Need some inspiration to elevate your site from standard to superb?
Below, we’ll go over 29 of the most successful Shopify stores and review what the merchants behind these stores did to become so successful.
But keep in mind that no two stores are alike. These highly successful stores should serve as an inspiration, not a template. Indeed, what works for one site may not work for another.
To get your sales figures up into the seven digits and beyond, though, it certainly helps to analyze the stores that have already achieved that level of success.
29 Successful Shopify Stores
Continue reading to learn the techniques successful Shopify stores use to increase their conversions and sales.
Allbirds is on a mission to prove that people don’t have to choose between footwear that’s comfortable, designed well or sustainable. Allbirds create shoes that are soft, stylish and environmentally friendly. The bright, modern website design creates excellent contrast against the company’s earth-tone color shoes.
This serves as one of the greatest Shopify success stories of all time, as Allbirds grew from a simple Kickstarter campaign to a company that’s now valued at over $1 billion. And a quick look at the language on this site shows how it’s been able to sustain such success — the tried-and-true best practices for ecommerce marketing are executed flawlessly here.
To succeed, an ecommerce brand needs to effectively communicate what sets it apart from the competition. In marketing industry lingo, this is known as the unique selling proposition (USP). The Allbirds USP is that its business practices are particularly eco-conscious — and visitors are reminded of this fact frequently, from the “Light on Your Feet, Easy on the Planet” message featured above the fold on the homepage to the mention of “Renewable Materials” on each product page.
Furthermore, Allbirds shows visitors that the company has received positive coverage from high-authority publications such as Wall Street Journal, CNN and Time. Displaying social proof like this gives visitors a reason to trust all the claims that you make about your products, and therefore makes them more likely to buy from you.
The men’s grooming company Beardbrand provides an excellent example of how social media can be used to improve the performance of your Shopify store. Since starting its YouTube channel in 2012, Beardbrand has gained over 1.6 million subscribers, and it’s been able to convert this audience into a steady stream of customers.
You should know that this is no get-rich-quick scheme. It takes a lot of time and effort to develop the sort of genuinely interesting and entertaining video content that attracts masses of viewers. But if you’re able to pull it off, it can make the difference between a struggling store and a wildly successful one.
Also, when a potential customer lands on the Beardbrand site, the first thing they see is a prompt that asks them to take a quiz. Upon completing the quiz, Beardbrand captures the contact information of the visitor, which it can then use for email marketing campaigns. Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to increase traffic and sales for your store — according to one study, email marketing campaigns generate $38 in revenue for every $1 spent.
Leading science and technology publications such as National Geographic and Popular Science have raved about BioLite’s groundbreaking thermoelectric products, which allow campers to use fire for not just heating and cooking, but also charging their smartphones and other devices.
One of the tools that BioLite has used to achieve this success is the Klaviyo app. Again, email marketing is a key ingredient to ecommerce success, and Klaviyo makes it easy with pre-built flows for common exchanges such as recovering abandoned carts and reengaging inactive subscribers. It also has analytics features that will help you better understand your audience and improve the performance of your campaigns.
Like Allbirds, Bombas used the strength of a good product (in this case, especially colorful and comfortable socks) and progressive business model (for every pair of socks that Bombas sells, the company donates a pair charity) to grow from a crowdfunding campaign to a highly profitable online store. Today, Bombas makes over $100 million in annual revenue.
Visitors to the Bombas site will see that Bombas offers free shipping on orders over $50. Such an offer can help you jumpstart sales in two ways: First of all, 74% of online shoppers say that free shipping is the most important option at checkout. Also, setting an order value threshold that customers must meet in order to qualify for free shipping encourages them to add more items to their cart, which leads to more revenue for your store.
About a decade ago, tech executive Dave Asprey was visiting Tibet when he stumbled across a local drink — tea blended with yak butter. This inspired Asprey to start his own beverage business based on that drink, Bulletproof, which now sells millions of cups of coffee per year.
There are several Shopify plugins that have been integral to Bulletproof’s success. For example, Yotpo helps Bulletproof collect customer reviews and showcase user-generated content (UGC) on its site. Reviews and UGC are another powerful form of social proof that will encourage customers who are unsure about making a purchase to go ahead and pull the trigger.
