With the world population creeping upwards of 8 billion people with a technological infrastructure as equally impressive, it makes sense that a good majority of transactions are moving online.
You can buy basically anything online and considering that there are nearly 2 billion digital buyers doing exactly that, the e-commerce industry is in full explosion mode right now.
Buyers have the freedom to shop around the internet for goods and services unlike ever before, with virtually every product or service available with a single tap on a tiny smartphone screen.
And as an e-commerce business owner, that makes your job of convincing them to come to your online store harder than ever.
With so many options to choose from, it’s important to make your e-commerce store the easiest to find, the most comfortable to shop, and the most reliable to buy from.
And it all begins with solid ecommerce SEO and website design.
After all, if a user comes to your store only to be met with a clunky design and confusing layout, then you can bet that they’ll click right out of your online store just as quickly as they landed there.
When it comes to quality e-commerce website design, it comes down to both the functionality of the site as well as the aesthetic design. In this article, I’ll go over both of these things.
First, we will look at ecommerce site builder options and then we will look at solid examples of beautiful e-commerce web design. By the end of this article, you should feel totally confident in which e-commerce platform to run your online store from and which design templates to use.
That way, when a hard-earned potential ecommerce customer finally lands on your site, they will be pleased by what they find (and more likely to make a purchase).
Let’s dig in.
Best Ecommerce Platforms (& Website Builders) of 2020
Before you launch your online store, you’ve got to figure out which e-commerce platform to do it from. While you’re totally free to design your shop as you want from any potential platform, there are a few tried-and-true platforms that make the process a whole lot easier.
Because they have teams of experts who research the best ecommerce design and ecommerce marketing that results in the highest conversion rate, the best practices for various payment gateways, and the best structure for search engine optimization. And when they can’t provide the e-commerce solution you’re looking for, they allow for ecommerce plugins to pick up the slack.
Many of these ecommerce companies even include web hosting within their services to make the process as seamless as possible for the business owner.
This isn’t an act of altruism, though, because the more money that you earn, the more money that they earn. So you better believe that they are going to invest a good amount of their resources into developing platforms that will help facilitate the sales process as much as possible.
And as an e-commerce business owner, why not take advantage of all of their hard work?
Here are the best e-commerce platform options with site builder functionality included:
Shopify is often regarded as the best e-commerce solution because it provides an out-of-the-box experience for anyone hoping to launch an online store quickly and easily. The Shopify platform is super intuitive, with a layout that is easy to navigate, tons of attractive website templates, and plenty of customization options. And there have been plenty of successful Shopify stores to learn from.
Business owners can easily list a product or service, create product listings that are optimized for search engines, manage inventory, and collect payments all within the platform. For any services that the platform does not provide, there is a long list of great Shopify apps and e-commerce software to fill the gaps. Shopify Payments make the purchasing process a breeze, handling transaction fees and taxes automatically. Shopify offers a blog feature, as well, making it easier than ever to dig into solid content marketing for eCommerce to help attract the right customers.
Further Shopify Resources:
- 4 Stupid Easy Ways to Build Backlinks to Your Shopify Store
- How to find niche markets for your Shopify store
- The Best Shopify Apps to Increase your Sales
One of the most praised features of Bigcommerce is its site builder, which allows for detailed customization within the platform. You can even install a drag-and-drop website builder plug-in to have even more customization options available to you.
It also is super easy to list products, manage inventory, set up shipping details, and customize the checkout process.
On top of all of that, this ecommerce solution provides tremendous customer support available via live chat any time.
That being said, it’s not best suited for a total beginner as their builder is just a little bit advanced for someone brand new to the e-commerce industry. In fact, many advanced developers prefer this brand because of its customizable features.
But don’t let that discourage you from giving it a try! Your ecommerce website design and purchase process can be absolutely stellar compared to a more basic platform like Shopify if you’re able to fully utilize its capabilities.
