Persado Props: 3 Top Websites from 2018

Online sales have continued to increase this year, according to U.S. Census Bureau reports, and apparel has seen some of the biggest recent gains. This summer, the latest Internet Retailer Online Apparel Report found that 27.4% of apparel sales occurred online in 2017, up from 23.5% in 2016 and 20.7% in 2015. To cash in on the wave of digital sales that is only getting larger, it’s essential brands have a website that fits in with the rest of the customer journey — one with a voice and language consistent with all other marketing channels, both online and off. These top websites showed businesses how it’s done in 2018.

Related: Make this list next year. Learn what's coming to web in 2019. 

Rent the Runway

top websites 2018

Fashionistas and people with small closets have flocked to this brand over the years, but Rent the Runway’s fun and streamlined site has kept them coming back long after the novelty of keeping clothes for a couple of days wore off. 

Currently, upon entering the site, visitors are greeted with a video of women in sparkling dresses enjoying a night on the town. It’s relatable and shows how the potential customer can use her outfit. The voice is smart and upbeat, but it doesn’t venture into “YASSSS” territory. Phrases like “You’ve got 100,000s of options at your fingertips. Try new things, have more fun and go for it” and “Let’s be real: your style, size and budget change over time. Now, your closet can too” exemplify the brand’s voice. 

The options are spelled out in three easy steps (and called the three easy ways to access the dream closet — another fun twist on language). There’s also social proof under the empowering headline “Join the movement.” It features women wearing actual outfits they wore and giving feedback, which lends more credence than the brand telling prospective customers how great they are. 

Seamless

best websites 2018

Seamless helped carve out a niche in online food deliver more than a decade ago, and it’s stood the test of time. Its website isn’t littered with the bells and whistles one might expect from a brand on this list, but Seamless makes the cut in large part for staying true to its name: it’s straightforward and easy to use. There’s a sticky header which allows users to put in the type of cuisine they’re craving plus their address. It’s also spelled out in four easy steps, most notably the fourth “Enjoy food time!” The call to action (CTA) “Find food” is equally creative while staying true to brand. CTAs or functional language (phrases and words that directly prompt a specific action, language, response or process) comprise about 40-50% of the difference in performance for websites, so it’s important that they stand out from a pack full of “Learn more’s” and “read now’s.” 


Netflix

best websites 2018

The digital streaming service has become a quintessential part of people’s nights in. For those who haven’t signed up for the service yet, doing so is a simple, three-step process. A user shouldn’t have to work hard to use a product or browse your web page — if they do, they may be on to the next. The benefits are clearly outlined. Users can stream anywhere, anytime and from multiple devices. Netflix also offers a low-commitment. The first month is free, and there aren’t contracts. The site never feels too pushy, which is good because the used-car salesperson act is never en vogue. The sticky navigation bar, which allows users to sign in or join free for a month, keeps the CTA top of mind without being too in-your-face. 

Miss best in email subject lines? Check it out here.