Landing Page Best Practices for E-commerce Sites

 

Robert Woo

 

Hands with iPad

 



Whether you sell shoes, makeup, software, or anything else online, if you’re in eCommerce, you’re in the business of conversions. Figuring out better ways of converting visitors to your site into paying customers is what we all want to be doing. But here’s the bad news: most businesses are pretty bad at it.

 


Here is a recent chart from Statista showing the industry average for online shopping conversions:

 

Statista worldwide online shoppers conversion graph

 



We’ve all been engaged in eCommerce for how long and we’re still struggling to approach a conversion rate of 3%? And to be clear, the numbers in 2016 were even slightly higher than today, so not only are companies as a whole not improving but perhaps regressing.

 


The stats clearly show that any eCommerce business willing to invest the time to improve their landing page conversions will have a dramatic advantage over their competitors. But where do you start? What are the lowest hanging fruits to pick off when addressing landing page conversion rate? At Shogun, we’ve helped hundreds of companies with this particular problem, and we think it’s good to focus on the four major types of landing pages on your site.

 


Your Homepage

 

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Think of your homepage as your most trafficked landing page. It’s most likely what ranks highest on Google for your eCommerce store, and the entry portal to a large percentage of your overall traffic. Once they land here, you want them to stay a while (and eventually buy!). So getting your home page optimized as a landing page can be a huge boost to your bottom line.

 


The top 3 homepage improvements:


Simple Layout & Navigation -- First impressions matter, and having a cluttered homepage with too many paths and calls-to-action (CTAs) can quickly turn off a visitor. Make sure your homepage design is clean with a clear flow that directs where you want to focus one’s attention.

 


We like Dropbox’s newest iteration of their homepage:

 

Dropbox Pricing Plans page screenshot

 



Note that Dropbox has decided to do with the classic “top navigation” altogether. Removing that leaves far fewer exits for the user to take, and they are forced to scroll down the page (exactly as Dropbox wants them to do) to read their pricing, their social proof, and features. Their layout is clear, extremely simple, and optimized to drive conversion actions.

 


Clear Voice & Brand -- According to the CEO of Chartbeat, more than half of your visitors will spend less than 15 seconds on your website. If your visitors only get one thing from their brief visit, it should be an answer to “why you, not them?” Having a clear and bold voice on your homepage is the best way to differentiate yourself and stick in a visitor’s head.

 


HubSpot's homepage screenshot

 

Hubspot’s current homepage speaks loudly about who they are:



Their headline speaks directly to their core market of business owners looking for more growth. The CTA button contains the word “free” which is music to their eyes. And most importantly, the chosen image speaks to their friendly and approachable brand that aims to connect people together. You get all of that in less than fifteen seconds. This is the type of powerful differentiating voice you want your brand’s homepage to convey.

 


Optimize for Mobile -- According to Statista, the majority of internet traffic is via mobile devices. Yet we see time and time again, homepages created without the responsive design necessary to fit mobile screens. If a smartphone visitor sees awkward spacing, images overflowing off their screen, and awful touch navigation; they’ll bounce out quickly. Your homepage and the rest of your site should be optimized for mobile traffic from the ground up.

 

Here are some mobile design tips for eCommerce businesses from one of our previous posts:


  • Use a large font. Users don’t want to have to zoom in to read the text.

  • Keep the “one-finger rule” in mind. Everything should be accessible and possible with one finger. This rule will help with cart abandonment and dropoffs.

  • Use the same tips you saw above regarding headlines. Keep it brief and clear.

  • Including a CTA button on the top and the bottom of a landing page helps to increase clicks. Fixed-position buttons that stay on screen as you scroll are a great alternative. 

 

Your Product Pages

 

B&W Store screenshot

 


In today’s savvy internet shopping culture, your product pages are more than pages that customers somehow navigate to from your home page. Rather, they are eCommerce landing pages of their own, often ranking high on Google, or linked-to from social media. Optimizing them for conversions is a necessity to boost your conversion rate overall.

 


The top 3 product page improvements:


Great images -- According to studies on how people view web pages, only 16% read them word-for-word. The vast majority skim the content. This is exactly the reason why having great images for your products are so important for boosting your conversion rate. It’s difficult to write someone into a purchase, which can largely be emotional purchases; it’s easier to show someone why they want to buy something.

