Best Shopify Stores: Design Inspiration

Browsing Shopify stores on laptop and mobile devices

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Shopify stores are at the heart of millions of retail businesses found on the web today. But what are some of the best examples of Shopify stores?

We've put together this fun and informative guide for our favourite Shopify stores. It's our top-rated ecommerce platform because of its diverse sales features and reliability.

Below you'll find a list of beautiful online shops to browse and – shamelessly – steal design inspiration from. The websites below go beyond simply looking good – they function well and encourage visitors to make purchases with clever psychological tactics.

From soothing colour schemes to aspirational styling, these websites engage eyeballs and emotions in equal measure. Let's dive into the wonderful world of Shopify example stores and see what there is to learn in design and sales conversion.

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1. The Economist

www.economistdiaries.com

Shopify stores The Economist example

The success of The Economist's online diary shop its the continuity of its branding. Using the same fire engine red across all pages for prices, accents and The Economist's own logo reminds the web visitor where they are, what they're looking at and what they should do next. There's a strong sense of professionalism, authority and reliability in the consistent branding. You'd never even know it was a Shopify store because it looks bespoke. This goes to show how wide the creative scope is with Shopify's flexible design platform.

It's an incredibly simple website, yet it sees a “very high” volume of traffic, according to website research platform Built With. And it serves these thousands of users with a layout that's crisp and legible. The interface is uncluttered and navigation links are easy to spot. All of these elements combine for a tasteful and low-stress shopping experience.


2. Vogue

www.shop.vogue.co.uk

Vogue apparel shopify stores

Vogue's small online store showcases its branded apparel, mainly aimed at women. Lots of smiling faces, attractive young people and perfectly curated hairstyles – as you'd expect from this iconic British fashion brand.

What you may not expect is the simplicity of its ecommerce platform: Shopify, equally accessible to small business and sole traders as it is to corporate entities such as Vogue. The excellence of this website is not solely in its professional photography, but its excellent functionality. Mouseover any image on its “Collections” page and observe a change in both the text and image itself. The interactive experience lends itself to a suave and sophisticated shopping journey.

Shopify has dedicated fashion website templates that make it really easy to put together a sophisticated online retail outlet.

Vogue products sold out ecommerce example Shopify stores

3. Mous

www.uk.mous.co

Mous phone case shopify stores homepage

Mous is a great example of Shopify's adaptability as an ecommerce platform. As Shopify plans all include unlimited bandwidth – which Mous takes full advantage of with high-quality autoplay gifs that show how its phone cases work. Shopify also allows Mous to offer its readers verified customer reviews, with individual ratings for the customer experience, design and function of their purchases. This adds to the credibility of the products on offer – a tried-and-tested way to improve on-site conversion rate!

There's even an online blog updated with relevant content regarding phone hardware, which adds even more value to the site experience. As ever, high-quality photography is at the absolute centre of the website's design appeal (are you seeing a theme here?).

Mous phone case discounts product page

4. Gymshark

www.uk.gymshark.com

Gymshark Shopify stores fashion retail online

Fitnesswear brand Gymshark goes heavy on the photography for their retail homepage. Featuring lots of photographs of their target consumer: trendy, young people with “real” body shapes. Bucking the trend of stick-thin white-skinned models, Gymshark's September 2022 website featured full-width imagery of confident-looking people of colour advertising their clothing. It's the polar opposite of brands like Hollister in the early 2000s, which their millennial customer base will remember well. Who knew Shopify could be so trendy?

Like other successful retail brands in this space, the tone of voice is friendly and casual: “Sign up to emails you'll actually read” and “[Check out the] new additions to the Adapt family”. Such quips encourage a sense of familiarity and present email sign up and product browsing as no-pressure, intriguing activities.

Gymshark homepage gymwear branding ecommerce webpage

5. OK! Beauty Box

www.okbeautybox.co.uk

OK Beauty Box Shopify Stores

Celebrity gossip magazine OK! has joined in with the beauty subscription box craze and set up their own Shopify site to sell it. It's a simple yet effective shopping website with tempting sales features. For instance, a message in the top left corner notifies the web user that someone has bought another subscription box. And a pop-up window appears with a discount offer if the user submits their email address.

This website shows you how easy it is to set up a professional-looking branded website adjacent to your main website. Even if you only want to sell one or two products – such as a limited-edition subscription box, in this case – a Shopify ecommerce site is a great way to achieve this.

Billie Shepherd Shopify stores holding subscription box
Looking to create a functional online shop with excellent sales features?

