25 Best Website E-commerce Examples to Inspire You
The ability to sell products or services online is a necessity these days. In fact, many businesses never open a brick-and-mortar store and sell exclusively online.
E-commerce has been steadily rising in popularity with consumers. According to recent research, consumers spent around $792 billion online in 2020. That’s an increase of more than 32% over the previous year. As a result, businesses need to prioritize online shops that function well for customers and help them stand out from their competitors. They can sell their products or services through a website builder or create their own e-commerce website.
If you’re looking to launch your own e-commerce website, this article will explore how it works, the different types of platforms to choose from, and high-quality e-commerce website design examples. Click on the links below to jump around:
- What is an e-commerce website, and how does it work?
- Types of e-commerce platforms
- What makes a good e-commerce website?
- 25 best e-commerce website examples
What is an e-commerce website, and how does it work?
The term “e-commerce” simply means electronic commerce—selling and accepting payment online. The concept is often broken down based who the participants are: business to consumer (B2C), business to business (B2B), consumer to business (C2B), consumer to consumer (C2C), business to government (B2G), and government to business (G2B).
One of the biggest benefits of having an e-commerce website for your products and services is the ability to develop a bigger customer base. Because you aren’t selling exclusively from a physical location, you can potentially sell your products globally. There are several other benefits to having an e-commerce website, including:
- Around-the-clock sales: Your website never closes, so potential customers can shop for what they need, no matter the time of day.
- Reduced inventory costs: A brick-and-mortar store has to stay stocked at all times. With an online store, you can potentially keep your inventory low using a tactic called drop shipping. That means you ship to your customer straight from the manufacturer.
- Additional cost savings: An online store saves money on overhead costs, like rent. Online businesses might also require fewer employees.
- Scalability: When you start an e-commerce business, you can start small and grow as you need. If you outgrow your brick-and-mortar store, it can be more difficult to find a new location, which may incur higher costs.
There are a few things you’ll need to build an e-commerce website:
- A domain name for your website that makes it easy for customers to find you
- An SSL certificate to encrypt and safely secure sensitive data, like personal and credit card information
- A shopping cart so customers can easily make purchases
- A merchant services account to accept different payment methods
As you design your site, though, keep your target audience in mind. Make it easy for potential customers to stay and make purchases. Make sure the site adequately features what you’re selling.
Don’t have the time to spend designing a site? Upwork can connect you to professional e-commerce developers who can help design the perfect site for your business.
Types of e-commerce platforms
If you’ve decided to create your e-commerce website through the use of an e-commerce platform, there are three main types you’ll probably run into:
- Headless commerce
It’s good to know at least the basics of what all three offer before making a choice for your business. We’ll go over each one below.
Using open-source software, such as WooCommerce and Magento, means you have access to the source code. That’s important because if you can access the code, you can change it to fully customize the platform to your business. So, if your business needs extensive customization, the sky is the limit.
The source code can be very detailed, though, so it’s usually best to let someone who knows what they’re doing design your website if this is the way you want to go. With Upwork, you don’t necessarily need to understand coding. We can help connect you to professional freelance website developers who know their stuff.
SaaS stands for “software as a service.” With a SaaS platform like BigCommerce or Shopify, you pay a licensing or subscription fee. The platform is then hosted by the provider you purchased it from. That provider is responsible for the maintenance and hosting for as long as you want to pay the fees.
Unlike open-source platforms, you won’t have access to the source code, so it’s not as customizable. Instead, you may have templates you can choose from. However, suppose you don’t want to put the time or resources into customizing and maintaining a platform. In that case, SaaS might be a good option for you.
With headless commerce, you can take your business’s storefront and detach it from the existing e-commerce technology. This makes the most sense for websites that will feature content experiences like influencer advertising or showcase lifestyle products in an interactive way. The e-commerce technology is then plugged in on the backside of the website to take care of sales and payment card industry (PCI) compliance.
What makes a good e-commerce website?
