I'm a big fan of great websites. I've spent a lot of time building websites, and when I come across other sites that do a great job of what they set out to do, it's inspiring. At least for me, a bad website might mean I go somewhere else - especially when purchasing online.
In a slightly different tangent of my usual writing today, I want to take a quick look at some of my favourite eCommerce websites from some Australian brands that, yes, have some fantastic products, but have also built really clever homes for them online.
The first site is from the team at Bellroy. Have an explore, then come back.
Sure, it's expected that a design-focussed product line of carry goods and accessories demands a well-designed website. But Bellroy certainly have delivered. They have a distinct palette and layout and a thoughtful site structure.
On product pages, there are playful stop-motion videos that show the product in great detail, and they have a handy size comparison tool built-in.
One feature I quite like is when you select different colours and sizes, all the product imagery changes to reflect your choice instantly. It sounds simple, but it's hard to get right, and they've done it.
Up next is AS Colour. Even if you haven't heard of them before, the likelihood is that you have some of their apparel in your wardrobe. A lot of print shops and brands use their products as blank canvasses for designs, work gear and more.
AS Colour do have direct to consumer storefronts, but primarily do business through an online store for both consumer and commercial orders. This is what I like about the store the most - they cater for both customers so well.
They have heaps of product options on the site. Similar to Bellroy, they nail the product imagery with their many colours, sizes and models.
But for those bigger orders, they have some really nifty tools. Firstly, they have a fast order entry table (with live stock levels and back-in-stock notifications), full product details and specs available for download, and bulk pricing structures, making commercial customers' lives much easier.
Maybe an unexpected choice, but Bunnings is a real contender here. With the roll out of a whole new digital offering in 2019/20, Bunnings have been continually innovating in this space.
Similar to AS Colour, they cater to the weekend DIY projects as much as they do the regular tradies, and have created solutions for both. I'll focus on the consumer side of the site here.
One feature I love is that they'e built out these "transformation" sections, which let you slide across a before-and-after of different spaces in a house, with products/advice tagged on the photos.
As Harvard Professor Theodore Levitt once said, "People don’t want quarter-inch drill bits. They want quarter-inch holes."
Bunnings knows this. Really clever stuff.
They've even built out the "Bunnings Workshop", an online community for 'advice and inspiration' for budding DIY'ers. Communities are an increasing trend, and it's awesome to see Bunnings getting around this.
And of course, the product pages are really well done. Not only is the product collections easy to find and navigate, once you land on something you like, you can compare it with other products in the category, add it to a "Project List" for planning, choose from multiple delivery options and get all the specs you need.
The list does go on. Check the site out, seriously!
It's tough to make any list of Aussie brands without including Koala. It's in the name! Koala are purveyors of well made, comfy home furniture, from their famous mattress to new projects like a work-from-home desk.
This is a big claim (and this is no competition, okay) - but I think Koala has one of the best eCommerce stores I've ever seen.
The product is the focus. Expansive imagery, with a beautiful interface for choosing options. Product bundles and set ideas make for an inspired shopping experience.
They are very creative with visuals. Blurring the lines between column and canvas, with intentional and consistent colours, icons and copy.
Finally, they know what people really care about when it comes to furniture. Fast and flexible shipping options at checkout make it easy to press the button.
As a majority direct-to-consumer brand, the website has to be spot on. I think it is.
Finally, I have to mention JB Hi-Fi (Australia's largest home entertainment retailer). It's likely you've already been to their website before, and maybe you're wonder why it's on this list - compared to the others, it's certainly not as 'pretty.' But that's not why it's here.
Yes, the screen-filling discounts and banners are certainly something - but they know their unique selling proposition, and have fully lent into that on their site.
It's the sheer quantity of orders the website handles. In the past couple of years, JB Hi-Fi moved over to Shopify Plus, an eCommerce platform powering some of the world's largest brands - including some other mentions on this list.
Quickly, JB Hi-Fi has become the biggest Australian retailer on Shopify Plus.
The website turns over billions of dollars annually, and handles logistical challenges like in-store stock, click & collect and combining both physical receipts and online orders in one customer account.
JB, you've done it again.
And for a couple of honourable mentions, Frank Body and Aesop. I don't buy their products myself, but I dig what they've done, both with the websites and the brands as a whole. Thanks Jay for the contribution.
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