21+ Winning Online Retail Stores and eCommerce Websites — and Why They Rock

Looking for a list of top online retail stores and eCommerce websites to inspire your own brand’s growth? You’ve come to the right place.

We’ve compiled a list of winning online stores, highlighting the strategies that make them so successful — grouping them into the leading retail categories for easier comparison.

So, sit back, grab that coffee, and be ready to be inspired.

Fashion and Apparel eCommerce Brands

1. Adored Vintage

eCommerce Platform: Shopify

Estimated Yearly Revenue: $11.4 million*

Online Shopping Niche: Clothing

Adored Vintage offers a collection of curated romantic and feminine vintage clothing. It was founded in 2012 by Rodellee Bas with the desire to provide modern vintage-inspired clothing and accessories that oozes "joie de vivre."

What Makes This Online Retailer a Success Story

This Shopify store is a great example of how brand voice and feel can be perfectly integrated into the UX of an eCommerce website — and as they prove, it doesn’t have to be overly complicated. From their homepage visual merchandising to their checkout page, they have managed to spread their “romantic French countryside” feel across their entire shopping journey.

2. Boohoo

eCommerce Platform: Built with Salesforce eCommerce Cloud

Estimated Yearly Revenue: $2.6 billion*

Online Shopping Niche: Fashion

Boohoo was founded in 2006 out of the United Kingdom but has since grown into a mega, global brand. In fact, the Boohoo Group PLC now includes at least 13 market-leading brands in their portfolio. 

The Boohoo online store itself is one of the fastest-growing global online fashion brands, with revenue jumping to nearly $3 billion since launching in 2013.

What Makes This Online Retailer a Success Story

Boohoo prides itself on being 100% inclusive, and it shows in every aspect of its business — from product options to body-positive marketing campaigns and price affordability.

However, it’s their backend strategies that are worth taking a closer look at. According to a Boohoo case study done by SSG Insight, this leading online retail store has multiple distribution centers that distribute 250,000 products per day during the off-season and up to 650,000 products during peak seasons.

3. Chubbies

eCommerce Platform: Shopify Plus

Estimated Yearly Revenue: $13.4 million*

Online Shopping Niche: Men’s apparel

Another mega online store worth getting inspiration from is Chubbies. Launched in September 2011 by a group of friends, Chubbies was founded in order to offer more relatable casual men’s fashion and were sold out of their signature shorts for their first 2+ years due to high demand.

What Makes This Online Retailer a Success Story  

From their fun brand voice and homepage GIFs to their overall merchandising strategy, there is a lot to love about this retailer. However, it’s their robust reward points program that’s worth taking a deeper look into.

With their rewards program, shoppers earn points every time they shop, as well as by actions such as social shares. They even get bonus points on their birthdays.

And the more points their shoppers have, the better deals they get.

4. Industrie Africa

eCommerce Platform: WordPress

Online Shopping Niche: Luxury fashion

Industrie Africa is a luxury fashion brand offering their shoppers high-end clothing, accessories, and jewelry designs. Defining themselves as the “definitive platform for African fashion,” it was launched in 2020 to act as a portal for global shoppers to discover the continent’s most loved fashion designers.

What Makes This Online Retailer a Success Story 

Industrie Africa is positioning themselves as an African fashion and design hub. This is evident by not only the designers they showcase and the clothing they sell but with their additional editorial platform, IMPRINT.

In their blog, they share thought-provoking features, style edits, and original interviews — ultimately solidifying them as the authority in their niche.

5. Kirrin Finch

eCommerce Platform: Shopify

Estimated Yearly Revenue: $200,000* to $5 million*

Online Shopping Niche: Gender-neutral fashion

Kirrin Finch is a relatively new kid on the online store block, so to speak. Kirrin Finch was launched in North America by New York couple Laura Moffat and Kelly Sanders Moffat, with the aim to offer menswear-inspired apparel designed to fit a range of female and non-binary bodies. 

Offering a niche perspective to fashion industry norms, their focus is on creating and selling clothing that feels comfortable regardless of a person’s gender identity.