Further BigCommerce Resources:
- 13 Stylish Examples Of Well-Designed BigCommerce Stores
- 11 Success Stories of BigCommerce Stores running Referral Programs
Though Squarespace simply cannot compare with brands like Shopify or Bigcommerce, it is still included in this list of best online store platforms.
It is perhaps the easiest platform to use for small businesses that are looking to take their inventory online. It offers greater functionality within the platform itself, providing all of the essential features needed to run your online store, such as social media integration and email marketing options. Though it doesn’t have any plugin or app options to further increase the functionality of your site, it does provide everything you need to efficiently run your online shop.
When it comes to e-commerce web design, it offers beautiful templates to choose from, making it easier than ever to launch a beautiful online store within minutes. It is an effective and formidable cheap ecommerce website builder that anyone can use.
If you’re serious about taking complete control of your web hosting, ecommerce design, and content marketing, then WooCommerce is the best option for you. It is an ecommerce plugin that is completely free and lets you turn your WordPress site into a fully functioning WordPress ecommerce store.
So what’s the big deal with a completely customizable site?
You can update and organize the product listings and pages in the most SEO-friendly way, use an unlimited number of plugins to improve the user experience on your site, and upload an unlimited amount of high-quality photos to your heart’s desire…
..not that you necessarily need to do that. But, you know, at least you have the freedom to with a WooCommerce online store. Even if you don’t want to build your own design, you can opt for a modern WooCommerce theme upon installing.
Further WooCommerce Resources:
- 13 Of The Best WooCommerce Blogs To Follow In 2020
- 11 Truly Beautiful Ecommerce Sites Built With WooCommerce
Volusion isn’t often talked about as the best place to run your e-commerce site from, but it should be. The entire experience of working within the responsive design of the Volusion dashboard is much more intuitive than its competitors. Add to that its impressive list of features built right into the dashboard, business owners really have no need to use any other applications to run their successful ecommerce store.
The one downside is that business owners have to manually send emails to their potential customers who have abandoned their carts, unlike the other platforms that automatically send follow-up emails.
But that’s no problem.
Volusion have thoroughly tested their own web design on the checkout page, coming to a version that has lower cart abandonment than the checkout pages of their competitors. Just by using their store builder, your conversion rates will be higher than if you were left to design the shop on your own.
The platform is also designed with search engine optimization in mind, making it easy for you to customize your content for the search engines.
And if you’re on the run?
The Volusion app works with mobile devices, making your ecommerce store accessible from all over the world
The 51 Best Ecommerce Website Designs in 2020 To Inspire You
Even with a website builder, it can sometimes be hard to know where to begin with the design of your online shop. From the product listing to the navigation menu, homepage, ecommerce blog, or product images, it’s super helpful to peek into the way other successful ecommerce businesses are doing things.
Want some web design inspiration?
Here are our favorite examples of beautiful ecommerce website design that we can’t get enough of.
Best Office And Paper Ecommerce Website Designs
450GSM offers amazing prints at low prices
The design is clean, abstract and direct. Both the origami bird and the name (a weight for professional printing paper) indicates the agency’s relationship towards paper and prints.
Twelve South sells phone stands
Twelve South sells accessories for digital devices and has somehow made it a super luxurious experience. The company’s website showcases high-quality images right on their landing page and has a product search where the drop-down menu would be. The entire shopping experience leaves you fantasizing about the ways that their products could improve your life, making the customer much more likely to make a purchase from their ecommerce shop.
Skullcandy sells audio equipment
Skullcandy is an excellent example of the potential ecommerce web design that can be achieved within the ecommerce platform BigCommerce. The website is not only easy to navigate but is also incredibly attractive with its bold colors, sleek product photos, and customizable product recommendations.
Uppercase Magazine offers books
Uppercase Magazine sells books and magazines for the creatively curious. Quite literally, the brand is meant to provide design inspiration for everyone, for anything. Their creative stop-motion product videos are a good example of one way business owners can make their product descriptions more fun as is their entire website design. For serious inspiration on how to create a beautiful e-commerce website, take a look at this company’s website.
