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More than 20% of online shoppers cite bad site design and navigation as a primary reason for abandoning a cart or choosing simply not to check out with an individual retailer. Further contributing to conversion issues are leading marketplaces like Amazon or eBay, where consumers have become accustomed to a particular way of shopping, a large part of why more than half of them begin their online product search on those platforms.
Independent stores are losing out on mindshare here –– and while search engine optimization helps drive the other half of online shoppers who begin their product search on Google, one thing is abundantly clear: the function of individual online stores has fundamentally changed.
In the current omni-channel retail environment, online storefronts are no longer simply a brand’s digital checkout. They must be also shopping destinations providing unique online experiences unparalleled by competitors or the industry at large. Your ecommerce website is a form of media –– owned media –– and you must begin thinking of it in this way.
Doug Stephens of the Retail Prophet suggests that brands today need “to move hearts and minds – to sell the idea, essence and values of the brand – all of which has more traditionally been viewed as the role of media.”
This isn’t easy to do, and the manifestation of doing so varies across verticals and catalog sizes.
So, we here at BigCommerce set out to engage brands on our platform to show us their innovative online storefronts and find the best ecommerce sites from around the world –– ones that drive engagement and conversions, not just “Oohs” and “Ahhs,” (though those are important, too). We looked for brands who are challenging the traditional idea of an online shopping cart and embedding their ecommerce site designs with high-quality content reminiscent of media businesses that keeps customers coming back, and their brand top of mind.
Below, you will find our top five winners, chosen by an expert panel of judges including Josh Bisch, lead designer at Uber, Mike Morello, chief operating officer of digital at Inc. Magazine, LaQuan Smith, founder and designer of the LaQuan Smith celebrity fashion brand, and Andrea Wagner, head of design at BigCommerce. Following the winners, you’ll see our top 15 finalists as well as an additional 57 honorable mentions.
May these stores help to inspire your brand to take your website to the next level of interaction, engagement and conversion.
BigCommerce Website Design Award Winners
Marucci Sports – Best Overall Site Design
“About a year ago, we made the decision to replatform from our old, slow, outdated, hard-to-maintain ecommerce platform to BigCommerce. We knew that our design had begun to show its age, so we wanted to use the opportunity to rebuild from the ground up. We hired our first web designer, and set to work creating the new maruccisports.com.
Our primary source of design inspiration was our vast library of player shots with Big League baseball players. When we set out to design the site during the move to BigCommerce, we wanted to build layouts that highlighted the amazing relationships we have with these players. Our overarching goal was to interweave the story of Marucci, which was founded by two former Big Leaguers, into every page on the site. We have a ton to be proud of, and we wanted to showcase that to the world.
The new design was built from the ground up to focus on mobile devices (which represent over 60% of our traffic). Since our launch in November, we’ve seen a 50% increase in our mobile conversions, and a 24% increase in our tablet conversions.”
– Diana Perkins, Lead Web Designer
Di Bruno – Best in Food and Beverage
“When you enter our site, you are immediately immersed in our products and brand. From there, users explore cheeses, cured meats, and our gift offering to discover something new and exciting – we love knowing they are feeling inspired and will have a phenomenal experience while enjoying or gifting our products.
One of our favorite features is the short descriptions on the products when you are viewing them in the product category pages. If you are interested in trying a new cheese, you can browse through and select based on images and get a short preview of what the cheese tastes like or what makes it special. Knowing people have a sense of discovery when looking through our site is really energizing and mimics the customer experience in store as close as possible.
Our results since the redesign:
- Conversion rate jump from 1.70% to 2.40% YOY
- Revenue increase of 34% from June 2015 – May 2016 vs. previous year
- Internet Retailer named site in the Top 100 of 2016
– Janeane Tolomeo, Marketing and Content Manager
Nine Line Apparel – Best in Apparel
“We are constantly changing our website. It was a natural process of evolving with the digital age. We found over the past year that roughly 75% of our new users are on mobile and tablet platforms. Our development team wanted to focus on ‘mobile first’ design so we started testing our design concept on mobile devices. We pulled a lot of inspiration from the best practices while implementing customer feedback we have received since the company started. We never want to become complacent, and have always evolved to provide our customers the best experience we can offer.
Since our latest design update in April, our mobile conversion rate has increased by 1.24%. We have also seen an increase in our desktop conversion rate by 1%. Overall, we are having around a 4-5% conversion rate with our daily 10k users, something we haven’t seen since our huge holiday rush during December. We have also decreased our bounce rate on mobile by 11% and desktop bounce rate has decreased by 5%”
BigCommerce Partner Used: Weizen Young
SISU Guard – Best in Sports
“We are deeply honored to have been selected as the Sports Category winner of the Big Commerce Design Awards. As a CEO of a company that offers a great product, I already knew that with SISU we had something special. But I am sincerely grateful for the recognition from BigCommerce, and the opportunity to be featured as their showcase website in Inc. Magazine.