 


Wayfair always does a good job of providing excellent images for their products. Just look at their product page for a simple pillow:

 

Wayfair Basics Medium Pillow screenshot

 



It’s just a standard white pillow! Yet they have 8 images to show it off in the best light possible. Taking the time to produce professional and beautiful images like these for each of your products will increase time-on-page and lead to more conversions.

 


Social Proof -- Customer ratings and reviews are hugely impactful features on a product page to increase conversions. Check out this chart from WalkerSands:

 

Goal Conversion Rate chart

 


Customers that hit a review page were more likely to convert. That’s why embedding reviews/ratings right on the product page can lead to particularly stellar boosts in conversion.

 


If your business or product is too new to have many reviews, try adding quotes from overall satisfied customers on your product landing pages. Having faces along with each quote would be even better social proof. Eventually, as your accrue reviews, swap out the generic quotes for more specific ones.

 

"Figuring out better ways of converting visitors to your site into paying  customers is what we all want to be doing."  -Click to Tweet-


 

Longer Descriptions -- While we just wrote previously that most people skim the content on your product pages, that doesn’t mean you should ignore writing a robust product description. While there is the tangential benefit of convincing the few shoppers that bother to read the entire blurb, what is even more important are the SEO benefits.

 


The Google bots that scour the internet like longer, unique content. The more you write, focused around the keyword(s) you want that product to rank for, the higher that product page will appear in Google’s search results. That means more visitors to your page, leading to more conversions.

 


Again, if you look to how Wayfair lists their products, there are 400 - 500 words just in the description and specifications alone. Add the Q&A, reviews, shipping and returns policy, etc; and every single product page has over a thousand words. It’s no wonder they often rank so high on Google.

 


Invest the time to write longer product descriptions, and keep them fresh by changing the wording every few months (between 3 and 6). The additional traffic from SEO and the ensuing conversions will be worth it.

 



Lead Generation Page

 

Shogun lead generation page screenshot

 


The lead generation page is the typical landing page you were probably thinking of at the start of this article, but surprisingly for eCommerce businesses, they’re relatively the least important. After all, what you care about are sale conversions more than lead conversions. But the pages that bring in leads are still important to the growth of your business as a whole and worth investing your time and effort into optimizing.

 


The top 3 lead generation page improvements:


One CTA, One Exit -- Each of your lead generation landing pages should have one specific purpose for your eCommerce business, and only one. In that vein, it’s a good idea to remove all other distractions including the top navigation menu. In fact, Hubspot found in their research that removing the navigation actually increase conversions on their landing pages.

 

HubSpot landing pages research table

 



With fewer exit avenues to distract the visitor from the action you want them to take, the user is more likely to perform that specific call to action.

 


Shorter Forms -- Ideally, you’d know every lead’s entire personal and medical history to better market to them in the future. Unfortunately, the more you ask for up front, the less likely they will be to fill out that form. There are many stories of companies increasing their form conversion rate by huge numbers, in this case 120%, by reducing the number of fields in their forms.

 


But according to in-depth analysis from 123formbuilder.com, which forms you choose to include also matter to the conversion rate. This is why it’s important to A/B test your forms; you may be surprised which exact combination of asks results in the highest completions.

 


In general, all you really need to continue the conversation with a lead is their email. Yes, it will take more work to flesh out the customer profile, but consider only asking for the email in some of your landing pages and see how many more conversions come through.

 


Testimonials -- Whatever your landing page is offering, be it a whitepaper, slideshow, demo, or free trial; we always see conversion rates go up when there is a personal touch added to the content. Testimonials are a great way to lend social proof to the offer you are showcasing.

 

Gaiam testimonials

 


Remember, the job of an eCommerce lead generation landing page is to convince the visitor to sign up for something, and it helps the user when they know that others have been there before. Testimonials are easy to implement and much easier to source than a whole case study or even customer reviews. Again, adding an image of the happy customer will go a long way to convey trust in your brand and your specific offering.

 




Need help creating amazing eCommerce landing pages that truly convert? Shogun can help. Our intuitive, drag-and-drop interface makes creating pages a snap. Try it free today!

 

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