Let’s face it – in your capacity as an ecommerce manager, director or team member, it’s one thing to vaguely admire what another brand is doing with their online store... and it’s quite another thing to understand exactly what they are doing well, and why.
So, for a recent webinar of ours, we thought we’d rope in a few ecommerce friends to pick out some of the best brands on Shopify Plus, and what we like about them. Voicing their opinions were Lucy Scurrah, Commercial Manager at Klarna; Louis Lavedan, Strategic Partnerships at Gorgias; Natalia Howard, Head of Ecommerce Strategy at Underwaterpistol; Andrew Stokes, Merchant Success Manager at Shopify Plus; and Sophie Seaton, Head of Commercial Development at Underwaterpistol.
For us, what makes a brand ‘best-in-class’ is their approach to ecommerce strategy and user experience. So, let’s hear from our five guest contributors about the best brands on Shopify Plus, per industry vertical:
- Fashion and apparel 👜
- Beauty and cosmetics 💄
- Food and beverage 🍷
- Home and office 🛋️
- Health and wellness 🧘
And don’t forget to watch the show to discover our panellists’ more detailed verdicts!
5 best fashion and apparel brands on Shopify Plus 👜
1. Paul Valentine – great product page designFor Shopify Plus’s own Andrew Stokes, Paul Valentine was a standout performer in this sector on the platform, on account of a product page design boasting impactful images that “let the products do the talking”.
2. Chinti & Parker – a clean, minimalist aesthetic
Lucy Scurrah at Klarna, meanwhile, was a big fan of a Chinti & Parker site that she hailed for its “clean, minimalist aesthetic” that made “for a calm shopping experience”. She also admired the site’s “great user journey”, “beautiful imagery” and a “premium boutique feel” that she felt represented a good “match to how it would be in a luxury in-store boutique”.
3. Afends – great navigation and trendy designs
Representing Gorgias in our webinar, Louis Lavedan told us that his choice of Afends in this vertical arose from a conversation with his Australian Customer Success Manager. He complimented the “great navigation” and “trendy designs” that characterised the fashion and lifestyle brand’s ecommerce portal, as well as the “consistent branding” and “visibility in menus for items with colour variants”.
4. Skinnydip London – simple, colourful and playful
Skinnydip London wins a rave review from our own Natalia Howard not just due to the site itself – which she describes as a “simple yet playful design featuring emojis and colourful CTAs” – but also because of its “exciting growth” as a brand. The business has expanded from colourful phone cases to become a lifestyle brand retailing clothing, accessories and beauty, and Natalia likes how the site highlights Skinnydip London’s “fun brand personality”.
5. Patou – luxurious lookbooks and impressive localisation
Meanwhile, for our Head of Commercial, Sophie Seaton, Patou distinguishes itself with its shoppable lookbooks that she describes as “very ‘luxury’”, as well as its considerable localisation features encompassing multiple currencies and languages. “You can shop in GBP with French language, for example.”
5 best beauty and cosmetics brands on Shopify Plus 💄
1. Pai – consultations that add to the experience
Pai, which specialises in organic skincare for sensitive skin, was the pick of Shopify Plus’s Andrew Stokes for this vertical. He expressed admiration for the consultations that he said helped make the site “more of an experience”.
2. Morphe – a colourful, smart and responsive design
Lucy Scurrah from Klarna was full of praise in our webinar for the experience Morphe gave to its ecommerce visitors. She described its online store as “fun, engaging, colourful, responsive and super smart”, pointing out aspects like the “super high-definition imagery”, and the fact that hovering over images or words triggered new imagery to move.
3. Pat McGrath Labs – a pulsating “club” experience
One glance at the ecommerce portal of Pat McGrath Labs shows it to be a pretty stimulating place; in Louis Lavedan’s words, the site’s vibrant photos and videos add up to “a total experience... you feel like you’re in a club or something.” He was also an admirer of the “abundance of details” that accompanied each of the site’s products.
4. Frank Body – rich user-generated content
Frank Body is known for its coffee-based skincare offerings, and our own Natalia Howard praised its website that “helps bring brand authenticity to life with playful animations, diverse model casting and UGC (user-generated content)”. She described the site as “big on content” in general, but also approved of how flexible payment options, such as Klarna, are showcased “throughout the user journey”.
5. Crabtree & Evelyn – a clean, simple and understated interface
The body, fragrance and home care product brand may have retreated from its formerly strong brick-and-mortar presence around the globe, but it continues to thrive as an online-only entity. Sophie Seaton, our Head of Commercial here at Underwaterpistol, loves the current Crabtree & Evelyn site’s “really clean, simple UX (user experience), with the right balance of creative – not overdone, but a beautiful-looking, consistent site.”
5 best food and beverage brands on Shopify Plus 🍷
1. Huel – a sense of community, backed by social proofing
This brand – its name a portmanteau of “human fuel” – has attracted notice in recent years for its meal replacement products. Andrew Stokes from Shopify Plus chose the Huel website for this vertical out of a liking for such aspects as its “trust building, community, and social proofing”.
2. Innermost – genuinely educational, while still optimising sales
For Klarna’s Lucy Scurrah, the online home of this wellness and nutrition brand “strikes the right balance between informative/educational and commercial”. She contrasted its “joyful” vibe and “bright happy colours” with the more clinical aesthetic of the sites of other vitamin and supplement brands, concluding: “You feel like you are going to be buying something really positive.”
