The Best Shopify Stores 2024: 10 Lessons We Can Learn
November 9, 2023
The road to success is very rarely smooth sailing, no matter how easy some of your favourite brands make it look.
When it comes to building, designing and running a Shopify store, there are so many elements to consider. From the outside, many high profile brands make it look effortless, but there’s always more to learn, whether you’re just starting out or already running a thriving ecommerce business.
In this blog, we take a look at some brilliant Shopify website examples, and the lessons we can learn from them.
1. The right ecommerce platform is crucial – but growing pains don’t mean the end
Sportswear brand Gymshark made headlines in 2020 when they announced they were officially a $1 billion brand ($1.45 billion, to be exact).
But it hasn’t always been an easy ride for the gymwear giant. Shopify is the brand’s third ecommerce platform, having outgrown their first and deciding to move over to Magento in 2015. When the biggest event in retail rolled around, the Gymshark team found themselves having to deal with a lot of frustrated customers – the website went down on Black Friday for eight hours (queue the gasps of horror). This glitch not only cost the company their time and energy trying to fix the problem and appease angry shoppers, but an estimated $143,000 in revenue as well.
After this infamous Black Friday disaster, Gymshark migrated over to Shopify Plus and went on to have many profitable Cyber Weekends since, thanks to the platform’s ability to handle 10,000 transactions per minute.
2. Don’t be scared to go bold
Surreal makes buying breakfast a whole lot more fun with their bright and bold Shopify store. The brand’s high protein cereal boxes are a great example of packing and marketing being done right, and everything works hand in hand to cement the brand’s identity and messaging.
The Surreal Shopify store offers fun on every scroll – spend a moment browsing the website and you’ll find quirky animations to copy that ooze personality and make the brand stand out against their competitors.
3. Never underestimate the power of a digital-first approach
There’s no denying that Fashion Nova are industry leaders in the world of online fast fashion. In fact, they were one of the top performing sites across the whole of the fashion retail sector in 2019, entering the top 12 performers in terms of Google US share of voice.
Fashion Nova is now one of the most searched fashion brands on Google, proving that a digital-first approach can and does work. What’s perhaps most interesting about Fashion Nova’s rapid growth is that it’s been achieved without access to many of the advertising channels some of their competitors have, such as glossy magazine ads, catwalk shows and physical stores. Instead, they’ve focused their attention and budget on influencer marketing and celebrity collaborations with the likes of Kylie Jenner and Cardi B, racking up a colossal social media following (over 20 million in total), which allows them to reach a huge audience with a single Instagram post.
4. Prepare for mobile commerce
Now let’s take a look at one of our own clients – Funky Chunky Furniture. In March 2022, we designed, built and launched a Shopify Plus store to help them in the next phase of business growth. Mobile commerce was at the forefront of our minds when planning our build.
In 2021, 70% of Funky Chunky’s website traffic came from mobile devices, yet the number of transitions was equal across mobile and desktop. It was clear that the old website wasn’t offering a seamless mobile experience, which was a huge problem as customers clearly preferred this device. The new website is fully optimised across mobile, tablet and desktop, and offers a quick and simple checkout process regardless of how you choose to make a purchase.
5. Stay true to your values
The Yogamatters brand ecompasses important values such as sustainability, diversity and taking care of the planet. When we built a new Shopify Plus website for the brand in 2020, we made sure that these principles were prominent across it.
For example, alongside the usual “About Us” page, you’ll also find a landing page dedicated to outlining the brand’s ethos and values. We also created product categories dedicated to eco-friendly options and have added the option to make a donation to charity during the checkout process.
6. Make the purchasing process as clear as possible
It looks like sports brands might be leading the way when it comes to Shopify stores! It may sound obvious, but user experience is everything. Start Fitness sells specialist fitness products across a wide range of sports and activities, meaning that their menu and website navigation has to be clear, concise and guide users to the categories they were looking for in the least number of steps.
We built a Shopify website for Start Fitness earlier this year, and implemented a mega menu that makes it easier for users to scan and find the equipment they need quickly. Customers can browse by sport, gender, brand and more, showcasing Start Fitness’s full range of specialist products with a simple hover of the mouse.
7. You can teach an old dog new tricks
At 40 years old, fragrance and bath products company L’Occitane may have been forgiven for sticking with their traditional brick and mortar roots. However, they decided to embrace all things digital, and a Shopify store was the perfect introduction to the world of ecommerce.
8. Your website is an extension of your brand
Turning over an impressive $85.5 billion in annual revenue, Tesla is famous for its innovative electric cars (and often controversial co-founder).
The Tesla website is sleek, simple and lets the product do the talking. This clean approach to both design and user experience reflects their brand, with product information and checking out a dream to navigate. Whilst you can’t purchase a car on the Tesla website, you can shop Tesla accessories, such as charging equipment, apparel, wireless phone chargers and more.
9. Don’t neglect your product pages
When talking about best-in-class Shopify websites, you can’t fail to mention Cambridge Satchel. The quintessentially British leather goods brand has used the Shopify platform for years, and we can learn a lot from their impressively detailed product pages.
Crystal clear photography, sizing diagrams, care instructions and even a ‘Discover what fits inside this bag’ section are only a few of the elements that Cambridge Satchel use to sell their products and increase conversion rate.
10. Be inclusive
Initially beginning on another ecommerce platform, the Rebecca Minkoff website moved to Shopify Plus after only four months, migrating 26,000 product SKUs in the process.
The Rebecca Minkoff website shows just how much flexibility the Shopify Plus platform can give to merchants. Offering over 70 different country/currency options, this simple addition greatly improves the user experience by offering an inclusive browsing and shipping process. In 2022, the company made an estimated $91 million.
Looking to put some of these lessons into practice? Thinking of making the switch over to Shopify? Whether you’re planning to build your first online store from scratch or need some advice on the best ecommerce solutions for your business, our team of experts are more than happy to help.
Get in touch for a chat about what we can do for your business.