Acquisition

9 Best Practices for Successful eCommerce Landing Pages

Landing pages are crucial in the eCommerce world and play a vital role in the consumer journey.  These standalone websites give visitors a way to focus in on one offer while avoiding distractions that could hold them back. In spite of this, most companies are unaware of the best practices needed to create successful eCommerce landing pages.

Visual of a homepage layout versus a landing page layout.
Image via AR Info Tech

E-commerce landing pages are most often used when a visitor has come from a Facebook ad, email campaign, remarketing display ad, etc..

In fact, according to Dan Brown’s 8 Principles of Information Architecture, one principle is based solely on the assumption that at least half of a website’s visitors will come through some page other than the homepage.

So does every campaign really need a landing page? It not only needs one, it deserves one. When campaigns include custom landing pages, companies see a 55% average increase in leads.

According to research from Marketing Experiments, only 48% of marketers build a new landing page for each marketing campaign.

Having a landing page isn’t a magical solution, though—it’s important to be smart when it comes to crafting one. This means knowing the key elements to include and what should be left out (we’re looking at you, company philosophy).

There can’t be a one-size-fits-all eCommerce landing page formula for the many different types of products and audiences out there.

However, there are things that highly successful landing pages have in common:

1. Eye-Popping Hero Image

Landing pages that convert well always include a well-chosen image to clearly demonstrate what the product does or what consumers will achieve. Not viewing this as a vital part of optimization is a mistake that’s sunk far too many eCommerce landing pages.

Why? This is the age of Instagram. Conversion rates will plummet if there is a lack of high-quality, relevant imagery.

Avoid Stock Photos

Believe it or not, there’s a good chance that your visitor has already seen the generic stock photo you chose. This will cause them to lose any personal connection to your product or your brand since the image isn’t personal to your product or your brand.

Visual of elements that cause prospects to click back out due to "reduces credibility"
Image via Content Marketing Institute

According to a study from the Content Marketing Institute, stock photos were responsible for driving 30% of prospects away from a website due to reduced credibility.

A beautiful, original photo has the power to spark emotion and turn a curious visitor into an enthusiastic buyer.

Here’s a quick tip—don’t hyperlink your photo. This will only give the visitor an easy way out of the sales journey.

Focus on the Product

In the high-conversion eCommerce landing page below, Tyme uses a large, high-quality image of their product so the eye goes right for it. At the same time, it doesn’t distract from the copy or the CTA button. This makes the visual path extremely easy to navigate.

Screenshot of Tyme's Landing Page showing a large, clean photo of their Iron
Image via KlientBoost

2. Attention-Grabbing Headline

First impressions are crucial. Headlines are the best way to grab a customer’s attention and show them the value of your product.

David Ogilvy, known as the father of advertising, once said:

“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as reads the body copy. When you’ve written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”

In a study from Marketo, roughly 96% of visitors who arrive at an eCommerce landing page are not ready to buy. The headline’s job is to pique their interest so they’ll read more and know what they stand to gain by using this product.

Avoid length

What does a winning headline look like? First thing’s first—keep it short. If their interest isn’t piqued in the first 10 seconds of their arrival, there’s a good chance they’ll abandon for good.

Most high-conversion landing pages have a headline with fewer than 10 words max. This eCommerce landing page from Warby Parker shows that a shorter headline can pack a bigger punch.

Screenshot of Warby Parker landing page with the headline saying, "Winter 2015"
Image via AddThis

Benefit-Forward

Persuade an audience to stick around by using benefit-driven language. A benefit-driven headline outperforms both loss-aversion and question-based headlines.

Consumers don’t buy things just to buy them—they buy things to solve their problems and improve their lives. What’s this mean? Skip the product manual.

If figuring out a headline is challenging, glance at your testimonials and reviews. This will allow you to step into your customer’s shoes and describe benefits in ways you never could before.  When first advertising the iPod, Apple used benefit-forward advertising extremely well.

Visual of iPod Marketing saying: storage for 16GB of MP3's vs 1,000 Songs In Your Pocket
Image via Cross and Crown

Get to the Point

When crafting your headline, try to avoid being clever. When users don’t immediately understand a headline, most don’t want to waste their time trying to figure them out.

