Design Showcase Of Creative Online-Shops


Times when online-shops were boring and unattractive are over. To attract customers’ attention designers tend to design online-shops according to the atmosphere it has to create. An online-store in which retro-products are offered is designed in a retro-look. And shops which are aiming to attract young customers are designed in vibrant colors and modern style. Furthermore, interactive browsing through the store, implemented with Flash and JavaScript, gains on popularity as well.

This post showcases 45 examples of creative and unusual designs of online-stores. Being creative doesn’t necessarily mean that the designs are successful since unconventional approaches often increase the time users need to climb the learning curve and figure out how they can achieve their goals. Still, how can you present your products in a distinctive way and how to design a truly unique online-store? Let’s find out.

Trendy design elements such as wood background, textures, handwriting, collage and grunge are quite popular. Reflections, shadows and similar elements from the times of vivid Web 2.0 are used rarely; however, designers of t-shirt- and children’s cloth-stores seem to have a different opinion on that matter for some reason. Disclaimer: we are not related to any of the stores presented below.

Please notice: we don’t know if creative design approaches result in better sales. This post is supposed to provide you with some interesting ideas and approaches which you can use in your future projects, not with recommendations for the most effective online-store-designs.

Showcase Of Creative Online-Shops

ShopComposition uses a sliding navigation at the top of the site. Users can choose the content they would like to read. This store has an integrated blog and some further projects (such as picture-a-day) to attract customer’s attention. JavaScript in use.

Online Shop Screenshot2

Feel the Power3
Actually, Feel the Power sells t-shirts and underwear — just like thousands of other online-stores out there. However, the site is completely Flash-based and offers its visitors a beautiful and attractive navigation via an animated wheel. One click opens a large preview of the selected product. Although Flash is used, the navigation is extremely easy and simple. Apparently, music in the background is supposed to create a good mood.

Online Shop Screenshot4

If a company produces Yellowood wood decks, then it probably should have a yellow design with wood in the background, right?

Online Shop Screenshot6

uShops welcomes its visitors with a price tag which is supposed to communicate the idea of the site — the online marketplace to buy and sell stuff.

Online Shop Screenshot8

Free People9
This store aims at female teenagers. In such stores handwriting and vivid imagery are common.

Online Shop Screenshot10

Nerve is an Ajax-based music store with vibrant colors, nifty JavaScript-effects and beuatiful hover effects. Nice and memorable design.

Online Shop Screenshot12

Bisley Perfect Order13
This store is partly Flash-based and is designed in a retro-look. The main page is right-aligned for some reason. On the left there is a wood background with a coin.

Online Shop Screenshot14

Klassiker in Acryl15

Online Shop Screenshot16

Simple Treasures17

Online Shop Screenshot18

Habitat Shoes19
Habitat Shoes sells shoes. However, it first sets up the perfect atmosphere for the store and offers its visitors to select one of the illustrations which stand for the different accessoires in the store.

Online Shop Screenshot20

ShoeGuru places its products in the middle of the page and uses horizontal scrolling for navigation. Notice that only the product is presented to the visitors — and nothing else.

Online Shop Screenshot22

Accentuate Clothing23

Online Shop Screenshot24

Cosmic Soda sells t-shirts and uses distinctive design decisions to attract its target group. The search box and newsletter box are somehow crooked, there are dozens of dashed lines, blue illustrations and a paper sheet background.

Online Shop Screenshot26

Among dozes of distinctive features Etsy has an appealing navigation menu with icons and vibrant illustrations. The creative approach of the design is hidden in its functionality. For instance, it is possible to sort and filter products by colors. It is not done via a text-based search engine, but using the integrated interactive Flash-interface.

Online Shop Screenshot28


Online Shop Screenshot30

TasteBook 31

Online Shop Screenshot32


Online Shop Screenshot34

LadyBugs Picnic35
LadyBugs Picnic with feminine touch, handwritten elements and, of course, bugs!

