I’ve spent several delightful hours doing competitor research for a client looking at beautifully crafted eCommerce websites. This activity, now coined “Website Perving”, is one of my favourite parts of my job, and I thought it was only fair to share my findings with you all in yet another website design blog post. This particular perving session is focusing on eCommerce and specifically Shopify sites, so, fellow website enthusiasts (read: geeks), settle in. 

If you’re thinking about building an eCommerce site for a new business venture or are wanting to simplify or strip back your current eCommerce platform, Shopify is likely to be up there amongst the options you’re considering, alongside the likes of Magento and WooCommerce

Shopify offers hundreds of beautiful themes for eCommerce shops with easy customisation as well as developers being able to create more complex bespoke builds. You can add functionality easily with apps and simple integrations giving you endless possible features, and you also get great support from the Shopify team. Therefore, you’d be silly not to make Shopify a serious contender. 

I’ve pulled together a few examples of my favourite Shopify stores in this blog so that you can see the kinds of online shopping experiences website designers can create with this awesome platform. Of course, I shouldn’t neglect to mention that the branding and the photography go a long way to make a website look as good as some of these examples do. The impact that good imagery can have on a website is another blog post in itself, so keep your eyes peeled for my follow up rant… 

For now, let’s delve into the big beautiful world of Shopify websites. 

Chubbies

chubbiesshorts.com

 

 

Chubbies are a brand for the regular bloke. The simple navigation is very product-oriented, there is no faffing; it’s very easy to find what you want. The side menu is visible from landing on the site, as opposed to being hidden, which, again, fits well with who their target audience are.

The copy for the product categories is very ‘on brand’ such as “welcome to lounge town” and the switch from a product image to a lifestyle one when you hover means that you get to see the product ‘in situ’ on the category page rather than have to click through to the product page.

 

Haus London

hauslondon.com

 

The mosaic / Instagram feed style of the home page shows off the minimal and chic products. The product name and the price only appear on the hover which keeps the home page really clean and simple. Key CTA’s are highlighted in bold colours throughout the site which make them stand out and makes the user take notice. The contrasting sticky side menu is also a great navigation feature. 

The product pages are also really cleverly designed. The images are front and centre, with the key details really clearly presented, and further information available if required. They’ve even managed to make this wall light look sexy. Now, that’s skills. 

Final thing to shout out is the cool mega menu to help you navigate through the plethora of brands that are stocked… 

 

Uppercase

uppercasemagazine.com

This website makes me so happy that I squealed when I saw it. Yes, yes, I have issues. 

The stunning products, the stunning photography of those stunning products, and the whole (dare I say it, stunning) brand aesthetic are, of course, the main reasons that this website is so bloody lovely, but there are some really clever web design details too. 

The parallax is my personal highlight, and that image of the spines of the beautifully patterned books peeping out behind the content (in the screenshot above) is a stroke of whimsical genius. 

The site is a little confusing in terms of the product offering, and there are definitely some UX improvements needed to really perfect the journey. It seems like they are trying to offer too many options, so pages like the gift subscription page are a bit all over the place. If you’re looking for a Project Manager to offer some assistance, Uppercase, I would jump at the chance to help… 

Pop Chart 

popchart.co

 

I defy anyone to find me a site that embodies a brand as well as Pop Chart do here. This is an “effortlessly” cool site. (Note,  the inverted commas. This is not effortless.)

This website is the perfect example of how a combination of a strong brand, punchy copy writing, great photography, and excellent website design come together to create a really special online shopping experience. 

Hover over ‘prints’ in the menu and you’ve got a mega menu of the key categories and a search function in one, plus options to take you to the best sellers and the new arrivals. Rather than ruin the slick and simple header, adding the search bar into the mega menu makes it a key design feature rather than a functional addition. 

Wait until you hover over one of the items in the print menu, where you get several examples of the beautiful prints you can find in that category. Very cleverly, they are selling you specific products right from the menu, and also helping you narrow your search through their huge selection of products.  

I thought I’d spotted every clever feature on this site until my curiosity got the better of me and I clicked on the bright blue “save 10%” button in the header. And, low and behold, out pops a cheeky little data capture…

So, rather than p**s me off whilst I’m shopping by having a pop up appear willy nilly, or even when I’m showing intent to leave, instead they put me charge of getting my 10% discount or not. Give the web designer who created this site a pay rise! Or, come and join our equally talented team here at Embryo Digital, be amongst your peers! 

Charlotte Fallon

Charlotte is our Project Manager and also looks after our key accounts. She works with our Designers & Developers to craft beautiful websites that will convert traffic into enquiries and, ultimately, sales. As well as being a website geek, she's the one to ask if you need a good restaurant or bar recommendation, and she's usually the one pushing for Friday beers.