Skip to content

Marty’s 6 Favorite E-Commerce Websites


Best USA E-commerce Sites

September marks the beginning of a race that ends on 12.25. After 12 years as an Internet marketer, I look at e-commerce sites differently. I look at how hero images, the largest image on the page, balance offers, navigation and search. I look for how keyword-dense an e-commerce site’s navigation is and how intuitive the design. Do I know where to go? Does the site feel like a place its target audience would want to shop and join. Are there clear Calls-To-Action?

Here is my list of 6 favorite E-commerce sites for 2012:

1. REI
Consistently great, the Internet marketing team behind my favorite ecommerce website knows how to point their hero’s eyes at Calls To Action; they keep their palette clean but full of eye candy. The engagement and “like me” factor is high. REI’s images make you feel like joining that party in that place, now please. Great job!

Atlantic BT Marty's Favorite Ecommerce REI examples

2. Apple
I copy this clean Einstein-smart design all the time, and I am not alone. is one of those rare sites that shouldn’t heed my “people not things sell” rule.  These products can be the hero. We project ourselves right into Apple’s product shots. We see ourselves using those cool superhero tools. Can’t ask for more from a website image.

3. Patagonia
Different feel than REI, even though they plow some of the same, “Life is an adventure,” terrain. If REI is about the magic of the tribe, Patagonia is about the magic of place. Patagonia’s magical website design is not designed to SELL, it breaks every e-commerce rule, but it really works. Patagonia is the exception that proves rules such as big Call-To-Action buttons in orange and offers you can SEE (lol). I love that in half the images they roll, their tiny “Free Shipping over $75” offer can’t even be seen. That is a huge rule break, and Patagonia can do it because of those magical images. I wouldn’t suggest hiding your Free Shipping offer!

Atlantic BT Marty's Favorite Ecommerce Patagonia exmaples

4. (Design Within Reach)
The furniture category has strong players and may be a six of one, half-dozen of the other between DWR, Crate and Barrel and others. This category can quickly all look alike. I like’s clean lines. They keep it simple but are creative with social, campaigns and offers.

Women’s apparel can start to all look alike, too. I like how Vestique’s site uses pictures of their target audience (young women) engaged in almost candid moments. The design is clean, social and engaging. The design points the way to social engagement, and Vestique’s owners live on Facebook,  Pinterest and Twitter. The website design makes visitors want to be part of the club, a very important idea for a fashion site. Eileen Allen and her design team at Atlantic BT did a great job on Vestique, and it was supported with some great behind-the-curtain e-commerce functionality in Magento by Chris Duffy and his team. Well Done, Guys!

Vestique By Atlantic BT Homepage example Marty's Favorite Ecommerce link

Daily deal sites seem to be losing some luster, but has some of the best copy online. The “wooters” are a very loyal tribe. They get up in the middle of the night and check Woot’s deals. This rabid loyalty is something you EARN by being great. Every element works.

Your favorite Ecommerce site not on the list? If we missed your favorites, post a comment here,

Tweet to @Atlanticbt, or

share your list on our Facebook page.

I’m now working on ecomm websites NOT in the USA, so be sure to share your favorites.

– Marty

The Atlantic BT Manifesto

The Ultimate Guide To Planning A Complex Web Project