5 Beautifully Designed Retail Websites

With everyone focused on mobile apps and social commerce these days, the importance of maintaining a beautiful, highly functional website may be slipping off your radar. Remember: Billions of people work in front of laptops and desktops—and shop there, too. I know that I, personally, am not buying anything beyond diapers and dental floss that I haven’t first vetted on on a big screen.

Obviously, all e-comm websites should be optimized for the mobile experience. But also be mindful of how your site looks on the big screen. Find inspiration in these beautifully designed e-comm sites…

Pop Chart Lab
This delightfully different e-retailer could be a case study for how to showcase an avalanche of product on a website without sacrificing high style or user ease-of-use. Harnessing illustrations, clean typefaces, and large-scale product shots (no need to “click to zoom in”), the accessories and homewares retailer makes online shopping fast and fun. 


Soho Fixed Bikes
This smartly designed site relies on big, bold design that harnesses retro type and a kind of intiuitive functionality that lets users roll over a product with a cursor to glimpse a snapshot of its stats: price, materials used, etc. Quick and easy.


Hard Graft
This U.K.-based leather goods company hosts one of the most sublimely simple and charming product-based websites we’ve seen. The devil is in the details here; the font choices and type sizes are incredibly stylish and considered. And whoever photographed the product knows how to light an object to make it look alluring three-dimensional, not flat (a mistake made so often on retail sites). Scrolling through, you want to buy it all. 


Best Made
New York City retailer Best Made boasts a terrific site that fuses a cool retro typefaces with ultramodern navigation. The main menu is particularly pleasing, both in design and functionality. (And we dare you not to click on “The Axe Shop!”)


The website for Detroit-based watch and accessories company Shinola makes me want to buy everything—including the navy blue hand-stitched leather football (and I don’t think I’ve ever even touched a football). Miles of white space surround perfectly photographed product shots that are already larger than average size before clicking on them. The site’s reams of fun original content are laid out in a similarly simple, luxe style—accompanied by photos of people and places, not just product. 


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JCK Magazine Editor