If you want to use landing pages to increase ecommerce conversions, you’ll quickly realize a one-size-fits-all type of landing page simply doesn’t exist. There are different types of ecommerce landing pages that best suit different goals.
What are those different types of landing pages, you ask?
When should you use which to increase conversions?
And what are some great examples for each?
Keep reading, and below, we’ll walk you through the 3 types of landing pages we design, test, and optimize the most often for our DTC ecommerce clients as a landing page optimization agency: the Hero, the Quiz, and the Advertorial.
You’ll also find actionable tips, and real world examples from some of our favourite brands.
Let’s dive in:
Hero landing pages are likely the best known and most commonly used type of lander. They consist of focusing entirely on one single product, or on a specific collection of products.
Their structure is quite typical of what people would think of when it comes to landing pages:
Take this example from Chirp, the landing page's format is pretty typical of a Hero. The top section opens with a benefit-driven value proposition, subheading, hero video/image, and a call to action button.
As we scroll further, the content then shifts to explain the product, its features, and aims to build trust using plenty of visuals, and short but informative text in order to convince the reader they should buy the product:
There are always exceptions, but typically the Hero's goal is to get people to add a product to their cart, to buy directly from the landing page, or to send people to a collection page or a product page, where they can make a purchase. In Chirp's example above, clicking on the various Shop Now buttons scattered around the page sends visitors to the product page, where they can add the item to their cart and proceed to checkout.
People often ask if the length of a Hero landing page matters. Is a shorter page better than a longer page? Our honest answer is... it depends. The content of the lander is truly what matters - not the length.
What we tell brands is that at the end of the day, we’ll likely test both longer and shorter versions and see what works best.
As a general rule; however, when we build landing pages, we research the brand’s customers to see what information we absolutely must include, which concerns we have to allay, and which questions we need to answer through copy or visuals.
Our first version of a landing page includes everything our conversion research revealed we should include. In other words, the page will be as long as it needs to be to get started.
It’s only once the landing page starts receiving traffic and once we get sufficient data on how people behave on the page that we’ll start looking into whether we should test removing some content, or even add some more.
There’s a reason hero landing pages are the most common: they’re the most intuitive to build, and they’re the most versatile. While quiz landing pages and advertorials require a slightly more complex strategy, heroes are a bit easier to put together. Be warned - that doesn’t mean it’s easier to get them to perform.
It’s also this type of page that most landing page builders like Unbounce and Instapage will provide as templates, for those who do not wish to design from scratch.
The format of a hero landing page can be used for both retargeting and prospecting traffic, but the content and copy of the page is really what will make or break the landing page.
For example, a hero style landing page used for prospecting traffic that comes from Facebook ads may:
It’s a structure that roughly follows the Problem - Agitate - Solve formula.
The same landing page for middle of the funnel traffic, for example, may talk slightly less about the problem the product solves, but instead, focus on how it’s better at solving the problem than the alternatives.
And finally, for bottom of the funnel or retargeting traffic, the same landing page may be tailored to focus even more on the product itself.
Now, the above is, what I would say, the most commonly seen scenario, but remember that there are always exceptions. For example, some fashion brands we work with don’t necessarily solve a problem or want to compare their products to competitors.
In such a case, the hero will be very short on copy, heavy on visuals in order to convey emotions as much as possible, and feature the product(s) they want to promote. We’ll routinely use these landers for top of funnel traffic and simply send retargeting traffic to relevant collection pages or product pages.
But again, don’t forget to AB test!
This example we've designed for Dr Squatch is what we would describe as a hero-style landing page, but it's quite different than the Chirp Wheel example seen above, and it's also different from the other examples you'll find below.
When we started strategizing this landing page for the brand's new deodorant, the goal was to convince men who typically buy their deodorant at the drugstore, to do the switch and give Dr Squatch a try. Deodorant is a simple product, and most men probably don't spend a whole lot of time thinking about which deodorant to buy. For many, other than scent and whether it works, most deodorants are the same. In order to sell this product, however, we had to get people to think differently. To see this product as superior - or drastically different from their usual.
It's also not the most interesting product ever, so we hypothesized that if we wanted to capture men's attention, that we should try to focus on one single, visual idea to get the message across fast.
And what better way of achieving this than the principle of contrast?
