Spy on the best Magento websites and learn to find them

Spying on your competitors can be a source of inspiration and successful decisions. Although the majority of small retailers don’t have access to resources for building a magnificent Magento store like Nike’s one, we still can learn from big brands experience and borrow tiny tips and tricks like gift cards.

Today we are featuring some ideas from the best Magento websites that can be implemented on your store. Want to get these hints and learn how to detect a Magento store? Read on and tell us what you think.


Collect reviews from various platforms

If you sell your product in several online stores, it may be a good idea to collect your reviews in one place so the customer won’t abandon to look for more reviews. Mothercare automatically shows reviews published on elc.co.uk for concurrent products.

Mothercare collecting reviews from other stores

Flexible payment policy

Adjusting your payment policy to your audience is a great way to stand out from the crowd and improve brand loyalty. Mothercare lets its customers spread the cost so it isn’t so hard to pay for the whole bunch of products needed for the newborn.

 Set up Magento Stripe extension to make payments swift and secure.

Mothercare payment plan

Banners in dropdowns

There must be a happy medium between a minimalist site structure and annoying and distracting your customers from what they really want, hoping to seduce them by a discount.  Here’s a gentle way to promote a discount or a new collection: while the customer has opened the particular dropdown, you may be sure he’s at least closer to be interested in what you offer.

Mothercare dropdown promotions

UPD: Looks like this website is (no longer) using Magento. For some reason it is still shown on Magento Showcase Page. Anyway, I decided to leave these points because they still can be implemented on Magento.


Olympus went even further: apart from placing some promotional stuff in the menu dropdowns, they included pics of the products listed in this menu item. Looks like a nice way to help settle in, which works for technical equipment. Haven’t you stolen this trick from this top Magento website yet?

Olympus product pictures in dropdowns

Cross-selling products

Suggested similar items are a good idea, and there’s the next step to offer exact match accessorizes that can be (and most likely will be) used with the product. It is called cross-selling. In this particular case you can buy items suitable for the exact camera type, such as batteries, bags, and cases.

Olympus eccessories compatible with the product


Motivate to subscribe

Giving a discount for subscription is killing two birds with one stone: firstly, you motivate a visitor to buy with a discount; secondly, you get his or her email which gives you impressive opportunities. And thirdly, the right timing of such popups can significantly reduce the bounce rate of your Magento store. In fact, it has the power to transform abandoning users to customers or subscribers.

Rebecca Minkoff deal

Creative wording

Just two words – and the page looks completely different. ‘Own it’ has more style than ‘buy it’, ‘jump on a deal’, or whatever. Of course, this works not only for Magento websites, but for all retail shops in general.

Rebecca Minkoff wording


Motivate to leave a review

Nike is one of the most famous companies using Magento. They decided to place a well-marked review call to action on the product page. Good step if you have a lot of products without reviews. What’s more, it shows you’re sure about the quality of the items, and this confidence adds to the list of reasons to buy.

Nike reviews call to actions

Rethink category pages

Turn your category pages into real landing pages like Nike did. Their example is not just a collection of products by category, it’s a beautifully designed gallery with well-chosen pictures and subtle call to actions. This way a category page turns into a sales instrument rather than being just a sorting office.

nike category page


404 matters

A funny or original 404 is working not only for those who followed the wrong link. It’s a brand lift thing! If your 404 page is funny enough people are going to share it – as we know we all are motivated to share things we enjoy. What is more, a particularly unique 404 page can be a great source of natural backlinks for your Magento store. Check other funny 404 examples from e-commerce shops here.

Munchkin 404 page


Color picks on category page

Warby Parker is a highly visual eyeglasses store powered by Magento. Indeed, can we expect an eyeglasses store not to be so visual?

First of all, they added color switches on the category page so you can see color variations right away:

Warby Parker color swatches on category page

Exact parameters

Secondly, they added very precise measurements to each of the models, which works for those who can’t go to the store and try the item on:

Warby Parker measurements

360’/180′ view

And thirdly, you can move the mouse over the model wearing glasses pic and see how they look like from different angles.

Warby Parker different angles Warby Parker different angles 2
Warby Parker different angles 3

Eyewear shoppers are very concerned about the visual aspect of the products. These methods can narrow the gap that prevents customers from buying the products they can’t touch or examine offline.


Combine navigation and style

Harvey Nichols uses Magento and has done an incredible job. Just look how layered navigation can look with a pinch of design!

Harvey Nichols navigation

They used a stylish pagination variant, and you can flip images right from the category page. What is more, as you click the info icon, the card flips back, and you see the necessary product stats designed to match the whole store (which is as cool as these £1,000 jeans).
How to detect a Magento store
Now, when we have collected some useful tips from top Magento shops, let’s learn how to detect if the store we want to investigate uses the Magento platform. There are many lists of websites powered by Magento, but using these tips you can build your own list to keep up to.

Of course, there’s no 100% guarantee that you will be able to detect the platform the website is using. Most evident factors work for the default installation. However, checking the list of factors and using the list of tools can still be of great help.

Quick manual prompts to check if a website uses Magento

Admin URL, page design and title: the default Magento admin page lives on site.com/admin URL, and only some of the merchants change it. Here’s how the default Magento admin page looks like:

Default Magento admin page

And even if the shop owner decided to style it, most probably he didn’t bother to change the title of this page.

Magento admin page default title

Cart URL: the default Magento cart URL will look like this: site.com/checkout/cart/. Again, in most cases there’s no need to change this URL so most merchants leave it as it is.

Src attribute: choose View Source in your browser and have a look at the URLs of the src attributes. Another clue can be skin/frontend/ part in the URLs.

Files source in Magento

Magento Connect Manager link: check if there’s any default page sitting on the site.com/downloader URL.

Magento connect manager default page

Go to site.com/install.php. You may be lucky to see this:

Magento already installed

404 page: well, most of the shops change it, but why not to check it? Even if it is modified, still some merchants leave default Magento 404 page text or its parts like Have no fear, help is near! There are many ways you can get back on track.

Tools to check if a website uses Magento

Wappalyzer is a nice tool for web developers: apart from the CMS, it can identify lots of things like the analytics tool the site’s using, the programming language and so on.

Wappalyzer to detect Magento



The tool cannot detect Magento on websites like mothercare.com, but it can work with small websites that weren’t customized all over. Also, you can clearly see the list of the Magento indicators the tool uses.

Magento detector


BuiltWith is similar to Wappalyzer, but it’s an online solution. It also shows various parameters as metric tools, web servers, Javascript libraries, including the platform identification.

Builtwith to detect Magento
Did you like these tips and tricks? If yes and you want to implement them on your Magento store, but don’t know how to do it, ask us in comments!