Shopify Plus Stores: Largest Brands To Date

05/10/2018, Marketing, Esther Lowde

In 2014, Shopify launched an enterprise solution built specifically for large and growing businesses.

Due to its unmatched reliability, scalability and ease of management, Shopify Plus is now the fastest growing enterprise ecommerce platform on the market – and is currently trusted by thousands of enterprise-sized stores around the world.

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Interested in seeing examples of real global businesses who are scaling and thriving on Shopify Plus?

Let’s take a look at some of the biggest names currently hosting their stores on the platform – and hear some helpful insights from our team of web designers and Shopify Plus Experts into each store’s current performance and design.

 

Red Bull

With a brand value of $10.4 billion, this leading energy drink enterprise has the highest market share of any energy drink in the world.

 

 

Asking Dan McIvor, Shopify Plus Expert and Founder of Swanky:  

“What is Red Bull gaining from being on Shopify Plus?”

“As a brand whose image is based around energy and speed, Red Bull is an ideal candidate for Shopify Plus. Shopify Plus’ global cloud-hosting infrastructure and the way that its back-end is coded makes all of the stores it hosts highly speed optimised straight out of the box – which is perfect for delivering Red Bull’s customers the snappy and seamless experience that they have come to expect from the brand.”

 

Asking Matt Giles, Creative Director at Swanky:

“What are the strongest aspects of this ecommerce store’s design?”

“Red Bull’s store is very well-branded and delivers a clear lifestyle image. The brand clearly know their market and have geared their website towards a mostly male demographic as their font choice appears strikingly masculine and the store’s featured homepage images are largely of men’s merchandise.

Red Bull’s product pages are also extremely product-focussed. For example, they use a lot of white space around their product images to draw attention to them, while all of the extra information (e.g. reviews and product details) is located further down the page below the fold; a very effective technique for increasing sales.”

 

Asking Sean Clanchy, Digital Strategy and Ecommerce Expert:  

“How could Red Bull boost their conversion rate further?”

“The store’s categorisation of their search filters could use some improvement as there appears to be a glitch in the website which suggests random and unrelated words and products when users attempt to filter items on the collection page by size or colour.”

 

Budweiser

Another hugely popular drinks brand, Budweiser specialise in creating American-style pale lagers – and are currently one of the highest selling beer companies in the United States.

 

 

Asking Dan McIvor, Shopify Plus Expert and Founder of Swanky:  

“What is Budweiser gaining from being on Shopify Plus?”

“Budweiser’s website is a strong example of how much easier business management can be when hosting an online store with Shopify Plus. Each of Budweiser’s trademark drinks (such as Budweiser, Bud Light, Corona and Stella Artois) has its own customised storefront on the website, which is a testament to how much simpler the Shopify Plus platform makes it to manage and customise multiple storefronts at once.

Because Shopify Plus is a hosted platform, a lot of the development work is also taken care of for merchants by the platform’s own development team. This means that a new Shopify Plus website can be live in just a matter of weeks (rather than months). Budweiser have taken advantage of this aspect of the Shopify Plus platform by using it to test out the market for their new branded Red Lights.”

 

Asking Matt Giles, Creative Director at Swanky:  

“What are the strongest aspects of this ecommerce store’s design?”

“The sub-branding of all of the different drinks in Budweiser’s portfolio is a real highlight of this website. Each sub-brand’s homepage features different imagery and contrasting colour schemes depending on the ‘vibe’ of the beverage. For example, while the Corona page features strong beachy images and ocean blue pops of colour, their Stella Artois sub-section features more ‘masculine’ reds and blacks, striking fonts and bold clickable buttons such as ‘Buy a lady a drink’.

 

 

Budweiser clearly know their different markets and have used their Shopify Plus storefronts to give their customers a different online experience depending on the drink they are searching for.”

 

Asking Sean Clanchy, Digital Strategy and Ecommerce Expert:  

“How could Budweiser boost their conversion rate further?”

“Budweiser could improve the usability of their store by incorporating drop-downs into their product menus in order to improve their search filtering.

Their search bar itself (on their default homepage) is not highlighted either, and could be made more prominent in order to help customers navigate to their desired products more quickly.”

 

Nescafé

Nescafé is a leading coffee brand manufactured by Nestlé, the world’s largest food and beverage company.

 

 

“Shopify has all of the tools we require. It’s a turnkey solution and we’re optimistic about the Nescafé brand’s ecommerce future.”

– Arlee Rosenberg, Digital Consumer Experience and Ecommerce Manager at Nestlé

 

Asking Dan McIvor, Shopify Plus Expert and Founder of Swanky:

“What is Nescafé gaining from hosting its store on Shopify Plus?”

“Nescafé’s experience with Shopify Plus is a striking example of the speed at which Shopify Plus websites can be created – as well as the reliability of their results.

