Make Use of Your Storefront’s Valuable Real Estate

Thursday, December 1st, 2011
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Maybe you’ve spent thousands on Google Adwords or invested a significant amount of time optimizing your site for search engines. You may even have an employee that is dedicated to generating traffic from social networks like Facebook or Twitter. You’ve made all of this effort to get people to your store but what are they seeing when they get there?

Most merchants understand the basic value of making sure their navigation works for their shoppers or that the products have professional photos, but one thing that seems to miss some merchants is the value of the empty space or “Real Estate” on their store.

Now there’s a balance between cluttering your store so much that is distracts potential buyers and making sure that you’re presenting the customer with a shopping experience that’s built to convert and cater to several possible navigation scenarios. One example is Amazon ( It’s rare that a shopper on Amazon can navigate to any page without seeing that it’s full of content. Amazon uses the extra area on the site to promote related products, suggested items, shipping promotions and even membership benefits. While it’s safe to say that Amazon is at the extreme end of this suggestion, as the #1 retail site on the web there’s definitely value to their thought process.

Merchants should take a good look at their storefronts and find the real estate that they think they can use to their advantage. Make sure to up-sell using related products or add an image below the shopping cart that expresses your current promotion. If you have a membership based site, be sure to let buyers know how to sign up by advertising below your navigation.

All online stores and their shopper are different but I’m sure that by spending just a few minutes reviewing your store you can spot several areas of valuable Real Estate that can be used to take advantage of all the effort you’ve put into generating traffic. What are typically small changes to the design can have a drastic impact on conversion rates and average order totals.

After receiving a degree in Industrial Engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Alex began his career as a technology consultant with Accenture. In 1999 he left Accenture and founded Nexternal – a cloud-based eCommerce Platform company. Alex is passionate about eCommerce and online marketing. He is now a Senior Vice President of HighJump, managing the Nexternal business unit.