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Best Responsive Ecommerce WordPress Themes

Best Responsive Ecommerce WordPress Themes | Design Revolution |

My favs: Clean Sale (pictured here), Retail Therapy and Kiosk. What are your favorites? 

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30 Beautiful and Creative Ecommerce Website Designs – Shopify

30 Beautiful and Creative Ecommerce Website Designs – Shopify | Design Revolution |

A blog about ecommerce marketing, running an online business and updates to Shopify's ecommerce community.

Marty Note
Ecommerce is hard to make "BEAUTIFUL". The conventions are well established now such as hero, underneath or to the right of the hero is a line of products, nav leads to category pages then to product pages, big search box and so on.

Here are 30 cool takes on convention that don't spill conversions all over the floor, the danger of modifying ecommerce convention, but do create intelligent and NEW feeling ecom web design.

My favorite is Norwegian Rain because their hero tells such a amazing story with so few words. Very difficult to do a group shot like that without looking too exclusive. Like a club that would never have YOU (the visitor) for a member.

I don't get that feel from their image and design. Very cool and NOTHING I would have considered before seeing that a group shot of that magnitude can be accomplished.

Norwegian Rain
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30 Brilliant 404 Error Page Designs & Why That's Important | Creative Bloq

30 Brilliant 404 Error Page Designs & Why That's Important | Creative Bloq | Design Revolution |

The 404 page is a standard response code in HTTP telling the user, in effect, that they've clicked on a broken link.

Marty Note
When I was Director of Ecommerce we had a period where our 404 (not found) page was shown so often it got indexed in Google. You don't want that (lol), but you DO want your 404 page to create a sense of missed opportunity.

Your "not found" page needs to create a sense of easy correction and reassurance. Your site (and by extension YOU) are for real. The 404 page that provides a sense of stability, missed opportunity and a clear path to correction can win back what might otherwise be a lost customer.

One way a website creates trust is to manage everything with a sense of commitment and quality. When our 404 page was showing up so much it got ranked I made sure to apologize and share a special offer code. There was a period when that offer was our most popular redemption (again NOT GOOD lol).

A visitor might "fish" your site typing a nonsense sequence to see what you offer. My thought was always HAVE AT IT (lol). For the honest traveler who ends up seeing your 404 (especially if YOU are at fault) having a great design and a promotion code can safe the day.

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Why Is Holiday Ecommerce Website Design So BAD?

Why Is Holiday Ecommerce Website Design So BAD? | Design Revolution |

I'm not sure what to blame such a poor showing on basic holiday ecommerce design on, but this year's November crop is flat, uninspiring and junky.

L. L. Bean usually sets the holiday standard. This year their November offering is marred by an obnoxious animated image that includes their great Free Shipping Offer. I HATE putting such a great free shipping offer on a roll because it is easy to miss in the 5 to 9 seconds most visitors give a webpage before moving on (granted this is BEAN so maybe 15 seconds). 

Bean has the tough job of competing with themselves and, in past holiday selling seasons, they define how to create great holiday look and feel. Holiday look and feel can be tough. I like Patagonia's approach - put up snow scenes AND a surfer on a massive wave (hey its Christmas in Hawaii too). 

The other faux pas that is unforgivable after all these years is Free Shipping obfuscation. Many leading retailers are going free shipping all orders and some are going the Zappos route and offering free returns too. Of the 37 websites reviewed only 6 earned A ratings on three criteria:

* Free Shipping.
* Holiday Look and Feel. 
* Holiday merchandising via categories such as For Him, Her, Kids. 

The other big miss is websites who think they are too cool for the holidays (, Restoration Hardware). Black on black at the holidays is expensively too cool and self absorbed. 

If you know smaller websites who know how to do the holidays right please share in comments or email Martin.Smith(at) 


Randy Ksar's curator insight, November 13, 2013 7:40 PM

interesting topic on #ecommerce UX design. any other websites that you know are doing innovative desktop or mobile ecommerce design work?

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The 20 Best E-Commerce Website Designs Inspire

The 20 Best E-Commerce Website Designs Inspire | Design Revolution |
The e-commerce sector has long been known to develop websites that did not put much focus on design. They tend to get very cluttered and bogged down, consistently suffering from not being user friendly.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Agree with most of these.

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10 Beautiful Websites for Your Inspiration - Can Beauty Win As A Strategy?

10 Beautiful Websites for Your Inspiration - Can Beauty Win As A Strategy? | Design Revolution |

Design Beauty As Online Strategy
Beauty has a problem online. Imagine a line with pretty pictures on one end and makes money / converts on the other. As website design travels away from the balanced center out to either pole something is given up.

Beautiful sites often feel solipsistic and self referential. Commerce sites feel transactional and much like an not very special commodity. As visual marketing commands more and more of our attention, efforts and communication arresting imagery is important.

You can't sell someone who doesn't stop long enough to know who you are. Is beauty an effective strategy in and of itself? No. Is commerce an effective strategy in and of itself? No. Truth lies in the magic promise of a balanced approach as these 10 examples of somewhat practical beauty share.

My favorite and the one most centered between those two poles?
Juliana Bicycles - I don't typically like group scenes that aren't open to the viewer as they can send an exclusionary message. This bicycle site doesn't because of the magic of place pictured and the ancient desire to warm next to a fire with friends.