6. Afrocenchix

www.afrocenchix.com

Afrocenchix Shopify stores Trustpilot reviews

Winning customer trust in a crowded marketplace like women's haircare products is no easy task. But black haircare brand Afrocenchix achieves just this by cleverly integrating Trustpilot reviews onto their product purchase pages. When thinking over whether or not to buy Afrocenchix's pricier-than-average shampoo bottle, customers can see the green star rating from the recognised company review site. This build confidence in the quality of the product and likely encourages conversions.

A well-structured and clean catalogue interface allows web visitors to easily search by hair product type or “Concerns” including dry hair or itchy scalp. With a simple tick-box system, the product browsing experience is intuitive and easy to use. Hovering the cursor over a product bottle image reveals the colour and viscosity of the liquid inside, so customers know what they're purchasing.

Afrocenchix shopify stores product page

7. Penguin

www.shop.penguin.co.uk

Shopify stores Penguin Shop homepage screenshot

Believe it or not, book publishing house Penguin has a Shopify store, too. This goes to show how even famous brands of the UK choose to sell through a commercial ecommerce platform instead of building an entirely bespoke web shop. A bold header bar with the Penguin logo sits atop each page, creating excellent website continuity. Fun scrolling images give exciting glimpses of beautiful books and bags available for purchase.

Penguin also includes their writing workshops for sale on this website, as well as book-related furniture, stationary and accessories. We love the bright colours, easy-to-read text and simple, bold design.

Penguin Shopify stores product page

8. Mind

www.shop.mind.org.uk

Mind shopify stores homepage

It's not just commercial enterprise that benefits from owning their own shopping websites. Mental health charity Mind has a Shopify site as a means of distributing helpful resources and merchandise.

A few simple yet effective elements such as images with quotes convey the charity's effective work while promoting their products. The simple white and blue interface allows the visitor to easily browse items and understand where their money goes.

Shopify stores Mind greeting cards screenshot

9. Rock Sound

www.shop.rocksound.tv

Rock Sound Shopify stores homepage screenshot

British music magazine Rock Sound boasts a beautiful Shopify store for fans and followers to buy back issues, subscriptions, posters, t-shirts and even physical records.

Rock Sound magazine has branched out from simply selling magazines to offer the Holy Grail of music fandom: merch. Though it might seem like the traditional High Street is dead, effective online stores with a targeted audience are always going to be popular among die-hard fans. Intuitive navigation buttons, a strong colour scheme and enlarged product images upon mouseover all add to the products' appeal.

Rock Sound records for sale

10. Public Desire

www.publicdesire.com

Public desire shopify stores instagram integration

Fast fashion brand Public Desire appeals squarely to its millennial audience with its brightly-lit product photography, ‘like' option on every product and Instagram feed halfway down its homepage. The Instagram integration is particularly clever because web visitors can tap or mouseover any image (modelled by a trendy young person out on the town) and buy the product directly from that window. Removing steps between “I want it!” to “I got it!” is a sure success for selling more products online.

Money-conscious shoppers will likely take advantage of the pop-up 15% off discount which jumps out at the viewer upon scrolling down the site. With conversion rates of website visitors to paying customers at around 4.4% in 2021, you'll want to do all you can to entice curious customers.

Public Desire discount pop up window

Shopify Pricing: How much does a webstore cost?

Tempted to create or upgrade a Shopify store of your own? We don't blame you, given some of the snazzy results the above store owners have already achieved. We've rated and ranked the best ecommerce platforms for small businesses and Shopify comes out on top thanks to its excellent sales features.

We've already done a deep dive of Shopify pricing, but it can't hurt to take a quick look over their available ecommerce price plans:

Swipe right to see more
0 out of 0

Starter

Basic Shopify

Advanced Shopify

Shopify Plus

Price (billed annually)

£5/month

Price (billed annually)
Price (billed annually)
Price (billed annually)

£1,640+/month

Best For

Selling on social media

Best For

Starting a small online store

Best For

International sellers

Best For

High volume retailers

Key Features
  • Get shoppable links (URLs)
  • Product pages
  • Basic order management
  • 5% + 25p online credit card rates
Key Features
  • Sell an unlimited number of products
  • Up to two users
  • Sell in 33 currencies (2% conversion fee)
Key Features
  • 15 staff accounts
  • Third-party calculated shipping rates
  • Collect import taxes
  • Advanced reporting
Key Features
  • Faster checkout
  • Automate workflows
  • Security and compliance
  • Priority support
Transaction Fees

5%

Transaction Fees

2%

Transaction Fees

0.5%

Transaction Fees

0.15–0.30%

It's good to know there's a range of Shopify prices to suit your budget at various stages of growing your business. While Shopify isn't as cheap as Woocommerce, its reliable sales features equip you to list products online with as much detail as you need.

