How to Choose a Hero Image for Your E-commerce Landing Page

"A picture's worth a thousand words."

"Show, don't tell."

We've all heard that, right? Most people are visually oriented, so nothing can complete your e-commerce landing page better than a suitable image. Visual content grabs attention, tells stories, and evokes emotions to influence users' decisions to choose you.

Indeed, a landing design influences customer experience and conversion much more than you think. The first thing a user sees when landing on your page is not a text with calls to action but an image. This image is a hero building your brand authority and positive impression.

It's time to find out how to choose the right hero for your e-commerce landing page to convert.

E-commerce Landing Page vs. Product Page

Before moving further, let's reveal the core difference between e-commerce landing pages and product pages to understand the role of hero images for the former.

The core difference lies in purpose.

An e-commerce landing page is more about marketing and sales, while a product page serves to introduce visitors to your brand and product.

The focus of a landing page is to convert visitors into customers, encouraging them to purchase, and a hero image is a powerful motivator here. In its turn, a product page doesn't necessarily elicit action: It offers informative content about your product.

Given that, e-commerce landing pages and product pages have different elements to communicate the intended message to the audience. And that's the reason why visitors landing on a product page are 72% more likely to bounce than those landing on a page specifically designed to encourage purchases.

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Why You Need an E-commerce Landing Page on Your Website

As a marketer, you understand that e-commerce landing pages are an integral part of the sales funnel: They link the moments when a customer sees your ad and when they go to your store and make a purchase.

But apart from that, there are three other reasons to build a stellar landing page on your e-commerce website:

  1. Higher paid traffic and ROI. When clicking your PPC ad, visitors already have certain expectations of what they want to see. A highly relevant landing page satisfies their search intent, encouraging them to continue the interaction and eventually take action. In other words, your PPC ad budget won't go in vain.

  2. A/B testing for even more efficient marketing campaigns. Landing pages are a great instrument to experiment and see what triggers the target audience and what content tricks communicate your marketing messages best. Test different options to see what CTA text or color gets the most clicks, what hero image performs better to try it in social media promos later, etc.

  3. Appealing to specific customer segments. With several landing pages on your e-commerce website, you can design each accordingly to target specific customer segments. The better a landing page fits the buyer persona, the better you'll connect with customers, thus encouraging them to stay and click. 

And yes, it's OK to have several landing pages on a website:

Given e-commerce landing pages need to be specific, you can't craft the only one that would fit all segments of your target audience and your marketing campaigns. So, it would help to personalize each page to specific customers or a specific campaign.

As HubSpot's marketing specialist Pamela Vaughan noted

"While most companies don't see an increase in leads when increasing their total number of landing pages from 1-5 to 6-10, companies do see a 55% increase in leads when increasing their number of landing pages from 10 to 15."

For e-commerce websites with multiple products and different customer segments, that could be a worthy note, don't you agree?

But regardless of the number of landing pages on a website, each should be highly personalized to trigger a positive response from its target. And it's that very moment when a proper hero image comes into play.

The Role of Hero Images on Landing Pages

A hero image is a dominant picture, photo series, or video in the visible place on your e-commerce landing page.

It's the first thing a user sees when clicking your PPC ad or marketing email: Placed above the fold, it focuses 80% of user attention, thus representing a product the best way possible and conveying the product's context, value, and emotion.

Here's an example:


Hero images educate visitors and persuade them to act. They aren't simply bright, high-quality photos but visuals that provide clarity and complement your value proposition.

They are about that particular moment when "a picture's worth a thousand words:"

  • The human brain processes info through images, and that's why sales content with engaging visuals gets 94% more views and leads to higher conversions.

  • A user needs only 0,05 seconds to decide whether they like your page, and that's why visual representation matters.

  • Online users scan, not read content; that's why a hero image is a key for them to understand your offer and get hooked after a mere glimpse.

Given the above, it stands to reason that an efficient hero image is super-engaging, emotionally appealing, highly relevant, informative, and yet easy to understand.

How to Choose a Hero Image for Your E-commerce Landing Page

First and foremost, consider the sales funnel stage your particular e-commerce landing page represents. Depending on that, you'll choose a different image and overall content to communicate a unique objective, ranging from boosting brand awareness to encouraging customers to repurchase.