Would NEVER have thought Juliana Bicycles hero could feel so beautiful, friendly and inviting breaking several key rules - but it does.

malek's curator insight, April 25, 8:50 AM

One Unusual trend we ignore

In Digital strategy pay maximum attention to social media tools, digital tricks and marketing tips. But, we don’t always keep tabs on website design trends and evolution

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15 Best Responsive Design Websites | Web Design Inspiration [@PeterShamN is Great]

15 Best Responsive Design Websites | Web Design Inspiration [@PeterShamN is Great] | Design Revolution |
Awesome Responsive Design Website Designs for Inspiration. Selection of Awwwards winning Responsive Design websites. Fluid grids, flexible images and media queries are the three technical ingredients for responsive web design
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

My favorite is Petersham Nuseries @PetershamN. Peter Sham may be the best content / commerce site I've encountered. Social is a tad hard to find, but the smooth synergy between storytelling content and commercial selling is elegant, well architected and seamless.

Love this (great, intimate content):

"The teahouse has evolved to now offer a seasonally inspired, Italianate lunch menu, as well as daily homemade cakes, loose whole leaf teas and filter coffee. Horticulturally, the nurseries expanded with the reopening of the Greenhouse III to extend the onsite propagation alongside the expansion of the cutting and kitchen gardens directed by Lucy Boyd, whilst the development of the community and education based Petersham Platform sees the Nurseries' fundamental ethos central to the growth within our walls opened up to those outside it.

The success and ripening can be attributed to the ideas and determination of eldest daughter Lara Boglione. Since 2011 Lara has been the driving force behind the development of the Nurseries. Her passion lies in sustainability, gastronomy, agriculture and education, an ethos that is spread across all business functions. Lara explains: “We hope to have created a place of calm, away from the bustle of London, somewhere that respects and is in tune with nature and positive living."

Peter Sham is more than just an amazing responsive site. The site is a great example of how content and commerce can live in harmony. 

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2014 Ecommerce Design Trends Infographic via @CrowdFunde

2014 Ecommerce Design Trends Infographic via @CrowdFunde | Design Revolution |

Little doubt enterprise crowdfunding will play an important role in ecommerce next year. As the first Ecommies shared on Ecommerce is stuck in its own mud ( ).

CrowdFunde is a new tool that helps add crowdfunding to any website. Crowdfunding is about to explode thanks to the SEC ruling in late October to allow equity crowdfunding.


Enterprise crowdfunding is about to explode too and eCommerce will be changed by the addition of a new low cost, high return marketing channel that reminds us of what email marketing used to be before everyone started curating email with mobile devices, driving open rates down even as the size of many lists increase.

This CrowdFunde infographic shares color, growth and tribal acceptance information proving ecommerce is ready for a change, a crowdfunding, and social, mobile, gamified change.


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5 Ecommerce Checkout Tips - How To DESIGN For More Conversions Next Year

5 Ecommerce Checkout Tips - How To DESIGN For More Conversions Next Year | Design Revolution |
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight: Lessons In Checkout Mechanics
We did a lot of things right with our initial design of our crowdfunding cancer research website, but there are some "checkout mechanics" that need tuning including:

* 1,2,3 Graphic.

* Trust Marks.

* Ability To SEE what is happening. 

* Too many Steps (superfluous information requested). 

* Doesn't FEEL Secure.


Your ecommerce or charity donations page should be in lockdown until next year. While checkout process changes can often bring the biggest ROI, they are to be avoided this close to a major deadline like 12.25.

1,2,3 Graphic
Always MAP your checkout process and then use a different color to indicate YOU ARE HERE. This repeatable graphic is a great TRUST creator and costs NOTHING other than the design time to create it.

Trust Marks
When I use the Trust Mark I DON'T use their widget. Widgets allow visitors to click on the logo and hear all about how great they are. NO ONE clicks on that link and the overhead for carrying the JavaScript is too high. I take a picture of the logo and use that (no link). If you must link to something link to your privacy policy, but be sure to include the same graphic at the top and begin with an explanation of the Trust Mark in your copy.

SEEING What Is Happening
Our current checkout has a popup to save a credit card. PopUps are horrible as they destroy confidence. Confidence is lost when customers can't SEE what they've done and how it relates to the end goal. "Relates to the end goal" is why the graphical map of your checkout process is so crucial.

Too Many STEPS
We have a profile creation page in our current checkout and we aren't doing anything with that data so a BIG NO NO. Don't PROFILE your customers during checkout since you will lose half of them. Profiling should be done via incentives and email marketing WHEN you have a curators need for the data (and not before). Once I can actually USE a picture of a donor THEN and ONLY THEN should that information be requested.

Must FEEL Secure
Trust Marks are so common no one sees them, but boy you sure see their ABSCENCE. Why make me wonder if you are secure. Slap a logo on your checkout and write the words TRUSTED and SECURE under them. Research shows the presence of the words is valuable as it provides context to the logos AND increases trust.

When we redesign's checkout I will be sure to share it so we can do a BEFORE and AFTER comparison (and a real graphic designer will polish my rough drafts).


Seth Storey's curator insight, October 23, 2013 12:15 PM

Great tips on good checkout design