What Makes This Online Retailer a Success Story

The Kirrin Finch store is designed with their core shopper in mind — with every element speaking directly to them. This includes everything from their sustainable manufacturing and fair labor practices to their charity work.

However, it’s their brand ambassador highlight section that you’ll want to take a good look at for extra inspiration. Here they showcase community members across North America, from Toronto and New York to Chicago.

6. Next

eCommerce Platform: Adobe Enterprise Cloud

Estimated Yearly Revenue: £4.8 billion* ($5.78 billion) 

Online Shopping Niche: Apparel and homeware

Next is an omnichannel online and physical retail brand based out of the United Kingdom. Their first physical location was opened in early 1982, followed by 70 other brick and mortar stores by July of the same year. Since launching their online store in 1999, they have become a multi-billion-dollar global empire.

What Makes This Online Retailer a Success Story

While many physical store brands have struggled with the increase in eCommerce trends, Next has not only survived, but thrived. This is largely due to them implementing online shopping much earlier than other department stores.

And the payoffs? 

After the pandemic, they saw a 140% rise in pre-tax profit — from £342 to £823 million (up to $972 million) in 2022 — due to online sales.

7. Steve Madden

eCommerce Platform: Shopify Plus

Estimated Yearly Revenue: $500 million*

Online Shopping Niche: Apparel and accessories

Since launching in a factory in Queens, New York, in 1990, one of our top merchants, Steve Madden, has grown into one of the biggest retail names, selling in over 80 countries worldwide. This eCommerce brand has stayed true to their core value — individuality — since launching and includes men’s, women’s, and kid’s clothing, handbags, and shoes.

What Makes This Online Retailer a Success Story 

Steve Madden is a prime example of a brand using the KISS (keeping it simple, stupid!) ethos yet still maintaining quality. 

How? They let their branding and products do the talking without too many bells and whistles. 

Let’s take a look at their online store category pages. They are well-optimized and sorted with advanced AI that uses both retail and marketing KPIs to sell products and drive products.

8. Urban Outfitters

Estimated Yearly Revenue: $4.7 billion*

Online Shopping Niche: Apparel and home

Offering a wide range of fashion, Urban Outfitters has been around for 50 years — and are still as relevant and trendy as they were when they started. They are a good destination for online shoppers looking for fresh designs in clothes and accessories. More recently, they have also added home and lifestyle products. 

What Makes This Online Retailer a Success Story 

Unlike some of their closest competitors (Brooks Brothers, J.Crew, JCPenney, Neiman Marcus) who started filing for bankruptcy by the end of 2002, Urban Outfitters actually reported profits during the pandemic thanks to online retail sales and record-low markdowns. The secret to their success? Always placing the customer at the center of any of its marketing strategies.

Pro Tip: If you want to outsmart your competitors as they did, then you will need to up your end-to-end customer experience game. You can find out more in ourOnline Retail Trends: The Rise of End-to-End Customer Experiences post.

Pro Tip. If you want to outsmart your competitors as they did, then you will need to up your end-to-end customer experience game. You can find out more in our Online Retail Trends: The Rise of End-to-End Customer Experiences post.

Accessory and Jewelry eCommerce Brands

9. Allbirds

eCommerce Platform: Shopify Plus

Estimated Yearly Revenue: $300 million*

Online Shopping Niche: Shoes

Founded by New Zealand native Tim Brown and renewables expert Joey Zwillinger, Allbirds first took the market by storm in 2014. Offering a new category of shoes inspired by natural materials, their product design concept is all about simplicity, comfort, and sustainability.

What Makes This Online Retailer a Success Story

Yes, their online retail store is a fantastic example of user experience — as are their products. However, what makes this brand unique is its boldness. It’s their boldness that enables them to grow from zero to $300 million in less than 10 years.

Their newest pivot is their move to include physical locations — and they are one of the few brands that started exclusively online to do so. 

And the payoff? 

They were able to double their total retail sales in 2021 via physical stores alone. Here is a map showing each of their current physical locations.