Considering the amount of websites that are hosted on BigCommerce, I should admit I was pleasantly surprised to learn that SISU was chosen as one of the most excellent on this platform. I am very pleased to receive this award pleased because it is an award recognizing our exceptional marketing team, our phenomenal partners and above all, the customers who are the strongest brand advocates of SISU Mouthguards. And, I have to express my gratitude to all the SISU fans who were excited about our nomination and worked so hard to help us win.”
– Sassa Akervall, CEO
Sierra Designs – People’s Choice
“We decided it was a great time for a redesign because we were replatforming our ecommerce website and transitioning over to BigCommerce. We had some navigation issues on desktop and a separate mobile site that didn’t make for a seamless user experience. We were inspired by some of the other leading outdoor brand’s sites and their clean aesthetic, lifestyle driven photography, as well as the responsive designs we were seeing from those competitors.
This is the first redesign that the current team was a part of, but we can happily say that metrics are up year over year. There are certainly a lot of factors involved, but the updated user experience has had positive effect on conversion. We’re also excited about the flexibility that working with BigCommerce has provided. With lower development costs, we’re able to experiment and work with new vendors that can potentially bring more value to the consumer.”
– Cory Barnes, Marketing Manager
BigCommerce Partner Used: Weizen Youngs
BigCommerce Design Award Finalists
“Our design was driven by the redesign of our store logo – a mid-century modern sunburst with our store name at the top, and a tagline below. We were searching for a store theme that would allow us to feature the logo, centered, on the storefront. We also wanted a theme that had a lot of white/negative space so that the store theme would showcase the items on our store, rather than overshadow them.
Upgrading to a BigCommerce-designed theme was a huge win for us. We now have complete control over the minor changes we wish to make on our store, and our customers have noticed, too! Everyone remarks on the beautiful design and comments on what a clean store we have. We find that publications are more inclined to promote our store because of the new design, and vendors who have said ‘no’ to us in the past are now selling their products to us because of the improved, professional look. We adopted the new theme in the second quarter of 2015.
Comparing our stats from 2014, here is what we saw:
- Store sales went up 320%
- Orders increased 450%
- Conversion rates increased 410%
For 2016, we don’t have visibility on all of our stats, due to some changes on the backend of the store. But, when comparing numbers for the same time period in 2015, this is what we are seeing:
- Store sales are up 43%
- Visitors are up 35%
We’re very happy with the choice we made to move forward with a new theme – it’s made our business a hugely successful one.”
– Elizabeth Przygoda-Montgomery, Owner
“I love antique and vintage styles, anything white, gold or pink. Also, I love patterns of all kinds. So with that being said, my website completely reflects me and the look that I want Dainty Jewell’s to have. It’s a feminine, elegant, light and fresh website to inspire other ladies. What made it even better is I explained this all to my site design team and, within a few weeks, they made it happen almost exactly how I imagined.”
– Charity Jewell Walter, President and CEO
“Initially, I set out to do a small brand refresh, and as I got deeper into it, it became clear that the website, as our number one information source to mamas, needed to reflect our brand and mission more accurately. The challenge was to showcase the loving bond between mama and baby while at the same time, the reality of the challenges that come with breastfeeding and pumping.
While not necessarily ‘sexy’ or glamorous, nourishing a little human being is pretty remarkable and I wanted that to reflect in our site. As I delved deeper into what that looked like, it became obvious that the website needed a major overhaul, with true to life photography and more ease of use and navigability for sleep deprived and time constrained mamas.
This is my second design. The original was done completely on my own. Most of the photos were of myself in the product and shot against a white wall. It really feels like this site is so much more professional and, of course, that does contribute to increased sales and traffic.”
– Emily Ironi, Founder
“We believe a visit to a company’s website is the first impression to a potential customer. Sure, a customer may have seen us on a third party website or come across our product through one of their friends; however, it isn’t until you visit a company’s website for the first time when you get a real sense of who they are and what they are all about. With that in mind, we kept the different thoughts that would run through our customer’s head when visiting our home page. No matter what our customer is looking for, navigating through our website should lead them right to where they need to go.”
– James Mercado, Sales Support Manager
“For over a decade, our service was known as Missions Linked. We started a rebrand and decided that we also wanted to change our name to Commission Creative. Our existing site design was outdated and wasn’t responsive. The new website was a central part of the rebrand as it’s the way most of our customers find us. The process started with a new logo and brand identity. Our goal was to create an interface that showed off our design work and explained the why behind what we do as well as how simple the process is. This was a challenge because we aren’t simply selling a product, but a design service with a printed product included as well as some design only products.