This Oura Ring landing page is a great example of a commonly used layout for Heroes. It starts with a headline that hints at the outcome of using the product ("own your health"), and it is followed by a subheading that describes how it achieves it, a call to action button that takes people to the product page, next to a "hero image" and trust logos to built credibility.
As we scroll, the page talks about the benefits of using the product, along with its features. Here, the brand chose to talk about the product's features before expanding on the actual benefits of using the products. When building a new landing page, we like to start by talking about the benefits first - the opposite - but sometimes rules are meant to be broken and truthfully, the only way to know what's best is through testing. We still really like this landing page from Oura due to its great use of visuals and short, yet detailed copy that makes the page both informative and easy to skim.
As we near the bottom of the page, the brand features customer reviews, reviews from experts and more press logos.
We also really like this section, where the brand features use cases for the product, with testimonials for customers explaining how they use the ring.
And lastly, one final call to action and value proposition statement can be found at the very bottom of the page.
Not all landing pages need to feature a whole lot of copy to be effective. For fashion brands and stores selling art or design items, coming up with value propositions for each product doesn't necessarily make sense.
In DIFF Eyewear's example below, which helped them increase conversions by 55%, you'll see that the top of the page features very little text, and instead of focusing on a value proposition for a single product, we chose to step back and focus the copy on the brand. Then, the actual content of the landing page is quite simple - we're featuring a curated selection of products we believe will sell well to the audience targeted in the ads, and accompany each with user-generated content in order to both create social proof, and give a better idea to customers how the products look when worn.
You'll notice we omitted a lot of information about each pair of sunglasses from the landing page, and on purpose as well. Our hypothesis was that before people start wondering if a pair is polarized or not, or start wondering about the exact sizing of the frames, they first need to find a pair they like.
Finally, at the bottom of the page, the page features relevant reviews to boost trust in the brand's products.
The quiz landing page has nearly nothing in common with the hero and the advertorial (which I’ll dive into later in this article). It consists of, you guessed it, a quiz, which can be used for top-of-funnel traffic as much as for bottom-of-funnel.
The goals of the quiz is to:
And of course, the actual end goal is to get visitors to buy.
Quizzes are great because when done well, they’re a form of entertainment for people, and that’s why they work. It’s engaging, and people can learn something new about themselves while doing it too!
You may have seen quizzes where brands choose to ask visitors for their email address in order to show the quiz’s results, and some other brands don’t. What’s best, you may ask? We’ll give you another boring answer: it depends.
Asking for email will likely create more abandonment at that step in the quiz, and you’ll have fewer people completing it, but the trade off is that you’re actually capturing leads.
This, once again, is something critical to A/B test when running a quiz-style landing page for ecommerce. Some of our clients see better performance with a lead gen form, while some don’t. You have to determine whether the number of leads you generate from the lead form is worth more to you, than having more people see the result page.
One thing is for sure though, if you do manage to successfully run a quiz that asks for people’s emails, the extra lead generation it provides on top of promoting your products, is a nice added bonus.
Quizzes are great for both top of funnel traffic and bottom of the funnel traffic, but we’ll typically use different quizzes for those two types of audiences.
For example, top of funnel traffic often converts best if the quiz feels more like content (e.g. Beardbrand has a quiz called “What type of beardman are you?”).
Those types of quizzes incite curiosity, without being about your products from the get go. They start as content, but slowly lead people to your products. This works well for prospecting because people don’t have the impression they’re jumping into a marketing campaign, and they don’t have to know much about the brand to engage with it.
Quizzes that work best for mid-to-bottom of the funnel traffic, are slightly more product related. Take for example Murad Skincare’s quiz that helps you find out your perfect skincare routine using their products. A quiz like Murad’s that helps people find the right product out of a brand’s collection of products, makes more sense with traffic that’s already slightly aware of the brand.
We should add that quiz landing pages can be used for literally any industry, the only downside is that they take more time to build than a simple Hero landing page or even an advertorial. You won’t be able to use landing page design tools you may already be familiar with such as Unbounce, Instapage or Shogun. Using tools like Jebbit, Octane.Ai or coding it from scratch, are your best options.
And while yes, quizzes have worked for many, many brands, we can’t assume a quiz will work on the first try just because it’s a quiz.