10. John’s Crazy Socks

eCommerce Platform: Shopify Plus

Estimated Yearly Revenue: $3.3 million*

Online Shopping Niche: Socks

Fun socks are one of those trending products that just won’t quit, and John’s Crazy Socks is a popular choice for online shoppers. They launched their business purely online without a need for a physical store. Yes, they make fantastic socks, but it’s their backstory, ethos, and charitable contributions that set this online retail sock store apart.

What Makes This Online Retailer a Success Story

John’s Crazy Sock’s eCommerce brand has a lot to offer customers. With over 400 pairs that cater to almost every occasion, shoppers are definitely spoiled for choice. But it’s their incentives and give-backs that really set them apart. 

Here are two things they do to serve their community: 

  • Donating 5% from all earnings to the Special Olympics
  • Hiring those of “differing abilities” — which accounts for over half their workforce

An additional add-on worth looking at is their subscription option — enabling shoppers to get fun new designs sent to them monthly.

11. Mahabis

eCommerce Platform: Shopify Plus

Estimated Yearly Revenue: $6 million*

Online Shopping Niche: Designer footwear

Online footwear brand Mahabis sets out to elevate the slipper. Designed in London and produced in Portugal, their shoes are known for their signature clean lines, bold colors, and wearability. Since launching in 2014, they have grown into an 8-figure design brand with over 50 employees. This is all thanks to their redesign, which enables shoppers to enjoy the comfort of their slippers, outdoors.

What Makes This Online Retailer a Success Story

It’s Mahabis’s unique product design — that reinvented the humble slipper — that sets this brand apart. 

It is also their little extras, such as sustainability-sourced products or their initiative to plant one tree for every pair of Mahabis sold, that helps this store stand out. All of which is communicated well through product page messaging and design.

As you can see above, their cleanly designed product pages are simple, yet packed with all the information a buyer could need — including a very well-timed upsell.

12. Manitobah Mukluks

eCommerce Platform: Shopify Plus

Estimated Yearly Revenue: $14 million*

Online Shopping Niche: Shoes

Manitobah Mukluks is a North American brand that celebrates Indigenous traditions through their footwear design. Founded in 1997 by Sean McCormick in Manitoba (Canada), Manitobah began global operations in 2008 — starting small and then taking incremental steps to get their physical store online.

What Makes This Online Retailer a Success Story

To break into the global market, this Canadian Aboriginal footwear manufacturer primarily used Google Ads and SEO tools. They were then able to grow steadily and now export sales to over 50 countries through their online retail store — and continuously improve their online store’s customer experience.

13. Swarovski

eCommerce Platform: Varies by region

Estimated Yearly Revenue: 2.7 billion*

Online Shopping Niche: Jewelry

When it comes to renowned jewelry brands, not many can compete with the Swarovski recognition. Swarovski is a 127-year-old company with headquarters in Austria, with the United States accounting for 20% of their total sales. However, just because they are recognized, it doesn’t mean they don’t invest heavily in the right digital marketing and online merchandising. 

What Makes This Online Retailer a Success Story

Swarovski has managed to sustain long-term growth during the 2022 slump that left many jewelry brands short. What’s even more amazing is that they did this despite employing around 18,500 people — it is definitely not a “lean business.” They have managed to do this by ensuring they are optimized for each region they sell in.

For instance, let’s look at one of our leading merchants, Swarovski (IL). Built with Shopify, Swarovski (IL) — under the umbrella of YALON — has adapted its eCommerce website to suit its specific market. This includes their online merchandising strategies. And, in doing so, were able to increase their profits by 8% in just four weeks.

You can read about how they did that here.

Pro Tip: Want to optimize and automate your merchandising strategy to pro level? Then consider Kimonix’s AI-powered, holistic eCommerce merchandising solution.

Enabling small to large online retail brands and eCommerce sites to create product collections according to specific business parameters and multi-segment collections — that create ROI-driven customer journeys — it’s the first product sorting tool of its kind.

