People who love beautiful glass will recognize the name Murano. Glass from this region of Italy is world-renowned for its perfectly formed shapes and unique colorations. We wanted to embrace a true e-commerce store for this month’s award, so we searched various sites loved by our staff and narrowed the options down to glass makers.
Original Murano Glass won the highest scores on everything, including their streamlined look for their mobile site. Even if you don’t have much interest in purchasing handmade glass, you can appreciate the beauty of this site’s design and the gorgeous product images.
Winner: Original Murano Glass
According to Statista, specialty glass accounts for around 33% of glass industry revenues. Some types of glass fetch much higher prices due to production methods and demand.
Murano Glass falls into the category of collectibles. Whether people want to find vintage pieces in the wild, such as at a flea market, or they buy it new directly from a manufacturer, the pieces get passed down from one generation to the next.
When it comes to beautiful, relevant images for a website, you might think glass is an easy sell. The truth is, however, that it’s very difficult to photograph glass and show it off at its best without glare from overhead lights or the background peaking through and messing up the overall aesthetic.
What Is Original Murano Glass?
If you go hunting for Murano glass online, you’re going to find a number of different manufacturers. There are even cheap knockoffs not made in Murano, but claiming to be of the same quality as the original.
Murano is one of the islands in the northern part of the country in Venice. The islands are linked by Venetian bridges. The glass is called Venetian glass at times.
Visiting the island in the Venice Lagoon is well worth the time. It is basically just known for glass factories, so you can tour any number of them and choose your favorite creators. Murano glass is blown glass. You won’t want to miss seeing the items handmade by famous artisans in the area.
Afterward, take a ride on a gondola and get serenaded in the canals of Venice before eating a delicious Italian dinner made up of fresh, wholesome foods of the region.
Why We Chose a Glass Maker for the Award
We wanted to take a closer look at an e-commerce store. Glass is a challenging thing to sell worldwide. I must be packaged particularly carefully to avoid breakage during shipping. People may feel reluctant to buy such pieces based on photographs alone as there can be flaws in the glassmaking process. Reputation becomes everything for such online retailers.
As we studied the various sites, Original Murano Glass stood above some of the others. Here are the reasons why we chose this particular glassmaker website for our award.
As mentioned previously, manufacturers in Asian countries may try to pass off an inferior quality product as original Murano glass. The site addresses that concern by inviting site visitors to come tour their glass factory. They share relevant and original images of their pieces and the artists creating them. In addition, they have clear channels to contact the sales office via several methods.
The design is refreshing, putting the focus on the products. You won’t find a bunch of clutter. You can shop, view images and learn about the glass maker. The design is easy to navigate. Everything points to the purpose of the page, which is to get you to order beautiful collectibles.
We spent some time navigating the mobile version of the site. Since over 50% of website traffic now comes from mobile devices, we felt the responsiveness was an important factor in choosing a specialty glass retailer’s site.
The site adapts to a smaller screen without losing image quality or text readability. We also found the ordering process and shopping experience fairly easy to navigate other than a couple of things we’d probably change.
Fast Load Times
The site loads at lightning speed. For busy internet users, waiting on a site to load can be frustrating. We found no lag time. The minute we pulled up the home page, it appeared without any delay in loading images.
No Frustrating Scripts
It’s highly annoying to try to view a site while scripts load, slow down the process or throw up errors. Getting rid of scripts can improve your search engine ranking and avoid frustrating your site visitors. We found no such problems on this site.
Detailed Product Pages
We adore the product pages and all the beautiful images on the site. Since people are investing a good chunk of money in a piece of Murano glass, they may feel uncertain about buying it online without seeing it in person. OMG addresses this problem by offering images from various angles and making sure they are clear and easy to view.
We like the way they shortened their website name of Original Murano Glass to OMG. It’s trendy and cute. They repeat one of the glass patterns in the letter “O,” making the overall design trendy and interesting.
What We Would Do Different
As with most of the sites we’ve reviewed recently, we feel this one could stand to put a bit more emphasis on their mobile design.
The mobile version of OMG’s website is actually much better than many competitors. Everything adapts well to a smaller screen and is viewable without issue or tedious scrolling. Filling in the information is fairly simple and it’s easy to navigate around the site.
However, filling in all the required information to buy a piece is tedious on a smartphone. One thing they could do to improve the experience is tap into the information on Google or PayPal so users can click one link and automatically populate fields.
We truly love the clean look of this design. Shoppers don’t have any distractions to take them out of the experience of finding their next glass piece. The trust factors, being authentic and the beautiful images all build to make for an excellent e-commerce design we can all learn from.