Online Shop Screenshot36


Online Shop Screenshot38

Mozilla Store39
A distinctive fan-shop for geeks and nerds.

Online Shop Screenshot40


Online Shop Screenshot42

Rock Pillars43

Online Shop Screenshot44


Online Shop Screenshot46

Chop Shop47

Online Shop Screenshot48

Pink Koi Fish 49

Online Shop Screenshot50

In this store the choice of illustrations directly indicates what the store is about.

Online Shop Screenshot52


Online Shop Screenshot54

A better tomorrow55

Online Shop Screenshot56

Baby Wit57
The design seems to be hand-drawn and incomplete which somehow fits to the items the store sells – baby clothes and accessoires. The design perfectly fits to the atmosphere it needs to create.

Online Shop Screenshot58

Dirty Coast59

Online Shop Screenshot60

Fox Cubs61

Online Shop Screenshot62

Holly Hue 63

Online Shop Screenshot64

Jacobi Jayne65

Online Shop Screenshot66

Kidsmodern 67

Online Shop Screenshot68


Online Shop Screenshot70

General Robots71

Online Shop Screenshot72

Service is good for you 73

Online Shop Screenshot74

Sound Provisions75

Online Shop Screenshot76

Soïa & Kyo77

Online Shop Screenshot78


Online Shop Screenshot80

Wavehouse Shop81

Online Shop Screenshot82

Trendy Tadpole83

Online Shop Screenshot84

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Co-Founder and former CEO of Smashing Magazine. Sven is now writing science-fiction and runs some web sites for fun - more or less ...

  1. 1

    Very very nice…. I am about to start my own online shop. Very pleased that i stopped by here.

    • 2

      Interesting to see what happend after 5 years with most of this shops…most of them are closed and most of the rest didn´t change in the last 5 years…only very few have been developed in the last years.

  2. 3

    Hey it’s Roy

    Waiting to launch my Magento shop, just as soon as the inventory issues are resolved.
    It’s a goal to be featured in Smashing one day :)

  3. 4

    Brilliant stuff, it certainly does make a boring task more interesting. Like what I’ve seen so far, looking forward to exploring the rest in the morning. Thanks!

  4. 5

    very nice !!

    currently working on an online shops site, glad you wrote this article… keep up the GREAT works !!

  5. 6

    Apple Store anyone?

  6. 8

    I attempted to visit but it is showing up in FF3 as an attack site. I imagine someone should look into that and remove it from this list if that turns out to be the case.

  7. 9

    Great Collections.

    Now we working on the online shops. This article gives a new dimension for our developments.

    Keep this great work………….

  8. 10

    You are doing a great job. I really like all these designs. Thanks for the info.

  9. 11

    My favorite is definitely “Free People”, very pleasant design.

    Thumbs down to “Simple Treasure”. Pink, green and white on a black background almost made me blind.

  10. 12

    Sorry for the duplicate link, just figured out how it works out.

  11. 13

    Thank God Someone did this article…Has got to be the most valuble post (for me) i’ve seen in a good while..

  12. 14

    AMAZING! Awesome showcase!

    thanks for inspiration!

  13. 15

    Great list, these are definitely some of the best.

    Although you guys forgot to include TopShop. :)

  14. 16

    VEry good stuff

  15. 17

    Very inspiring article ! Thanx a lot.

  16. 18

    What’s up with LekMer?

  17. 19

    I agree with Danny – the Howies site is clean and nice!

  18. 20

    Love the Shoe Guru design

  19. 21

    This one from Austria is a neat example as well:

  20. 22

    Dude, you forgot to mention meyestyle

  21. 23

    I’ve got to question the inclusion of the FTP site on this list. An all-Flash-based store?

    While it’s fun to play with, it was a pain in the butt to actually find anything. The navigation gives you NO clues as to what the products are, unless you spend the time to mouse over each…individual…item. I guess this store owners are more interested in appealing to people who like clicking on buttons, as opposed to actually buying something.

    This is the type of design that wins awards, but causes e-commerce to fail.