Before creating your e-commerce website, it’s a good idea to look around and find out what makes an e-commerce website great. The ideal e-commerce website should be visually appealing, with a clean design, and keep user experience front and center but also be something that won’t create a lot of extra headaches for you as the business owner.
Here are a few things to consider:
- Navigation: Having clear navigation throughout your site will make it easy for your customers to get where they want to be quickly and easily.
- Quality landing page: Your site’s landing page is where you’ll make your first impression. Keep it fairly simple so customers don’t get frustrated and leave before they even get started. Include links to top-selling products, featured videos, and product categories that are descriptive and listed in order of popularity. You may also want to consider including a product search bar, store locator where applicable, and customer service contact information. A link to the customer’s shopping cart will ensure they always know where to find it.
- Site search options: This plays more of a role as your product line grows, but it’s also an area that, if improved, can make a big impact on your site. The best search options give quality results, auto-suggest keywords, top links, and return visual results. The search option should also understand nuances like plural or singular case, your brand spellings, and common misspellings.
- Product information: Make sure you provide enough information when writing your product descriptions and that you use similar information across similar products. Keep your technical specs detailed and include product photos. The best sites also provide a tool to compare products.
- Store locator: If you have a brick-and-mortar store, include a store locator on your site for the customers who want to visit you in person. A good one is easy to find on both the main menu and all product pages, includes the important information for each of your locations, and offers directions.
25 best e-commerce website design examples
If you’re sold on creating an e-commerce site for your business, it’s time to look for some inspiration. Here are 25 examples of e-commerce websites that do it well and why we think they might be a good reference for you when creating your own e-commerce webpage:
Larq is driving customers to join the Bottle Movement and purchase their self-cleaning, reusable water bottles and pitcher. They do that effectively with a site that’s easy to navigate through the use of a navigation bar at the top of the page. It also includes a trending now section on the homepage. Their design is crisp and visually appealing, with clean and beautiful product images.
The website is made even more engaging with the use of animations throughout the site, including moving clouds and floating bottles and useful technological explanations. There’s even an interactive plastic waste calculator.
The team at Burrow promises a new approach to furniture with their modular items. Their website promises a different experience, as well. The entire site is streamlined using both the top navigation bar and a large section of the landing page to find specific types of products or compare products. This makes it easy for customers to find what they want, make customizations, and order—with as few clicks as possible. Rather than ask you to read information, they use their homepage to show you a video, so you see their value right off the bat.
Introducing the e-tailoring world to wedding planning, Revelry offers swatches, free sample delivery, and at-home try-ons for the entire bridal party. Their website is just as revolutionary as their business. Their category navigation is easy to follow—broken down between finding swatches, how to try dresses on at home, colors, and even an inspiration page for someone just starting to plan their wedding. It helps their customers easily find the category, style, material, and color they want.
Their design, use of images, and font selections make the website colorful and engaging. They take customer engagement a step further with their accessibility features. By clicking on the little stick figure on the bottom left of the screen, the customer can pick a profile to change the website for their needs. Options include seizure safe, prompts for the visually impaired, keyboard navigation, and more.
Skullcandy sells earbuds, headphones, and accessories that connect people to music. Their website makes it easy to see why they’re so popular. The entire site has its signature black background, contrasted by images full of bright colors.
Skullcandy has a lot of product options, but they organize them well. When you begin to shop, there are sections for true wireless, earbuds, headphones, or sale. Even within earbuds, though, customers will find another menu where they can select from wired or wireless. Their pages are also detailed with specs and include video reviews.
5. Solo stove
Solo Stove says their products are durable, easy, and worth the price. Their website enforces this idea with how-to videos and illustrations, as well as extensive FAQ sections. They took it a step further, though, with the custom icons for each category that help consumers know what is being sold.
The site navigation is well-organized. From the homepage, the top navigation bar breaks down products by type, and it also includes a search option. The site also incorporates a little fun with a quiz to find your perfect fire pit.
