Whilst there are plenty of online electronic cigarette vendors out there, Vapourbase stands out as one company which has clearly spent a significant amount of time and energy on refining their website into a well-oiled, user-friendly e-commerce store.
Upon accessing the Vapourbase homepage, the user is greeted by an intuitive interface, as well as clear, informative text and images which help to illustrate the nature of the products sold through the website at a glance.
In the header, a large, bold company logo sits alongside a discreet, but easy-to-find search box and a series of session links; importantly, the shopping basket is positioned prominently, in an optimal position at the top-right of the header;
Due to effective use of negative space and a limited, clean colour palette, the numerous elements which sit within the header come together without clashing, in a manner which is logical and uncluttered.
In terms of navigation, the site uses a simple top-menu system with drop-down sub-menus, for quick, easy access to all key product categories and information pages with a minimum of scrolling: The lack of a left or right hand navigation menu on the homepage means that the entire horizontal space of the fixed-width area is devoted to featured products and useful information, resulting in clear, large product thumbnail images and a generous amount of space for text content.
On the homepage, a prominent rotating image carousel shows off some key products by cycling through large images and brief product descriptions in an eye-catching manner; bonus points go to the developers for including discreet navigation buttons, which means that users can manually override the automatic animation cycle.
Social media links (as well as a blog link button) are incorporated into the design in a unique, eye-catching manner: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus modules all pop out in their own tabbed widgets, meaning that a user can easily access the social side of the web-browsing experience without having to navigate away from whichever page they happen to be viewing (with the exception of the blog link, which takes a user straight to the Vapourbase blog);
They also offer incentives for engaging socially including FaceBook competitions.
Products on the website are clearly arranged into specific e cigarette categories and subcategories, with each item being displayed in a uniform, logical manner.
When a user navigates through to a product view page, the most prominent elements on the page are the large product image, the price of the product and the ‘add to cart’ buttons, making it super-simple for the user to confirm that they are viewing the correct item.
‘Wish list’ and ‘compare’ features, reviews and social media elements also come together on the product pages to help enhance the user’s experience of browsing the website, meaning that, even if a purchase is not made straight away, the customer can save or share the products that they are interested in.
A tabbed system with clear textual descriptions, reviews and photos helps the product view pages to give a user all of the information that they could wish to have on a specific product.
Our testers have found Vapourbase to be a carefully thought-out, clean and user-friendly website with a rich list of features.