This iteration is version seven of our site, counting our previous name. It’s our second custom design we have done on the BigCommerce platform. We have seen 2% increase in goal conversions since the launch, compared to the same period the previous year. Average order value is up 4.4%. The abandoned cart recovery feature and email integration with MailChimp has helped with conversions as well. Taking into account that we also just did a name change, we think the site is performing well.”
– Aaron Van Gorp, Managing Director
“My site design came about through collaboration with a company called Esctasoft. I had the design concept in my mind. I wanted a site that was simple, clean, cheerful and would play off the logo. From that point, Esctasoft started work and I continued to give feedback through completion. When I first started, I was still deciding what exactly I wanted to sell, along the way, those ideas changed and I settled on the matching concept after going to buy a dress for myself and wishing I was able to purchase one for my daughter. After the slight redesign, I started to have more traffic and conversions on the website and got my first sale a few months later.”
– Carmen, CEO
“After transitioning from WordPress, we sought a design that was easy for soccer referees to find what they needed. We wanted to feature big images, quick links to product categories, and build customer loyalty with a professional design. Some of the inspiration came from our competitors, but also big brand stores like Bloomingdales, Macy’s, and Amazon. We also had the design cloned for our Hubspot platform where our blog posts go viral in the soccer world.”
– Jason Sholl, President and CEO
“While a large percentage of our business comes from dedicated landscape lighting designers we also cater to those new to business and coming from professions like landscape design, irrigation, lawn maintenance, etc. We needed to build a digital solution that not only made sense for the typical customer but one that helped our novice customer make experienced pro choices.
This is our first design for this site and it is still a constant work in progress. I think it is important to note that my team has worked with enterprise solutions such as Demandware and Mozu, in addition to more budget friendly platforms such as Volusion and Shopify. This same store with identical functionality on the Demandware or Mozu platforms would have cost us $250,000 to build and then an additional $100k to $500k per year for the platform.
The amazing part is that the BigCommerce platform has more certified partners capable of quality custom code work, it is in many ways more customizable than any other enterprise solution and the store hasn’t gone down once since launch. I truly believe that BigCommerce will quickly become the death of many of these very outdated million dollar commerce solutions.”
– Zack Miller, Marketing Director
“Beyond having a user friendly website, we wanted the design to reflect the fun and joy associated with playgrounds. This is why we chose very bold and bright colors, and used photos that captured the happiness of kids playing. The website very much fits in line with what we are selling and who our products are for, and that was one of our biggest goals with the site design.
We worked with Eamon Rodeck and his awesome team at Sprout Commerce (now Weizen Young). They were absolutely wonderful to work with and had the expertise to make it happen. We love the end result.
This was not our first redesign, but the first time we addressed many best practices for conversion rate optimization as well as making the site entirely mobile friendly. Because our previous design was not terrible, we did not see any huge gains in conversion rates, however, I think the new design put us in the best possible position for future growth and needs of our customers as they expect to shop more on their phones and tablets.”
– Andrew St. Hilaire, Product and Web Manager
BigCommerce Partner Used: Weizen Young
“Torie’s interior design background inspired the design.”
– Chris Lockwood, Inside Sales Rep
Best Ecommerce Website Design Examples – Honorable Mentions
“The site was inspired by the simplicity of modern layouts, including larger simpler buttons, white spacing, reactive banners and marketing forms. The simplicity of adding an existing template to a BigCommerce store gave our partner – Selawik Retail – the flexibility to customize the design without having to change code.
One of the biggest changes we made was to the ‘Add To Cart’ button. Simply changing it from black to a blue color has reduced abandoned carts by up to 50%.
We are at the first stages of our development program for our ecommerce site. Using the OneViewPlus CMS from Selawik Retail to manage our product catalogue has also been a huge advantage, as we are easily able to create multi-variants that sync with our BigCommerce store and our EPOS system as well as give us real-time multi-location stock control.”
– Jeremy Hagon, Marketing Manager
“I have a passion for woodworking and wanted to be able to reach a larger audience with our hardwood countertops. We wanted a design with plenty of white space to showcase photos of the beautiful custom hardwood countertops we make. This is our second website design and also the second iteration on that design. We focused heavily on the product page with this round. Revenue has grown about 70% YoY and this has led to 5x revenue currently as compared to the initial design.”
– Joe Armani, Founder and CEO
“Our site was inspired by a few favorite websites which helped us decide on a desired layout, and by our brand culture which revolves around family and expressing a cheerful emotional connection. We wanted something that was colorful, with bright and joyful images as well as a clean and simple layout for easy navigation.
We have seen an amazing increase in site traffic, pages per session, average session duration and – most importantly – conversion rate. Site traffic has grown by 116% and we’ve seen a 45% growth in revenue so far. This is all within the first six months of our redesign.”
– Tali Zipper, Vice President of Marketing
“I designed the website myself and came up with a few rough creatives before adapting them into a template. I wanted a simplistic, modern feel that was easy to use and hence started with a basic theme, which allowed me to mold the site into what it is today.
