Vintage apparel retailer and online darling Modcloth provides classic examples of how to get online shop design right from landing pages to product pages.

Along the way it reinforces some old rules and breaks a few as well.


Clean, Crisp and Inviting Home Page

Modcloth Home Page

First the homepage is beautifully simple with one stunning image that immediately draws your eye to the main call to action.

It also helps that the surrounding areas are very clean, uncluttered and have plenty of white space. So there is nothing to compete with the main image and call to action.

There’s no mistaking what the customer need to do next. “Dive into our stylebook.”

Unlike so many other online stores which try to cram as much as possible onto every page, Modcloth uses style and restraint. Less is more.


Clever and Stylish Product Page

Modcloth product page

The product page is interesting and initially would give seasoned online marketers and conversion rate consultants a shock.

The call to action “Buy Button” is actually below the fold.

But there is more to this page than at first meets the eye.

First of all, the first call to action is more subtle. Rather than hitting the customer with a buy button straightaway, it actually asks them select their style first.

This then changes the main picture. Nice. This is in effect showing the customer how each dress will look.

Again it is a clever way to bring the prospect into the process. Because they have actively selected their preferred dress, they have more personal involvement in the process. This means they are already further down the conversion path. They are already committed.

Then once a dress is chosen, the user can scroll down, and as they do so the main hero shot stays locked in place while the initial main and left side navigation disappears, making the product stand out even more.

And in another beautiful feature, the accessories to go with it are scrollable on the right. These accessories also change with each different dress selection.


The Product as the Only Hero (Heroine?)

Modcloth product page 2

This means a complete outfit and accessories become the sole focus of the page. They are the hero of the page: The only hero. So any potential customer is completely engrossed by the product and not distracted by anything else.

It’s not trying to sell you anything else with a "You may also like", or "Best sellers", or "People who bought this, also bought".

It is doing what good marketers and sales people have been doing for centuries- focusing the potential customer’s desire solely on the product.

(This is something that Apple also does so well.)

A Clever and Compelling Customer Experience

There’s a lot going on, on this site. It is a very fun site to explore, even for a guy.

The overall key to it is that it creates a compelling customer experience. Every little thing is a surprise and a delight..

There’s nothing really technologically fancy going on, just some very clever thinking and equally clever execution. Although creating such simple looking sites is often a lot of hard work.

However the end result is just brilliant.

Maybe Gerry Harvey should explore his musical theatre side and check this site out to see how online retail should be done.

(Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

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