Ever since online stores first emerged they’ve faced one big challenge compared to their real world rivals; yes, it’s convenient to shop wherever, whenever you want, and delivery options permitting, buy from anyone anywhere in the world. But it’s a minimal experience compared to the fuller sensory experience of shopping in the real world.
Online stores can only access our sight and hearing, whereas physical shops can engage all our senses. How can a website compete with the experience created by walking into a physical space where lighting, layout, decor, and background audio are all carefully designed to create an appropriate atmosphere; where you can touch fabrics to check how they feel, try clothes or shoes on without having to buy them first? How do you sell scented products without allowing them to be smelled?
In this month’s round-up, we see a few different approaches to solving this dilemma, sites that focus the copy, visual, and auditory, to work on the imagination.
Go Love Yourself
Sustainable, bespoke travel agency Niarra Travel  makes good use of some beautiful photography. The background color scheme of earthy greens and neutrals fits both the luxury and eco-conscious aspects of the company.
by Humankind  is a personal care brand making toiletries from natural ingredients. The focus of their pitch is reducing plastic waste. The site is appropriately sparse, with simple product shots and mostly warm neutral colors.
Mama Joyce Peppa Sauce
This one-page site for Mama Joyce Peppa Sauce  is big and bold. Lots of scrolling type and vintage style illustration. You don’t need to look for a ‘buy now’ because the cursor itself is it. Click almost anywhere, and two bottles of sauce go into your cart.
Eadem  is a beauty company for women of color — their flagship product is a serum that fades dark spots without bleaching. Pinks and dark golds contrasted with fresher oranges and pale greens create a color scheme that feels rich but not heavy.
Pact Media  is a full-service digital design agency whose work mainly focuses on agencies, businesses, and organizations involved in conservation. Large type and greyscale with red accents create a strong feel, while color on image rollover adds extra impact.
hueLe Museum  is a collection of clothing brands. The philosophy behind it equates choosing clothes to choosing flowers, and there are some beautiful flower images. There is a sense of tranquility to the site, and it is even better on mobile.
Kōpiko  is a micro-bakery that offers a sourdough delivery subscription service to its local area. It makes and sells only two products, and the single-page site is suitably simple. Putting the subscription form above the product and company information gets to the point without seeming pushy.
Big Green Egg
Melopeion Organic Thyme Honey
The choice of display type on this site  — crucially one that works well for both the latin and greek alphabets — emphasizes the Cretan origin of Melopeion honey. The illustrations are appealing, and the shopping basket icon is an especially nice detail.
This site for Brendel Wines  is all about photography, large background photographs, and video, as well as product shots. More specifically, the lighting in the images creates an atmosphere, a sense of warm summer evenings.
The Wookmama app  is a color visualizer which displays palettes and applies those palettes to real-world images. Colour is, as one would hope, used well here, along with plenty of screen mock-ups.
Planet of Lana
The Future of Office
- ^ This microsite (bodybutters.regalepreviews.com)
- ^ Niarra Travel (www.niarratravel.com)
- ^ by Humankind (byhumankind.com)
- ^ Mama Joyce Peppa Sauce (www.peppasauce.love)
- ^ Eadem (eadem.co)
- ^ Pact Media (pactmedia.org)
- ^ hueLe Museum (www.huelemuseum.com)
- ^ portfolio site (www.marniehawson.com.au)
- ^ Kōpiko (www.kopiko.nz)
- ^ Banila Studio (www.banila.studio)
- ^ Big Green Eggs (www.biggreenegg.co.uk)
- ^ Pawzzles (www.biggreenegg.co.uk)
- ^ this site (www.chania-honey.gr)
- ^ Brendel Wines (brendelwines.com)
- ^ imNativ (imnativ.com)
- ^ Thursday design studio (thursday.studio)
- ^ HALEYS Beauty (haleysbeauty.com)
- ^ Wookmama app (app.wookmama.co)
- ^ Planet of Lana (planetoflana.com)
- ^ The Future of Office (thefutureofoffice.com)
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