This is our first design, however we constantly keep this updated and change things along the way when required to improve the experience for our customers. We haven’t measured ROI to customers specifically in relation to the design aspect of the site, however we have been growing much more so since implementing the new design.”
– Anand Chouhan, Company Director
“The site design was inspired by the fun and colorful branding, typography and photography that we used for the initial brand launch for Blanki. We wanted the site to be visually appealing yet simple, hence the use of the large, colorful images on the landing page. The design and implementation was completed in-house by our resident graphic designer, Katie, and my husband and co-owner, Troy, whose background is in web development.”
– Fee Gange, Co-Founder
“Our brand aesthetic is very clean and minimalist, with a moderate amount of bohemian flair cutting through –– mainly through the imagery that we create and use. We had a very strong vision of what we wanted the site achieve visually, while maximizing the usage of services available through our BigCommerce Enterprise agreement.
We took some elements from our existing store, some inspiration from various other online spaces (galleries, ecommerce sites, art sites, etc.) along with our own ideas and honed the vision of what we wanted store to look like. We then worked in conjunction with our site designers to achieve that functionality and aesthetic in the final product.”
– David Berlach, Founder
“The design for BRAVE Leather was inspired by the desire to have a simple, clean design that makes it easy for customers to shop and find the products they are looking for. We also wanted the website to have fresh storefront graphics which are easy to change on a weekly basis.
We are pleased with our website redesign and feel it was highly successful. Not only does the website look great, but giving our customers an enhanced web experience has increased sales and is helping to establish a solid brand presence for BRAVE in a highly competitive fashion business.
This redesign helped us increase our ROI. A year after our redesign in 2014, we more than doubled our online sales, online traffic and conversion rate. We continue to see an average increase of 50% for traffic, sales and transactions in 2015 and this trend has continued into 2016.”
– Diane Kolar, Ecommerce Manager
“The design was inspired by our clothing collection, Claridge + King. C + K is a line of women’s clothing inspired — in large part — by the classicism found in menswear tailoring and the natural fabrics utilized. Like menswear pieces that often don’t date as quickly as trend-driven fashions for women do, our desire was to create a timeless, beautiful site design that felt fresh.
We also aimed to make it very user friendly for our online customers, not only in an easy-to-navigate site, but we designed specific customizations like our Toolbox on each product page that houses important details that make the buying process easier for a first-time or longtime customer. This includes sizing charts specific to that particular garment to details on the garment’s care.”
– Laurann Claridge, Co-Founder
“Our company sells environmental safety products, everything from hazardous containment for ebola to the collection and reusing of rainwater at home. We were inspired to create a design that flowed well and held onto this important message without being over-the-top eco-fashion.
The design and site is always growing and adapting, but we have not had to do a full redesign as the BigCommerce platform allows us to make changes quickly and easily and that helps us keep moving forward.”
– Charles W., Sales Director
“We want our website design to reflect our brand image: minimal, clean, not cluttered and easy to use. We browsed a lot of other ecommerce websites our team liked and found out what the common aspect of those sites was and started from there.
Since the redesign, we’ve see a lift on our ROI, from around 2% to 3%.”
– Phoebe Yu, CEO
“Our new design came about because of a need for an updated look to modern web trends. A responsive design was needed, as well as a clean and streamlined feel. We worked with Nicholas Kosanovich at Striking Alchemy who has been working with BigCommerce for quite some time. He also designed our second layout for this site (the current layout is the third). With a good portion of our customers being from mobile devices, I feel that conversions have gone up a decent amount.”
– Mark Biletnikoff, Owner
“My site design came about as a result of wanting a website that had a more minimalistic look. I was more concerned with offering my customers a high-quality product photo that told the story of the items that they were going to buy. Everything else was something that I wanted to compliment the product listings with. The design is inspired by a more clean looking and simpler concept.
I’ve seen an increase in overall traffic and sales. My customers constantly compliment my website design. I’ve seen my conversion rates go from 1.5% on average to about 2.5-3% on average. So I am very happy overall!”
– Gerard Aflague, Founder, Designer
“As we were developing the concept for Gitli Goods, it became very clear that we would launch as an ecommerce business only. That meant that the website needed to be outstanding. My background is in retail merchandising and store design, so I wanted to make sure that the site clearly conveyed the brand message and was easy for customers to navigate. I spent a lot of time shopping other online retailers, throughout various markets, and made a list of what I felt were important attributes to the type of site that I wanted for Gitli Goods.
We worked with and continue to work with 3 Seed Marketing, Design and Interactive. They used a BigCommerce theme that we chose for the starting point and customized what they needed to as they built out the site.
This is our first design and I am very happy with what we have developed. The store has been live for a little over two years now and we see consistent traffic from new and repeat visitors daily and sales are continuing to grow.”
