Shopify Website Design: 5 Examples That Work and Why

HarperCollins Publishers. Red Bull. Allbirds. All three are leading brands; all three have websites powered by Shopify. 

That being said, you don’t need to be a global brand with a big budget to use Shopify. There are countless small businesses that use Shopify effectively too. Whether you’re building your site from scratch or undergoing a rebrand, here’s some design inspo of how to implement website design trends and best practices.    

Shopify Website Design: 5 Examples That Work and Why:

Examples of Shopify Retail Websites That Work 

1. Allbirds

About the brand

Allbirds is rated as one of the top direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands in the retail apparel and fashion industry. Founded about 10 years ago by Joseph Zwillinger and Tim Brown, it specializes in sustainable footwear, more specifically eco-friendly wool shoes. It has experienced impressive growth over the years, so much so that it started trading on the Nasdaq exchange in 2021. 

Why their website works

According to Crunchbase, the Allbirds website attracts about 1.2 million monthly web visitors, placing it among the top 65,000 websites globally in terms of traffic. Most of the traffic comes from the United States where it's ranked among the top 20,000 websites. 

The website manages to generate these numbers thanks to: 

  • Its clean layout 
  • On-brand copywriting 
  • High-quality product photography 
  • Incorporation of social proof 

The website layout has a clear navigation. Main menus are sorted via target group — men, women, or kids. 

Once you click upon a menu, it uses your conventional, drop-down menu allowing you to narrow down your search further according to shoe style, bestsellers, or other apparel categories. 

Allbirds website

The individual product pages share a wealth of information. Though, thanks to the generous use of white space, it remains easy to make your way through the product details. 

individual product pages

Plus, each product has several high-quality product photos from different angles. Aside from eliminating the need to read everything, it also gives potential customers a great idea of what they can expect, helping to reduce returns. 

While the product photos focus on the esthetics, the website copy zooms in on its unique selling proposition — shoes that reduce the carbon footprint. As it’s such a crucial part of their brand, sustainability even has its own menu with links to all their initiatives.

Allbirds initiatives

2. TC Running Company

About the brand

TC Running Company (aka TCRC) is a running store that was founded in the early 1990s (long before online shopping became common practice). Fast-forward three decades and it has grown its physical presence to five brick-and-mortar stores in Minnesota in the USA as well as built an online store. 

Unlike a footwear retailer like Allbirds that serve mostly a younger crowd, TCRC’s largest age group of visitors are in their late 30s and early 40s. About a quarter of its audience fall into this age group, according to Similarweb.   

Why their website works

TC Running Co.’s website serves as an example of how you can mimic an in-store experience online to add a personal touch. For Jeff Bull, the Brand Director, it was essential that they used digital interactions to keep the personal touch which is foundational to how the physical stores operate. 

To do this, they tried out membership apps from Shopify’s app store. They decided on the ReCharge app to launch their membership program, Run Squad.

membership program Run Squad

To encourage website visitors to sign up so that they can experience the personal interaction that the TCRC team prides themselves in, the membership program is the first thing that you see when you land on the website. Instead of focusing on one of its products, the store chooses to market its membership program prominently above the fold. 

Aside from prominent placement, the website also drives sign-ups further by:

  • Using a clear call-to-action button
  • Offering 20% off the customer’s next purchase
  • Extending free shipping to Run Squad members
  • Limiting the sign-up process to a single page
  • Adding social share buttons allowing visitors to share it with their network 

social share buttons

While the company’s shift to online was fast-tracked by the pandemic, their website was successful from day one and has landed them a mention on Shopify’s blog. According to Shopify’s numbers, online sales have grown by over 100% for the first few months after the website was launched. 


About the brand

MIND GAMES is a luxury perfume fragrance brand that partners with Symrise, a niche fragrance house. It offers a collection of genderless perfumes and fragrances that are created using a sustainable approach. Across the value chain, the online brand minimizes its environmental footprint while it maximizes the positive social and environmental impacts of its fragrances. 

Why their website works

Lounge Lizard, rated as one of the best eCommerce marketing agencies, is the mind behind the MIND GAMES website. Their team of website designers (affectionately dubbed “Bartenders”) designed the eCommerce website from scratch using Shopify. 

