Written by Travis Wilson, One Step Retail Blogger | 4 MIN READ
Whether your brand began as a brick & mortar retailer or was built to be a digitally native powerhouse—in today’s retail landscape, your online strategy must continue to evolve to keep pace with modern consumers. Because of the need to modernize your eCommerce strategy, we decided to take a look into online stores that have captured our attention and understand why these sites stand out among the rest.
Our search focused on some main criteria when looking into modern online stores, these must-have items helped weed out a lot of sites that were lacking on one or more aspects of what we feel is a modern online store. The main must-haves that we looked at were: Ease of use, or the ability to make purchases easily without problems, Brand story or showcasing what the company stands for beyond product, whether the store had a thoughtful and purpose-driven design, and if the mobile site worked just as well as the desktop version.
These 6 sites check off all of the boxes that we were looking for in an online store, and because of that, we are truly FALLing for them.
Equal Parts | Equalparts.com
Equal Parts is much more than an online seller of cookware, they are a friend in the kitchen. With each purchase of a cookware package, you will also receive 8 weeks of personalized on-demand cooking guidance—an encouraging way to help get customers started in the kitchen and a great way to build a meaningful relationship with shoppers. This service gives customers access to cooking guidance via text message 7 days per week and will even help you spin up recipes using the items you currently have in the fridge. The goal of this complimentary service is to help you build up the confidence in the kitchen that will allow you to take the next step in your cooking journey.
This is a company that loves cooking, but more importantly, they love enjoying the little things in life. This website’s clean and colorful design shows this love through fun animations that add a lot of value to your shopping experience without bogging down the site with hefty videos. The product descriptions are extremely informative while remaining as minimal and clean as possible making your scrolling experience quick and focused on the amazing photography.
Paige Denim | Paige.com
Paige Adams-Geller, the Founder and Creative Director of Paige Denim, draws heavily from her experiences in life to bring out the best in what she puts forward. Everything from the actual designs, to the charities the company supports are a reflection of who Paige is and what she believes. Paige and the company believe that every choice they ever made, no matter how big or small, has led them to where they are now, and because of this, they want you to have that choice in their products. The store spotlights this by focusing on fun designs that lend you the ability to build upon them to create styled fits all your own.
If you are not one for building your own unique style, Paige’s site also places focus on the season's collections, these curated designs are showcased on beautiful lookbook pages they call stories. The stories give you a great sense of Paige’s “LA” style that can be styled to look great in a board room or one of the Sunset Strips many rock venues. Understated links to the item’s product pages blend into the lookbook's design to allow for quick cart entry, while not creating a “Buy now” vibe that detracts from the overall aesthetic of the site.
One of the signs of a great online store is the ability to get people to want to stay on it for any real amount of time, and these six designs making surfing the pages enjoyable, while the modern designs and ease of use, still encourage the buyer to make a purchase on any device they may be using, instead of turning it into a hassle that can make them turn elsewhere for an easier experience.
Grovemade | Grovemade.com
Grovemade is a company that makes items to help organize your desk. While their products seem simple, modern wooden designs scream style and luxury. Using technology and the talent of a roster of artisan designers Grovemade has created something special and it shows through their simple clean website that places the product and the people that make them on an equal pedestal.
This online store shows how simplicity and personality can both shine with the use of strong copy and a focus on amazing photography. Using photos that change when you hover on them, used perfectly to see a different angle of one of their timeless designs or to show a little more of their team's personalities, the site gives you that little something extra that helps it stand out.
Yeti Coolers | Yeti.com
When you think about a cooler, you think about the outdoors… Barb-b-ques, camping trips, beach days. The possibilities are endless, but one thing is common in all of these events – community. Yeti conveys community through everything on the site, whether it is showcasing their brand ambassadors, or the hours of branded documentary content that shines a light on much more than just their premium cooler offering, you get a sense that Yeti is a lifestyle, not just a company.
The site's design makes shopping easy by using a series of visual filters, shown as either buttons or sliders Yeti makes it easy to focus on the right product for you. You can narrow down your search by type, a size guide shown as the bed of a truck, or you can simply choose a size by number beers you want it to hold.
The site features huge navigation buttons and very easy to see icons for all of their products making it a site that anyone can navigate effectively. The videos don’t stop in their “Stories” section. Yeti makes shopping easy with product videos positioned on the product pages of many of their higher-priced items to help shoppers better learn about their chosen ice chest or accessory. And when a shopper is ready to become a buyer, a large blue “add to cart” button follows them up and down the page for easy clicking.
Hard Graft | Hardgraft.com
Hard Graft is an old British term that means “Hard Work,” and their product, as well as the site, gives the company a beautiful platform to feature the hard work they put into everything they do. Hard Graft puts the written word front and center on their website, focusing on telling their story in a bold, energetic, and funny way, that helps the shopper feel that they are a part of something special.
The beautiful product layout emphasizes the simple beauty of the mostly brown leather, and mélange grey felted wool items that make-up 80% of their catalog. Opting out of using backgrounds in their product photography, or product descriptions, the items sit cleanly on the light grey base of the sites scroll in a way that makes them look like everything is delicately placed on a never-ending display table that creates a museum-like quality to the shopping experience. The great experience doesn’t stop on the desktop. Hard Graft’s web design continues to the smaller screen with an uncluttered clean version that almost makes me feel that the site was originally designed to be a mobile-first offering.
Rebecca Taylor | Rebeccataylor.com
Rebecca Taylor’s designs focus on elegance and timelessness that allows the wearer to find beauty in the everyday. The namesake designer of the brand, Rebecca Taylor, was born and raised in New Zealand and has found the aesthetic of the brand to reflect that beginning, but also takes inspiration from her time in hotspots like London and Paris. This juxtaposition of locational influence creates a beautiful site who’s clean design helps the clothings bold prints stand out and become a true focal point.
Taylor’s store features lots of new collections that feature timeless designs that can be dressed up or down to fit into any social or work situation, but this site takes timelessness seriously with their new focus on second-hand sales. Rebecca Taylor’s ReCollect program offers customers a chance to trade in their “pre-loved” items for credit to be used on new Rebecca Taylor designs in-store or online. This program, while creating affordable ways to enjoy the clothing, also spotlights Taylor’s emphasis on doing their part to help the environment, even going as far as to donate half of all ReCollect proceeds to Cool Effect, a non-profit focused on reducing the world's carbon emissions.
Rebecca Taylor doesn’t stop at second-hand when they experiment with new verticals for their online presence. RNTD, the clothing company’s subscription clothing rental program also takes the traditional into new directions by offering the ability to have four Rebecca Taylor items in your closet at any given time for a competitive monthly price. When you are done wearing the item, ship it back and receive the next designer piece you want to show off to your friends. all of this comes with free returns, exchanges, and cleaning.