– Monica Dowling, Owner and Co-founder
“Our objective when designing the Green Glass Company website was to provide consumers with a great shopping experience. We want them to quickly understand what is unique about the product – glassware made from the top and bottom of re-purposed bottles – and to be able to easily browse through the entire product line. We really thought about the potential mindset of consumers as they entered the site and tried to answer their questions along their visit. Some come in to shop for a gift, some look for certain colors to match their tableware, some to procrastinate.
We also looked at the site as a branded display: the color, font and images chosen are aligned to everything we do under the Green Glass brand and developed to visually augment the design of our products. The background is very neutral so that the eye focuses on the product instead. Despite the ‘Green;’ in our name and the environmental mission of the company, we do not use a lot of green on the site because it can clash easily with our forest and evergreen collections.”
– Severine Zaslavski, President
“We did a lot of research on websites that our customers frequently visit. It took an incredible amount of hard work and an open mind to decide which design our followers would find easy, usable and enjoyable.
Hippie Butter has had many website designs over our five years at BigCommerce. We like to change the look and feel of our website whenever BigCommerce upgrades its great themes and templates. Our newest theme has doubled our conversion rate and raised our average order by 33%.”
– Brad Ervin, Founder
“We have always had a ‘basketball’ look to our site and wanted to keep it but tone it back from previous looks. We wanted it to be crisp and clean, yet let anyone visiting our site know we love basketball and make our site memorable vs. the cookie cutter cut-and-paste merchants.
[The re-platform and redesign] wasn’t as difficult as we thought and we didn’t lose any traffic or search rankings. We stayed right where we were and actually improved our rankings. Everything is so much better for the customers. Everything is so much better for us in running the store as well.”
– Chris Hungerford, Owner
“Our inspiration [for the site] came from the type of products we sell: modern & contemporary furniture. It was important for us to have a site that reflected the style and design of our furniture by using homepage sliders, a sticky navigation bar, cool banners, etc. It was also very important to have a site that is easy for customers to find what they are looking for. Modern & contemporary furniture can be quite broad in style, so we needed to have detailed categories, product filters and collection pages that were specific to each style.”
– Jackie Kraehe, Founder
“Our site design actually came about after viewing competitors sites that seemed cluttered and confusing. Our target audience is the college-aged sorority girl and we know that they have a million things going on at one time. Creating a site that is visually overwhelming, confusing and packed full of too much information was a turn off to me and I know could have the same effect on our customer. We have only a small amount of time to engage our customer to the point of making a purchase, so our first impression had to grab them. Additionally, our products are so highly customizable, we had to create a look and feel that was as streamlined and clean as possible — to make navigating the customization process of apparel as straightforward and easy as possible. We took inspiration from companies that were popular with our demographic, offered a site that was pleasing to the eye, and were easy to navigate.
Our sales were so greatly increased that we actually faced some pretty significant growing pains due to not having the adequate space and employees to handle our incredible growth. It forced us to break our lease and move to a space three times as big, as well as increase our workforce. We feel confident, since we are solely an internet-based business, that it is directly related to our new design. Our customers enjoy their shopping experience and even customers new to the world of sorority apparel find that navigating the design process is made easy and self explanatory thanks to the proprietary modules we have created to help with the process.”
– Jenna Dunaway, President
“We have always wanted our products to ‘pop’ off the page, so we want the website to have an uncluttered, clean look and feel. We believe in a simple, ‘less is more’ design philosophy, and we want our products to be easy to find. Additionally, we consider joovy.com an ‘informational’ site more than an ecommerce site. We want customers to feel welcome, informed and educated, and then we let them choose whether to buy from one of our retail partners or from us.”
Success metrics since the redesign:
- Users: +18% YOY
- Sessions: +35% YOY
- Pageviews: -1% YOY
- Avg Pages/Session: -20% YOY
- Site Revenue: +81% YOY
– Greg Gardner, Vice President of Operations
“We were looking to update our website design and wanted to incorporate more imagery and graphics. The theme we selected allows us to showcase our products, athletes and partners in a unique manner that sets us apart in our industry. We were looking to incorporate lifestyle images that connected water polo players with the highest level athletes. Because we are the Competitive Gear Sponsor for the 2016 USA Men’s and Women’s Olympic Team, we are able to really dive into connecting those athletes with the individual athlete. Our goal is always to come full circle in creating and developing opportunities for young water polo athletes to achieve their goal to someday reach the national level.
This is our second redesign and we have gotten nothing but positive feedback from our customers. The upgrade has not gone unnoticed –– from the look and feel of the website, to the ease of exploring, shopping and checking out. The new theme has really given us an opportunity to allow our customer base to interact with the website and products more than we were able to in the past.
Sales have grown over 75% in the last six months, just because of this change.”
