What makes a good e-commerce website? There are a myriad of different things – good product information, ability to buy products, information on shipping, good security. Of course a good design all is important, melding all these things together. The first website I think is well designed is Wild Man Ricing. Based in Manitoba, it sells wild rice, and related products, actually only six products total, but this website is aesthetically pleasing *and* functional. Straight away you get a sense of where the store is located from the splash image on the main page. There is a lot of information about wild rice, links to articles about the business, contact information, and a simple link to the cart.
Product pages are packed full of information, which is very clear. All prices include shipping, which makes that very simple – it is also clear that the minimum order is $60.00. There is a large block that allows clients to ask questions, should they have any. There is only one downside, and that is that “Add to Cart” assumes a 1 lb bag, and changes have to be made in the Cart, which opens on another browser tab. There is also no search facility, but frankly this is one of those rare cases where everything is so easy to find that there may be no need to have a search capability.
It is a great example of an e-commerce website for fewer than 10 products that is actually designed in a thoughtful, user-friendly fashion. Another website I quite like is Gourmet Sauvage, based in Quebec, a purveyor of “non-timber forest products“, e.g. dried mushrooms, birch syrup etc. The main webpage is clean and fresh. It makes good use of a hero image, which changes based on language – for example in French it displays their book, FORÊT, which is only available in French. The language options FR/EN are easily accessible, as is information on delivery costs, search function, and shopping cart. Product pages are clear, informative and easy to use.
The other thing that both these websites do is use the .ca domain extension, immediately showing visitors to their website that they are Canadian companies. A third store I really like, and one built on Shopify is The Newfoundland Store. Based in Toronto, this store sells food products from Newfoundland.
The front page makes use of a hero image which spans the entire page. It invokes the feel of a Newfoundland rugged coastline together with the classic jellybean colours of the houses. It has a somewhat nostalgic feel, in part to the simple use of “Welcome Home” on the page, likely a nod to the fact that many visitors to the website may have lived in Newfoundland at some point in their lives. The top menu shows a nice clear set of options with product information, and the trio of “must-haves”, account info, search and cart.