Best beauty eCommerce sites that really stand out
Of course, walking into a favorite cosmetic store and trying different lipsticks or perfume is a thrill, but it's so easy to get overwhelmed in the process. Online shopping, on the other hand, allows to pick by category and price, and read product reviews from the comfort of one’s home. Now beauty websites provide digital shade-matching tools, unbiased product descriptions and reviews, and the possibility to simply return or refund.
In the United States, cosmetics and beauty online sales will grow by 50% in 2022 ($18.60 billion against $9.21 billion). By 2026, these sales will account for roughly a third of all retail sales in the sector. This means that if you as a beauty seller still don’t have a website, it’s high time to make a great one.
What makes a cosmetic ecommerce website great? Well, it’s a difficult question but an answer would probably include speed, security, content and design. There are only a few seconds to catch a visitor's attention, and if you're in the process of developing or updating your website, it’s better to start by comparing those of the leading beauty companies.
Top 12 beauty eCommerce sites you should know about
If you're in the beauty industry, you know for sure that looks are everything. This sphere has become a gold standard for gorgeous, engaging, and converting customer journeys. Funky, clean, stylish, fresh – these are the terms you usually use for describing a beauty website, whether it sells cosmetics, organic brands or spa services.
What colors are the most popular for beauty websites? How much to invest into high-quality photography? Which cosmetics companies have been setting the bar, paving the way, and consistently ruling the market for years? Are there any newcomers to look up to in the process of website development? Today cosmetics eCommerce is a highly competitive sphere, that’s why an eye-catching website creates a good first impression.
Below we’ve selected the best examples of websites for online cosmetics businesses, skincare retailers, self-care brands, and many more. Have a look at top 12 beauty ecommerce sites to get inspired and see what you can learn from them.
Ulta is a beauty website where visitors can find popular cosmetic brands. It's a colorful, playful, and energetic site that showcases fresh, trendy, and personalized items through product images, straightforward navigation, and a thorough structure.
A navigation bar runs along the left side of the screen, highlighting the beauty categories to select. Once customers make their choice, they’re greeted by an immense list with dozens of additional beauty products. This is a fantastic website for cosmetics and beauty enthusiasts who want to try something new, and learn about new brands and products.
Sephora is a real market leader. It adapts to client behavior and personalizes recommendations to make the buying process easier. The website’s design is clean and well-organized, and the easy navigation menu makes site exploration truly enjoyable.
There’s also an online community to join and the “Tips & Tricks” section. But, most importantly, this cosmetics e-commerce store allows its clients to access new things long before they appear in offline stores.
Glossier's website is rather minimalistic, but still reflecting the brand's concept and ideals. The main idea is to keep their cosmetics web store simple so that the products can stand out. This sleek and engaging website adopts recent design and cosmetic trends, from packaging to its basic formulas. To captivate its clients, this image-driven website employs photography, product pictures, and sleek and creative iconography.
User experience lies at the core of the website – its customers can select any product, change its color or quantity in a click, look at it from all the sides using the 360 degree product viewer, etc. There’s a quick checkout process, which includes subtle upselling, free sample addition, and seamless integration with popular payment methods, making the customer's journey easy and engaging.
4. Sleek Makeup
The pages of this website are straightforward and consistent in terms of design. The backdrop of each product is the same. The way it informs clients when some item is out of stock is where their product page really shines. Customers can click "notify me" for a selection of products, and the company gathers emails from those customers in order to get in touch with them when the item is back in stock. This is a clever strategy for organically expanding an email list.
Despite a girlish design and pinky color palette, this online store also provides rich functionality. To ensure that buyers never miss out on recently released items, new products are marked with a pink lip-shaped icon in the top-right corner of every image. Each product is carefully reviewed, which helps to establish the brand.
A good UX practice is to avoid annoying pop-up windows. Rather than showing a huge pop-up over the entire screen, there’s a pop-up on the left-hand side that carefully follows users as they browse through the product catalog.
Apothecary 87 is a beauty store of men’s grooming products – beard and skin care items that will give them vitality, volume, and an unmistakable smoothness. The company chose a traditional website design that placed all the items and their essence on full show to match this rough, rustic, and authentic character.