How does Shopify compare to competitors?

When we rated Shopify for Value for Money, it scored 3/5. That's lower than Square, Squarespace, Wix and Woocommerce, which all scored at least 4/5 and above. In fact, when it comes to Wix vs Shopify, the latter had a higher customer score (4.8/5 versus 4.2/5) meaning users preferred using it over Wix.

Shopify scored 4.7/5 for its sales features in our independent testing. That's higher than any of the other seven top ecommerce platforms we tested it against. So you'll be sure of a reliable selling experience if you go with Shopify to build your online shop.

Shopify's customer score was 4.8/5, another top category score in our comparative testing. That means customers found it easier to use and left more favourable reviews of it online compared to other ecommerce platforms.

Interested in more Shopify comparisons? We've written a guide to the best Shopify alternatives to help you shop around.

Expert Verdict

We hope you've taken some inspiration from these Shopify stores – whether it's the stylish fashion retail layouts, integrated charity messaging or setting up subscription box sales – don't forget you can come back any time for more website ideas.

We're excited about the range of design possibilities online retailers enjoy with Shopify. Whether you're thinking of using a template, want to get a little creative with a backend, or are planning to hire a web designer, Shopify is a really reliable bedrock for your new online store.

With more than 2 million users in 2021, there must be a reason ecommerce retailers keep choosing Shopify. Take some time to find your own reasons and try a free trial with Shopify right now.

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FAQ

How do I find Shopify stores?
To work out whether a shop is built with Shopify, you can sneak a peak at the source code. On any page of a website, press Ctrl+U and this will open the source code. Type Ctrl+F and search ‘Shopify'. If the word Shopify appears in the source code, then it is made with Shopify.

Another way of finding a Shopify store is navigating to any shopping website's product pages. If the URL contains “/collections/ that's another tell-tale sign you've stumbled across a Shopify store. If you're interested in building a Shopify store of your own, then they have a 14-day free trial you can try any time.

What major stores use Shopify?
Vogue, The Economist, Penguin, Gymshark and Mind are just some of the major UK brands that use Shopify stores. This may surprise you, as you might assume large companies always prefer to have a custom retail backend built from scratch. However, the convenience of Shopify's subscription model and the flexibility of its add-ons make it highly suitable for larger businesses to sell their wares.

Various pricing plans are available depending on the range of features you need for your own ecommerce site, with enterprise-specific pricing available for corporate brands.

Does Shopify have physical stores?
Not many people know this, but Shopify isn't just an online sales platform. Using Shopify Point of Sale (POS), business leaders can accept credit cards, Google and Apple Pay (among others) in bricks-and-mortar shops. You can get Shopify card readers or simply download the Shopify Retail POS app onto your phone and begin taking payments.

It's pretty convenient to link your online shop with in-person retail, such as ‘buy online, pick up in store' or ‘buy in store, ship to customer'. Companies that use Shopify's POS system include shoe retailer Allbirds and accessories shop Skinnydip.

How much does Shopify take per sale?
Shopify has a few fees to be aware of when taking payments from customers. These fees actually vary depending on which subscription plan you're signed up to, so we've included a table below that summarises the main fees. You'll notice, for instance, online credit card rates are 2% + 25p on the Basic Shopify plan, sinking down to 1.5% + 25p on the Advanced Shopify plan. There are transaction fees of 2%, 1% and 0.5% on the Basic, Shopify and Advanced plans, respectively. However, if you're signed up to Shopify Payments then you can avoid those transaction fees altogether.

Shopify payments table

Written by:
Sabrina Dougall
Sabrina is a business journalist whose career began in news reporting. She has a master's in Investigative Journalism from City University London, and her work has appeared in The Times, The Daily Express, Money Saving Expert, Camden New Journal, Global Trade Review, and Computer Business Review. She specializes in writing about SEO (search engine optimization). Having run her own small business, Sabrina knows first-hand how critical digital marketing is to building a client base and local reputation.
Reviewed by:
A head shot of Natasha Willett - a blonde woman in a work shirt with a blue background
For over 9 years Natasha has worked as a mixed method researcher working across a range of sectors from insurance and policy development, to business services and software. As a member of the Market Research Society, Natasha is an advocate for high ethical, commercial and methodological best practices.