The reality is that the topic of the quiz alone could make it a bop, or a flop. Finding the topic is the hardest part. The only way to see if it sticks and resonates with your audience is to actually build the whole quiz and test it. Since quizzes aren’t just one page with text like most landing pages, changing the topic of your quiz often means changing all the questions, the logic, and the possible results as well.
At the end of the day, you don’t just want people to complete the quiz. You want the quiz to be a sales tool that will get visitors to buy your products - and that’s why it can be so challenging. Every question you ask, and every step of the quiz, will play a role in whether people end up buying - or leaving.
Iterating the topic, the questions, and how you present results is necessary and requires testing just like you would for any other type of landing page.
That said, once you figure it out, quizzes can be incredible at generating leads, and sales, at a low cost.
SplitBase's client, Primally Pure, has a very devoted following that loves to know as much about as possible about the products and how they should use them. To help customers find the right products based on their skin type and needs, the brand created a Skin State quiz that helps customers discover their skin type.
The quiz engages users through 14 questions specific to their skin and their goals.
At the end of the 14 questions, users are asked for their email address, for which in return, Primally Pure revelas their skin state based on the questions answered along with a guide featuring personalized product recommendations.
We love these types of quizzes as it gives the chance for visitors to learn something about them (their skin state), while also narrowing down for them product recommendations. Knowing the products shown are specific to their type of skin, makes people want to buy the products even more. It provides reassurance the products are really for them, and that they'll work.
And if customers don't buy right after the quiz, the brand has already collected the customers' email which provides them with the opportunity to win the customer back at a later date.
Quizzes have been part of Hubble's acquisition strategy for a very long time. They're constantly testing different versions and iterating.
At the time of writing, Hubble had a multitude of ad variants sending people to their quiz. All along the lines of "Take the quiz and get X".
Hubble's approach is interesting in that these ads don't say much as to what the quiz is about. Previous iterations we've seen were a bit more descriptive, saying the quiz would tell you about your contact wearing habits.
After clicking the ad, the landing page is kept simple and straight to the point. You'll notice it's a continuation of the ad's text - a good thing - and something we call Message Matching.
Once you start the quiz, Hubble asks you 5 questions about your contact wearing habits. What's different between this quiz and Primally Pure's, is that this quiz's goal is not to create a personalized product recommendation, instead, it aims to educate quiz-takers on their own habits.
As you advance through the quiz, depending on whether you picked a habit they consider good or bad, they provide recommendations to educate.
We love how they feature a small notice saying "keep going to get your free box". It reminds quiz takers why they're taking the quiz, and creates an incentive for them to complete it.
After all 5 questions, Hubble doesn't ask users for their email and instead, gives them access to the promotion they've been promised since the ad. Clicking on "claim your free box" keeps people in the same flow, but then invites them to enter their prescription, which will them take them to checkout. A seamless buying experience contained within the experience of the quiz - we like this!
Hawthorne has one of the best examples of quizzes around, because not only are they using it as a customer acquisition strategy - the entire brand is built around their quiz. Their quiz is quite extensive too, it starts by asking your name, which it will use to personalize the next questions.
And then proceeds to ask a whopping 25 questions about your personality, your showering habits, your skin, hair, and so much more. Ultimately, it aims to build the most accurate profile possible to in order to recommend products that best fit your needs.
Finally, once you're done answering the questions, you can either enter your email to unlock the recommendations, or skip the step to see the recommendations without giving your email. We think there would be an opportunity for the brand here to possibly increase email signups if it provided an incentive for people to provide their email. As it is, entering your email provides no additional benefit to skipping it.
After you either skip the email step, or enter your email and click unlock, you're met with the result page which prominently displays custom bundles of their products, picked just for you based on the answers you provided on the quiz.
Further down on the result page, they also promote each product type such as cologne, hair products, skin care, and so on, as separate bundles if you do not wish to buy the entire array of products they recommend. We really like how they're also allowing customers to modify the bundles, on the same page, so people can buy some of the products individually. However, we do think this page misses the mark when it comes to talking about how the quiz helped personalize the product offering. Nowhere on this page does it mention the quiz, or what specifically is personalized based on the answers. It's almost like if the quiz never existed.
To improve this, we'd recommend adding some text at the top of the page that explains how the product offering got personalized. Is it the scent? Are products custom based on the answers? What is it?
Other than that, Hawthorne's got quite a solid quiz.
