Designing an ecommerce website is big business – and it's now easier than ever for a startup company to launch an online store.
Software such as Shopify, with its amazing library of customisable templates, makes it easy to create beautiful and highly immersive ecommerce website experiences – here are 11 great ones that caught our eye. So read on for some web design inspiration...
This site creates a fresh look by moving away from established ecommerce design patterns, placing images and text in on a grid that feels much less familiar. There's plenty of whitespace and each page contains a few simple images, making it seem a lot less busy than most of the web.
Inspiring feature: Great use of photography makes the products feel luxurious
A great colour scheme paired with subtle animations gives this site both style and personality. Mouse over the little hairdryer and it bounces on its cord; hover over the icons at the top and a tiny animation gives you some feedback. Touches like this make the site fun to use without being overwhelming or annoying.
Inspiring feature: Adding colour and movement on hover gives nice feedback and feels fun!
03. Bill Blass
This clothing retailer breaks away from the convention of displaying products in separate boxes by placing their inventory in a stream on the homepage so it appears as though it's one big image. Combine this fresh approach with a great colour scheme and beautiful type and the result is a really amazing-looking site.
Inspiring feature: Dropping funny items such as a fried egg among the products.
A blocky layout, bold type and strong colour palette give this site for a men's sportswear retailer a distinctive, memorable style.
Inspiring feature: Large, chunky menus are easy to navigate and satisfying to use.
"Books and things" shop PRESS has a website that makes use of beautiful photography to mimic the atmosphere in a tranquil bookshop. Scroll down and the products appear in a striking black and white chequered grid.
Inspiring feature: Huge product shots let you get a feel for each book.
05. A Book Apart
Whilst many ecommerce websites rely on large beautiful photography to sell their products A Book Apart instead use the block colour covers to vividly display their series of "brief books for people who make websites". This works especially well when displaying their entire collection of books, available as a bundle.
Inspiring feature: Clever use of CSS transitions on the home page main book feature. Resize your screen to feel the full effect
06. Ada Blackjack
Ada Blackjack is a brand of handmade bags and leather goods. Whilst relatively traditional in terms of design and layout this ecommerce website excels with the expressive use of large hero images and simple and clean product photography.
Inspiring feature: When viewing a large version of a product on it's individual detail page the designers chose to move away from the traditional popup by overlaying the large image within the page. Click the plus icon to see the effect.
Landing on the home page of wallet maker Bellory and you'll be greeted with a relatively simple layout. Delve a little deeper into this ecommerce website and you'll find a wide variety of very different designed pages highlighting individual products.
Incorporating fun demonstration videos the Bellroy site is a great example of how flexible Shopify can be when presenting your products online.
Inspiring feature: The Slim your wallet tutorial is a fun and interesting guide to 'losing the wallet bulge', culminating in some rather nice photographs of the product and links to all their products.
An ecommerce website full of beautiful products you never knew you wanted but suddenly find your self needing. A very clean and minimal design allows the product photography, all products are displayed on white backgrounds, to really be the centre piece of the page.
Inspiring feature: The innovatively designed menu section at the top of the page. It's simple, clean, easy to use whilst giving the visitor access to all areas of the site.
09. Good as Gold
Good as Gold is a fashion store based in Wellington, New Zealand. Their ecommerce website is loud and impressive. Big homepage imagery entices you in and there are a number of different ways to navigate the site. For example the big drop down menus or the brands page featuring every vendor listed A-Z.
Inspiring feature: Click a link and watch how the logo turns into a loading spinner. Given that many pages are image heavy this is a nice indication that the page is loading.
This fully responsive ecommerce website makes exceptional use of video to entice the buyer to learn more about their range of sunglasses. The current home page features no less than three different videos to choose from. The site also features beautiful photography which allows their sunglasses to shine (no pun intended).
Inspiring feature: Product collections are revealed in a strip format when clicking on the shop tab. From here the visitor is able to filter by style too allowing quick and easy access to a specific style whilst simultaneously showing off their range.
When FontShop decided to undertake a redesign a few years ago, they took the unconventional route of publishing the design in a raw state, and inviting users to accompany it on its journey to completion.
Fontshop project manager Ivo Gabrowitsch wanted customers to test drive, debate and engage with the site, influencing the direction that the redesign would take. The result is a fantastic site that fits closely with users' needs.
Inspiring feature: The Tryout section is a playground for test-driving web fonts in real-time and collaborating freely with anyone on your artwork.
Contributor: Keir Whitaker and Creative Bloq staff