14. Warby Parker

eCommerce Platform: Self-built

Estimated Yearly Revenue: $598 million*

Online Shopping Niche: Eyeglasses

Warby Parker's core objective is to show that an eCommerce business can be profitable, meet total retail sales goals, and do good — all without having to charge huge prices.

They were founded in 2020 with the intention of circumventing traditional channels for eyeglasses, filling a significant gap in the market at the time. They have since grown their offerings to include eyeglasses, sunglasses, contacts, and glasses accessories, such as cases, lens spray, and clip-on lenses.

What Makes This Online Retailer a Success Story

Revolutionizing the eyeglasses market was not a straightforward objective. However, Warby Parker was able to create and dominate this niche by investing well in every touchpoint on their online buying journey — starting with their Home Try-On initiative and onsite style quiz.

Health and Beauty Product eCommerce Brands

15. Bulk Apothecary

eCommerce Platform: BigCommerce

Estimated Yearly Revenue: $29 million*

Online Shopping Niche: Health and beauty products

eCommerce store Bulk Apothecary is aimed at individual online shoppers as well as bulk wholesale shoppers. They position themselves as America’s largest online supplier of soap-making supplies, fragrance and essential oils, and other specialty ingredients and products — such as lip balm and bath bombs.

What Makes This Online Retailer a Success Story

Usually, the reliable adage is “less is more.” However, in Bulk Apothecary’s case, the opposite is true. 

With online retail sales known to reach $50 million, their all-in approach has really worked for them. The key is their ability to position themselves as the authority in their niche. They have managed to achieve this with a robust social media presence.

They currently have over 62k Instagram followers and 354k Facebook social media likes and are just starting to make inroads into TikTok.


16. Cocofloss

eCommerce Platform: Shopify

Estimated Yearly Revenue: $970,000*

Online Shopping Niche: Health products

If you’re looking for inspiration for building a highly niche eCommerce store brand, look no further. Founded in 2014, Cocofloss set out to create superior floss — the softest and most-cleansing dental floss. 

Cocofloss is still on an upward journey — growing into a multi-million-dollar business — and has since added a few more categories: toothbrushes, refills, bath bombs, and more.

What Makes This Online Retailer a Success Story

Cocofloss may only be selling very niche products, but they do it uniquely. Their whole eCommerce store is bright and inviting and shows their online shoppers how special their products are. We particularly love their sample packages and gift boxes.

Let’s also take a look at their well-designed checkout pages, including their:

  • Payment gateway
  • Cross-selling and upselling strategies
  • Free shipping incentives

Pro Tip: You can automate your cross-selling merchandising, ensuring you are showing the right product at the right time to the right shopper — even better if those right products are ensuring you earn the most profit per sale possible. Check out Kimonix's cross-selling feature to see how it can be done.

17. Fresh Heritage

eCommerce Platform: Shopify

Online Shopping Niche: Men’s grooming

This 7-figure online store was built around providing high-quality, chemical-free grooming products. Fresh Heritage was founded by brothers Jamil and Gamal Codner. They launched the store after they saw a market and community gap that needed to be filled — the lack of grooming products designed for men of color. 

They were acquired by Branded in 2021.

What Makes This Online Retailer a Success Story

Yes, positioning your products in a unique way is vital to stay above the competition. However, it’s not enough for a saturated market — your brand needs to tell a story and offer real solutions to real problems. Fresh Heritage’s founders touched on this during their Shopify Masters podcast interview

In this, they highlighted the importance of stating how different your brand is — not only different but the best. This strategy enables them to stand out from the crowd.

18. Meow Meow Tweet

eCommerce Platform: Shopify

Online Shopping Niche: Beauty products

If you’re looking for an online store with lots of personality, then this one's for you. Meow Meow Tweet is a vegan beauty startup founded by visual artists Tara Pelletier and Jeff Kurosaki. Starting as a small business, they have become an inspiring online retailer known for sustainable packaging featuring cute illustrations and natural ingredients.

What Makes This Online Retailer a Success Story 

There is a lot that sets this brand apart from competing retail stores, but it’s their creative reward and innovative refill programs that really stand out. So, let’s look at each.