3. Craft Gin Club – a great idea, executed in a fun and trendy way
The UK-based gin subscription club is doing such a stellar job of making the most of the possibilities of Shopify Plus, that it earned a mention from not just one, but two of our panellists.
One of those was Louis Lavedan, Strategic Partnerships at Gorgias, who hailed the idea of a website dedicated to gin as “the best idea of the 21st century”. And it wasn’t just the idea, but the execution he liked: “The website is very fun. Gin had the reputation of being an old-fashioned alcohol.” Craft Gin Club, however, managed to make gin seem “very trendy”.
Underwaterpistol’s Head of Commercial, Sophie Seaton, agrees. She praised the “fun elements”, the appeal to their target audience’s FOMO (fear of missing out) with its membership model, and its “completely bespoke subscription offering and customer experience.”
4. Brew Tea Co. – showing tea is something to be excited about
With its brightly coloured, retro vibe, this British tea brand was always likely to win fans with its online presence, and Natalia Howard is one of them. The Underwaterpistol Head of Ecommerce Strategy said the site helped to make “everyday black tea” seem like “something to celebrate”. She expressed admiration for the “refreshing” tone of voice and a sense that “they put the customer first – there is a clear message that ‘tea drinkers’ are at the heart of everything they do.”
5 best home and office brands on Shopify Plus 🛋️
1. Aeris – a beautiful design and clear company mission
The Aeris site was the top choice of Shopify Plus’s own Andrew Stokes in the home and office vertical; he hailed the homepage’s “beautiful design”, adding that it “gives you everything you need to know about the products and the company’s mission.”
2. Dock & Bay – bringing the beach to lockdown
Although Dock & Bay offers various products, such as hair wraps, ponchos and even reusable makeup removers, it is especially known for its quick dry beach towels. Lucy Scurrah, however, feels that it deserves to be renowned for its online store, too, which she has said effectively “brings the beach to lockdown” and “inspires travel”. The site’s engaging and escapist feel is further maximised, in her mind, by its “vibrant colours”.
3. Bed Threads – a clean design and attractive BNPL options
Speaking of travel or lack of it, many of us have been spending more time in our own beds recently, which may have served to make Bed Threads’ luxurious linen bed sheets and quilt cover sets even more relevant. Gorgias’ Louis Lavedan, though, also loves the Bed Threads site, which he says sports a “clean design” that doesn’t feel “overcrowded”. He adds that the BNPL (buy now pay later) options “are in keeping with their brand, which is notoriously difficult to pull off.”
4. Ettitude – beautiful lifestyle photography and consistent brand message
This Australian brand is another that has been helping to make our beds nicer places to be lately. Its website also promotes that sense of restfulness, with our own Natalia Howard highlighting its “beautiful lifestyle photography that creates a premium and aspirational site aesthetic”, as well as the “strong brand values around sustainability with a clear and consistent brand message carried across the site.”
5. Simba Sleep – localised checkout and content
As Simba Sleep itself says, “A good sleep doesn’t happen overnight. It’s engineered.” But it’s evidently put a lot of effort into its Shopify Plus site as well; Underwaterpistol Head of Commercial Sophie Seaton points to its localised checkout and content, including “payment options to suit different regions.”
5 best health and wellness brands on Shopify Plus 🧘
1. FaceGym – making it easy to book a course and purchase the product
If the notion of fitness for your face hasn’t crossed your mind much until now, it might be time to reappraise it. That’s thankfully easy to do on FaceGym’s Shopify Plus site, which Andrew Stokes likes because it allows the prospective customer to “book a course and purchase the product in one go.”
2. Gymshark – an inclusive brand with diverse models
The British fitness apparel and accessories brand has what Lucy Scurrah at Klarna has called a “cool website” that “makes you want to be part of the Gymshark gang as soon as you land onsite.” She described it as an easy-to-use, “100% customer-centric” site that also uses a “diverse range of models who look strong and confident – it’s super genuine.”
3. Campus Protein – colourful, but clear
According to Louis Lavedan from Gorgias, the Campus Protein site has “lots of colours everywhere – it looks like you are about to buy candies.” But he also said it was a “clear website” with product descriptions that were “straight to the point”.
4. NEOM Organics London – a strong omnichannel focus, including virtual gifting
Our Head of Ecommerce Strategy, Natalia Howard, had a lot to say about how this store focusing on natural wellness had tapped into the potential of Shopify Plus. She praised its “omnichannel focus”, observing that “Shopify Plus capabilities have enabled integration with NEOM’s in-store till system to help provide a better customer experience.” She added that the “virtual gifting appointment functionality recognises the importance of online and offline working together.”
5. Bulletproof – amazing search and easy-to-navigate subscription options
Finally, Underwaterpistol’s Sophie Seaton picked the supplements brand Bulletproof for this vertical, spotlighting its “really strong branding”, “amazing search” and “easy-to-navigate subscription offering”.
So, what do you think? Do you have your own favourite Shopify stores in these verticals, and would you like to hear more from our assembled ecommerce experts? If so, register for our webinar now to watch the full recording. Then, reach out to the Underwaterpistol team for a more detailed discussion about how we could help unlock the potential of your own brand’s online presence.