We Analyzed 7 Top Ecommerce Websites. Here’s What They Have in Common

August 26, 2021

We Analyzed 7 Top Ecommerce Websites. Here’s What They Have in Common

August 26, 2021
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You know your product is amazing, but standing out from the other 12 to 24 million ecommerce stores out there takes much more than a great product—it takes an exceptional shopping experience.

To create an incredible site, you need to care about the micro and macro details alike; going above and beyond a typical store. Based on the attributes we see the top ecommerce stores have most often, we know your store needs to be: 

  1. Functional
  2. Dynamic (with rich merchandising)
  3. Personalized
  4. Performant, and
  5. Visually consistent

If you have these five things covered, you'll have one of the best ecommerce site experiences out there.

With these components in mind, we analyzed tons of online stores and have rounded up seven top examples we believe incorporate each especially well. Take a look at what these brands are doing as inspiration for your own shopping experience.

1) Groove Life: Live full-view personalization 

Groove Life, an activewear accessories brand, makes silicone rings and belts for those with an active lifestyle. One feature they use on their headless Shopify store to great effect is full-view customization, or the ability to view a custom purchase from any angle.

Here’s what this looks like for one of their rings:

On the site, visitors can see in real-time what their custom ring will look like.

This ring personalization feature embedded right into their store’s site lets visitors see an endless variety of rings customized to their liking. Shoppers can make realtime changes to the product’s shape, color, and even text or monogram on the right-hand side of the screen.

The product changes on the left side mirroring selections. 

Groove Life’s customization also lets the visitor see the ring from any direction with a simple click-and-drag. To differentiate your own ecommerce brand and site experience, try incorporating a real-time personalization experience like this that fits into the look and feel of your site. 

2) Allbirds: Cohesive, high-quality product photos

Allbirds is a New Zealand-based clothing shop with a focus on sustainability. The web design choice contributing to a great experience here is their cohesive, detailed product photos, all shown at once.

Here’s what this looks like on a product page:

Allbirds’ product pages feature four detailed photos of the product that are cohesive and complete.

By showing four high-quality brand photos, the visitor gets to do four times less clicking to see all the details they need to purchase. It is equally important that they’re showcasing photos that are complementary and on-brand. Allbirds makes each photo part of the story for the product, ensuring that no square is wasted.

Here they showcase one product, many products, the color and texture, and the product in context of use. This is the easiest way to help potential customers have everything they need to decide on a purchase, friction-free.

When your brand takes steps to convey quality with images like this, it instantly signals to customers that you and your products are legitimate.

3) Brevitē: Rich merchandising via product feature GIFs

Brevitē is a direct-to-consumer backpack design brand out of NYC that’s famous for their camera bags. One browse through their site is enough to see they’ve got something special. And we’ve isolated a key factor for how they’re pulling off a high-end feel. It’s their use of rich merchandizing.

Rich merchandising refers to features like parallax scrolling, subtle animations, and background videos. These additions to your ecommerce website can create an especially elevated experience for customers.

For example, if you navigate to “The Jumper” product page, you’ll see Brevitē has used custom product GIFs to showcase their backpack’s features:


When looking to add rich merchandising to your store, make sure to focus on creating a space where your customer can understand the look, feel, and use of your product through high-quality visuals, subtle animations, interactions, and video.

#cta-paragraph-fe#Editor’s note: Brevitē is a Shogun customer currently using our Page Builder product which makes adding this 360-degree view to their Shopify site easy.

4) NOMAD: Functional sticky menu-style product information

Nomad is a tech accessory brand providing high-quality leather goods. When looking at stores that stand out as exceptional, we loved that this ecommerce website focuses on product sales in a sticky menu. 

As an exemplary case of what we mean when we say a site is functional, they’ve leaned into creating a site that meshes striking design and an easy-to-shop user experience.