  22. 24

    Feel the power is easily one of the most annoying websites I have ever visited. Nice design maybe, but functional definitely not

  23. 25

    Thanks for tracking these down!
    How many times have you tried to come up with an interesting web store for a client proposal.
    Can’t wait to explore all these, dissecting the technologies and design bits.

  24. 26

    Great selection! Searched for inspiration but found it! Thanks guys!

  25. 27

    ow by the way, when you take a look at the usability a lot of them are horrible!

  26. 28

    I like this one too Pong A Long

  27. 29

    No beatport?! Sacrilege.

  28. 30

    Great post… i just posted about Shopping Carts on my blog 2 days ago… you guys have dug up some great carts that I haven’t seen great job.

    You can view the Shopping Cart Bonanza here

  29. 31
  30. 32

    nice selection and interesting that they are almost all clothing related. how about some fine art photos?

  31. 33

    Great list. I had a great time going through a couple of these (and found some new places to shop). I’d like to add for loose leaf teas. I think as an online store, Adagio is pretty top notch and really pushes the community and participation aspects.

  32. 34

    Very cool sites – but none so good as dyson. It really is a masterpiece.

  33. 35

    Very nice selection!
    I was going to mention La Fraise which is a pretty popular online tshirt store in France… Their design used to be very fresh, but it’s not as good as before now (the summer skin is… ugly).
    Here’s the link anyway :

  34. 36

    also very nice is polish check it out

  35. 37

    FTP is so hard to use

  36. 38

    Great showcase and right in time for the design of my own online store… hehehe :-)

  37. 39

    Jaime V: agreed! You’d expect to bring your mouse from the side onto one of the clothing icons to have it expand..but not, it spins a heap of tiles making you lose your spot. It looks nice…and is fun when you swirl your mouse around the circle, but does it achieve its goal? Who knows…?

    Very nice showcase though smashing magazine!

  38. 40

    very nice collection… i really liked the Nerve Music Store, Yellowwood, SimpleTreasures…
    just saw a spelling error for the word ‘beautiful’ in the NERVE description..!

    FTP is kinda hard to use…but very creative..!!

  39. 41
  40. 42

    Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    August 8, 2008 1:03 am

    @atom (#6): thank you, the link was removed.

  41. 43

    I’m sorry, but the Feel The Power site is pretty much a lesson in what not to do if you want to sell things. It’s got an entrance page that does nothing other than make you click through to the main site, it relies on a third party plugin (flash) and is unnavigable without it, not to mention useless to disabled users and uncrawlable by search engines, it plays music which is annoying at home when it blots out your MP3s and could potentially get you into trouble at work, and it uses Mystery Meat navigation, as you have no idea what you’re going to look at until you actually click the link. As slick as the presentation is, this particular site should be used as a lesson in what not to do.

  42. 44

    Great article. Many Magento-sites are starting to arrive. I like ( for english version) quite alot. Clean and easy to navigate through. Many of the sites above are very hard to navigate through.

  43. 45

    How about ? It’s always impressed me, you literally drag what you want into your cart, the JS effects are tasty :). Cheers.

  44. 46

    Interesting as usual!
    One thing I would like to see Smashings take on is bannerads.. yeah we all hate them but a girls gotalive :)
    Where and what are the good ones? (and maybe the really bad ones like those that play loud sounds on a newspapersite)

  45. 47

    Thanks for featuring site which I created when I was in Magnet technologies.

  46. 48

    mooty web design

    August 10, 2008 9:32 pm

    Hey Smashing, thanks for featuring our site Simple Treasures. What an unexpected honour. Thanks for the comments both good and bad guys.

  47. 49

    Thanks for featuring site which was I designed when I was in Magnet Technologies.

  48. 50

    thanks alot i’m working on 2 projects for online shopping :D:D:D luv yaaaaaa smashing magazine :)

  49. 51

    hey praveen…good to hear from you…heheh…hows things?

    nice article

  50. 52

    Dimitris a CosmicSoda boy...