Bulletproof also uses Back in Stock, which allows customers to sign up for notifications that will alert them when an unavailable item they’re interested in is restocked. This is a simple, yet especially effective way to increase sales for your store.
The founders of Chubbies all shared a love for the retro look of men’s short shorts, so they decided to make a few pairs themselves to sell at an annual Fourth of July party in Lake Tahoe. The company sold out quickly, decided to make more, and now the apparel brand has over 1.6 million Facebook followers and is worth eight figures.
Like many Shopify stores, Chubbies uses the Klaviyo and Back in Stock apps to improve its sales performance. Chubbies also uses Signifyd, a fraud prevention app, to help protect its profit margin. Ecommerce companies lose billions of dollars every year due to fraud-related chargebacks — but with Signifyd, Chubbie is able to prevent fraudulent transactions and avoid such losses.
In 2011, Joshua Resnikoff’s wife ran a kimchi business, which left mason jars lying around the house at all times. Resnikoff started using them for coffee, but they weren’t easy to drink out of, and one day he spilled coffee all over himself — that experience led him to develop a to-go lid for mason jars, and one years later the “Cuppow” was born. The first run of 500 units sold out in just 72 hours. Eight years later, the business is still going strong.
One of the first things you’ll notice about Cuppow’s site design is the use of large, high-quality images.
While consumers love the convenience of ecommerce, one reason why some people still prefer in-store shopping is that they get a chance to physically see and touch items before they buy them. With online purchases, there’s always a chance the item that arrives at their doorstep isn’t exactly what they were expecting. That’s why you need to show customers exactly what they’re getting on your site — by utilizing images like Cuppow, you can alleviate these concerns and encourage visitors to click “Buy Now."
According to one industry publication, Fangamer “changed the world of video game merchandise forever." And indeed, Fangamer was one of the first video game merchandise stores operated by fans rather than the video game companies themselves.
The Product Reviews app has been a significant contributor to Fangamer’s success. As we mentioned above, customer reviews are an effective form of social proof that will help you increase your conversion rate. Product Reviews makes it easy to manage and display such content, and it’s completely free.
Ben Francis created Gymshark in his mom’s garage in 2012, back when he was just a teenager. The company now makes nearly $130 million in annual sales.
This success has been driven in large part by social media. The Gymshark Instagram page has an incredible 4.6 million followers, which gives it nearly endless opportunities for finding new customers and convincing existing customers to make more purchases. In fact, many of these Instagram posts are UGC of happy customers showing off their Gymshark products. Seventy-nine percent of consumers report that user-generated content influences their purchasing decisions, so this is clearly an effective way to boost your revenue.
Intelligent Change’s flagship product is the Five-Minute Journal, which is full of exercises for mindfulness and self-improvement. The company sold out its first order of 1,000 books almost instantly, and it was profitable within just a few weeks of opening.
Yet again, email marketing shows itself to be incredibly important to ecommerce success. Intelligent Change has built up a contact list of 90,000 newsletter subscribers, and it uses Privy to help manage these messages. In addition to newsletters, Privy can be used to design and automate order follow-up, coupon reminder and abandoned cart emails.
11. Jane Motorcycles
Jane Motorcycles is surely unlike any clothing store you’ve ever been to before, as its brick-and-mortar locations offer not just apparel, but also custom motorcycles (they sell books and espresso, too).
Online, one technique that Jane uses to increase sales is Afterpay, which allows customers to break up large payments into a series of smaller installments. A high price tag will often drive visitors away, but being able to spread out the cost rather than paying for everything upfront will make these pricier items more appealing to budget-conscious shoppers.
According to Billboard, the footwear/apparel brand KITH “rules music’s sneaker culture.” And indeed, founder Ronnie Fieg got his start working for the popular New York City shoe store David Z, where he sold shoes to music legends such as Jay Z and Lauryn Hill. Fieg now has his own shoe business in KITH, which has collaborated on designs with A-list brands such as Versace and Coca-Cola.
