Ecommerce Web Design Best Practices: Above the FoldWe just launched a new video campaign that takes a look at how you can improve your ecommerce success by implementing Ecommerce Best Practices. The first segment is all about web design and the role it plays in the success of the site. (View the video, Sell More With Stunning Design: Increasing Ecommerce Conversions and Reducing Cart Abandonment)

One fundamental web design consideration is keeping essential information “above the fold.” A holdover from the print news business, in print “above the fold” refers to the news that appears on the front page of the newspaper when it was folded in the news rack. Since only the information that is visible in the news rack will entice people to buy, the juiciest headlines and stories are displayed above the fold.

In web design, the concept of “above the fold” refers to the area of the web page that the visitor can see without having to scroll downward. Here are some key elements to keep above the fold on your website:

  • Your company logo and branding. Make sure your visitors know that they have come to the right place. Clearly display your company brand at the top of each web page on your site. It’s also standard practice to link your logo to your home page, allowing visitors to go back to the beginning if they need to.
  • Navigation menus. Sounds obvious doesn’t it? But without a clearly visible nav menu, visitors won’t be able to move further into your site.
  • Search bar. Don’t hide your search bar. Help your visitors find the product they need by displaying the search bar prominently on each page. Search bars are most commonly found in the upper right hand corner of a web page and people instinctively look for them there.
  • Your company’s contact information. Whether your phone number is plainly displayed or you make your information available via an obvious link to the information, make sure this vital tidbit is easily located above the fold. It’s frustrating to have to hunt for your contact information and makes it seem like you don’t want your customers to contact you.
  • Key calls to action. Putting your key calls to action at the top of the page increases the chance that visitors will engage those calls to action and move to the next step.
  • Shopping cart. Make it easy for your customers to do busines with you–if they can’t find the shopping cart, they can’t buy!
  • Key merchandising, promotional, and company messaging. If you have key messages to share, make sure they are visible without having to scroll downward.

Maximize the reach of your website by making sure that the most mission critical information is visible immediately by placing it above the fold.