With online shopping being such a popular choice within today’s society, it is absolutely vital for your physical store to have a matching online store. If a potential customer is searching for a product and can’t look at the details of it online, there is a high chance that they will look for a similar product elsewhere on a page that is an actual online store. In general, eCommerce websites engage web customers. Online shopping used to be a niche market aimed at a small audience but now, with everyone walking around with a mini computer in their pocket, that has definitely changed.

There are some specific features that an eCommerce website must have, especially on your homepage. A clear logo, popular products, design that follows your brand, deals or sales, a shopping cart, login and search box, payment system icons, social media links, phone numbers and online chats, a store locater, and trust marks are essential for making sure your eCommerce website will keep the attention of your visitors.

I can’t stress how important a well-designed eCommerce site is. Have you ever walked into a store that is disorganized, cramped, smells, and just isn’t a place you want to shop? I know I have. On the other hand, have you walked into a store that is clean, spacious, and makes you feel comfortable to shop? For example, any Apple Store! Which store gives you the impression that it’s well managed, cares about its customers and offers better products? This is how you have to think about your eCommerce websites. Design matters! A good website signals to your customers that there’s a solid company behind the screen. Lets take a look at some great examples of eCommerce websites with great design.

Apple

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What I love the most about Apple’s website is how it incorporates “live” elements. For example, on the iPhone6S page, the free-falling phones move with the scroll and the examples of the features are clearly shown to the viewer, showing exactly what they’ll be getting in each new feature. This is huge because even tech-savvy people today still need to learn how to work all of the new features. It’s a great way of bringing User Experience (UX) into the design. Even something as subtle as this creates a major difference.

Beats

 

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Not only do Beats perfectly advertise on brand, but I can clearly tell what product is being sold. Imagery is huge and this has imagery all over it. I like how clean and organized everything is on this site. It seems to follow the same grid and when it gets to the actual product page, you absolutely know what you’re purchasing!

 

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Reebok is a fantastic example of using imagery to make the potential buyer want to purchase the product. What I love most about browsing through this website is the “Be More Human” page. Not only is it designed extremely well, it’s got some amazing UX to it. The scrolling effects alone just bring the page to life. As you can see, the imagery is pretty clear; it’s about being tough and grungy and trucking through mud. I know that there is a very low chance of me ever being put in that situation but to be honest, looking at this site makes me want to challenge myself to see if I could be put in that situation and conquer it! This is perfect! If you can have a customer look at your website and want to be able to relate to a product, you know you’re doing the right things!

Reebok

 

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To continue even further, there is a part of the site where drop down menus are needed. Who says a drop down menu has to be just text? I like how they added playfulness to it. Rather than just typing out Training, Running, and Walking, they decided to make little stick figure models acting out the scene! I thought this was a pleasant surprise to see and made me actually want to choose a category.

 

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I also like that in the Design Your Own section of the website, there is complete interactivity happening. The customer themselves gets to go in and build their own shoe design. You have complete control of how each part of the shoe looks.

 

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With the next website, Nike, we have a similar setup. Customizing shoes is a very popular thing right now with running shoes and sports attire companies. The more customizable your shoes are, the more apt you’ll actually want to go out and use them!

Nike

 

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The first page in the Customize panel is pretty straightforward. It shows you that you’re about to customize a shoe to fit your needs. It allows you to choose a specific type of shoe before continuing on and choosing the colors.

 

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Of course you are limited to the color options, but that being said, there are countless color variations that you can come up with! Even if you’re not purchasing a shoe, it’s quite fun to play around with. The fun, and also potentially dangerous thing about its fun factor is that once you come up with a design that fits you perfectly, you’re just going to fall in love and want to buy your new, amazingly designed shoes! Of course that means great things for Nike sales but not so great on your bank account!

 

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Moving on to a completely different style of shopping. Furniture shopping. I don’t know about you but I love to window shop and when I am furniture shopping online, I am essentially window-shopping via the internet! One of the first things that I noticed when entering this site was the 20% off deal they’re offering. One of the key features needed in an eCommerce site that I mentioned earlier is that if a deal is being offered, you’re going to want to show it. When you’re walking around the mall and see a nice outfit that you want to buy and then immediately behind the mannequin, you see a sale sign, you instantly start to figure out ways to purchase that item. Discounts equal sales!

West Elm

 

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I also love the strong imagery, simplicity in design, and the fact that they keep everything centralized on the page. By doing this, there’s less chance of the potential customer’s eyes to wander off the desired product, therefore, making a sale in the end.

 

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I came across Wrightwood Furniture Co. online and loved how it brought almost a “junkyard” vibe shopping experience to the web. In fact, it almost seems to simplify it because it’s less cluttered. This goes back to the analogy I used earlier. A messier store equals less sales. A clean, organized store equals high amounts of sales.

Wrightwood Factory

 

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Wrightwood showcases it’s lovely collection of antique furniture “clumped” together in their big header images. However, when it’s time to look at an individual product, the images get broken down and you can now individually search at each piece of furniture.

 

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Once you find one that you like and want more information on it, you simply click the item and you’re brought to a whole different page where it’s specifically just details on that one item. It just brings a great experience to online “antiquing” if you will.

 

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When I shop online, I love to look at different niche stores. For example, I like to see how the design differs between a luxury gown store and a shop geared towards people who love tattoos. Grit n Glory is a great online store selling a multitude of products but they keep the design of the website consistent.

Grit n Glory

 

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No matter which category you’re in the website layout is the same. It makes for extremely easy navigation and a happy customer. My favorite thing that this website does is it lets you “quick shop.” By “quick shop” I mean, you can click to view the details of the item without leaving the actual page you’re on but you can still get all of the vital information that you’re looking for right then and there.

 

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When you’re ready to look deeper into an item, you can click on it and then from there, get as much information on the product as you can as well as seeing more images of the product. I like how under the main product, they show a “Related Items” section. This is great when shopping, especially online, because if you like one product, you’re bound to like a very similar product than the one you’re almost ready to purchase! It’s a great sales technique and it’s subtle because it’s not something you’ll necessarily expect on a eCommerce website.

 

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Last but not least, the last greatly designed eCommerce website is Old Navy’s. The main reason I chose to showcase this website is because of the design on it. As we mentioned before, showcasing a huge sale happening in your stores with a huge indicator on your homepage is key for driving in more potentials and you’re more likely to make a sale.

Old Navy

 

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The overall design of the website is clean, classic and you can tell it’s the Old Navy brand. That is pretty important if you really want to get your customers to trust you. If they go into a physical store and fall in love with the atmosphere you’ve created, they will expect the same experience in an online setting.

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