The goal was to create a website that communicated the brand story and created an immersive shopping experience at the same time. As the store’s name suggests, the brand connects the intricate artistry associated with the game of chess to perfume’s hypnotic effects. 

To narrate this brand story effectively, the website design plays around with black and white. There’s ample white space, enabling visitors to move around the website freely. At the same time, it delivers a user experience that generates interest and pulls you in. 


According to Lounge Lizard’s case study, the website attracted over 6,000 new users in the first month. It steadily increased with user traffic, growing by over 10% week over week. 

Website visitors’ interaction with the website is also noteworthy. Lounge Lizard puts the average engagement rate of 63%. 

According to Similarweb’s traffic and engagement analysis, the site’s average visit duration is just over three minutes. Databox’s own benchmark for average session duration that’s based on anonymized data from more than 800 companies is set at 92.33 seconds for B2C companies. So, MIND GAMES visitors browse twice as long, proof that the user experience works.  

4. REN Clean Skincare

About the brand

Headquartered in London, REN Clean Skincare sells high-performance clean skincare products for stressed and sensitive skin types. Powered by nature’s bioactives, their products are also sensitive to the planet and they were the first premium skincare brand to become Zero Waste. 

While they keep their environmental footprint small, they’ve grown their presence and have added extra stores to service its customers in France and the US. 

Why their website works

REN Clean Skincare’s website design echoes the core values of the brand. The visuals and layout are clean, while the customer journey is smooth. 

The following are the noteworthy features that simplifies purchasing:

  • Clear product photography
  • Descriptive product titles
  • Quick add-to-cart buttons

These elements are great examples of conversion rate optimization (CRO) in action. 

examples of conversion rate optimization

The digital marketing agency behind the website design, Eastside Co (that happens to be an award-winning Shopify agency), explains in the REN Clear Skincare case study that it was key that the website offered a “clear and natural experience” like the brand’s products. Products can be found in two clicks and minimal steps are required from product discovery to checkout. 

5. Meow Meow Tweet

About the brand

Meow Meow Tweet was founded in 2009 by Tara Pelletier and Jeff Kurosaki, two vegan artists. They sell vegan, gender-free personal care products for every body type. The brand’s claim to fame is the zero-waste deodorant stick that’s packaged in 100% biodegradable paper. 

Not only have they put careful thought into what will happen to their products’ materials after use to reduce waste, but also to where their materials for their next products will come from. They take a truly holistic approach, ensuring that they don’t source materials that will harm animals’ habitats or food sources. They also offer a bulk program that uses refilling to eliminate any waste. 

Why their website works

Meow Meow Tweet’s website is a great example of how you can successfully use several colors without overcomplicating the website design. Pinks, lilacs and warmer hues like orange and yellow work together because they all have the same color intensity. 

Meow Meow Tweet’s website

Another key feature that makes their website work is the FAQ section added as one of the top menus. Trust remains an issue when selling online. 

Here, they clearly explain their:

  • Return policy
  • Shipping method
  • Additional costs like taxes and international duties 
  • Product shelf life 
  • Safety measures

FAQ section

Trust is further built by including reviews. Each product has a star rating along with reviews that you can sort according to date and rating and other customers can upvote.


Why Use Shopify: Benefits and Features Explored

Shopify remains one of the most popular eCommerce platforms, especially among fashion retailers. According to Statista’s data about online stores running on Shopify, more than half a million apparel stores use the platform (hence, why we featured two footwear brands). 

Much of the platform’s success can be traced back to the following two features:

Ease of use

Its intuitiveness is the feature that scored the most points in our review of Shopify. Combine this with its level of service and businesses of all sizes, especially small businesses, can create an eCommerce backend quickly. 

The dashboard takes you through the steps involved in adding a product — a process which is already straightforward. That said, while the process is self-explanatory, there are a number of fields to complete, but it only helps to make other steps - like designing the front end - easier. As we explain in our full-depth review, “Shopify starts out easy to use, and gets easier the more you feed it.”  

Availability of apps

The Shopify App Store is another standout feature. The platform offers all the basics you need to run a business. If you lack a feature, there are more than 8,000 apps in its app store which have all passed a 100-checkpoint. 