– Alex Young, General Manager
For more on Kap7, read the inspiring story of how 2 Olympic athletes entered a whole new field of competition.
“We wanted our site to be as clean, striking and easy to navigate as possible. The idea that we kept coming back to is that of a dashboard. Our customers are busy women who don’t have a ton of time to shop. We wanted to make it really easy for them to access everything they need, whether it’s to find a dress or to contact customer service.
We also looked a lot at posted design from the 1930s-1960s, which tended to a very angular, geometric vibe while also staying very graphically crisp. That frequently meant shapes overlaid on large swaths of white background, which we gravitated toward.
We worked with Atelier Cho Thompson to create both our logo and the framework for our homepage. I cannot recommend them highly enough. It was 100% their idea to connect what we verbalized about our brand – strong, clear, customer-friendly – to a graphic theme that felt just right for us. We also worked with Sitetech Media to adapt a BigCommerce theme into Atelier Cho Thompson’s design. Just as I said before, I cannot recommend them highly enough – not only are they incredibly adept at BigCommerce, they are really easy to work with.
I should note that both teams were led by women. It was really important to us that everyone working on the site reflect our audience.”
– Merin Guthrie, Founder and CEO
“We took our inspiration from our own personalities and our geographic local. We wanted something that reflected the urban life and image we live and sell to. At the same time, an ecommerce site needs to be functional and easy to navigate, giving your customers plenty of access and opportunities to buy.
Originally, we saw that our customers had some issues with product selection and getting to what they wanted efficiently. So we worked with the developer to streamline the shopping process and clarify choices, all the while incorporating our brand style. It’s always a blend of function and style for us. Doing this enabled us to improve our conversion rate and increase our sales averages.”
– Robin Laatz, Managing Partner
“We are a custom gaming controller company and really wanted a well branded, bright and feature-packed site that was simple to navigate so that our custom controllers can be showcased well along with being easy to customize and purchase.
Like most websites starting out, we have had a few templates over the years just trying to find what we were looking for. This included special modifications by developers. Unfortunately it’s hard to find a developer that’s going to understand the ideas you have without knowing your industry (especially in a niche market) and without having a huge budget. After we took the job on ourselves, we have seen a growth in sales and even positive feedback from our customers about the design. Your website is your store front and if it’s overwhelming or not very inviting, you may lose business.”
– Ryan Grover, KwikBoy Modz
“Growing up in the Deep South, I’ve had a lifetime passion for American craftsmanship. Just before designing and launching the website, I met a master woodturner. Seeing the beautiful workmanship in his bowls and the artistic photography of his workshop, and hearing the passion in his voice as he talked about his trade — it made me realize how committed he is to teaching younger generations. It all took me back to spending time with my dad in his workshop, listening to him tell stories and being fascinated with the fact that he could make anything.
That was my ‘aha’ moment as to how the website should look, sound and feel – like you are 1:1 with a master craftsman in his workshop, watching him work and listening to his engaging storytelling, with a touch of nostalgia. We wanted our site to be a reminder of the ‘good ole’ days’ when more people were self-sufficient.
To give the consumer that rich experience, we went with a website with a neutral and home-y palette that really showcases the amazing talent of the makers and honors their brands. Our website has videos to give shoppers an inside peak into the makers workshops (including the master woodturner who was my inspiration), blogs giving an in-depth look at the makers’ lives and beautiful photography showcasing their work and processes.”
– Suzy Ekman, Founder and CEO
“We always aim for aesthetically appealing design, but want to keep it simple and 100% responsive. The site has gone [through multiple] redesign efforts and after each attempt we have seen increased ROI, better stickiness and longer time spent [on site].”
– Faruk Murtaf, Director of Digital
“Basically we had two designs and it was hard to separate them. So in the end, we melded them both together. We think it looks modern, easy on the eye and easy to navigate to what people want.
About one year ago, we changed the look. Together with partner Clever Local helping with the new site design and backend structure, and an SEO strategy and Adwords campaigns, it all has made a big difference to our turnover.”
- The total number of orders from the store has significantly increased by 48.3%
- The total number of new customers increased by 60.66%
- The total number of visits to the store increased by 21,430 vs.12,020
- The average order value of each completed cart increased by 10%
– Dan Mather, Founder
“I was looking for a simple, clean and updated design that could showcase my products, that would allow my company to look professional but still incorporate fun into it. I wanted it to be bold enough to encourage browsing while also being easy to navigate.
This is a redesign, we had an earlier theme that worked well and was customized, but I really needed to update it. This is a part-time endeavor for my company, so it continues to be a work in progress, and a significant amount of work still needs to be done. But, since the design change, I have noticed some differences just now starting to happen. Average order value has slightly increased, and we are now starting to get more calls from our customers on other sales channels (eBay/Amazon) that have found us online. I’ve been happy with the slow but steady progress!”