One tool that KITH uses to improve its online sales is product recommendations. The most successful ecommerce company in the country, Amazon, owes much of its success to this technique. Each product page on Amazon includes a “Frequently bought together” section, and this section alone generates a full 35% of Amazon’s revenue.
As for KITH, it uses Cross Sell Product Recommendations for its recommendations. This app has an AI-powered smart suggestions features that can personalize recommendations for each customer. It also allows you to recommend products on the cart page, giving you one last chance to increase the customer’s order value before they finish checking out.
13. Kylie Cosmetics
Kylie Cosmetics is certainly one of the biggest cosmetics stores on the Shopify platform — after just four years in business, the company generates over $100 million in annual sales.
This business was founded by Kylie Jenner, and considering that the Kardashians are famously savvy with social media, it should be no surprise that social media platforms (in particular, Instagram) have played a key role in creating this store’s nine-digit sales figures.
In general, the more hoops that a visitor needs to jump through in order to buy a product, the less likely they are to actually follow through with the purchase. This is what makes Instagram such a valuable marketing channel for ecommerce stores — with its Shoppable Posts feature, users can make purchases directly on a store’s Instagram page. There’s no need for users to take the extra step of navigating from Instagram to the store itself.
Kylie Cosmetics uses Feedfy to help manage its Instagram sales. This app makes it easy for you to transfer product data from your Shopify store to your Instagram account, and it also allows you to add a shoppable Instagram feed slider to your site.
14. Luxy Hair
Luxy Hair is another example of a store that uses Yotpo to collect reviews and social proof. This app is full of useful features, such as review request emails and an SEO helper. Also, the pricing is especially affordable (a free plan is available, and the premium plan is only $19 per month).
Another app that Luxy Hair uses to increase sales is the Pixel Union Countdown Sales Timer. This app will motivate your visitors to act on sales with urgency, which then leads to more revenue for your store.
15. Madsen Cycles
With a product as unique as Madsen Cycles’ signature bucket bike, it doesn’t take much to catch people’s attention on social media. Madsen makes the most of this by using the Instafeed app to add a shoppable Instagram feed to its Shopify site. This allows you to convert organic UGC into highly effective ads.
Messenger is another piece of the store’s social media strategy. With this app, you can make sales directly in the Messenger chat window on Facebook, and it also allows customers to ask questions over Facebook Messenger while they’re browsing your Shopify store.
16. Miracle by Aloft
Miracle by Aloft sells sheets, towels and pillowcases that are made with antimicrobial silver, which have drawn rave reviews from the likes of Real Simple and Futurism. The site has a simple layout and baby blue theme that is soothing and dream-like. It almost invites users to imagine drifting to sleep in new Miracle linens.
This store also showcases how to boost your average order value by bundling multiple products into one SKU. By combining a sheet set and a towel set together with a discount, Miracle is able to persuade customers to order more items than they would have otherwise.
Miracle uses Unlimited Bundles & Discounts to include this feature on its site. This app is free for one bundle — if you want to have multiple bundles available, you’ll need to upgrade to the premium version, which will cost you somewhere between $17.99 per month and $37.99 per month depending on your Shopify plan.
mnml is an online-only clothing company that sells high-quality, progressive designs without the retail markup. mnml’s website is as minimalist as it gets, using a bright white background to accentuate bold product photographs and descriptions.
Let’s face it — you’re not the only store on the internet that sells the types of products you sell. There may be dozens or even hundreds of competitors going after the exact same pool of potential customers as you.
This is a zero sum game, of course. Whenever someone decides to buy from one of your competitors, that’s a sale your store missed out on. How are you going to convince customers to keep coming back to you when they have so many other options to choose from?
To retain your customers, you should encourage them to sign up for and use an account rather than checking out as a guest. One way to accomplish this is to offer a loyalty program and reward regular members with perks such as discounts, free shipping, etc.
