Looking for a little inspiration to apply to your e-commerce store?
In this post we’re going to cover some of the tools we use on a regular basis to come up with fresh, exciting ideas for our clients – and want to share with you.
Regardless of whether you’re just starting out with Shopify, or if you’ve got plenty of experience, these tools can help inspire you to take your store to the next level.
Some of these tools are purely about the design aesthetic. Creating beautiful sites that work well and are easy for the customer to navigate.
Others are intended to help you think outside the box, and help show you cool or cutting-edge ideas that other stores are using.
Let’s dive in. If you’re looking for good examples of Shopify stores you can model or get inspired by, here’s where to start:
Shopify has a section on its website called Examples. When we take on a new client in any given industry, I’ll jump over to the examples page and take a look at what other sites in that space look like.
Shopify often has websites featured that act as an ‘industry showcase’ – demonstrating what the standard site looks like, what functionality it has, how it’s branded and so on.
You can check out the competition and see what’s working for them… which gives you a huge advantage, especially if you’re just starting out with your site.
Even if you’ve had your store for some time, you can move quickly to implement new design elements, update your imagery, and make sure you are staying contemporary and competitive.
Alternately, you can use these industry standards as a guide on what not to do. If all of the competitors have similar websites, maybe it’s time to break out something totally new and fresh to really capture the market’s attention.
There are some incredibly talented people out there working on the Shopify platform, and so I like to keep an eye on what particular designers and developers are working on.
For example, a development agency called Out Of The Sandbox created a Shopify template called Retina.
This is a powerful, versatile theme that is easily customized to any number of briefs.
Out of the Sandbox had the great idea to include a list of all the stores using the Retina theme, and this list allows you to see the theme in action across a range of verticals.
This portfolio of example stores never fails to impress. If you’re looking for a shot of inspiration, then this is how to get it.
Keeping an eye on the developers can also be a cool way to find customizations and shortcuts. They know all the tricks and like to share them occasionally to make it easier for you to run your store.
Every now and then we scroll back through the Shopify Ninjas portfolio. Just for old times’ sake.
After this trip down memory lane, we’ll go and look up the stores and see how they’re doing now. One client we keep coming back to is Status Anxiety.
A fashion brand out of Sydney. They came to us for a build a couple of years ago. I love going back to see what they’re up to on a regular basis.
Every time I go back there, the site and offerings just get better and better.
Erstwilder is also a great source of inspiration. They’re another cutting edge brand that is always testing new tools and channels, which you can read more about here in our case study on building their store.
My final source of great inspiration comes from various apps that have developed around e-commerce stores. Right now, one is outshining them all.
Foursixty is an app that allows you to tag products in your Instagram posts and point them to your product pages.
This is an epic progression for e-commerce and I’m getting a lot of inspiration from stores using this app at the moment.
I got so inspired that I took it to a client who was having some problems with their social selling.
The client sells bed ware – sheets, pillowcases and so on – and is using Instagram a lot to promote the products.
They were finding that customers were loving the product images and wanted to buy them right away. They would always end up emailing in to ask a few questions like color options, what particular products names were, and so on, that Instagram just couldn’t handle.
That meant they were losing sales all the time because there was just so much more friction.
But as soon as we set up Foursixty, that turned around. Customers were able to click a link on the Instagram post and go directly to the product page. They then added the item to their cart and were able to check out immediately.
For people who are interested in shoppable social media, especially fashion, some of the stores Foursixty have worked with have been really good. They’re doing very interesting, smart stuff that you can get a lot of inspiration and direction from.
And finally, once you’ve got all the inspiration you need, there’s one tool I use all the time to get the implementation handled:
Now, while this is more for techies like me, if you’re a store owner who wants to make some basic modifications of your Shopify variables, this is a great resource.
Otherwise, the Shopify documentation is very good and pretty easy to read. It covers just about everything you might want to do. These docs tend to have a lot of screenshots, and all the variables you will need for each task.
But if you’re still stuck after all that, get in touch. We’d love to help you turn that inspiration into a reality.
Thank you for your interest in our Shopify Insider Blog @ Blackbelt Commerce, we have many other valuable and informative posts that you will help you to continue to optimize your websites such as The Best Shopify Resources For Boosting Your Store and How To Add A “Smooth Scroll”. Please check out our other services.
Questions? Leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
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