But it’s actually an ongoing misquote. Steve Jobs misquoted Picasso, who rephrased Igor Stravinsky, who was probably reiterating T.S. Eliot’s words, which sounded like this:
“A skilled poet fuses his plagiarized work into an entirely distinct and entirely distinct feeling from which it is torn.”
Ecommerce Stores, In other words, it’s okay to get inspired by the work of others and then creatively transform it into something of your own.
What Makes a Great Ecommerce Site?
Launching an e-commerce store means making so many important decisions — both technical and creative.
Ecommerce Stores, You need to choose an e-commerce platform, find a store template that matches your needs, and add custom design elements, plugins, extensions and other configurations.
And then, there are countless things that you could tweak: typography, header, homepage, landing pages, product categories, product pages, product images, shopping cart, call-to-action (CTA) buttons, checkout process, pop-ups, etc.
Here are five important elements of a great e-commerce store:
Would you want to buy from a brick-and-mortar store that had broken windows, a messy storefront and cobwebs on the shelves? Probably not. And you would likely leave without even looking at their products.
Well, the same is true for e-commerce businesses, with their websites being their virtual storefronts. It’s important to establish a good first impression when a potential buyer visits your online store. Otherwise, they will leave.
That’s why an investment in attractive e-commerce design is an investment in the success of your online business.
Great e-commerce website design should:
- Use a color scheme and typography that matches your brand.
- Include a lot of white space to make it easier on the eyes.
- Have eye-catching call-to-action (CTA) buttons. Bright colors work best!
- Follow the best conversion rate optimization practices.
- SEO (search engine optimization) friendly.
- Easy to share on social media.
- Be user-friendly and mobile-friendly.
Fast. Fast. Fast.
Ecommerce Stores, E-commerce businesses need help to afford slow websites. Why?
Check out this data from Google:
A two-second lag in page load time results in a 32% increase in bounce rate.
This is hardly surprising, considering that 70% of customers say that an online retailer’s page speed influences their choice to make a purchase.
So, if you want to make a sale, you need a fast-loading online store:
- Choose a reliable e-commerce platform.
- Install a CDN if you publish a lot of content.
- Compress product images and videos.
Remember, when it comes to site speed, every second matters. Literally.
Many products to choose from.
Customers tend to unconsciously compare all e-commerce stores to Amazon. They might come to your online shop expecting a wide product range.
Of course, you can’t compete with Amazon in that regard. But you need to make sure that you carry a good enough product range to engage them.
Set up an easy-to-browse product catalog featuring:
- Clear navigation — categories, tags, filters
- Advanced functionality — filters, search by size, color, material
- Attractive visuals — clean design, beautiful color palette, product photography
Approximately half of all web traffic is mobile traffic; this percentage has been around 50% since the start of 2017. If your website isn’t mobile-optimized, you risk losing a ton of potential customers.
Apart from using a responsive, mobile-friendly website theme, be sure to:
- Adapt your layout for finger scrolling.
- Use crisp pop-up product images.
On the checkout page, fewer fields should be present.
- Include big call-to-action buttons (e.g., add-to-cart button).
User-generated content (UGC), such as customer reviews, is a must-have for an e-commerce store. Why? Because the volume of product reviews increases the conversion rates. However, the first five reviews have the biggest impact.
Source: Spiegel Research Center
Include a review section on your website and encourage customers to leave their feedback!
21 Examples of E-commerce Stores We Love
Ecommerce Stores, Okay, so now that we have discussed the most important things that you need to focus on, let’s take a look at how successful e-commerce businesses present themselves online.
Here are 21 of the best e-commerce website examples featuring some incredible small businesses to get inspired by!
Source: Solo Stove
Solo Stove specializes in ultra-efficient grilling equipment, camping stoves and fire pits.
The company was founded by Jeff and Spencer Jan, who spent a lot of time camping outdoors as they were growing up. Later in life, they wanted to recreate that adventurous vibe with their family.
As John Morris, Solo Stove CEO, explained to It Vanilla:
“People are encouraged by our product to go and create memories with their loved ones. People are usually gathered with friends and family when they sit around a fire, not by themselves.
There’s something really cool about that.”
Solo Stove emphasizes this sense of togetherness on their website. It’s full of images of people sitting around by the fire, enjoying delicious food and sharing stories and laughter.
LARQ’s co-founder and CEO, Justin Wang, is an avid hiker who is also passionate about the environment and our impact on it. He tried going completely plastic-free, but that was challenging. Reusable bottles got dirty too fast and needed to be cleaner. No wonder there was an adoption problem in the reusable bottle industry!