And to encourage these sign-ups, it should be as easy to create an account on your site as possible. With the Oxi Social Login app, mnml makes this process simple as can be. Instead of creating a new username and password, visitors can just log in with their existing Facebook, Google, Twitter, LinkedIn or Amazon credentials
Customer support is one of the most important aspects of running an ecommerce store. Whenever a customer has a problem, there should be a way (ideally, multiple ways) for them to contact you quickly, and you should be able to respond quickly as well.
MVMT uses Gorgias to help address customer concerns. This app includes a chat widget that you can add to your Shopify site, which allows visitors to contact you with just a single click. And in addition to these live chat messages, you can use Gorgias to manage your email and social media messages from the same dashboard.
You may recognize the brand Nerdwax from its appearance on the popular reality show "Shark Tank." Its flagship product, a wax that stops glasses from slipping down your face, was impressive enough to receive offers from two of the “sharks” — but the Nerdwax founders turned down those offers and decided to bet on themselves instead.
Shortly after appearing on Shark Tank, Nerdwax’s total sales shot up from $136,000 to over $1 million, and the business is still going strong today.
We already mentioned above how free shipping is a powerful tool for increasing sales, especially when you set an order value minimum for free shipping to encourage customers to add more items to their cart. Nerdwax makes this technique even more effective with the Free Shipping Bar app, which customers know exactly what they need to do in order to qualify for free shipping
20. Nick Mayer Art
Nick Mayer Art sells prints and apparel featuring the artwork of (you guessed it) award-winning nature illustrator Nick Mayer. This store has seen a significant rise in its popularity recently, as it’s jumped over 2 million spots in the Alexa rankings in the past year.
Like several stores on this list, Nick Mayer Art users Klaviyo to manage its email marketing campaigns. But this store also features a rather unique way to collect contact information for email marketing— with the Wheelio app, visitors to the Nick Mayer Art site are presented with a popup interactive wheel that they can “spin” to win prizes (in exchange for their email address, of course). Using gamification elements like this is an excellent way to achieve your business goals while improving customer experience.
Co-founders Ryan Cummins and Matt Pohlson got the idea for Omaze when they attended a charity auction for courtside tickets to a Lakers game with Magic Johnson. The bids quickly reached up into the thousands, and there was no hope that Cummins or Pohlson or anyone but the extremely well-off would be able to afford the prize.
This experience inspired them to create a raffle-based, rather than auction-based, system for charity fundraising. That way, everyone would have a chance to win, which motivates more people to participate and therefore generates more money for good causes. To date, Omaze has raised over $130 million for charity.
Omaze needs to catch people’s attention in order for its raffles to be successful, and it’s been able to do that by offering prizes as big and flashy such as a mansion in Miami and appearing in a "Star Wars" movie. With a full-width background video element showcasing these prizes above the fold on its homepage, the design of Omaze’s site reflects the organically attention-grabbing nature of its content.
22. SkinnyMe Tea
SkinnyMe Tea provides yet another example of social media success leading directly to ecommerce success.
Founder Gretta Van Riel has amassed a total of over 16 million followers across various platforms. With the help of her social media prowess, SkinnyMe Tea was able to hit $600,000 in monthly revenue within just six months of opening her store. Within five years, the store had sold over 11 million cups of tea worldwide.
Social proof is hardly a problem for SkinnyMe Tea, but you can never have too much of a good thing. To make its on-site customer reviews even more effective, it uses the Loox app to enable customers to add a photo to their reviews (Loox also includes a tool for offering customers a discount in exchange for a photo review). This combination of reviews and UGC shows visitors exactly the kind of results that SkinnyMe Tea’s products can produce, making them more likely to feel comfortable with making a purchase.
Since launching in 2007, Spigen has sold millions of smartphone cases. One reason why Spigen’s cases are so popular is that they’re particularly strong — so strong, in fact, that they’ve been approved by the U.S. Department of Defense for military use.
To keep its customers coming back, Spigen has used the Smile.io app to create a loyalty program for its store. Customers earn points for performing actions such as placing an order, creating an account and following Spigen on Instagram. Then these points can be redeemed for discounts on purchases. By offering rewards like this, you can persuade visitors to do what you want them to do and make the traffic to your site much more valuable.
