Showcase of Fresh and Well-Designed Online Shops

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E-Commerce websites are often thought of as typically being unattractive or poorly designed. In this post we will feature 35 appealing designs of online shops. Those featured in this post include examples from a variety of different industries and showcase several different styles of design.

Throughout this showcase the most noticeable trend of well-designed e-commerce sites is the use of high-quality photos. Many of the sites use large images on the homepage, and product and model photography is always important for creating interest from visitors.

You may also be interested in these other posts from Smashing Magazine:

Fresh Well-Designed Online Shops

Madsen Cycles

Madsen Cycles

Dripping In Fat

Screenshot

Custom T-Shirts

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JAQK Cellars

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Weta Shop

Screenshot

Uniqlo

Screenshot

Myla

Screenshot

Zoomii.com – The “Real” Online Bookstore

Screenshot

Pure and Little

Screenshot

Nixon

Screenshot

Amazon Window Shop

Screenshot

Behance Outfitter

Screenshot

Opera Ma-Ge

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Struck Apparel

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Hot Sauce Emporium

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Ophelia Fancy

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One Horse Shy

Screenshot

Onetribe

Screenshot

Volkswagen

Screenshot

Decoder

Screenshot

Uppercase

Screenshot

Rawlings

Screenshot

Siege

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Crate and Barrel

Screenshot

Brilla Mare

Screenshot

Teapot.cl

Screenshot

Free People Clothing Boutique

Screenshot

Nicholas Deakins Clothing

Screenshot

More of Me

More of Me

DSW

DSW

Closed

Closed

Soma Intimates

Soma Intimates

Fred Perry

Fred Perry

MANKINDdog

MANKINDdog

Brio

Brio

Martin + Osa

Martin + Osa

James Perse

James Perse

ShopRush

ShopRush

Clever Craft

Clever Craft

Burberry

Burberry

The Company Store

The Company Store

Rapha

Rapha

The Sak

The Sak

HelmetDress

HelmetDress

Dune

Dune

House of Fraser

House of Fraser

Nau

Nau

The Specials

The Specials

Lucky Brand Jeans

Lucky Brand Jeans

Schwans

Schwans

Bergdorf Goodman

Bergdorf Goodman

Buckle

Buckle

Roots

Roots

Pixie Market

Pixie Market

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Steven Snell is a Web designer and blogger. In addition to maintaining his own blog and writing for a number of other top design blogs, he also manages an online shop that offers premium graphic design resources.

  1. 1

    Good collection – It really helps when products in your shop are attractive as well.

    0
  2. 2

    I must be a pervert.. When I glanced at the article I saw “Fresh” and the picture of the middle-aged woman and thought a feminine hygiene post?

    0
  3. 3

    “fresh and Well-designed” slow-loading, resource intensive, annoying

    1
  4. 4

    Nice collection of sites. Good photography plus attractive products can really make a design.

    0
  5. 5

    Most of the sites lack basic usability.

    Where do i click? Calls for action?

    Flash is nice, but Google killed it, especially for e-commerce.

    0
  6. 6

    Sure these examples look good but ecommerce isn’t about inventing a new interface and confusing the crap out of your visitors

    0
  7. 7

    Durrr I hate the flash b’cuz of the googlez and da usabilities r 2 confuzing… my Sitez are Good b’cuz they’re like templates and htmlz like and all the others on the interwebs.

    lame. lame. and lame. Some of these like the VW one are VERY nice.

    -2
  8. 8

    Awesome selection and quite a bit of eye candy + as a bonus a few features I am looking forward to including in my carts soon. Most of the sites above are very feminine and that’s nice, considering that most of the recent “well designed” comparisons I saw, were absolutely hideous blog type design rehashes made by Nielsen loving developers.

    If I may – I’d like to add two more site to the collection – Little Catwalk and Composition. Hardly a “google economy” optimized stuff, but well worth watching with.

    -1
  9. 9

    These sites look pretty, but why are they well-designed? To me, ‘well-designed’ means far more than just the looks of the site and encompasses the functionality and overall purpose of the site. Are they incredibly usable? Do they have a high-conversion percentage? If so, why? And if not, why not? If you’re interested in more on the topic, check out our series on A Checklist For Business Websites.

    0
  10. 10

    great post , thankx, smashing mag rocks!! =)

    -1
  11. 11

    nice list, but what’s the shopping cart software behind these?
    can we get an article comparing shopping carts?
    thank you!