One of the most interesting features of the LARQ online store is the calculator on the homepage. You put in the number of water bottles that you go through each week and are then shown how much money you could save by getting yourself a LARQ bottle instead. It also tells you how much you could reduce plastic bottle waste and your carbon footprint.
While in business school, Kabeer Chopra and Stephen Kuhl needed to buy furniture for their new apartment. They realized that they had two options available to them: get something inexpensive and disposable or get high-quality furniture but risk having to wait for it for up to 12 weeks.
The above experience prompted them to start Burrow with a vision of eliminating the hassle of furniture shopping by selling modular furniture online.
On their homepage, they display an animation that shows how their Range collection products can be adjusted to fit any space. It helps the potential customer understand what modular design is all about.
Skullcandy sells high-quality earphones and headphones (both wired and wireless). The company’s website features a bold web design, engaging copy and click prompting “Inside Skullcandy” section where you can learn more about their team, values, culture and charitable partnerships.
Skullcandy is a great example of e-commerce branding done right. Every element of their online presence is consistent with and contributes to their overall positioning.
Bon Bon Bon.
Source: Bon Bon Bon
Bon Bon Bon sells artisanal candy made by using classic French techniques, local ingredients and creativity.
This business serves as a reminder that if you can develop a brand image that connects with your target market, you don’t need to compete on price.
With a 10-piece box costing $35, their bonbons are costly. However, the business is thriving because the company is making exceptional-quality products and selling them to people who appreciate that quality and are willing to pay for it.
Bon Bon Bon’s website design captures the spirit of their brand perfectly. Vintage elements, unique typography and endless bon bon images show the team’s artistic side, their passion for their craft and their sense of humor. All this adds to their creative, casual and fun brand image that their customers can relate to.
Source: Body Bliss
Body Bliss sells a range of skincare products made from natural, sustainable ingredients sourced locally.
Their “About” page is a great example of how to convey brand values to potential customers. It’s minimalistic and consists of two images — a note from the CEO and an explanation of the symbolism behind their logo. But that’s enough to immediately understand what BodyBliss is all about.
Black Diamond Equipment.
Source: Black Diamond Equipment
Black Diamond Equipment sells climbing, skiing and snowboarding equipment as well as shoes and apparel.
Their homepage features an immersive video of John Jackson riding a snowboard on Mount Adams. You can’t help but feel the call of the great outdoors as you are watching it!
There’s a sales lesson in there: nothing is more convincing than showing the potential customer what their life could be like.
Source: Tommie Copper
Tommie Copper sells compression clothing that provides support when recovering from injuries or engaging in strenuous physical activity.
They are one of the few e-commerce retailers with a 60-day no-questions-asked money-back guarantee. That’s a great way to instill extra confidence in your customers & demonstrate your commitment to product quality.
Natori is a luxury apparel store that has been selling to wholesalers for over 40 years and directly to consumers for over 10 years.
But they also keep up with the emerging tech trends in retail. As Heidi Maund, previously the director of e-commerce at Natori, explained in her post on our blog:
“Taking advantage of the exciting new developments in digital commerce, such as virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and others, can really help drive your business forward.”
Natori also does a great job at positioning itself as a classy and elegant brand by displaying carefully chosen, tasteful product images on its homepage.
Source: Hyphen Sleep
Hyphen Sleep sells cutting-edge mattresses that were designed based on sleep data research, built with custom materials and went through extensive product testing.
It’s a hip and youthful brand. They reinforce this image with bright colors, white space and photos of young, cool, active people. This creative approach helps them stand out in their industry.
Source: Autograph Foliages
Autograph Foliages is a family-owned company that sells artificial plants, including grass, flowers and trees.
Note how perfect their color scheme is. The green details work so well with product images of various artificial plants.
Source: Berlin Packaging
Berlin Packaging is a family business that was founded in 1938.
Their web design allows them to present themselves as a serious and reliable B2B company without coming across as stale and boring. White space helps a lot with this by making the website look clean and modern.
Anchor and Crew.
Source: Anchor and Crew
Anchor and Crew sells jewelry, leather goods and accessories for adventurous people. They take pride in their ethical, traceable and transparent supply chain that allows their celebrated artisans to handcraft their products from high-quality materials sourced consciously.
This e-commerce store is another example of how unique branding, quality materials and the right marketing strategy can allow a business to charge premium prices for their products.
Source: Beer Cartel
Beer Cartel sells craft beers and glassware.
Its simple web design helps to create a casual, laid-back brand image that resonates with craft beer enthusiasts. No bells and whistles, just good beer!
Di Bruno Bros.
Source: Di Bruno Bros.
Di Bruno Bros. has been selling gourmet food for more than 75 years. They were also one of the first gourmet food retailers to start selling online in the early 2000s.