Nik Sharma, former director of DTC ecommerce at Hint Water, who SplitBase’s founder interviewed on the Minds of Ecommerce Podcast, mentioned in his interview that advertorial-style landing pages played a huge role in growing Hint Water into a $100M business.
Advertorials are awesome, but they’re one of the most misunderstood types of landing pages. The internet marketing world promoting sketchy products and pills likely gave it a bad reputation, but done well, it can be adapted to the modern direct-to-consumer ecommerce brand, and be one of the most effective tools in a brand’s arsenal to convert cold, paid traffic, into buyers.
At its core, the advertorial is simple:
They’re pieces of content that aim to sell your product, without directly selling your product.
Advertorial landing pages can also be quite text-heavy, and while you may think it wouldn’t work well for mobile audiences - it’s quite the contrary. If designed properly, and there’s a good visual hierarchy making the page easy to read, it won’t be an issue. Many of our clients who are successfully using advertorials have traffic that’s nearly entirely composed of mobile users.
Now, you know that advertorials are the hybrid between a piece of content, and a sales page; but what should advertorials talk about?
First and foremost, the topic of an advertorial needs to incite curiosity. Without sounding too click-bait, it needs to be able to drive clicks, and be interesting enough for people to want to read the entire thing.
The topic also needs to be very closely tied to your product, as while you could pick any interesting topic you know your audience may be interested in, if it’s too far from your product, you’ll have a hard time converting readers into customers. Remember that this is still a landing page with the goal of selling, more than say, a blog post.
Here are some ideas:
We’ve used advertorials successfully in various industries, from skincare, to beauty, to fashion and home goods, but more often than not, we like to use them with products that customers have lots of questions about and products that require some kind of education for people to convert effectively. We primarily use advertorials for prospecting, as we then retarget visitors directly to product pages or collection pages.
Different formats of advertorials are also best for different brands. For example, if we’re working with a brand that sells products that require lots of education, or a brand that has an audience that likes to read a lot and be incredibly well-informed before making a purchase, we may prioritize an advertorial format that’s more akin to an actual article or blog post, than a snappy GIF-heavy listicle.
But if we’re trying to promote a simple product, marketed to a younger audience, short listicles, or an entirely different format, may be a better fit.
To know exactly what to write in your advertorial, and which points to bring so it resonates with your target audience, you really have to know what your customers care about, and what people typically love about your products. Advertorials sell through copy, so if your copy doesn’t resonate, or isn’t tailored to your audience, it will flop.
Brands will often tell us they know their customers really well so they don’t have to dedicate effort to research before they start writing the page, but we disagree. We often think we know our customers really well, but the reality is we only know what we think we know about our customers. Before you even start planning for an advertorial, you need to get voice of customer data, and know exactly which words and phrases customers tend to use.
There’s only one way to do this, and it’s with qualitative conversion research.
You or someone on your team may be a great writer, but while an advertorial may look like an article or any other piece of content, it’s not. It’s a strategy, and it requires pretty good conversion copywriting chops.
Writing copy for an advertorial is a balancing act. We need to balance customer psychology based on the customer traits identified in the research, with just the right amount of education and curiosity to keep readers interested, while subtly selling our product and steering people towards what we want to sell.
Average copy will kill your chances of success with an advertorial, so make sure to hire experts - a conversion copywriter, or our team of ecommerce conversion specialists to help you build a state-of-the art advertorial to scale your prospecting efforts.
This applies to all the landing page types I’ve mentioned, but it’s worth reminding you that if your first advertorial doesn’t perform as well as you expected it to, it’s not that advertorials don’t work. The more customer research that goes into building an advertorial, the higher its chances of success, but some tests and landing page may require multiple iterations before reaching its desired goals, even if it was built by the best of experts.
No one has a crystal ball, and the only way to find out what will resonate with your audience, is through testing. For example, if your first landing page is not performing as desired first ask yourself:
Using data to inform what should be optimized, and then conducting A/B tests to test those, is the only way to get closer to a winning campaign.
This advertorial from Snow, a teeth whitening product, is one that we've built and tested with immense success. It follows a listicle format, and it isn't about the design (in fact, we re-used a previous landing page design they had, and re-wrote the entire thing with a new topic). What makes this page so successful is how it mixes copy, with trust-building elements such as images of celebrities endorsing the product, with points that directly answer's customers questions, concerns, and wants as uncovered through our research process.