–Kathy Ruddell, Owner
“I come from a family of artists, so it is safe to say I have an eye for color. When I started my design process, I wanted to evoke an overall feeling of calm and peace, therefore I choose this color blue. Next, the logo came about after doodling many months on paper. I wanted the shape to represent the product. Then a name – the nod in Nodpod is to represent sleep, and then pod to represent the shape of the eye mask, as it looks like a pea pod. Once I had my logo, name and color decided upon, I could visualize the design of the website.
I was, and continue to be, inspired by Apple store products, as they are such innovators and leaders in design.
We just recently finished the website, and I am now working on SEO to help increase my stores brand and awareness. Based on the feedback I get from customers, I am humbled to have created a product that people ‘can’t sleep without.'”
– Melissa Bamberg, Founder
“We wanted the Premium Teas design to be clean, modern, and yet, in a way, sophisticated. We wanted to present an easy, flawless way for people to shop for Harney & Sons Teas in Canada. The home page is supposed to introduce what we offer in a very visual — rather than copy-heavy — way. The copy we left for the product pages so that our customers can make more informed decisions.”
– Elena Deneva, Partner
“We chose a template for the design of our store that we felt was relatively neutral aesthetically. Our goal is to continue to customize the design so it is completely unique. We worked with a company named Themevale to add some small features early on like the Instagram feed on our main page. We used to be a Yahoo store. We first redesigned our site with Yahoo and saw immediate growth. The move to the BigCommerce platform was huge for us, as well. While I wouldn’t call it a ‘redesign,’ the new platform has definitely proven easier for our customers to use and navigate.”
– Mia Curcio, Ecommerce Director
“We’ve always been big fans of stripped-back, minimal design and know that most of the big fashion/lifestyle sites opt for this approach. We did, however, know that as a small company we needed to inject some personality into the design and we hope that’s come across! It’s an ever-evolving process as we’re constantly inspired by the things we see and the amazing creative people we meet.
Luckily one half of the Sneaky Peek team is a designer/developer so we had that covered from the start. It definitely helped keep the costs down and allows us to make changes easily along the way. We’re able to make changes as often as we like, but the current version is probably our second proper design. The redesign coincided with a social media push, so we definitely saw a rise in traffic and engagement, but the main thing was we felt a lot happier with the design so were more confident in shouting about the brand, which in turn helped across the board.”
– Sarah Beesley & Tom Ferrall, Founders, Designer and Developer
“SockTips’ website design is inspired by the product itself – innovative, sporty, effective and forward-looking all wrapped in one. SockTips believes in giving back and providing products that help our customers protect their investments in footwear, as well as comfort their feet and aid in reducing pain/discomfort associated with certain foot ailments.
I described my vision for the site to my friend and design expert Matt Everley of m.e.designlab and he took it from there. Matt essentially leveraged an existing BigCommerce theme and customized it in certain areas to achieve the vision set from the beginning.”
– Chad Taylor, Founder and Owner
“Being a creative business owner, illustrator and graphic designer, it was important to me that I did the majority of the design work with the site. Having continuity between the products and the website, was top priority. It was important that the site was easy to use, full of bright photos and inspirational ideas. I used elements from my product line in the design of the site, lending to an overall consistent ‘look’ between the site and the products. When someone loves the site, they’ll be drawn to the products.
Spring of 2015 we redesigned the website. We customized nearly the entire website, and we brightened the site with bigger photos and easier to navigate pages. We’ve noticed a drastic change in our sales and our site traffic, doubling our revenue, tripling our conversion rates and seeing our average order rate increase of 30%.”
– Nicole Rixon, Owner
“We designed Toy Fiesta’s website to represent our business with relevance and to reflect its core values. At the same time, we designed it to look playful, simple and user friendly. Our products are all about fun education and skill building. This is clearly reflected in the logo, where the young girl is happily enjoying a celebration moment with a blackboard in the back ground. Confirming the same gesture, the black background was also added to the footer.
Being from Australia and with the cultural diversity we enjoy here, we added the boys to the footer. Both busy learning through play, with a reflection on cooperation and mutual respect is another cornerstone [we believe] builds a strong society.”
– Ahmed Morsi, Owner
“The site design was inspired by other great and leading sites on the internet in the screen protection business. Being fairly new (few years) in the market, it was best to research ideas and combine great design features from the leading great sites.
This is a redesign. The first design was originally a theme that was not responsive and too basic. Because we also have a marketing company which does all of our SEO, social marketing, content marketing and blogs, conversions are slowly going up. A great design also helps in ROI.”
– Murtaza Aziz, Marketing Director
“Our site is primarily focused on the survival industry, but just because it is survival based doesn’t mean it has to be ‘doom and gloom.’ Our primary objective was to create a look and feel that was encouraging and positive with a focus on the outdoors. Our second objective was to ensure that our design didn’t exclude outdoor enthusiasts, as our secondary market is the outdoor market (campers, hikers, hunters, fisherman, etc.).
