Showcase of 30 Well-Designed E-commerce Sites

by Steven Snell

May 3, 2010 in Inspiration

E-commerce websites often have the reputation of being unattractive or poorly designed. In this post we’ll show that this is not always the case. Here you’ll find 30 sites for your own e-commerce design inspiration.

You may also be interested in:

The Gingerbread Construction Company

The Gingerbread Construction Company

Rip Curl

Rip Curl

Bras N Things

Bras N Things

The Limited

The Limited

Moxsie

Moxsie

Hunters

Hunters

The Spirit of Toys

The Spirit of Toys

Brooklyn Industries

Brooklyn Industries

Arden B.

Arden B.

The Famous 4th Street Cookie

The Famous 4th Street Cookie

Teextile

Teextile

Jones New York

Jones New York

Trolley Cards

Trolley Cards

Morgan Ranch

Morgan Ranch

Tilly’s

Tilly's

Staples

Staples

K2 Snowboarding

K2 Snowboarding

Lowes

Lowes

Columbia Sportswear

Columbia Sportswear

Forever 21

Forever 21

Talbots

Talbots

Jigsaw

Jigsaw

Fat Face

Fat Face

More of Me Maternity

More of Me Maternity

Closed

Closed

Anna Scholz

Anna Scholz

Soma Intimates

Soma Intimates

The Little Pear Tree

The Little Pear Tree

Happy Spaces

Happy Spaces

Russell & MacKenna

Russell & MacKenna

For more design inspiration please see:

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About Steven Snell

Stephen Snell is the owner and editor of Vandelay Design.Connect with Stephen on google+

  • Mark F.

    May 3rd

    I understand that these round ups get quite a bit of attention, but in all sincerity, I find them to be rather bland. While many of the linked sites do truly showcase good design, the majority feel like they were included because they were convenient.

    It makes me ask, why were some of these really selected, what features do they provide that go above and beyond the ordinary e-commerce site? When looking at a UI design for things of this nature, a huge amount of time should be spent on the actual checkout process itself. It’s great if these sites are easy to window shop, but isn’t the real goal to get someone through the checkout process? Was this part of the equation when these sites were compiled? How does brand integration fit in to the process? From what I can tell, the majority of these are based on platforms that stick to the old fashion grid system to display products, and that’s not to say that isn’t the best choice, but I do ponder what else could there be, and why isn’t this list build on innovation instead of the standard?

    Overall, I’d just like to see why these are chosen, and why they are truly inspirational vs just being a list of sites that were bookmarked over the course of a few days specifically for this post.

    I must admit, I’m inspired to do something on my own now to see what boundaries I can break and still make function as both a good UI and well designed.

  • jashim

    May 3rd

    Realy its Well-Designed for E-commerce Sites .Thanx

  • Carlos

    May 3rd

    In my day job, we do about $12 million a year in ecommerce sales. Not bad. When I see these lists, I know they were put together by a web designer/artist rather than from a marketing standpoint. I look at these sites and think, that they look nice, but how do they do in actually….
    1. Getting ranked on the FIRST page of a search engine like Google
    2. Convert visitors into buyers

    My guess is that most of these don’t. They are eye candy and not true ‘ecommerce sites’ making their owners $$$$.

    The nearest to what I am thinking might be Lowes. I like the store but their search sucks, navigation sucks, products detail page not so good and on and on… the meat and bones of what makes an ecommerce website great.

    What these lists SHOULD DO… is look at a site and point something out like…

    ‘Notice on this product detail page there are 3 upsell products. The devs/designers have a neat trick in displaying further upsell products.’ or ‘See how easy they made it to add related cross-sell items into the shopping cart?’

    Picking little things like that is what we need to learn. Not, ‘This page has a nice looking menu. And this page has a picture of a good looking girl… I’m sure it must be making $$$$’

  • GrĂ¼n Weiss

    May 3rd

    nice sites to be inspiration

  • Peter Chon

    May 3rd

    I completely agree with Mark.

    Why were these chosen specifically? I’m starting to think all these list-icals are making the web all too similar. Instead of designers/developers working out the problem of “how can I…” it’s becoming “how did they…”

  • Rachel

    May 3rd

    Very nice collection…I like the Rip Curl very much

  • Federico

    May 3rd

    I was eager to fin something very exciting scrolling down the page, but i couldnt find anything at first glance what it makes them the 30 well-designed ecommerce sites.

    I guess that it would be really helpful if you guys can add a comment or an observation on each about what makes them so interesting. It is a good display of design styles and certaily can be improved with short critiques or highlights of each of the sites.

