As we head into Fall and Holiday season, I wanted to run through some of my favorite e-com sites right now. It might be the fonts, features, or products, but I’ll try and point out why these sites are inspirational to me and hopefully they are to you as well.
Carhartt Work In Progress
In no particular order, Carhartt Work In Progress is first on the list. The Detroit based workwear brand used to be commonly found in Meijer stores, but with their WIP line they focus on the casual streetwear demographic. The webstore has a clean, minimal aesthetic that ties in well with their instagram and overall design direction.
The use of smaller fonts and horizontal click navigation creates a lot of negative space and lets you focus on the product. On the product page, all the pertinent shopping info is above the fold and if you want to read more about sizing and features you simply scroll down.
This is a custom framework, not a Shopify site, but there are some really cool design features that make it a good experience.
Another one in the fashion category, Outdoor Voices is a hip technical fitness apparel company. They are coming fresh off an anouncement that former J. Crew CEO Mickey Drexler will be their new Chairman of the Board. But, even with its larger profile, they remain a Shopify store.
The large email capture at the top of the homepage shows the importance of collecting emails not only for newsletters, but marketing demographic research. Very cool custom fonts show the extra effort put into the site.
I like the use of large collection photos to tell a story, the easy visual filtering system on the left sidebar, and the large on-figure product shots.
The product page is original in its layout format, a trend we’re seeing to separate brands from eachother. I’d be curious to see how this layout would perform from an optimization standpoint versus a more traditional e-commerce look with the information on the right and product image to the left. Free shipping and free returns probably makes up for any conversion loss.
I love how Shinola, a watch manufacturer and retailer from Detroit, has solved the static vs. slideshow debate on homepage design by using a three panel stacked slider.
The bold type statements and video on certain product pages give light to the manufacturing side of the brand. With stunning product photography and interesting copy, the site has a magazine like feel instead of a boring shopping site.
Seattle based clothing retailer Totokaelo eschews e-com best practices for high-fashion attitude. Tiny type (and prices), no logo, and a unique product page image grid make this site super cool. At least the ADD TO BAG button is huge, even if it is just an outline.
Los Angeles apparel manufacturer Everybody.World makes recycled clothing that is kinder to the environment. Their use of bold bright-ass colors makes the site feel really special. I’m not totally convinced on the use of the hamburger menu on desktop, but it’s definitely a trend at the moment.
I really fell in love with the Onnit fitness site when I stumbled across their Primal Kettlebells pages. They are thoughtfully laid out with bold imagery and type. Videos and 360 viewing of the product leave nothing to the imagination, and customer perception of the product is the biggest barrier to purchase. The pages also contain many honesty reviews and questions from the community.
If that wasn’t enough to convince you, they have a Death Star slam ball.
Yup, without any shame I’m putting Taco Bell on the list. First of all it’s delicious, and second of all their website solves many problems you might have encountered at the drive-thru. Customizations are a breeze, mostly eliminating ‘wrong orders’. Fill up your cart with tacos, pick your nearest location, pay, and go pick it up at the window. No, this is not a sponsored post, just try it out for yourselves.
I’m a guy, but my girlfriend is obsessed with skincare and Glossier has become a household name.
The mega-menu trend gets taken one step further with a complete visual menu.
Cool surprise when you click the logo at the center top of the homepage, you get a brand statement in case you were new to the site. Great type and playful use of hover icons give the site a very new feeling, without getting weird or unshoppable. Product images are large, and top-notch lifestyle shots mixed in with the product page enhance the experience.
Designer Marc Mcnairy’s recent venture New Republic offers all the current men’s shoe trends at an affordable price point.
The site is quite basic, but it gets the job done using the Shopify platform. Large product images really hone in on the detail of the products, which look nice for an entry level price.
As e-commerce grows in popularity, there will be a flood of new shops and companies will struggle to stand out. We’ll follow up in Winter and see who’s offering something new by way of features, design, or product.