CriticalPass offers flashcards for would-be layers
This e-commerce site provides an easy to navigate user interface to better serve its target population, law students studying for the bar exam. By making their products easy to find and their product descriptions exceptionally clear, they are making their ecommerce store the best option for law students who are too time poor to shop around for better options. For examples of ecommerce shops that keep their target audience in mind during the design stages, CriticalPass is a great place to start.
Skyroam sells mobile wifi
Skyroam uses product videos right on their landing page to entice users through the sales funnel. Though the company sells virtually only one product, the shopping experience makes the product look absolutely essential to the user’s life. And that is effective e-commerce web design.
(NOTE: Skyroam uses ReferralCandy for its referral program!)
Best Fashion Ecommerce Website Designs
You don’t need to offer high-end fashion to have a high-end e-commerce website. There are millions of online stores that are geared toward fashion, so you certainly have plenty to look through. Here are some of our favorites based on their e-commerce design, product descriptions, and checkout process.
Threadless sells quirky T-shirts
hardgraft sells bags and apparel
Frank Body talks frank and dirty
We’re a big fan of the excellent copywriting and the authentic voice that helped Frank Body build word-of-mouth for its products
Bellroy offers wallets and more
Freepeople offers clothes
Stacy Adams also offers apparel
Skinny Ties sells, well, it’s in the name really: skinny ties
UG Monk sells tees
Taylor Stitch sells clothes
UNTUCKit sells clothes
(NOTE: UNTUCKit uses ReferralCandy for its referral program!)
Satchel Page sells satchels and bags (but not pages)
Everlane sells clothing and accessories
Read more about Everlane: Radical Transparency: 5 Ways Fashion Retailer Everlane Earned Insane Word-of-Mouth
Norwegian Rain offers stylish raincoats and waterproof shoes
AYR sells clothes
BornShoes sells shoes
Victoire Boutique sells shoes
The Dairy Fairy sells lingerie for mothers
Falve sells hand-crafted menswear
Best Sports And Fitness Ecommerce Website Designs
The sports and fitness ecommerce industry sells items that are not essential to everyday living, which is why many brands take extra care in developing a selling platform that is user friendly, sleek, and responsive.
Best Interior Design And Art Ecommerce Website Designs
Brands that want to showcase their style on their websites can easily do so by sticking with a simple color palette and using a lot of high-quality images. Simple and sleek designs work exceptionally well for interior design and art sites.
Thing Industries offers cute home accessories that are truly eggcellent
Thing Industries’ ecommerce website design lets their products do the talking: beautifully designed products like the pictured egg-hook, banana pillow and brick-wall blankets. Note that the rest of the website is stripped down to simple black text on white background: the design focus your attention on the gorgeous product shots, mixed with excellent product description writing.
Bold & Noble sells prints, papers, and decorative pieces that can be used both in the home and the office. Their responsive web design allows you to scroll through their products right on the homepage, allowing you to browse products before clicking your way further into the company’s website. Just below the high-quality photos that they have prominently displayed on the homepage are customer reviews and brand recognition, which provide social proof within the first minute of exploring the ecommerce shop.
Best Food And Grocery Ecommerce Website Designs
Food and grocery sites are designed to make your life easier, so it makes sense that the common design theme among these sites is quick and easy to navigate. The product categories are prominently displayed right on the homepage and the menus are easy to navigate.
Best Family and Children’s Ecommerce Website Designs
Selling products for mamas and their little ones can be a creative endeavor, as we can see with these two shops below.
Have we managed to get you inspired and raring to go?
Now that you’ll start making your ecommerce website more beautiful – how about getting more customers to come to your store? Consider how else you can improve your store to pull in more customers. When you’re ready, come see how our refer-a-friend tool can plug into your store.
Daniel Tay contributed to an earlier version of this article.