As an example, on each page of their site, you’ll find a sticky menu that stays at the top of the screen as you scroll. However, if you go to a product page, the sticky menu now also features the product, price, and selected product color—helping you to see all the features at-a-glance. Should you choose to buy the product halfway down the page, you can click 'add to cart' right away, rather than scrolling back up first.

Check out the sticky header Nomad uses with product information that follows visitors as they scroll.

By adding features simplifying the shopping experience—without straying from your brand—you make taking the next step in the customer journey easy. 

Nomad built their site’s frontend with Shogun for this limitless customization without site speed or performance tradeoffs.

#cta-visual-fe#<cta-title>Create beautifully functional websites<cta-title>Build exceptional websites designed with your branding in mind by going headless with Shogun Frontend.Learn more

5) Pipcorn: Beautifully functional/on-brand drop-down menu

Pipcorn is a B-Corporation snack brand focusing on heirloom corn and non-GMO ingredients. We love that their website is beautifully functional.

Their website is full of small touches that showcase Pipcorn’s unique branding, and the menu is no different. 

When hovering over “Shop”, the snacks cascade down like an accordion, sorted by type for easy browsing—both on-brand and easy-to-navigate:

Pipcorn’s menu expands by type of snack showcasing their branding and making finding what you want simple.

Think about how you can combine branding with function like this to create a better experience on your ecommerce website. Adding small branding touches throughout can make your entire experience feel elevated. It also reminds the consumer that you care about micro details—a key way you’re different from the competition.

6) Briogeo: Personalized recommendations 

Briogeo is a haircare brand focused on creating a highly personalized experience with top-quality products. We’ve fallen in love with their creative use of the pillar of Real-Time Personalization. 

In their case, starting with a hair-type quiz right at the front of the main menu.

Yet, that’s not where their use of real-time personalization ends. Throughout the site, they allow you to choose not just the product, but the issue you're having. For example, if you choose “shop all” on the main menu, you can look at products based on type or hair problem. Also, as you scroll down the homepage, you’ll see options to view treatments for curly hair, dry hair, and more.

Take a look at how Briogeo uses its menu to offer personalized recommendations in the form of a hair quiz.

Think about offering real-time personalization across your brand’s site—either with interactions built-in, or via this type of product categorization—to show potential customers you are concerned about satisfying their pain points. This lets folks know they aren’t simply a sale or an invoice number, but a person you’d like to help.

7) Zinus: Brand visuals via user-generated content

Zinus is a brand offering mattresses, box springs, sofas, and more to customers globally. Their homepage shows a clear understanding of what it means to have consistent, high-quality brand visuals. And, they’ve taken this further and added a twist by incorporating user-generated content.

User-generated content (UGC) is a powerful tool that can be used to enhance a business. According to SEMrush, UGC photos (like customer-created photos from Instagram, for example) can increase conversion rates by over 25%. Zinus shows one method of capturing this UGC by using the branded hashtag #zinus.

Zinus adds these customer-taken photos right on their homepage, showing community while also showcasing products in actual homes. This gives a feel for scale of products, and goes beyond the carefully curated photos on your site helping customers trust you.

Zinus’ homepage has user-generated content in the form of photos with the branded hashtag #zinus.

Think about adding user-generated content like this to your website to pull the community you’ve built into your branded visuals and increase conversions. 

#cta-paragraph-fe#As a Shogun Frontend headless commerce customer, Zinus can customize their site as much as they want or need while never sacrificing speed or performance.

Replicate these tactics to gain a competitive edge

Running an ecommerce store is an opportunity to earn some of the $4.5 trillion in sales expected to come through online this year. 

To earn your market share, provide an exceptional experience that’s fast and easy to navigate. Consider these seven examples as you ideate the on-brand storefront you want for customers. Then, explore whether a flexible frontend, or headless presentation layer like Shogun Frontend might help you achieve the growth you’re looking for.

#cta-visual-fe#<cta-title>Achieve unparalleled customization with Shogun Frontend<cta-title>Create the perfect site for your brand by taking your store headless.Learn more