When you visit the skincare brand Bliss website, you’ll immediately feel like you’re visiting an old friend. This is a company using their site to enforce their brand in all the best ways—from the three colors that make up the color scheme throughout the site to the copy on everything that makes it clear what the products are and what the company stands for, like being cruelty-free and planet-friendly. They are also a good example of incorporating influencer content with their @bliss section.
7. The Mountain
The Mountain is a great example of a company with a lot of options to keep things streamlined for its customers. The Mountain offers a variety of clothing, drinkware, and more with a focus on sustainability. Their site makes great use of its navigation bar, product categories, and service banner to organize the site. They also use their sliders to draw your attention to new or seasonal offerings.
Most people have heard of Apple and its products—with iPhones, iPads, Apple Watch, and more. Apple makes use of high-quality photos to display its products. Beyond that, they keep their site organized, so consumers don’t get lost among all the options. Comparing products is a breeze with side-by-side tech specifications. They also provide an easy checkout process.
Grovemade makes desk organization and accessory products. Their website uses a simple and classic design with large glamour shots of desks featuring their high-quality products. In addition to the typical navigation menus, the homepage has options to shop for more than just featured products. Customers looking for a little inspiration for their home office can find some creative solution options with the click of a button.
10. Spectacles by Snap
Spectacles by Snap sells spectacles with 3D photo and video capabilities. Beyond that, their website does an incredible job with its organization and use of images and information to pull the customer in. It also has created a section for creators that features artists, filmmakers, and coders from around the world. Its checkout is very simple and easy to navigate—and it includes Apple Pay.
Amazon is one of the largest e-commerce stores there is. It’s also a great example of a site that uses its design to make it easy for customers to navigate to what they want. Their search engine allows for basic searches and provides filters to help customers find what they need with minimum effort.
Their navigation menu breaks down by best sellers, Amazon Basics, Prime, new releases, books, and more. When you scroll through the home screen, it also shows shoppers’ current deals.
The popular music streaming platform Spotify not only has a website that uses design elements to entice and inform the customer, but it’s also a cinch to navigate. They keep it simple. The navigation bar has options for their premium account, customer support, and downloading the app onto supported devices. You can sign up for a free or premium account or log in if you’re already a customer. Spotify’s sign-up page is easy to use and can be completed using a Facebook account for people who want to skip filling in all the fields.
Lookback is a company that provides software to test websites, apps, and other prototypes. They use their website layout to make you feel at home with their font and illustrations. They then pair that with a product video that is well done and informative—and easy to find front and center on the homepage.
Scrolling down the homepage will show other features that potential customers can find useful. Their navigation bar is easy to use with a products drop-down menu, pricing, and help options. They also have a button to try the software for free that’s featured prominently in several places.
Bacca sells hand-made wooden stands that can be used for instruments or laptops. They feature their products front and center on the site by using beautiful images with no background. Hence, they pop against the background color of the site itself. The product pages also have a full-width mode that makes it easy to see every detail. The navigation bar even includes an option to change the currency on their pricing.
The team at Framer provides interactive design tools for designers, engineers, product managers, and teams. They say they want to help you bring your static designs to life, and they have used their own site to demonstrate what’s possible.
The website is full of videos that show shoppers how to use their products, collaborate together, and what their products can do. The navigation bar organizes the information well and includes a showcase to see a “best of” collection. Throughout the site, you’ll find reminders that you can sign up for free.
Working with Glyph will result in a new resume that they claim is simple and stunning. Their website carries that feeling with their own minimalist design and simple content that gets the point across. They use a lot of white space to call out their content and showcase the bold fonts they’ve selected. Their navigation menu is also simple, with options for pricing, help, and their blog. It also features a sign-in option, which is done through Twitter.
Onfleet provides tracking and delivery management software. Their website utilizes a clean layout and pairs it with a lot of visual examples showing how their software works. They also use a lot of animations that are visually appealing and, when clicked, provide more information. On almost every page, there is a button to encourage potential customers to start their free trial or contact sales, which gives ample opportunity to convert sales.