Clarity in those first few seconds will help a visitor trust a product.

Save the cleverness for later—when the content is skimmable and you’ve already hooked a visitor in to read more.

This landing page from AllBirds is a perfect example of a headline conveying clear benefits:

Allbirds landing page that says, "turns out, the world's most comfortable shoes are made of wool"
Image via 1stWebDesigner

3. Powerful and Simple Call to Action

Although every element in an eCommerce landing page is important for conversion, a compelling call to action (CTA) button is extremely high on the list.

This simple button lets a customer know what action they should take (hence the name). The CTA should immediately stand out to a visitor when they arrive on your page.

Screenshot of Kopari landing page with contrasting button that says, "Get in my bag"
Image via BVAccel

Clear, Clickable Button

Along with being visual creatures, humans are creatures of habit—we crave familiarity. When we see a button, we know what to do. And guess what? We like that.

When there isn’t a clear button, users bail. They don’t know what to click on and, thus, what action to take.

Clicking on buttons creates conversions. The more clicks, the more conversions. It’s important to make it look like a button.

Make it Pop

Color choices dramatically affect the way a user will interact with your landing page. Most effective CTAs have one thing in common: they have a contrasting color.

According to eye tracking studies from Eyequant, humans are naturally drawn to intense color variations. This allows the user to instantly see your contrasting button and, therefore, know what to click on in your landing page.

The following visual shows how important it is to use contrasting colors even within a CTA button. With the most contrasting colors, option 1 clearly jumps out faster than the rest of the options.

Image showing contrasting colors in a button versus more muted colors in a button

Sharp color contrasts also create a sense of unease in your brain, which forces a desire to fix that feeling by (you guessed it) clicking on the color.

Here’s an example of a highly effective CTA button from Bulletproof:

Screenshot of Bulletproof Coffee landing page with a bright orange button

The button is clear, creates a sense of urgency, and elicits a desire to click on it before reading the rest of the copy.

The bottom line—these buttons need to be enticing. The goal is to make them pop off the page like there’s no tomorrow. A CTA button can’t create conversion on its own, but it is a main ingredient in an eCommerce landing page.

As for size? Here’s Spencer Lanoue’s (“11 Characteristics of Persuasive Call-to-Action Buttons”), take on it:

“Pull it up on your computer, then walk to the other side of the room (about 10-15 feet away). You should be able to easily see button from there. If you can’t, you need to make it bigger.”

Actionable and Urgent

Above all, the verbiage is the most important part of this button. A great way to get clicks is to make it actionable. What’s that mean? Start with a verb like “Get” or “Discover” so a user knows exactly what to do.

It can also be helpful to void using words that make users think that in order to get something, they need to give up something. According to Copy Hackers, Words like Buy, Sign Up, Submit, Give, Donate, and Sponsor cause friction.

As is the case with most of the other elements on a landing page, a CTA button should be specific and brief. According to Constant Contact, the best buttons are those with fewer than 4 words.

Keep the buttons to a minimum One button is the sweet spot. However, if you’re advertising more than one product in an offer, make a button for each product. eCommerce landing pages with one button that simply goes to a product page will take the user a step back in their sales journey (and no one wants that). Again, specificity is key.

4. Linear Path

Every element incorporated into a landing page should flow. That means the headline and CTA shouldn’t be placed haphazardly.

Each aspect of a landing page should complement the other. When a visitor arrives, they should first notice the actionable CTA button.

From there, they should be caught by a persuasive headline and beautiful visual. Next stop? The product description.

When they’ve finished reading (or skimming) this list, they should be right back at that CTA button they started with. Everything comes full circle, right?

Placing your CTA button near your copy makes for a more successful visual path and a higher converting landing page.

5. Trustworthy Reviews

Credibility is vital for bringing visitors through the consumer journey. Research has shown that including customer reviews on a landing page makes a huge impact on conversion rates.