Their web design puts gourmet food front and center. There’s a variety of delicious images on their homepage. You can’t help but feel tempted to buy some artisanal cheese.
Source: Marucci Sports
Marucci Sports sells baseball and fastpitch equipment.
Note the “Commitment to Players” section on their homepage. They explain that they are a company founded & operated by current & former Big Leaguers. This helps Marucci Sports establish their authority as experts and build trust with their customers.
Source: Barron Designs
Barron Designs sells faux panels and faux columns as well as wood and faux wood beams. They strive to provide innovative, affordable and high-quality faux building materials to their customers.
One of the most interesting features of their e-commerce store is the “What’s Your Design Style?” quiz. You are presented with several questions where you need to choose the image that you like best. You then get your quiz results with your favorite style (e.g., Modern Coastal).
Tyler’s sells sports apparel. Please pay attention to how they promote an active lifestyle through the use of relevant images on their homepage. It makes you want to go for a run.
Source: Molton Brown
Molton Brown sells luxury beauty, fragrance, bath and body gift sets. Note how tasteful web design helps to create the atmosphere of a luxury boutique. The product images are especially well done. They make it easy to imagine how these products would look in someone’s bathroom.
Scentos sells scented arts and crafts supplies that feature unique cartoon characters. They are focused on providing sustainable and conscious products — from creation to delivery — and that serves as a strong differentiator from the competition.
Saddleback Leather Company.
Source: Saddleback Leather Company
Saddleback Leather Company sells leather products, including wallets, bags and backpacks. There’s an interesting navigation solution on the homepage that features thumbnails with page names and relevant photos. This invites the customer to learn more about the company while reinforcing the brand image visually.
Expert Opinions On What Makes The Best E-commerce Store
Ecommerce Stores, Do you care to know what the pros think? Here are two simple (yet very effective!) e-commerce store design tips applicable to any industry.
Make products easily discoverable.
“When building your store’s catalog, make sure it is arranged in the way that customers actually search for your products, with the product attributes and types appearing in the metadata of the products. Check your search analytics to see what customers search and find, and more importantly, what they don’t find so that you can fit your product building to real customers’ searches and navigation. Remember that the first results your shoppers see, be that in navigation or search, highly affect their conversion rate, so optimize these with best-of-breed merchandising apps.”
– Zohar Gilad (CEO & Co-Founder, InstantSearch+)
Achieve the best e-commerce store with headless commerce.
“Create a user experience that is modeled entirely around the goals of your business. Consumers are starting to expect a more tailored experience that puts great content at the forefront; the flexibility of headless commerce allows brands to deliver a customized user experience (UX) while still offering all the components of a traditional backend.”
– Michelle Rooker (Content Specialist, 5874)
So, what’s the secret to creating a great e-commerce website?
- Apply the 80/20 rule. Focus on what matters the most — usability, mobile-friendliness, unique design.
- Study successful e-commerce companies. Consider how you can adapt their “best practices” to your business.
- Actively seek out the opinions of proven e-commerce experts. Implement their advice.
Do these three things, and you will soon be lightyears ahead of your competition!
What Makes An E-commerce Store Great?
Ecommerce Stores, There are a lot of qualities that shoppers look for in an e-commerce store, but some of the foundational elements you’ll need to ensure are a clean, beautiful design that’s easy to use — even on mobile devices — and that loads quickly. An adequate product selection and social proof, like customer reviews, are great to have as well.
What Are Common Issues With E-commerce Stores?
Ecommerce Stores, One big problem with some e-commerce sites is page load speed. If your site speed is poor, that will impact your SEO ranking — not to mention annoy your customers.
Is Amazon an E-commerce Store?
Ecommerce Stores, Yes. Amazon launched in the mid-1990s as a way to buy books online but eventually expanded into almost every other product you can think of. Since then, though, Amazon has also become a marketplace — where third-party sellers can sell their wares on Amazon.com — and an advertising platform.
What Are Examples Of great E-commerce Stores?
Ecommerce Stores, BigCommerce has a ton of great brands on its platform. A few of the ones we love are LARQ, Skullcandy and Solo Stove.
Do E-commerce Stores Need Help To Make?
Ecommerce Stores, That depends on a number of factors, from your e-commerce platform to your industry to your specific requirements. When you’re looking for an e-commerce platform, make sure you have a detailed understanding of the functionality you’ll need so you can understand how simple or complex it will be to accomplish on any particular platform. Many platforms have drag-and-drop editing functionality to limit the amount of coding you’ll have to do, but some are so customizable that they can get complex and require a lot of work from your team of developers.
Can you integrate an e-commerce store into social media platforms?
Ecommerce Stores, Yes. You can integrate your product mix into social media platforms to take advantage of their commerce functionality and put your brand and products in front of both new and existing customers.