  • Jae Xavier

    May 3rd

    Thanks to posts like these, it inspires two crowds….

    1) Those who can produce nice UI and design do some good innovating
    2) Those who cannot produce, then go to a web developer, ask to “innovate” from these designs, and pay for only a fraction of the cost.

  • Steven Snell

    May 3rd

    Mark and Peter,
    The sites shown here were chosen based on general aesthetics. The checkout process was not factored in, in my opinion that is a different topic altogether, although it’s obviously very important to a site’s success.

  • wpBlast

    May 3rd

    This is an awesome showcase. I have to say that my favorite has to be Hunters. I love the minimalist design, plus it appears to be very functional.

  • Xcellence IT

    May 4th

    Thanks for sharing this inspiring designs…

  • Victoria Web

    May 4th

    I can learn from this post what makes a good e-commerce site, and i really like the array of styles and layouts, but also simple yet effective background ideas.

  • Amanda

    May 4th

    I have to agree with Mark. With the exception of the cookie site (and that only because the top nav was interesting) I don’t see why these sites were chosen. Most of them aren’t even all that original. That you called these ecommerce sites would entail that they do something innovative with the ecommerce side of things – navigation, user-friendliness, ease of checkout. Otherwise why bother listing them as ecommerce, though to be honest, I really didn’t even see anything special about the design aspect either. I realize beauty is subjective, but really … if you’re going to put together a list of something “well-designed blank-blank,” shouldn’t it be worthy of the title?

  • Carlos

    May 4th

    I’m still puzzled by comments like ‘I can learn from this post what makes a good e-commerce site’

    Ecommerce site = a site that makes money

    To speak of good ecommerce sites, you have to look at…

    1. SEO
    2. Navigation
    3. Menu system
    3. Internal searching
    4. Product detail pages
    5. x-sells, up-sells displayed
    6. registration
    7. shopping cart
    8. eSpots
    9. category landing pages

    Like I said, this list is just a list of ‘eye candy’ of the front page.

    Many such sites have a front page that most likely won’t be indexed well.

    Do this as a test.

    Look at the above sites. Do some searches for products that they sell of Google. Do they come up on 1st and 2nd page? No? They they are not a good ecommerce site IMHO

    :)

  • Carlos

    May 4th

    Allow me to follow up my last post with two examples of Ecommerce. (no relation)

    http://www.globalindustrial.com/
    http://www.teksupply.com/

    Now, the ’2.0′ designers out there will say ‘Uhg, how ugly, no nice big images, no graduations, no glossy buttons, etc etc’
    But these sites do what they are suppose to do – make money for their owners.

  • Brad Wayland

    May 4th

    Carlos,

    I think you might be missing it. This is a design inspiration website. This post is purely about aesthetics. The 1-9 list you gave might fit better under a post entitled 9 Keys to a profitable e-commerce site.

  • Steven Snell

    May 4th

    Amanda,
    I don’t know what you mean by this statement: “That you called these ecommerce sites would entail that they do something innovative with the ecommerce side of things.”

    An ecommerce site sells something. It doesn’t have to do something innovative.

    Carlos,
    I don’t disagree with you that there are plenty of factors that are involved in building a successful ecommerce site, but in my opinion that’s an entirely different subject.

  • cles walford

    May 4th

    thank you for the interesting designs

  • Hitesh Mehta

    May 5th

    These are really good. Thanks!

  • TIM

    May 5th

    Thanks it is an interesting list to see at a quick glance what other sites are doing.

    I do see a trend for a small logo area, horizontal nav bar and then lots of visual photos below. No left navs for any of them which I find intersting as that is what designers and visitors likely perceive as what makes a bland, typical ecommerce site.

  • Online Portfolio

    May 10th

    Came up just in time, very nice inspiration for ecommerce-based design. BTW, $comments textarea { font: inherit; }

  • vuitton

    Aug 8th

    nice work~

  • Website design

    Aug 18th

    Nice designs…The best color combinations and inspirational designs……

  • ionut

    Sep 21st

    You can also take a look at http://www.powerlaptop.ro Great design too!

  • Jeroen

    May 15th

    Great list! I love this one: http://www.seizoen5.nl Great (Dutch) design…

  • 3D Drawing Pad

    May 23rd

    Currently in the processing of re designing an ecom site. I got like 8 good ideas from these designs, thanks.

  • article definition

    Jun 14th

    I see something truly interesting about your site so I saved to my bookmarks.

  • fashion

    Jul 8th

    well in the growing field of fashion designing there are more shopping sites like amazon has more supplies for shopping products and even sites separately comes up with href=”http://www.fashionpix.us”>fashionpix desinings and concept. thats true !

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