Want a better ecommerce site, learn by example.

I along with thousands of website owners am always trying to improve my ecommerce sites. Hopefully that little font tweak that I make half asleep at midnight will lead to some huge increase in sales. Most likely not, but maybe…

In truth, one of the best ways to get good ideas about what to change on your website, is by looking at other websites that have their crap together. Not every mega site does the right things, and you definitely don’t want to go start incorporating every bell and whistle that you can find, but these sites spend a lot of money on testing, so if they have some feature on their site, is it normally for a reason.

Here are some sites with very good features, some of which may be a good idea for your website. These are only ecommerce sites that sell products through a shopping cart and checkout system.

Homepage Design:
Crutchfield – This site’s homepage is excellent. Well organized, not overcrowded, and very effective.

Navigation / Site Architecture:
Victoria’s Secret – Huge amount of content that is very well organized. In my opinion, this is one of the best sites on the internet as an example of how to properly organize a lot of products.

Category Layout:
Academic Superstore – I get to see every product in the category, in a well organized format, and I can tell software will work on my computer from the category view. I can also add a product to my cart without loading the entire product page.

Product Layout:
Circuit City – The products are very clean, and all of the extra information is easily accessible below the overview description. The add to cart button contrasts the rest of the page, and is where I would expect to see it. No surprises. Best Buy on the other hand, has the add to cart button’s on the left side of the product description. Not somewhere that I would look immediately.

Best product photos:
TigerDirect – Their are usually five or more images with every product. Also, not only is the product shown from multiple angles, but the entire contents of the box that it comes in are laid out. No surprises.

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  1. Lon ny Paul 9 Mar, 2007

    Thanks for the kudos on our product photos at TigerDirect.com – we are very happy to see others who appreciate the extra effort that we put into each of our product presentations.

    You may not have noticed, but we have been adding videos to our products as well – currently about 150 of them – you can also view them on YouTube and Stickam. Just search for TigerDirect and you’ll find a bunch of them on either site, otherwise watch for great new videos which help you get a quasi-physical experience interacting and using the device as well!

    We are always trying to look for something new – and this our current effort to help our customers even more.

    Thanks again!

    Lonny Paul
    Director of Interactive Media

  2. daniel 15 Apr, 2007

    hi, Jamie, Lonny, how are you today?

    Just a quick post to say I couldn’t agree more on this & a nod to Lonny for the fantastic work on TigerDirect’s product photos. I’ve used TigerDirect as an example a few times when talking about good merchandising!


  3. Charles Tang 21 Jun, 2007

    Wise words indeed. Just because something worked for Amazon doesn’t mean it’ll work well for you. Sometimes very large sites like Amazon tend to look overly crowded. However, that’s the best way for them to display their huge inventory of products.

    So, if you run a smaller ecommerce store, changing to an over-crowded “look” may not work. Of course, as with all things, the proof of the testing is in the results ;-).

  4. Robert Gilbreath 16 Oct, 2007


    Thanks for the positive words in regards to our category layout.

    We really appreciate the feedback.


    Robert Gilbreath
    Director of Online Marketing
    Academic Superstore

  5. Hi,

    For the homepage design I sould appreciate the great homepage of AliExpress bhy Alibaba.com as this is very intuisite interface without visual clutter.

    Thanks for suggesting benchmark website for online store.

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