Few Shopify sites have received as much media attention as Tattly — this store, which sells fake tattoos designed by real artists, has been covered everywhere from The New York Times to NBC to The Atlantic.
Tattly has also used the Smile.io app to create a loyalty program for its store. And another customer retention technique it uses is offering the option of including a confetti splash inside the packaging. This is an area that many ecommerce merchants overlook — but adding some custom elements to your packaging, such as using glossy white rather than natural brown cardboard or adding your logo and other branding elements, will set you apart from the competition and improve customer loyalty.
25. Taylor Stitch
In Taylor Stitch we have another example of a Shopify store using Klaviyo for its email marketing needs. And when you look at what Klaviyo was able to do for this site, it’s easy to see why the app is so popular — after switching to Klaviyo, Taylor Stitch’s campaigns saw a 60% increase in revenue per recipient.
26. The Great Cookie
Back in 1979, The Great Cookie opened on the shorefront of Ocean City, MD. They’ve since grown to seven brick-and-mortar locations and a formidable ecommerce presence.
Online stores need to feature a lot of content in order to give visitors all the information they might want to know before making a purchase (prices, product descriptions, product options, customer reviews, contact info, etc.). So, when there’s a particular message that you want to highlight, you’ll need to make an effort to have it stand out from all the other noise.
The Great Cookie does exactly that with the Quick Announcement Bar plugin, which allows you to set up a customizable banner at the very top of your site. At the moment, The Great Cookie is using its banner to notify customers that shipping may be delayed due to COVID-19.
27. The Ridge
The Ridge creates quality products that streamline and simplify everyday life. The first, and most popular, Ridge product is the Ridge Wallet. The RFID blocking wallet appeals to millions for its card protection, slim design, durability and lifetime guarantee. The Ridge uses a robust and industrial style layout to capture the strength of its products.
And with this site, we see how many of the most successful Shopify stores use the same plugins. The Ridge uses Klaviyo for email marketing, Messenger for Facebook marketing and Back in Stock to keep customers updated about its inventory.
The Australian swimwear company sells simple and sporty bathing suits that appeal to women worldwide. TRIANGL’s website sports a homepage with no text, just a slideshow of grainy, vintage-looking photos of its bathing suits in action. The minimalist website points visitors’ attention to the quality and design of its products.
TRIANGL founders Erin Deering and Craig Ellis started this swimwear brand with $25,000 borrowed from friends, and in just three years they were making $45 million in annual sales.
Again, the path to ecommerce success is often paved by a strong social media presence. The Australian swimwear brand TRIANGL has over 2.4 million Instagram followers, and its products are so trendy that celebrities as famous as Miley Cyrus and Kim Kardashian have been spotted wearing them. And with an Instagram feed on many of its product pages, visitors are able to see that TRIANGL apparel looks good on regular people, too.
29. WP Standard
This men’s accessory brand won Shopify’s Design Award in 2013, which gave it immense exposure and skyrocketed its sales. Targeting quality-conscious tech men, WP Standard exemplifies its commitment to top-notch design and quality with its sleek, product-focused website.
The men’s accessory brand WP Standard opened back in 2009. It only made a few thousand dollars that first year, but now its annual sales are in the seven figures. And recently, WP Standard’s leather duffel was featured in TechCrunch’s Bag Week.
WP Standard combines two of the techniques covered above to increase sales. At the top of the homepage, an announcement bar notifies visitors that free shipping is available on orders over $75. We’ve already covered how effective free shipping is as a marketing tool, and putting this message in such a prominent area of the site ensures that visitors are aware of it.
The Secret to Shopify Success
Each ecommerce site is different, and indeed each of the 29 stores covered in this guide found its own unique path to success.
But it should also be noted that many of these stores share similarities — and success leaves clues. For example:
- The following plugins are used by five or more of the stores featured in this collection: Klaviyo, Yotpo, Product Reviews, Back in Stock and Messenger.
- Social media has helped many brands cultivate a loyal following.
- Offering free shipping entices shoppers and helps you close the sale.
By applying these lessons to your own Shopify store, you’ll be able to improve customer experience, increase sales and ultimately make your site much more successful.