For example, in 2016, when Nestlé decided that they wanted to market their Nescafé Sweet & Creamy range to millennials as a way to help them get through the struggles of adult life, Shopify Plus helped Nestlé build out an ecommerce infrastructure from scratch to promote their new campaign. In the words of Nestlé’s Ecommerce Manager Arlee Rosenberg, ‘It was almost like we were opening up a brand new shop within Nestlé.’

The tricky bit? All of this had to be completed by Shopify in the space of just eight weeks. Still, the Shopify team managed it – and the results paid off tenfold. Read more about the project and its impressive results here.

Alongside delivering impressive results in a short period of time, another bonus of hosting your website with Shopify Plus is the 24/7 priority support available to clients. Business managers on Shopify Plus are guaranteed to receive all of the assistance they need from the platform in order to learn how to make the most of its unique variety of features.”

 

Asking Matt Giles, Creative Director at Swanky:  

“What are the strongest aspects of this ecommerce stores design?”

“As a brand, Nescafé are associated with very strong video advertising – and their website certainly does not disappoint. Their homepage features a large video, and indeed all of their pages are video-led, so that the user experience is as smooth as the coffee they are trying to sell.

The rapid ‘number of cups of Nescafé enjoyed today’ ticker at the footer of the homepage is also a nice touch as it demonstrates the popularity of Nescafé’s drinks.  

 

 

Lastly, the emphasis that the website places on highlighting the source of the product is very effective marketing as this is a crucial part of building trust between customers and a consumables brand.”

 

Asking Sean Clanchy, Digital Strategy and Ecommerce Expert:

“How could Nescafé boost their conversion rate further?”

“In future, Nescafé could look into offering their customers a subscription service as coffee is something that their customers will likely be buying on a regular basis.

Additionally, there is no guest checkout option available, so the website is not fully optimised for first time or one-off shoppers, and there is a risk that they may abandon their cart if they do not have the time to complete Nescafé’s sign-up form before making their purchase.”

 

Kylie Cosmetics

Founded in 2015 by social media mogul and modern fashion icon Kylie Jenner, Kylie Cosmetics sells a wide range of cosmetic products to women from all around the world.

The young entrepreneur’s brand made her a staggering $420 in the first 18 months of its launch and, according to WWD, is projected to rake in $1 billion in lifetime sales by 2022.

 

  

 

“We launched at like 3 o’clock and I refreshed the page and it was gone. It was under a minute. It had to be like 20 seconds and it was all sold out. I was just in shock. I never imagined it would become as big as it has.”

– Kylie Jenner

 

Asking Dan McIvor, Shopify Plus Expert and Founder of Swanky:

“What is Kylie Cosmetics gaining from being on Shopify Plus?”

“Essentially, Shopify Plus was the perfect platform for Kylie’s brand because of its scalability; its ability to handle huge levels of traffic and customer demand. For example, after launching her first website with Shopify Plus, Kylie’s debut matte liquid lipstick was sold out within seconds.

Coping with demand on this scale is a major task for any ecommerce platform, yet this cosmetic empire certainly keeps the high-level traffic coming, with all of Kylie’s subsequent makeup launches selling out just as rapidly time and time again.

However, Shopify Plus was specifically built to handle this kind of large-scale pressure. In fact, the platform was even able to handle 200k of Kylie’s visitors simultaneously during one of the biggest product drops in ecommerce history; proving itself to be the ideal ecommerce platform for enterprise businesses’ high traffic requirements and accelerated growth.”

 

Asking Matt Giles, Creative Director at Swanky:  

“What are the strongest aspects of this ecommerce store’s design?”

“We particularly like the store’s ‘product-led’ approach. The design is simple and clean but with strong touches of personality throughout (such as the store’s ‘back in stock’ badges being lipstick stamps, for example).

 

  

 

The ‘add to cart’ buttons on the collection pages, product pages and the homepage are also very strong and visible, motivating customers to reach the checkout page faster. On the store’s product pages, there is a lot of cross-selling and upselling of relevant bundles and similar cosmetic products, which is a great way to boost conversions as well.”

 

Asking Sean Clanchy, Digital Strategy and Ecommerce Expert:

“How could Kylie Cosmetics boost their conversion rate further?”

“Due to the brand’s global popularity, reputation and consistently high demand, Kylie Cosmetics’ conversion rate is already through the roof.

However, if we were to suggest some improvements to the website, we would advise incorporating more visual customer reviews into the store (as customers are currently only able to leave text-based reviews on products) using an app such as Okendo. Because cosmetic products are so visual and based on aesthetics, this would be a great way to drive more customer engagement and to convince more new buyers to try the products out for themselves.

As the cosmetics sold are consumable products which can be used up and collected over time, looking into offering Kylie Cosmetics’ customers a subscription service of some kind would also be a good conversion-booster for the brand.”

 

Gymshark

Gymshark is an innovative fitness fashion store based in the United Kingdom. Since being founded in 2012 by 19 year old Ben Francis, Gymshark has quickly become one of the most recognisable brands in fitness, turning over £41 million in sales in 2017 alone.