The first aid company Welly is a perfect example of the minimalistic e-commerce experience. They keep their white space and use only a few other branded colors. Using their colors in this way makes it user-friendly and easy to see their call to action (CTA), which is a good way to increase conversion rates.
They contrast that white space with large, simple, and colorful photos of their products. They also incorporate some fun animations. For example, if you click on the “Inside the Tin” option, there is an animation of their bandages that pairs with helpful product information.
Bite sells all-natural toothpaste. Bites’ website uses design elements and typography to engage the consumer. They also feature plenty of social proof by including reviews from publications, links to which are featured on the homepage. They also have plenty of customer reviews and testimonials to help potential customers feel good about making a purchase.
They have fun animations, like spinning or moving products, that capture your attention. The photography and informative elements seal the deal. Another neat element of the site is a speech bubble that follows you as you scroll down. It’s on the bottom right corner, and you can click on it at any time to find answers to your questions.
20. Simply Chocolate
Simply Chocolate does things a little differently, and their website is an engaging reflection of that—starting with their sideways navigation menu.
The pages focus on being interactive and dynamic to keep customers shopping, starting with their homepage, which has an animation of moving candy bits to entertain you while deciding where to go next. Their product pages feature beautiful glamour shots of the product and information on nutrition and ingredients. The best part, though, is the checkout page. They’ve made it as easy as possible with all the information collected on one page, which means fewer clicks.
Smokehaus is an online butcher shop with the look of a brick-and-mortar storefront. The site uses a slider to find products that mimic what you would find in your neighborhood butcher shop, and they have included some tips on how to use the feature on their landing page.
If you prefer, you can navigate the top bar easily, as it’s organized by type of product. A tips section informs customers on how to store meat, the shelf life, and what to avoid. They also found a way to increase the personal shopping experience with messages that pop up every time you add something to your cart. As you add things to your cart, you can click to see what’s in your bag or click straight to checkout.
22. Vegan Essentials
Vegan Essentials is an online vegan grocery. You might expect that the site would have a lot of different products to offer, and you would be right. However, they’ve done a great job of categorizing and tagging their products to make them easy to find. The search function is prominently displayed at the top of each web page. The category page is neatly organized with great use of white space.
They’ve also made it super easy to learn more about the company, with an About Us link included in the top navigation bar. The shopping cart even displays the total amount due depending on the products added.
Clothing site Protest has something to teach us. The company uses a clean design and white space to feature colorful photography of its products. They also allow customers to shop the looks instead of finding one piece of clothing at a time. The site has set up filters that allow customers to shop by the features they want in their clothing, as well.
24. Nova Smart Home
Based in Iceland, Nova Smart Home is a unique site offering smart home devices. The site is interactive for its customers through an interactive 3D house. You can also select a product category, and the page will show you where it’s used and all the products you can choose from in that category.
Offering an e-commerce help desk for customer service needs, Gorgias is another example of how an e-commerce site can combine color and layout with a sleek, minimalist look to make it easy for their customers to stay, learn, and purchase.
The CTA is front and center, with a space for customers to fill in their work email and sign up for free. The navigation bar also stands out nicely, contrasted with the lighter background. There’s also a chat box that pops up as soon as you land on the website, making it easy for customers to get the support they need.
For almost any business, having an e-commerce site has become a necessity. However, creating a site that brings customers back time and again while fighting against a sea of competitors can take a little more thought.
Making the right decision on platform and design can boost you to the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs). If you’re running a small business, though, it’s likely you don’t have the time or web design background, but that’s OK. Upwork can offer you some of the best e-commerce developers in the business who can work with you on your e-commerce website design.
Upwork is not affiliated with and does not sponsor or endorse any of the tools or services discussed in this section. These tools and services are provided only as potential options, and each reader and company should take the time needed to adequately analyze and determine the tools or services that would best fit their specific needs and situation.