Attention all eCommerce entrepreneurs: you don’t have to love all of your products equally. It’s time for you to embrace featured products and pick your favorites.
Or your customers’ favorites, or even the search engine’s top products.
This homepage feature is going to shake up your online store and offer a whole new way to shop on your website.
What are featured products?
Featured products are typically best-selling, well-reviewed, or brand new products that are shown on the homepage of an eCommerce site.
Check out some of your favorite online stores and it’s likely that you’ll find featured products on their websites.
Adding a featured products section to your homepage is a practical way to draw attention to items that you know or hope will sell.
Here’s what you can gain from including a ‘featured products’ category in your store:
- Customers shopping with intent won’t have to search through your menu or page-by-page to find what they’re looking for.
- Shoppers who know your store can discover products or a category that they haven’t previously explored.
- Visitors to your website can get an idea of your product selection as soon as they land on your homepage, giving them more of an incentive to browse.
How do you choose which products to feature?
This sounds tricky – after all, you’ve selected products and categories that you know are right for your store. Every item has a great photo, description, and price point.
But there are usually very clear ways to find out which products belong in your featured products category.
Bear in mind that your featured products can (and should) be changed often.
Just because something sells fast one month, doesn’t mean your store won’t have a new best-selling product next month. In fact, you should add the ‘featured products’ process to your admin schedule.
Here are the main ways you can choose which products to feature:
1. Check for good reviews
Selecting a featured product based on its review score is a great option for store owners who want to build credibility and desirability.
Products that your customers already love are ideal for this homepage feature, even if they aren’t top-selling products.
Make sure that your website has a star rating function enabled on each product page. That way, you can include the rating under product photos on the featured products section.
2. Find your bestsellers
Make the most of a good thing. You could simply showcase your best-selling items as featured products on a weekly or monthly basis.
Note down which products are always top of your sales report, make sure that you have sufficient inventory, and add a highlight reel to your homepage.
This will help create a sense of urgency when customers shop your online store. Best-selling products often sell out, so people won’t want to miss out on the hype.
3. Look at search terms
Look at your site analytics to influence what goes into your featured products category. What are people searching for most often?
Basing your featured products on popular search terms will ease the customer journey and help them find what they need right there on your homepage.
Go a step further and uncover data from Google AdWords to note the terms providing the best conversion rates for your online store.
4. Select products with high profit margins
Of course, your featured products don’t always have to be the most in-demand items in your store. Test out the impact of this section by featuring pretty much any category.
Hopefully, your best-selling products and your most profitable products are one and the same, but if not, you could add featured products which are set to make your store the most money.
Products with high profit margins might not sell in the volumes you dream about, but making sales in these categories can give your business a massive boost.
5. Clear excess inventory
Being able to order just the right number of items for a store is an art – a lot of the time, you can end up with more of a product than you know what to do with.
Either it wasn’t as popular as you had hoped, maybe you took a risk, or perhaps the minimum order quantity from your supplier was high.
Turn these items into featured products and see if it will help clear some of your excess inventory.
6. Feature new products
One of the most well-known ways to curate featured products is by showcasing a new collection of items.
You can really take over your homepage with this approach by bringing attention to whole new categories when they come in.
Adding newness to your featured products provides a point of interest for shoppers who regularly visit your website, and it will help to keep your site looking fresh.
Where should featured products go on your website?
We’ve already mentioned that a featured products section should live on your homepage – but where exactly?
As with every part of your website design, that’s up to you. There’s more than one place on your homepage where a featured products section would look eye-catching.
Try using heat-mapping tools to find out which areas of the page your website visitors are paying the most attention to.
We’ll help answer the question with some featured products placement ideas:
In the hero section
The hero section is one of the most important parts of any website, including an online store.
It’s the part of the page that loads on a customer’s screen when they first land on your site – often known as ‘above the fold’ in web design.
This area has to be compelling enough to draw visitors into your store, so whatever content is in the hero section should be impressive.
Positioning your featured products here at the top of the page is a bold choice, and a great option for new product or category launches.
Pick one featured product as the lead image or create slides. Make sure to add a call to action button so that customers can explore more of the range.
Below the fold
The obvious choice for a lot of eCommerce sites is to add featured products just below the fold, as shoppers begin to scroll down the homepage.
It means you have to nail the hero section in order for people to want to scroll for more.
If your featured products are bestsellers or popular search terms, this is a great page position. Rather than having to navigate a menu, customers can start shopping in your store right away.
Make sure that each featured product is linked to its product page, so that shoppers have the option to read a description or explore more of that category.
You can use a different name to ‘featured products’, too. Why not call this section of the page something more personal, like ‘selected for you’?
There’s no rule saying that your featured products section should be minimal. If you want to split it by category and feature rows of products instead, go for it.
Having rows of featured products on the homepage can help to showcase the key categories of your store, especially high profit margin and excess inventory products.
Position this product feature further down the page so that it fills the customer’s screen.
Turning your featured products into more of a product gallery will help people easily understand your categories. Be sure to include call to action buttons or each product name.
Go a step further and post your latest Instagram shots on your website as a way of illustrating your favorite featured products.
Depending on how many products your store sells, you might want to have a minimal homepage or you could need to help customers to shop by category.
If your store has tons of categories, having a more subtle featured products section is ideal. You don’t want to overwhelm shoppers with options.
We love this approach for store owners who have good reviews that belong on the homepage. Pull them out and make them a highlight of your website.
Be sure to include the star rating of each product underneath its thumbnail photo.
This is a cool credibility-building technique that’ll help people who are new to your store feel confident to start shopping.
What should a featured product section look like?
Hopefully, you’ve already got some great ideas of what your featured products section could look like. The key is really to make it suit your brand and your website’s homepage.
There’s a number of ways you can design your featured products area – here are some ideas to get you started:
Split it into categories or themes
It’s second nature for online shoppers to explore a store by category. It can help you, too, when it comes to product admin and order management.
So if you can split your featured products into categories, try it out. If you don’t have a vast number of items in your inventory, create themes instead.
Your featured products don’t have to be called ‘featured products’. It’s your homepage, so create headlines that fit your brand. Let’s help get you started:
- Make it personal, with lines like ‘selected for you’ or ‘you might like’.
- Get people excited and try out ‘rising stars’ or ‘new and noteworthy’.
Side arrows to scroll
Got plenty of ideas for your featured products category, but don’t want a busy homepage? Take note from chocolate store Rococo, which uses side arrows.
This function allows you to upload multiple products to your ‘featured products’ reel, without compromising the look and feel of your homepage.
Featured products section essentials
You’ve put in the research, your homepage design is looking fly, and you’re ready for the admin that comes with regularly updating your featured products section.
Let’s run a final check on what this feature should or could include, in order for you to, you know, sell more products:
- Stunning thumbnail photos of the products – very important.
- A product title under each photo, or in a hover-over function.
- Links to each product page.
- Star ratings to make the products stand out.
- Prices so that customers can make instant, informed decisions.