How often have you purchased something from Amazon without scrolling down to check out a review or two? Probably not often. Here’s a great example from online men’s clothing club Bombfell on how to appropriately display testimonials:

Screenshot of Customer Testimonials

These testimonials are clean, don’t take attention away from the main copy, and include photos and names.

Avoid using anonymous testimonials. Why? People trust the opinions of people. Actual people. Endorsements are a perfect way to further build a visitor’s trust.

6. Lose the Header AND the Footer

It can be tempting to throw a navigation bar on your eCommerce landing page with a slew of clickable elements. This is actually a mistake many companies make.

The main idea of a landing page is to amplify one option above all others. Bringing in even more links or buttons to click on will inevitably hurt conversion rates.

According to WordStream data, a whopping 96% of landing pages feature at least one link that leads prospects off the page.

Dead-set on a footer? The only thing that should be included are terms of use or privacy statements.

I know what you’re thinking: “What about social links?!” These will only provide a way for people to escape after they’ve gotten so far. Social media is used to get people to your website or landing page. It’s crucial to keep them there.

7. Squeaky-Clean Design

As you’ve probably noticed by now, landing pages should be totally void of clutter. The design should be the same way.

Landing pages desperately need white space. White space (AKA negative space) is any area of a page that’s left unmarked.

Incorporating white space helps elements breathe so the eye can wander around and easily land where it’s supposed to.

While most marketers might be tempted to add just one more thing, the key is to let your the essential elements shine.

Casper did a spot-on job of utilizing a clean and simple landing page:

Screenshot of Casper landing page with large image and white text that says, "Better sleep for brighter days"
Image via Rahul Ghosh

This accentuates what visitors should be looking at on their landing page all while showing how their product works.

8. Mobile-Friendly

Reading this on a mobile device? According to an Internet Advertising Revenue Report done by PricewaterhouseCoopers, there’s a good chance that you are. In 2016, 51% of all digital ad budgets were spent on mobile.

With mobile traffic numbers constantly on the up-and-up, even search engines like Google now have algorithms that prioritize mobile-friendly sites.

What’s all of this mean regarding landing pages? They need to sparkle on mobile.

Here are some helpful tips:

  1. Use large font. Users don’t want to have to zoom in to read text.
  2. Keep the “one-finger rule” in mind. Everything should be accessible and possible with one finger. This rule will help with cart abandonments and dropoffs.
  3. Use the same tips you saw above regarding headlines. Keep it brief and clear.
  4. 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.
  5. Choose your image wisely.

Successful Mobile Images

In a case study done by Behave.org, they tested to see which image would increase the number of mobile shoppers clicking into the conversion funnel:

Screenshot of woman in center of landing page
Image via Behave

Screenshot of two women on landing page
Image via Behave

The team assumed that showing the before/after shot would increase conversion rates. However, the image appeared crowded on mobile, causing conversion rates to drop.

Image of mobile screen displaying two women
Image via Behave

The crowded before/after image decreased clicks on the CTA by -0.67%. This resulted in a massive -27.69% drop in overall revenue.

9. A/B Test (And Test and Test Again)

Without A/B testing your landing page, you’re leaving a bunch of money on the table. A/B testing (AKA split testing) is exactly what it sounds like—an experiment where you test out different versions of a landing page at the same time.

Having trouble deciding between two images? A/B test them.

Not sure which CTA to use for your particular audience? Let data decide for you.

Landing pages that aren’t tested are not using their full potential. This is the best way to measure results, see where conversion rates soar and end up with the most effective landing page possible.

High-Conversion eCommerce Landing Page Summary

Effective landing pages are crucial to the success of eCommerce companies. The good news? They’re fairly simple to create.

Use the following list when crafting your next eCommerce landing page:

  1. Showcase a high-quality, relevant image to support your product.
  2. Create a standout headline.
  3. Let the actionable CTA button be the star of the show.
  4. Create a logical path for the visitor to take.
  5. Provide user reviews and testimonials to boost credibility and trust.
  6. Leave headers and footers for your homepage.
  7. Use white space and a clean design to make every crucial element shine.
  8. Make sure your landing page is functional and beautiful on mobile.
  9. Always A/B test.

Build Beautiful eCommerce Pages.

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