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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 Link

ShopComposition1 Link

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 Screenshot

Feel the Power Link

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 Screenshot

Yellowood2 Link

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

Online Shop Screenshot

uShops Link

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 Screenshot

Free People3 Link

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

Online Shop Screenshot

Nerve Link

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

Online Shop Screenshot

Bisley Perfect Order4 Link

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 Screenshot

Klassiker in Acryl5 Link

Online Shop Screenshot

Simple Treasures6 Link

Online Shop Screenshot

Habitat Shoes7 Link

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 Screenshot

ShoeGuru8 Link

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 Screenshot

Accentuate Clothing9 Link

Online Shop Screenshot

Cosmicsoda10 Link

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 Screenshot

Etsy11 Link

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 Screenshot

Threadless12 Link

Online Shop Screenshot

TasteBook 13 Link

Online Shop Screenshot

Loworks14 Link

Online Shop Screenshot

LadyBugs Picnic15 Link

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

Online Shop Screenshot

Martique16 Link

Online Shop Screenshot

Mozilla Store17 Link

A distinctive fan-shop for geeks and nerds.

Online Shop Screenshot

PodShop18 Link

Online Shop Screenshot

Rock Pillars19 Link

Online Shop Screenshot

Rotofugi20 Link

Online Shop Screenshot

Chop Shop21 Link

Online Shop Screenshot

Pink Koi Fish Link

Online Shop Screenshot

Akachanwear Link

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

Online Shop Screenshot

Axid Link

Online Shop Screenshot

A better tomorrow22 Link

Online Shop Screenshot

Baby Wit23 Link

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 Screenshot

Dirty Coast24 Link

Online Shop Screenshot

Fox Cubs25 Link

Online Shop Screenshot

Holly Hue 26 Link

Online Shop Screenshot

Jacobi Jayne27 Link

Online Shop Screenshot

Kidsmodern 28 Link

Online Shop Screenshot

Lekmer29 Link

Online Shop Screenshot

General Robots Link

Online Shop Screenshot

Service is good for you Link

Online Shop Screenshot

Sound Provisions Link

Online Shop Screenshot

Soïa & Kyo30 Link

Online Shop Screenshot

Teetonic31 Link

Online Shop Screenshot

Wavehouse Shop32 Link

Online Shop Screenshot

Trendy Tadpole33 Link

Online Shop Screenshot

You may want to take a look at the following related posts:

Footnotes Link

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SmashingConf Barcelona 2016

Hold on, Tiger! Thank you for reading the article. Did you know that we also publish printed books and run friendly conferences – crafted for pros like you? Like SmashingConf Barcelona, on October 25–26, with smart design patterns and front-end techniques.

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Sven is the co-founder and former CEO of Smashing Magazine. He's now writing at his Conterest Blog, where he focuses on blogs, content strategy and publishing — all in German.

  1. 1

    Praveen Sewak

    August 6, 2008 3:54 pm

    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

    Cameron Smith

    August 6, 2008 4:21 pm

    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

    gaurav chandra

    August 6, 2008 8:41 pm

    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

    Andrei Gonzales

    August 6, 2008 11:13 pm

    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

    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.


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