With a monochrome background and retro graphics, this website has a strong vintage vibe and ensures the best buyer's journey. Browsing through the store is as much fun as examining its design. Being integrated with Instagram, it allows users to search for necessary products right from their social media account. However, there’s also a traditional method available.
Not knowing what color or shade a beauty product actually looks like outside of the bottle is a major obstacle buyers face when making online purchases on cosmetics e-commerce store websites. The image slider on each product page is a feature that helps to solve this problem.
For example, in the lipstick section, the image modifies, once you hover a mouse pointer over it, to display a tint of the color closer to what it would look like in real life. This is crucial for boosting the purchase rate because customers are more willing to buy online if they have a clearer idea of the exact hue they would get.
Besides being a full-fledged marketplace offering all kinds of products, Nordstrom is one of the best online stores for skin care products. It offers easy and logical navigation thanks to a clear, minimalistic menu bar and concise product list.
Bold product boxes with brilliant lettering attract consumers' attention right away and navigate them across the website. The division between indie beauty products and premium skincare brands helps this store to win the hearts and minds of different customers regardless of the size of their wallet.
Follain is a vibrant and engaging company that focuses on natural makeup brands. They incorporate this approach into their web design. Having product pages with a lot of glitz, dynamic graphics, and high-quality photography, the website loads really quickly.
In order to assist clients in selecting products for a particular look, the website groups together items that fit well. Choosing one product, customers can see all the things inside the bundle, but they can always remove any of the products included if they feel they don't need them.
Sometimes all it takes to create a successful product page is a simple, uncluttered design. Customers are never kept waiting since the pages load very quickly, while switching from one product to another and moving from one category to another. The overall design of this beauty store is consistent with how the products are displayed.
The product pages offer more than just top-notch images and essential details. Additional resources include video instructions, product comparisons, how-tos, and an easy social network menu. That’s why this store can be included into the list of the best websites for skin care.
From the stylish and witty wording to the colorful patterns and intriguing image overlays, this cosmetics e-commerce shop knows how to inspire and entertain its customers.
Customers can view how the chosen color, whatever crazy it might be, would appear on real skin thanks to the dynamic pictures on product sites. To give clients a glimpse at the color's appearance outside of the box, the image of each product changes as you hover over it to reveal a model's hand painted in the shade.
This cosmetics web store with strong online presence utilizes a serene color scheme and a simple design to make users feel at peace as they are shopping. This website is fluid and consistent from the product page to the checkout, from the image-heavy homepage to the subtle color of the font.
In addition to the regular product sections, this website also features the Special tab that allows users to stay up to date with the latest news in the beauty niche. It’s a nice perk that encourages users to spend more time on the site and further explore it.
Why choose nopCommerce for cosmetics e-commerce?
Once the design of your future beauty store is chosen, it’s time to decide what back-end solution will realize it. While most merchants don’t want to compromise security and easy upgrades for customization options, nopCommerce can become the golden mean.
This e-commerce platform for cosmetics is an open-source project based on the latest Microsoft technologies. Its scalability and rich functionality is well-suited for beauty, cosmetics, health and medical websites.
Acu-Market, one of the largest suppliers of acupuncture, herbal, homeopathic and supplements in the United States, selected nopCommerce for migrating its website to a newer technology stack. Comparing performance with the previous website, the company has gained the following benefits:
- content management system
- 30% increase in orders number
- 20% growth in new customers
- Module for doctors built from scratch
- Adjusted discount & promotion rules
As you can see, nopCommerce can be tailored to the needs of businesses from any sphere and of any size. Its out-of-the-box functionality and personalization options are combined with scalability and flexibility, which makes it a perfect choice for both new websites and migrated web shops.
Over recent years, the e-commerce beauty market grew by several times. This indicates that there is a significant demand for these kinds of products, but there is also significant competition. Make sure your cosmetics e-commerce shop website conveys a positive impression of your brand and offers a satisfying user experience. help your customers to solve their problems so they don't have to spend time browsing around your offerings.
The complete buyer journey and customer experience can be significantly influenced by excellent site design. As you can see, product pages are as vital as the homepage of your brand. While showcasing the best beauty ecommerce websites, we've highlighted a number of other factors that are effective tactics for boosting sales, community, and retention in addition to load speed and design.