The landing page is a heavily product-focused advertorial, meaning the topic of the advertorial is entirely product-related, and it doesn't try to be subtle about it either. It's a type of advertorial we like to test often, as when done the right way with proper research and great copywriting, those can work wonders.
The copy is made to be read quickly, and aims to get people to keep scrolling as much as possible to read the entire thing. And to achieve that, it's imperative that the copy is not boring. It should talk directly to the customer, use simple words, and have a good mix of logic (e.g. 1M people use Snow) and emotions (e.g. celebrity angle - people want to be like them).
Some product mentions within the advertorial features link to the product page, enabling people to move on to the next step in the funnel when they're ready.
And finally, the bottom of the page features a call to action for people to buy the product.
This example from Casper is likely one of the most traditional ways of doing advertorials. Instead of being a landing page they're themselves hosting, they're promoting an article from an affiliate. The article is short, has a headline made to get clicks, and provides a good review of one of the brand's product.
You'll notice that the article mentions no competing product, and only offers praises about Casper's blankets. It's written like a sales letter, meaning it talks about who the product's for, the problem it solves, why you should use it, and how it's different from competing products. It's also got hyperlinks (in this case, affiliate links) to the actual product on Casper's website.
As we get further in the article, it talks even more about the quality of the product, and diffuses objections potential customers could have (e.g. Temperature objection: "the breathable cotton also helps circulate air away from your body—which explains why it doesn’t turn my bed into an oven by 3 a.m. like some other brands." - Weight objection: "I opted for the 15-pound version, and though that may sound like a bit of a workout to get settled under, the thin construction makes it easy." - Price objection: "my only complaint is the $179 price tag for the 15-pound blanket. But thankfully, it’s on sale for 10 percent off right now. Plus, it comes with a 100 night risk-free trial so you really have nothing to lose.")
And finally, at the end it talks about the price and why it's a good deal, the 100 night risk-free trial, and then reiterates why it's a good product in the last call to action paragraph. The article concludes with a Buy button featuring the sale price that takes people straight to Casper's website.
Before we move to the final example, we'd like to add that while yes, coordinating with a 3rd party blog to have an article like the one above posted is more work than hosting your own landing page, we've seen articles like the one above work pretty well when posted on a brand's own website as well. Might be worth testing out!
When it comes to advertorials, design often takes the backseat, letting the copy do most of the heavy lifting. That said, it doesn't mean you can't utilize good design to drive your message across either, so for this last example featuring Moon Pod, a DTC brand who reinvented the bean bag, you'll find a listicle, product-focused advertorial where design takes a stand to elevate the messaging. This is one that our landing page optimization experts here at SplitBase conceptualized, designed, and built for Moon Pod, and we're particularly proud of it. It leans towards being a hero-style landing page, but we still consider it to fall in the advertorial territory.
The landing page opens with a headline that is contextually relevant with the times (stressed population due to COVID), incites curiosity like an article (5 reasons why), and also mentions an interesting feature of the beanbag, which also helps create curiosity (anti-gravity).
Every point featured on the page is built around specific questions customers had about the product - again - the result of in-depth customer research. Point #1 and 2 for example provides use cases and answers to top questions through both the copy and interactive elements.
Points number 3 and 4 explain the tangible benefits of using Moon Pod, providing even more possible use cases to help the customer visualize how they could use the product.
And finally, point 5 compares Moon Pod's price with competing products. This last point provides an ideal transition between the content, and the offer.
There’s no one-size-fits-all landing page, and a landing page definitely isn’t just a longer product page with a headline. As you’ve learned, most ecommerce landing pages, whether desktop or mobile, have their roots in one of the 3 formats explained in this post:
There isn’t one that’s better than another either, they all have their own use cases, and can be adapted to virtually any type of brand. The key to success with any of the formats is to conduct conversion research to understand your customers inside-out, and not just to find out which type of landing page to build, but also to know exactly what should be on them.
At last, don’t forget not to get too attached with one concept you come up with in particular, your favourite might be the worst performer. Iterate through testing constantly, and eventually you’ll find a winner.
If you want to shortcut your way to a better ROAS on your ads, and a higher conversion rate, get in touch with us to see how we can help your ecommerce brand grow through landing page design and optimization.
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