Since relaunching, our traffic is up by 300% in the first six months utilizing the same marketing budget. Our conversion rate is up 541% in the first six months vs. the last six months using the Magento platform. Our average number of page views by visitor is also up 220%.
During the past six months, we’ve made a few minor adjustments to product displays and pages and I’m happy to say our small company has been able to do these ourselves and not have to pay an outside company to make these adjustments. I can’t express how happy we are since switching platforms [and redesigning].”
– Charles Countryman, Owner
“The site design was inspired from our main company website. The online store needed to have a similar look to the main company site. Since Wolf Designs caters to the power sports industry, the design needed to be bold and edgy, but remain clean and easy to navigate. The focus needed to be on the products and what kits would look like installed on customers’ machines.
This is second design of the site, but the first to be launched. The site has been well received from our customers, and offers them many options in customizing the products on our site.”
– Ryan Curtis, Lead Graphic Designer
“Our design was inspired partly from our old website. We wanted to keep our look and feel but step it up a bit and make it more modern, responsive and have a better flow, all while keeping it simple. That’s why we chose the Minimal template. It was easy to work with and it kept our site simple.
This was a redesign and the second version of our website. Our site traffic has doubled from our old platform –– when we redesigned the site –– as well as our sales. Our average order is bit harder to figure out because we also process all of our wholesale accounts through BigCommerce. But, our sales have have almost tripled this year from what they were last year at this point. Overall, our conversion rate has increased too, although we need to work more on marketing to help that out.”
– Travis Bullock, Owner
“The inspiration of the design came about while shopping at several fashion boutiques in Los Angeles, California. There was one fashion boutique that really caught my eye that used bright white lighting and hot pink as a contrast to attract attention and provide a bright, energetic and youthful feel while shopping. We wanted to bring that feeling online to the world.
This redesign has decreased our bounce rate by 23% and converted abandoned carts due to BigCommerce features like the abandoned cart emails. The main difference that we could see with the new design was that we had tripled our statistics on customer re-orders for their second order and also nearly doubled our stats for customers who have placed orders more than three times.”
– Will Kim, Ecommerce Director
Ecommerce Design Advice from Industry Experts
“Today, it is a must for any ecommerce site to be mobile friendly. There are quite a few reports that state that over 50% of ecommerce traffic is from mobile. And with the usage of mobile devices on the rise, there’s little doubt that this traffic will continue to increase. In order to get the most out of your website visitors, your design should be created with mobile users in mind in order to capitalize on this traffic source.”
“Make the conversion process as simple, and with as few steps as possible. Be sure to include trust indicators, customer reviews and customer testimonials too.”
“When it comes to conversion, content and flow and design all play an important role in boosting the conversion rate. So, using the right colors and elements can help increase the conversion rate.
A page should also create a better user engagement, otherwise users click away which increases bounce rate and as a result lowers ranking in search engines.”
Ironically, the brands that are driving the best sales are doing it not through better technology or design, necessarily, but by having the care of their customers translate to building relationships over time.”
“When it comes to ecommerce systems, so many companies fail because they have not fully validated their ideas, market and products prior to deploying a sales system. It is so important to interview potential buyers, understand their needs and price points for products prior to spending time on a sales system. Once you know what makes a customer tick, you will know what metrics to track and what methods will be effective in creating conversions.”
“Test your design with actual users. Whether they be a sourced panel, previous customers, people at a Starbucks, or even a drunk guy. Don’t let your CEO, CMO or junior designer dictate the design. Let your users.”
“The internet provides such a great opportunity for anyone to sell their products and services to anyone, anywhere in the world. But because anyone can do it, the competition is intense. To be successful, a website needs to hit on all cylinders –– optimized for search, mobile friendly, look beautiful, easy to navigate, easy to buy, easy to manage. Misfire on any of these and customers will disconnect from you and connect with a competitor.”
“In ecommerce design, clarity always beats cleverness. Following too many design trends can actually hurt you. Instead, first focus on flawlessly implementing commonly understood UI patterns. Create the shortest pathways to checkout. An easily understood design builds instant trust, which always improves conversion.”
“Don’t underestimate the power of an email newsletter when it comes to ecommerce marketing. An email address is a powerful channel to send a message directly to the consumer with an extremely high chance for them to interact with your brand.”
“Standing out in such a saturated retail market like we have today is not just a matter of having great products or a beautiful website — it’s about putting the customer at the center of everything you do and focusing maniacally on optimizing their experience. Personalizing the website to visitor behavior – not just product recommendations or emails – is one way retailers are prioritizing their customer.”
Are you are a BigCommerce store owner? We’ll be launching V2 of our bi-annual design awards in the coming months. Stay tuned!
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