a package that you know if filled with awesome (and in this case, delicious) items. I have used Carnivore Club for both myself and as a gift and know that their site and presentation is on point, the packaging style matches the style of the site and the food does not disappoint.

  

What I like:

  • Immediate choice of locations so they can customize your box
  • A design that clearly speaks to their primary customers: men
  • Obvious phone number for subsciption box newbies
  • The sense of urgency created by their countdown timer
  • How their red CTAs stand out against the darker site colors

 

New Balance

Unlike some of the sites on this list, New Balance has the budget and bandwidth to make a killer site, and they delivered in spades. I love their push towards personalization and found myself imagining how I could wear most of the shoes on their homepage.

 

What I like:

  • Their use of bright colors across the page, comes across as welcoming and exciting
  • How they include and feature different styles of shoes on their homepage
  • The obvious and contrasting search bar, a necessity when you have a lot of products like New Balance
  • Language and store finder, the latter being particularly important on mobile

 

Nixon

Nixon’s site is one of my favorites because it embodies the style of their watches perfectly: bold, big, and unapologetic. Great pictures and even better descriptions make this a good example to follow, if you have the products to pull it off.

 

What I like:

  • Dark colors, bold font, and capitalized letters
  • Their huge and in-your-face drop down navigation leaves no doubt as to what they sell
  • Simple and clear calls-to-action
  • Geo and language default (you can’t see it, but the URL is tailored to my location and language)
  • Descriptions that match both the picture and style of watch
  • Items in the cart are displayed as red to help minimize abandonemnt

 

Upper Playground

While I’m not crazy about most of Upper Playground’s clothes, their site does a great job of making me think I could pull them off. I’m betting their consistent images across a variety of products nets them a decent AOV.

 

What I like:

  • The inclusion of blogs posts and news at the bottom, complete with enticing copy
  • The black and white design of the site allows all the pictures to stand out
  • The slider.  Yes, I know sliders are a divisive topic in eCommerce, but I really like the minimal feel of this, it suits the style of the site and brand
  • The “$10 Tees” menu section – I’d be surprised if it wasn’t one of the most heavily trafficked pages of their site
  • Prices in just dollars with no cents
  • Readily available phone number and REAL email addresses if you need help (no ‘Contact Us’ form!)

 

Restoration Hardware

Just as you wouldn’t go into a grocery store on an empty stomach, do not shop at RH without a plan – you will go broke (but love everything you bought). With physical stores that are already examples of great design, it’s no surprise that this leader in luxury home goods put a ton of effort into their site as well.

  

What I like:

  • Sales everywhere from banners and images to the lone word in red on their menu
  • Their product categories broken out into books or catalogs which you can browse online, opt in to receive a physical copy, or download the app
  • Amazing use of videos to not only show off their stores, but also show off room ideas and styles
  • How high class it feels, even if you have no idea what RH is, this site just screams tasteful

 

Jenni Bick Custom Journals

A lot of my job is writing and while I do get tired of punching keys all day, there’s something comfortable and familiar about busting out the old pen and paper once in a while.  If I’m being honest, there is a lot on this site I would change and test, but they do a phenominal job with persuasive copy and helping customers envision what to use their journals for.

  

What I like:

  • The copy that talks directly to the customer with phrases like “Promote Your Brand” and “Reward Your Team”
  • How each background picture shows different styles of journals aimed at artists, designers, and travelers
  • The examples of what each customization looks like with the invitation to explore them all
  • The modern feel of the site contrasted against the classic art of writing in a journal – it creates a very trendy appeal to me

 

Wrapping Up

Design is an art form and like all art, the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Changes to a site can be easy to make, but make sure they work for you, your product, and your customers. If there is one thing to take away from this post, it’s that different sites do it differently because that’s what works for them.

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