To avoid it feeling like you need to find a needle in a haystack, it uses merchant-powered algorithms to recommend apps. Alternatively, you can narrow down the search yourself by using categories like orders and shipping; marketing and conversion; store design, etc. 

Key Characteristics of an Effective Shopify Store

An eCommerce website should offer a seamless experience that incorporates on-brand design across all the pages. To achieve this, it means your retail website should have the following: 

Mobile-responsive design

Projections reveal that retail mobile commerce sales in the United States are expected to nearly double in the next four years to reach about $855 billion by 2027. Based on these numbers, it’s safe to say that increasingly more consumers will choose to complete transactions via a mobile device. 

To accommodate this shopping behavior, it’s essential that you use one of Shopify’s mobile-friendly eCommerce website themes so that your store is optimized for various device types.   

Intuitive design

Adding to the previous point, the overall design of your website should be designed for users first and foremost. This means:

  • Logical navigation
  • Strategic use of headings and subheadings
  • Ample white space
  • Visual hierarchy

At the same time, you should focus on conversion rate optimization while designing. That’s the top tip of Rahul Vij, Managing Director of WebSpero Solutions, rated as one of the top Shopify SEO services

His practical advice includes: 

  • Reiterating value propositions near add-to-cart buttons on product pages 
  • Having search bars more prominently displayed in mobile layouts

Trust signals

Shakeel Ahmed, founder of Top SEO Expertz, a Google Partner agency that specializes in Shopify services, encourages Shopify store owners to focus on “building trust and credibility from the start”. To assure visitors they’re making a safe purchase on a legitimate store, he suggests you add:

  • High-quality product photos
  • Clear descriptions
  • Transparent customer reviews

When adding customer reviews, consider adding some level of verification too. A consumer research survey completed by Bazaarvoice found that 66% will have confidence in a trust signal that shows an independent third party has verified the content. 

Key Takeaways

Shopify is a powerful platform that’s loved and trusted by big brands and small stores alike for its intuitiveness and integrations. To unlock its true potential, you’ll need to stick to the best website design practices while trying to incorporate emerging trends strategically. 

What works are:

  • Clear navigation
  • Clean layouts
  • High-quality images
  • An optimized checkout

The challenge, though, is to communicate all the key details about your brand and its products without cluttering the layout. Even though you’re not selling body lotions and facial creams for a clean-looking skin like Meow Meow Tweet or REN Skincare, your website still needs to look clean. 

It’s actually much like a brick-and-mortar store. You don't want customers to trip over anything on their way to the checkout counter. Online stores work the same. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Which agencies can help with Shopify marketing?

Here are 10 of the best Shopify marketing agencies:

What are the best Shopify themes for an online store?

Based on sources across the web, the following are some of the most popular Shopify themes for online stores:

  • Dawn 
  • Ella
  • Responsive
  • Minion 
  • Kalles
  • Empire

Who can design my Shopify website?

There are several top-rated web design agencies that specialize in using Shopify. Based on sources from across the web, the following are rated as five of the best Shopify web design agencies:

  • SmartSites
  • Thrive Internet Marketing Agency
  • Lounge Lizard
  • Absolute Web
  • Arctic Grey

Which web design trends are important?

The following web design core aspects and trends can improve your business:

  • A mobile-friendly design
  • Site speed
  • Intuitive navigation
  • Visual elements like videos, consistent color schemes, and high-quality images
  • The use of white space
  • Dark mode
  • AI-powered personalization

How long does it take to design a website?

It takes between 1 and 2 months to develop a website. If you require multiple integrations, specialized features, and complex structures, you’re looking closer to 2 months. That said, it’s not uncommon for website development to take longer than 2 months. According to a web design survey completed by GoodFirms, about 20% of websites take between 2.5 and 3 months. 

About the Author
Koba Molenaar brings nearly a decade of rich experience in content writing, specializing in digital marketing, branding, SaaS, and eCommerce. Her passion for helping brands, from solopreneurs to established companies, connect with their audiences shines through her work. As a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society, Koba’s commitment to excellence is evident in her work, showcasing her as a relatable and knowledgeable voice in the industry.