    0
  12. 12

    There is no particular reason why I chose to click on Ophelia Fancy, but once I so innocently did, I found the online store, and the whole site in general, to be quite poorly designed. Any site that immediately lists their whole catalog of on 15 consecutive long scrolling pages fails the user friendliness test by default. After all, UI design and HTML validity is the first thing on my mind when I visit a lingerie store website.

    -1
  13. 13

    The word ‘Fresh’ irks me to no end. It’s the 21st century, not the 1990′s. We had a customer said her site wasn’t fresh enough, then showed us another web site that was super dull and boring, and said she liked that. The one we made was much nicer, better colors, but not so bright it was annoying…

    0
  14. 14

    Keep it simple. Keep it organized. And above all if I’m drunk I still should be able to navigate the cart and buy a product.

    0
  15. 15

    Yes – once again well designed here is well designed as a picture, static work of art. Not necessarily well designed as a shop, or when tasks or suitability is concerned. Some of those examples had good approach on products and their presentation as well – that goes beyond having big picture of it in aesthetically drawn front page.

    -1
  16. 16

    Most of the designs in this article are great web designs, that’s a given, and some of them are even good e-commerce designs. But I agree that usability triumphs cool graphics. Flash sucks for SEO, which is uber-importante for e-commerce. You also have to take into consideration that most users have certain expectations of what the Add To Cart button will look like, what the shopping cart icon will look like etc. True genius is finding a way to mix it up and do something truly unique while still staying within user expectations. This is why we developers are charging $15,000 – $30,000 for full custom e-commerce sites these days. It is difficult to reach that balance.

    -2
  17. 17

    This is off subject, but after reading all the posts i started thinking: Does beautiful and unique design really matter when it comes to e-commerce.

    I have an e-commerce website, and it took me two months to pick the right color scheme. Do customers really care if i use black or blue header? Maybe I was just designing it for myself.

    Do customers look for being entertained, or they simply want to buy a pair of black socks? Could striking visual design actually distract customers? I would love to see a study on that (there must be some out there).

    -2
  18. 18

    Nearly every site featured in this post would fail for accessibility and usability. Still using images and javascript rollovers for navigation, how 5 years ago. I thought the target case changed all of that.

    0
  19. 19

    I would say these are all nice but not really “mainstream” … More like boutique shops. Have a look at this one. the filtering on the right hand side is fantastic. It is built usign the Shoptimized service that is going public in next month or so.

    -2
  20. 20

    Republic.co.uk has a pretty nice/user friendly layout

    -1
  21. 21

    Good Collection.
    Thanks Smash..

    -2
  22. 22

    Hey, it would be cool to have a post about best software to make online stores.
    Cheers!

    0
  23. 23

    Many perfect examples where “design” is confused with “style” with terrible results.

    These sites have great style, but in nearly all the cases I tried out that style actually impeded my goal as a customer. Impeding the customer’s goals is not what our clients are paying us for.

    It so disappointing to see yet another design article that clearly doesn’t understand design.

    -1
  24. 24

    Pretty cool, but what about an article comparing the best shopping carts out there?

    Also, I’m not really that impressed by all these designs, in my opinion they’re not all that great.

    -1
  25. 25

    I think the funy part about this article is that a handful of those “good designs” are modified templates people can buy. Very recognizable with little changes. Reaching for material?

    0
  26. 26

    I agree with the other comments that some of these sites lack usability, etc. however the post is showing well designed online shops. I’m sure there is another post waiting to be written about the best SEO’d or most usable online shops but I don’t think this was the goal here. An online shop is meant to grab the users attention and play on their impulses and emotions to try and entice them to buy which on a basic level these do via their design, in an aesthetic sense, which can be comparable with window and instore displays of real shops.

    0
  27. 27

    These are some great, beautiful sites. I especially liked Siege, Madsen Cycles, and James Pearse. Really sharp. One ecommerce site that I have been admiring lately and has excellent photographs is endclothing.co.uk

    -1
  28. 28

    nice list, but what’s the shopping cart software behind these?

    Custom solutions, I know one of them runs on Kohana

    0
  29. 29

    sellmates.co.nz is a bit different but pretty tidy. Agree that the balance between looking hot and achieving a great user experience can be tough, but crucial if you expect that the design is really going to drive growth.

    0
  30. 30

    Very nice collection! I’ve found this mass customization online-shop last week via twitter: woonio. I think the nike online shop is also very nice!