    August 13, 2008 9:18 am

    thanks for featuring
    Amazing article, great work!!!


  51. 53

    these shops are amazing…you certainly can’t find stuff like this on ebay. there’s one shop on ebay that i find particularly amusing and it is for land surveying equipment, of all things. maybe it could be of interest to you its pretty original to say the least! do you have any tips for modifying ebay stores with stylesheets?

  52. 54

    What a great post. Although an online store is rather far into the future for me, I’m glad to see that there are creative options for this part of the website. I was very afraid of getting to graphic with an online store, that it might lose functionality. But these examples have shown amazing ways to achieve both.

  53. 55

    I’m a big fan of these online shops..thanks. The trouble seems to be finding truly original stuff that isn’t crazy expensive. One of my favorites is spunique it’s a little limited in choice, but the selection changes and I haven’t seen any of the stuff anyware else.

  54. 56

    This site has a nice layout I think. . Also a cafepress like custom logo tool for there promotional products.

  55. 57

    Owesome, these are definitely some of the great list.
    I wonder why my shop not included. :)

  56. 58

    A piece of advice to those starting their own online shop…stop believing you can do everything! and leave development and design to the professionals….once you learn to delegate and focus on whatever else you think you do best…you’ll learn it’s worth it.

  57. 59

    Great designs! Love them great inspiration!

  58. 60

    The focus on e-commerce sites is great, but what I’d love to see is a showcase of not-for-profit sites, because there are a number of designers who do make an effort to “give back” to their community through pro bono projects. As a graphic designer, I’ve tried to devote a portion of my time to this, and am constantly inspired by sites that focus on environmental and philanthropic concerns with great design like Carbonica and Here’s Life Mission Africa. Any chance of this happening?

  59. 61

    I love the simplicity and pretty clean style of ShopComposition ,.. thanks for a great showcase!

  60. 62

    joyoge designers' bookmark

    April 4, 2009 5:51 am

    nice showcases thanks for the list..
    my design shop is joyologo
    all the best

  61. 63

    囧囧有神的小盆U ^v^

    June 5, 2009 1:24 am

    let me look look~~O(∩_∩)O

  62. 64

    I feel as if I swam through a swamp to find the pages of “smashing”!!
    Nice…inovative…creative…exciting! Can’t wait to get to work now after viewing your pages. You are now my favorite place to spend time!

  63. 65

    Honlapkészítés - Pécs

    July 20, 2009 1:16 pm

    Wow! Very useful & nice collection! Thanks!
    Honlapkészítés – Pécs

  64. 66

    super list i think this layout is also very nice Link[]

  65. 67

    There’s some pretty nice sites on here. Thank you for posting. I keep up a blog at [] which covers a number of topics for the ecommerce platform Magento.

  66. 68

    Thanks for all these great examples in one place, so inspiring!

  67. 69
  68. 70

    Necro comment… but first link shop is closed.

  69. 71
  70. 72

    nice very nice

  71. 73 has to be one of the nicest sites. Great looking store.

  72. 74

    This site is pretty nice;

    It’s a beauty store based in Australia.

  73. 75

    Am I the only one that agreed with Ali Salem (“Apple store anyone?”) …. Apple has one of the most visited stores on the web, but still looks good. I came here not to see “cute” store pages, but to see good design for the purpose of good user experience, which hopefully drives sales. Some here have that, but other are just cute to glance at before you go to ugly Amazon and make the purchase.

  74. 76

    I agree with Hugh. Apple has reinvented the clean/sleak look with not only their products, but their website too. I always recommend using as few colors as possible and choose colors with a strong contrast (black & white is my favorite). There are some websites that do this very well ( and and others that get a little too crazy on their color scheme.

    Keep it simple and you are sure to have a higher conversion rate.

  75. 77

    Another great Brazilian on line t-Shirt store! =D

  76. 78

    Alat Alat Pancing

    June 24, 2011 4:57 am

    Wooow i wont have design website like that


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