All eCommerce sites exist for one reason and one reason only: to make you money. Everything about your website should be designed to get your visitors to the checkout. Sometimes that means building enticing offers and advertisements that funnel traffic toward your offerings. Landing pages are a big part of that process, and you can’t afford to ignore them.
What is an eCommerce landing page?
A landing page on an eCommerce site is a web page designed for the sole purpose of persuading the viewer to commit to an action that’s positive for your business, otherwise known as a conversion. The defining characteristic of an eCommerce landing page is the fact that it’s used to capture information of some sort from the visitor. That information can be everything from contact information (email address) to demographics.
A landing page is not a regular part of your eCommerce site; rather it is a page specially designed to pull in a desired outcome (the conversion) from the visitors that land there.
There can be many types of conversions. Here are just a few examples:
- Opt in for email updates/give contact info
- Make a purchase
- Download free content
- Upgrade to a higher level of service
Elements of an effective eCommerce landing page
eCommerce landing pages come in all shapes and sizes. Some rely on imagery, while others are more text dominant. When you’re building a targeted landing page for your audience, you want to keep certain concepts in mind. First among these is the type of persuasive text you’ll want to include. Words written with the express purpose of selling the reader on a product or service are referred to as "copy."
Converting with copywriting
There is a formula to writing high-converting landing pages.
Start with organization. Use clear concise headings that obviously illustrate the points you want to make. Underneath those headings, impress your readers with supporting details. Use as few words as possible. In short, you’re aiming for scannable, readable, and overt text. Don’t try to be subtle. People have very little patience for advertisements, so get straight to the point.
Always highlight benefits over features. Put more emphasis on the way your visitor will profit from the action that you want him to take, rather than focusing too much on any specific attribute of your service. People are thinking of themselves. If you don’t illustrate an obvious benefit almost immediately, you’ll lose all but the most dedicated readers.
Another effective copywriting method is to present a problem or threat that you know your target market is used to dealing with, and setting up the desired action as a solution. Your landing page should also include a call to action, or CTA. This is the invitation to the reader to complete the conversion. It can be as simple as "sign up today!"
Most often though, words alone won’t get the job done. In many case you’ll need an awesome layout, effective imagery, and an aesthetically appealing design.
Landing page design
Landing page design is largely a matter of preference, but there are some basic principles that most successful pages have in common.
- Brand consistency: You shouldn't have a landing page that differs wildly from your actual site, or all of your other marketing channels. A landing page from an email or newsletter should share a color scheme and basic layout with its source. Be sure that your designs are consistent throughout your marketing message, but especially on your landing pages.
- Effective imagery: This can be a single dominant image that illustrates your product or service, or a few complementary images designed to do the same thing. In general, simpler is better. It’s up to you to decide on your images, but make sure you choose an attractive, high-quality image that showcases your product or service, and clearly directs viewer attention toward your CTA.
- Attractive typography: The kinds of fonts you use make a big difference in the way your audience perceives your offerings. Make sure your typography matches the tone of your text, and the attitude of your offering. But above all, make it big, bold, and easy to read.
- Attention-grabbing color: Color scheme is a big part of landing page design. A subdued background color helps draw attention to the boldness of your CTA, and certain colors have subtle effects on a viewer’s attitude. Red, for example, is known to stoke consumer appetites. Carefully consider the colors you pick for your landing page, and research the different effects that each color can have on an audience’s attitudes.
Here are two examples of high-converting landing pages.
Manpacks: It’s a bit cliché, but sex sells. This landing page is sexy. It grabs your attention with a seductive image, accurately describes the value of the offering and includes verifiable testimonials from Twitter.
Flipboard: A perfect example of a minimalist landing page. Flipboard implies its value with an image describing its service: mobile viewing of an informative magazine. It has an obvious CTA and a clickable video advertisement. That’s excellent use of multimedia: everything you need with no added fluff.
Common landing page mistakes
There are numerous nuances to landing page optimization, and as with any other matter of great complexity, there is a great deal of room for error. Try not to fall into any of the obvious traps that often befall hastily constructed landing pages.
- Weak headlines: Headlines are your attention grabbers. They are not an afterthought. Write them first, and spend some time focusing on what you really want to say.
- Overcrowding: Minimalism is popular for a reason. Looking at an offer that’s too busy with images, text, and an assortment of buttons isn't exactly easy on the eyes. Remember, less is more.
- Lack of clarity: Don’t assume people are going to know what you’re talking about. Spell out your offer clearly, concisely, and consistently. Be obvious with your message, and leave no room for interpretation.
- Invisible CTA: Your call to action is the most important part of your landing page. It’s the conversion rate booster, the road to bigger profits. As such, it shouldn't be hard to find. Build a button that stands out clearly; use a bold color that’s different from the background.
Landing pages are an important part of any eCommerce site's sales funnel. They’re the go-betweens from your marketing efforts and your checkout page. To be blunt about it, they deserve their due diligence. Set aside time to devise the perfect pitch and even more time to package it correctly.
What are some of the best examples of eCommerce landing pages you’ve seen? Let us know about your favorite designs in the comments section.