For their rewards program, an online shopper can earn points (“catnip buds”) every time they purchase. Customers can then turn their “buds” into free skin care, exclusive discounts, or offers.

Meow Meow Tweet’s bulk refill program was designed to help reduce packaging and waste while selling more inventory — refills cost 15% less per ounce and include free shipping options.

Additionally, they offer a return program for customers’ empties.

19. Package Free

eCommerce Platform: Shopify

Online Shopping Niche: Beauty products

Another eCommerce store pushing less waste is the Package Free retail store. This winning eCommerce store was founded by Lauren Singer, who is known for the infamous TEDx Talk that generated millions of views. 

Located in New York, they sell products designed to help their customers live a zero or low-waste lifestyle.

What Makes This Online Retailer a Success Story

What makes this brand stand out — besides, of course, their forward-thinking, well-designed products — is how they group inventory into handy kits. Kits that help improve retail KPIs while improving the online shopping experience. 

20. iHerb

Estimated Yearly Revenue: $517 million*

Online Shopping Niche: Health and beauty products

If you’re looking for an online health department store to draw million-dollar inspiration from, then iHerb is it. Selling health, personal care, and beauty products, they offer a wide variety of brands and products at affordable prices for their online shoppers. 

What Makes This Online Retailer a Success Story

When it comes to onsite promotion, upselling, and cross-selling strategies, iHerb is hard to beat. What is particularly clever is how they push product samples in their Gifts category pages. Here, they offer very affordable products.

It’s a win-win-win: a win for the brand they are highlighting as its promotion, a win for the shopper, as they’re getting unbeatable prices for beauty products, and a win for iHerb, as they earn on-brand promotion.  

Plus, their product sorting is on point! 

Toy and Accessory eCommerce Brands

21. Bebemoss

eCommerce Platform: Shopify  

Online Shopping Niche: Children’s toys 

Bebemoss is a Turkey-based children’s toy store that Izabela Erşahin, a mom of three, founded. All their products are handmade, and their brand is built on fair trade practices. The story of how and why she created Bebemoss is both inspiring and impactful. 

What Makes This Online Retailer a Success Story

In today’s market, online customers are looking for brands that take a stand for or associate themselves with critical social causes, and Bebemoss was founded on just that. Every part of this business — from who they employ to the causes they support — is about empowering mothers from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. 

Department Store / Marketplace eCommerce Brands

22. Loot (South Africa)

eCommerce Platform: Amazon and WP

Estimated Yearly Revenue: $2.4 million*

Online Shopping Niche: Online marketplace

Based in South Africa, Loot is a one-stop online store for everything home, apparel, and entertainment. Think of it as South Africa’s version of Amazon. From arts and crafts to toys, they have a comprehensive range of categories, ensuring a packed online department store.

What Makes This Online Retailer a Success Story

If Amazon taught us anything on their climb to superiority, when it comes to online commerce, convenience and deals are essential. However, this can only be successful when your commerce enterprise is tailored perfectly to your market. This is something that Loot has been successful with.

Yes, they draw inspiration from big marketplaces or mortar stores, but their site and sellers program is aimed specifically at the South African market.

Wrap Up

There you have it, winning online retail stores and eCommerce websites you can draw inspiration from. Each with its own unique take and strategy in leading eCommerce niches, such as:

On the surface, they may look poles apart, but they have one binding thing in common — optimizing their online merchandising to create the ultimate shopping experience rivaling any mortar store or physical location.

If you’re looking to up your merchandising game, contact our experts here — or you can visit these helpful guides:

  1. 6 eCommerce Merchandising Tasks Successful Merchandising Managers Automate
  2. Is Bad Merchandising Management Killing Your Profits?
  3. How to Build a Winning Online Merchandising Strategy
  4. The Ultimate Guide to Online Visual Merchandising [2023]

Get advanced eCommerce merchandising hacks & tips

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Increase profits by up to 30% with smart automated merchandising

Get a Free Demo
May 23rd
Don't miss our exclusive workshop!