    0
  31. 31

    Great Collection.

    0
  32. 32

    All of the examples are nice but its mostly clothing or a few other specific items, each time having the design very specific with the products… I’d like to see fresh and well-designed eshop for other kinds of items, or more general types of e-shops, like, for example, computer hardware?

    1
  33. 33

    This is a really disappointing post and fails to really understand what good ecommerce design is about.

    As mentioned by other commenters there is so much more to ecommerce site design and design in general than a pleasing aesthetic. What ever success you may have in creating an appealing skin will quickly wane if people trying to USE the site/artefact are not engaged and even worse; obstructed. Let’s not forget that ecommerce is about selling, which requires true innovation to stand out in a crowded marketplace, just a pretty face won’t cut it. This is predominantly a list of unremarkable, middle of the road vendors and not really worthy of an article attempting to document the success stories. I’m motivated to quote the time-honoured mantra ‘form follows function’.

    -1
  34. 34

    I do not agree with some comments saying ecommerce is all about ergonomy, without flash and being seo friendly. It depends ! For a high-end brand or a luxury company, an ecommerce website does not need to be seo friendly or without flash. They have to feed the client with emotion, in order to keep their image, it is crucial for them to make know the client for what he is paying.

    1
  35. 35

    A well designed site should at the very least pass CSS & HTML validation. A little disappointed that SM chose some of these sites to showcase, more than half of them don’t validate.

    0
  36. 36

    It is very nice collection. Thanks Smashingmagazine.

    0
  37. 37

    This is more of an exercise in “what are we looking for that make these look so nice” than a showcase of real usable shopping systems with content I’d actually buy. Shame you can’t have both because the usable ones with good content usually lack any form for design direction (KKKraigslist).

    Over $1,000 for a goddamned bike? You got to be fukking kidding me.

    -2
  38. 38

    I like Smashing Mag – I really do. It’s a great resource for many things – tips ‘n’ tricks.

    But, I can’t seem to get over the lack of empirical evidence they provide in many of their posts. Are these shops well designed? I don’t think so. The few that I visited didn’t seem to adhere to usability best practices – accessibility to my shopping cart, bloated pages, slow loading.

    Smashing – look at the comments! Your readers are easily able to identify what makes our respective professions valuable. Post like this only serve to reinforce the mistaken idea that we are merely window dressers and that good design is one dimensional.

    Respectfully,
    Bill Doern

    -1
  39. 39

    how exactly is volkswagen an e-commerce site? Pretty sure I can’t buy a VW online…

    0
  40. 40

    most of them are quite rocking,evethough some looks staid…

    -1
  41. 41

    Great inspiration source. Thanks for putting the work into it.

    0
  42. 42

    Wow you ppl cry a lot

    -2
  43. 43

    amazing collections

    -2
  44. 44

    Great inspiration! I’m going to buy me silly in watches at nixnow!

    -2
  45. 45

    @ Rebecca

    Validation is like nationalize health care, just because you spend massive amounts of time and effort on it doesn’t mean it will operate well for the users.

    I would personally rather have a site that looks great and works cross-browser…no matter what the little check marks on W3C say about it :)

    0
  46. 46

    Amazing list. love it!

    -1
  47. 47

    Daniel:
    You can have both.

    But it’ll tear you apart mentally.

    -1
  48. 48

    @KurtMac – hey yo – I’m the guy who made that Ophelia Fancy site. I know what yo umean about the long list.To get round that you’ll see that when you hit the shop front – you can browse straight away by category and even drill down to tags by colour – e.g. http://opheliafancy.com/shop/tags/black… I suspect you were distracted by all the frilly knickers

    -1
  49. 49

    as has been said: well designed does not only mean attractive design. notice the word “only”.
    while you may attract people with good design in the sense of stylish (not going into “how do they find you in the first place – ads, google, etc.) you want to keep them there, buy something and even better – return. so you HAVE to look into cross browser performance, you HAVE to look into usability (very much so indeed) and yes, also SEO. so saying that there might be an article later on usability is in my falling short. in order to have a well designed and most of all successful ecommerce site you have to take all those things into account. my favorite guideline is krug’s first law of usability: don’t make me think. that does not exclude great style but great style alone does not make a well designed website.

    -1
  50. 50

    Maybe you should have added “homepage” on the title. They may be good e-commerce homepage but it tells nothing about the rest of the site.