  1. The top of the funnel landing page is about your brand story, offered solutions, and social proof.

  2. Mid-funnel landing pages are about the content around specific products and a sense of urgency.

  3. Bottom-funnel pages communicate bundle offers, extra benefits like free shipping or other guarantees, and the content centered around related products.

  4. Already-purchased landing pages aim to keep existing customers coming back. Here you'll focus on content related to previous purchases, early access to exclusive deals, customer loyalty incentives, etc.

You'll need a different hero image for each of these landing pages. Below are the most common types to consider, according to marketing influencer Neil Patel:

7 Types of Hero Images: Choose Yours

1) Product, the image showcasing your... well, product:


2) Contextual (Process-focused), the one showcasing how your product works in the related context:


3) Emotion-focused (Outcome-focused), the one emphasizing the effects your product brings — a happy customer:


4) Founder-focused, the one showcasing your founder. This one doesn't always fit the e-commerce sphere, but anyway:


5) Behind-the-scenes, the one showcasing the making of your product:


6) Action shot, the one capturing a visitor's attention with the wow effect. Often, it's an eye-grabbing video or photo series:


7) Benefits-focused, the one showcasing a product's immediate benefits:


Ensure Your Hero Image Follows These Criteria:

For a picture or a video to become your hero image, it's not enough to make it high-quality and relevant to your brand message. For a hero image to convert, it should communicate authority and trust and evoke emotions that trigger users to action.

Below is a framework that will help you transform visuals into convertible heroes. Ensure they follow these criteria:

  • The image you want to place on your landing page is authentic. It needs to be a custom photo, original and genuine: Users are fed up with stock pictures, and they don't trust such content anymore.

  • It's relevant to the keywords of your e-commerce landing page. If a user lands on your page after clicking an ad or an email about mattresses but sees a picture of a beautiful landscape, be ready for a higher bounce rate rather than conversion.

  • The image provides added value: It answers questions, provides context, demonstrates benefits, etc.

  • It's clear enough to understand the offer. When users see your hero image, do they get the purpose of your page?

  • The image evokes the desired emotion from customers. It "says" they'll be heroes once equipped with your offer.

  • It fits the overall design of your e-commerce page: its size, color, contrast — everything should work to emphasize your call to action.

The best option would be to A/B test several pictures to compare the outcome. Design a few hero images according to the above criteria, test them, and stay with the most convertible one.

Below you'll find practical tips on designing a hero image in the best way possible.

Consider These 4 Details When Designing a Hero Image:

A hero image does two things: 

  1. grabs attention;

  2. showcases your product, evoking the motivation to buy it.

How to design it so it would do both? These instruments will help:

1) Clarity

Make it easy for customers to understand the idea you want to convey: Follow the "one image = one idea" rule.

If using a product photo as a hero image, design a shot that would focus on the product, not a context. When choosing an emotionally-based image, make it resonate with the headline and the subhead. Users should get your message at once.


2) Color

Now, to colors:

We've all heard about color psychology and how the human brain responds to different tones, associating each with a particular emotion. Consider this concept if planning to trigger your landing page visitors.

A few rules here:

  • Ensure the colors of your image fit your page's overall design.

  • Choose contrasting colors for your hero image to grab attention and stand out.

  • If your call to action is in the shot, make it bright enough for users to see and click.

3) Consistency

Design a hero image so it would relate to your overall website. It needs to communicate the values and principles of your business and be relevant to your niche.

Colors, fonts, and tones — make everything eye-pleasing, well-organized, and easy to consume. This detail is super critical for e-commerce websites with several landing pages:

While each page is highly personalized and targets a particular customer segment, they all need a consistent style for users to recognize your brand.

4) Text

A hero image often goes with text in it. It's not a must-follow rule, but the persuasive text can be a powerful instrument to amplify your marketing message and motivate users to scroll and learn more.

Compelling headlines and subheads with catchy words are your extra chance to boost conversion.


Ready to Craft a Stellar Hero Image for Your Landing Page Now?

Hero images aren't simply big, bright photos above the fold of your website page. They educate visitors, convey your brand message, and persuade targets to act. When done right, a hero image can benefit your e-commerce landing page and boost its conversion.

So, why not take the best practices described here and see what works best for your website? The easiest method to check what image does its job better is A/B testing: It will help you see if your chosen hero shot converts and generate leads.

Lesley Vos

Seasoned copywriter, currently blogging at Bid4Papers and other blogs on education and self-growth. Guest contributor to websites on content creation and marketing.