 

 

“The great thing about Shopify Plus is the fact that we fundamentally trust the platform and can do what we want almost immediately and be confident it’s going to work.”

– Ben Francis, Founder of Gymshark

 

Asking Dan McIvor, Shopify Plus Expert and Founder of Swanky:

“What is Gymshark gaining from being on Shopify Plus?”

“Gymshark initially launched their website with Shopify Plus after moving from Magento – and there were several important reasons for this transition. Firstly, it took six to eight months just to build their initial website with Magento. According to Gymshark’s Founder Ben Francis, ‘By the time the site was finished, we had doubled in size and had already outgrown it.’

Secondly, Magento failed them on one of their busiest days of trading – Black Friday – when their entire website crashed for eight hours due to a high number of visitors to the store. This failure cost Gymshark an estimated $143,000 in lost sales – as well as a lot of their customers’ trust in the brand.

Today, Gymshark are thriving on a platform which is not only able to handle their rapid growth as they continue their mission to become ‘the greatest fitness brand in the world’, but which also allows their team to implement changes quickly and effectively whenever they please.

Furthermore, Gymshark are making the most of Shopify Plus’ built-in social feeds and social media integrations. With their enormous social media following, Gymshark have catered to their audience by including a shoppable Instagram feed on their homepage and featuring well-known fitness influencers (who lead a large portion of Gymshark’s customers to the store in the first place) modelling their clothing products in order to boost conversion rates.”

 

  

 

Asking Matt Giles, Creative Director at Swanky:

“What are the strongest aspects of this ecommerce store’s design?”

“From a user perspective, Gymshark’s store is brilliant at encouraging visitors to the store to reach the checkout page as quickly as possible. For example, the website gives customers the option to add and remove products to their cart before they even reach the checkout page, and all you need to do is hover over an image and click on your size for that product to be added to your basket.

Another plus of the store’s design is that it is very image-led; clean and simple but with plenty of attitude.”

 

Asking Sean Clanchy, Digital Strategy and Ecommerce Expert:

“How could Gymshark boost their conversion rate further?”

“To increase conversions, Gymshark could benefit from featuring reviews on their website, which have been shown to produce an 18% uplift in sales on average.

While the branding on their homepage is very strong, it also takes two full page scrolls before users see merchandised products displayed. If these were prioritised higher up the page, this could help increase the brand’s sales as well.”

 

Rebecca Minkoff

Rebecca Minkoff is an international women’s fashion brand specialising in luxury but accessible handbags, accessories, footwear and apparel. The rapidly growing business has recently crossed $100 million in gross sales.

 

 

Asking Dan McIvor, Shopify Plus Expert and Founder of Swanky:

“What is Rebecca Minkoff gaining from being on Shopify Plus?”

“As a former Magento client, Rebecca Minkoff are a prime example of a modern fashion brand who are really taking advantage of Shopify Plus’ exciting range of front-end functionality.

Shopify Plus provides merchants with an almost unlimited pool of front-end customisation options to allow them to create a unique collection and product page experience. In Rebecca Minkoff’s case, this includes different-sized product blocks on their store’s collection pages, an attractive product page carousel and a completely customised shopping cart.

In terms of finding out which of these changes are best for boosting conversions on your store, Shopify Plus’ speed of deployment of new features and A/B testing makes it the fastest and easiest platform to run optimisation tests on.

This is especially key for ecommerce fashion stores as, in the words of Uri Minkoff, Co-Founder and CEO of Rebecca Minkoff, one of the keys to building a fashion brand for the millennial consumer is to get to know your customers and their preferences through A/B testing ‘all day long’!”

 

Asking Matt Giles, Creative Director at Swanky:  

“What are the strongest aspects of this ecommerce store’s design?”

“Rebecca Minkoff’s website lets its images do the talking. For example, throughout the collection pages, product shots are interspersed with fun lifestyle images containing real people and vibrant landscape photographs. On the product pages, the product imagery is huge and the product slider is automated to encourage users to view the items in detail and from multiple angles.

 

  

 

The homepage also features some conversion-boosting aesthetic touches such as a shoppable Instagram feed and clear, unique calls to action such as “Discover #IAMMANY” to attract customers to their new products and campaigns.”

 

Asking Sean Clanchy, Digital Strategy and Ecommerce Expert:

“How could Rebecca Minkoff boost their conversion rate further?”

“To increase their sales even further, the brand could consider communicating product size availability on the collection page listings (rather than making customers click on the product page first to find out this information).

The cheapest products are also the first to be displayed on the collection pages, so Rebecca Minkoff could potentially increase their average order values by arranging their products in a different order on collection pages; putting ‘best-selling’ products before ‘lowest price’ items, for example.”

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Interested in finding out more about migrating your enterprise to Shopify Plus?

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About the author

Esther Lowde

Esther is Swanky's Content Manager. Her blogs specialise in website design, search engine optimisation and marketing strategy, teaching ecommerce store managers around the world how to make the most of their presence online.

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