    0
  51. 51

    Well these are some lovely e-commerce site…..but I don’t think designs actually matter for an e-commerce site. Customers visit such site to buy stuff, so don’t you think the main concern should be the navigation and not the color scheme and all. I mean it’s ok if you have a good looking online shopping site, but having a poor navigation will ruin everything. Isn’t it? Anyways, I liked the design of Burberry and Closed.

    0
  52. 52

    Great list of sites, some really strong design in there – big fan of smashing ag by the way, this is my first comment!

    -2
  53. 53

    Cool shops!!!
    check this one:

    -2
  54. 54

    I wish to have a page like that someday thery’re very cool…

    -1
  55. 55

    want to now way and how… and I want to see the whole journey to product page…. and as people before have said what kind of money are they doing. Its retail baby!

    -1
  56. 56

    The best site, IMHO, was the Crate & Barrel site. Easy to navigate, nice menus, the ability to change the product thumbnail size and a shopping cart bar along the bottom of the site that stays with you as you shop. Great use of color and LOVED the way the logo was used on the front page.

    As everyone else has already commented, great photography is basically the whole site. If the product isn’t photographed properly then a groovy interface and fancy shopping cart is useless.

    Overall, nice collection. As usual another useful group of inspiring sites and designs.

    Cheers.

    -1
  57. 57

    Marek | Webcentric

    September 12, 2009 3:40 pm

    Excellent collection. Really useful inspirational topic and a nice wide variety of examples. Well done SM. Would be also good to actually add what back end was used in each. Example Magento, Zen Cart, custom (if possible)

    Thanks.

    -1
  58. 58

    Ashely (Posting 52),
    I don’t agree. Design and therefore the “brand experience” matters! You can take rather generic goods, like whole seller/ drop-shipper items and give them a whole new spin by . Your perception of the brand and your willingness to shop will be affected, wether you want to or not. Or would you shop in a real-world store that has no branding but rather a few boxes with labels saying “shoes”, “shirts” etc. and maybe a cash register that says “pay here”? Such simplicity can only be pulled off by brands like Apple, where the brand itself is about usability and simplification. In a changed market of serving very individual niches, a combination of great usability AND brand experience by design should be the goal.

    -1
  59. 59

    What ever one can say but i feel nothing like

    -1
  60. 60

    What ever one can say but i feel nothing like Interspire

    One should consider its backend too that is what i feel.

    -1
  61. 61

    Behance and CLOSED are wonderful. I used both of them as inspiration on the site I’ve been working on. You can check some screens out here on Flickr.

    -1
  62. 62

    Great list! I’d like to add the recently revamped DubLi site ( http://www.dubli.com ). They didn’t have a search engine before, but now they do. And boy, it’s only when a search facility is lacking that you realise how integral to the internet experience a search is! The site’s also been streamlined down.

    Of the sites featured in the article, I think the Burberry site wins my vote – though I wouldn’t be seen dead wearing their clothes!

    -2
  63. 63

    That Pureandlittle website gets mentioned in every eCommerce related article on SM. That website is simplest at its best. Not that it is a bad site, but how is it better than lots of websites out there? Also having that website, and the other more flashy websites in the same article is being oxymoron at its peak!

    -1
  64. 64

    Cool list…I was a bit sad to not see a lot of (web design trends for 2009) features on these sites.

    -1
  65. 65

    Amazing design trends and very nice tips on dressing. I would also recommend to visit site http://www.kaneesha.com they carry awesome range of latest trend Indian apparel. I purchased a churidar dress and received lots of compliment from my friends. I will say just check it out you will be amazed.

    -3
  66. 66

    A few too many sites that look good but aren’t user friendly in my opinion. One site that does both is,http://www.wantthelook.com

    -1
  67. 67

    so many flashy sites eh? pretty=well designed not really when it does not work. I like sites like wallets-direct.com/

    -1
  68. 68

    What does everybody think of this site.. modcosmetics.co.uk

    -1
  69. 69

    chrisitian louboutin

    June 2, 2011 5:10 pm

    I found this review under my Draft section dated back to Spring 2010! Somehow I had forgotten to publish this so finding it again felt like a kid discovering a hidden stash of candies

    -1
  70. 70

    Aloebeauty Designerwear

    September 7, 2011 2:47 pm

    Fabulous read.

    -1
  71. 71

    LOL, custom-tshirts.eu is simply a Spreadshirt shop!

    0

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