The 5 best eCommerce store designs for the holiday shopping season

The holiday season is bound to make an impact on your eCommerce website. According to Disruptive Advertising, 54% of Millennials make purchases exclusively online. This data comes at the heels of the nearly $8 billion spent during the 2018 Black Friday Cyber Monday season in the US alone. To compete, eCommerce businesses do everything they can to differentiate from the crowd. But truth be told, an optimal eCommerce store design goes a long way. Even if you’re in a code freeze, there are ways you can make impactful adjustments without developer help. Acting now might seem futile, but there’s a lot of benefits you can realize from some simple optimizations.

Effects of a well-designed eCommerce store

Easier content management‍

Even though your design should be customer-centric, you still need to make content management easier for your admins. A well-chosen store design or a theme can help your website stand out due to the sheer clarity of information. Choosing a design that is packed with visual information and hyperlinks confuses the visitors, let alone your content managers. If the content is easier to organize, your customers will have a much better experience going through the product selection afterward.

‍Better online ranking

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plays a large role in whether or not a site shows up when someone looks for relevant terms in Google, Bing or Yahoo (among others). According to eCommerce-Platforms, 48% of marketers agree that keyword search and optimization has proven to be a viable tactic in their eCommerce sites. Putting some thought and effort into your store’s design will net you a much better ranking which leads to online visibility and becoming more competitive in the eCommerce sphere.

‍Higher traffic and revenue

Lastly, the most important reason for making sure that your storefront is legible, comfortable, and attractive to customers is for the conversion rates that follow. Keep in mind that people will undoubtedly buy presents and other goodies during the holiday season. The question is, however, which site they will use to do so. Opting for a well-balanced design solution of your eCommerce store will net you far higher traffic and subsequent revenue due to the sheer accessibility and user-friendly nature of your website. Here are five brands that have optimized their sites in unique ways to win this holiday season.

1. Panasonic

Brand storytelling is an important part of today’s advertising. People connect with brands that have a “heart & soul” component behind the façade. Panasonic does this exceptionally well in their web design. Their website oozes brand storytelling from the moment you visit their landing page. The company put an emphasis on their core values first and foremost. Once you are familiar with their “why”, you can approach the “what” through their equally-intuitive eCommerce store and order whichever item you wish to purchase. The same philosophy can be applied to any brand with only a few written sentences about the reasoning and goals behind the brand name.

2. The New York Times

The famous and world-renowned news website also boasts an eCommerce storefront. What separates The New York Times design from others is its emphasis on dominant typography. This can be an amazing solution for high-end products, Christmas bundles, discount highlights, and other important items. The theme is minimalistic in nature, relying on products themselves to fill in the white space. It features a very clean grid design which can be comfortable to browse through both desktop and mobile devices.

3. The Sportsman’s Guide

Covering everything ‘outdoor sports’, including hunting and fishing, The Sportsman’s Guide has quite a lot to offer. Their various products and services require a special type of eCommerce design for easy navigation. The Sportsman’s Guide puts an emphasis on clear calls to action with bold lettering and clear purchase incentives. You need not look any further than the front page to know about every product available at a steal price. To complement their well-designed storefront, The Sportsman Guide worked to boost engagement rates and build their community with a social media campaign, resulting in a resounding success both for their traffic and overall revenue. Combining an impactful landing page full of deals and offers with tagging and content sharing can prove to be a very useful tactic in the coming holiday season.

4. Beacon

Beacon is a part of a relief fund organization run by a group of professional graphic designers. Their site’s goal is to sell posters and gather money for charities. What makes Beacon stand out is the eCommerce store design. The website is designed to resemble an art gallery, with posters on the walls around each visitor. You can easily select the product (poster) you like and order it within minutes of your decision. This clean ad-free design helps maintain professional integrity and drives conversion. Beacon’s website is a good example of impeccable visual composition, product placement and product description writing.

5. Munchkin

Social proof and testimonials are often sorely lacking across the web. Munchkin’s storefront places a heavy emphasis they place on user-created content (UGC) to help the shopper connect with their products. This baby product company has made it its mission to include happy families and babies into their product sales pages. This has brought a community of families, and parents of young children to the website. This philosophy emphasizes customer inclusion and social proof in its design. You can easily follow in Munchkin’s footsteps and feature your happy, satisfied customers across the website. Their words will speak louder than any marketing pitch you write in-house. Customers simply identify with everyday people more than they do with abstract company names and logos – a lesson that eCommerce brands can learn for the holidays.

The holiday season is closing in quickly with each passing day. People won’t stand for an unintuitive, unfriendly design of online stores with the myriad options they have to choose from. Optimize your site for your customers this season and see the results pour in!

‍Elisa Abbott is a freelancer whose passion lies in creative writing. She completed a degree in Computer Science and writes about ways to apply machine learning to deal with complex issues. Insights on education, helpful tools, and valuable university experiences – she has got you covered. When she’s not engaged in assessing translation services for PickWriters, you’ll usually find her sipping a cappuccino with a book.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on Any statistics or statements included in this article were current at the time of original publication.

More great insights and news from Emplifi

Emplifi Tool kit — Visual Storytelling

[Tool Kit] Visual storytelling on social media

Emplifi - What brands can learn from the Met Gala

What brands can learn from the Met Gala

Top image: UGC collaborators: What your brand should look for

UGC collaborators: What your brand should look for

Emplifi - UGC Do’s and Don’ts

7 do’s and don’ts of UGC curation and management in 2024

Hero: Why your brand needs a UGC platform

Why your brand needs a UGC platform

Emplifi: Why you need UGC in your marketing mix

[Infographic] Why you need UGC in your marketing mix

EMP115 UGC Guide 625x417

[Guide] How to Unlock the Power of UGC

Top image: 4 ways to use UGC beyond social media

4 ways to use UGC beyond social media

Emplifi - 5 ways to use UGC to boost your bottom line

5 ways to use UGC to boost your bottom line

Top image: How to deploy social proof within your marketing strategy

How to deploy social proof within your marketing strategy

Emplifi Press: Emplifi Reveals Nearly 90% of Consumers Say Customer Ratings and Reviews Have the Biggest Impact on Purchasing Decisions

[Report] Meeting the demands of the modern customer

Emplifi Blog: The influencer marketing stats you need to know this year

[Infographic] The influencer marketing stats you need to know this year

Emplifi newsletter

Sign up for the latest insights and best practices to elevate your social marketing, commerce, and care.

Just some of our recent awards

MarTech Breakthrough Awards 2023 - Emplifi (Influencer Marketing Innovation Award)
Emplifi -  AI Breakthrough Awards 2023 - Best Text Generative AI Solution
CUSTOMER Contact Center Technology Award 2023
TrustRadius Top Rated 2024 Badge
G2 Badge: Leader Enterprise Spring 2024
Logo - G2: Highest User Adoption (Spring 2024)
Logo - G2: Easiest Admin Mid-Market (Spring 2024)
Logo - G2: Enterprise Leader EMEA (Spring 2024)
Award - G2: Users Love Us