98% of visitors to e-commerce sites don’t buy anything.

They come, look around, and leave. Brick and mortar stores solved this problem a long time ago. Many of them get 15% to 30% of their walk-in customers to buy something before leaving. Department stores can convert as many as 60% of their visitors into buyers.

The online marketplace is a different jungle altogether. Even a behemoth like Amazon only converts 13% of their website visitors. A vast majority of e-commerce sites languish in the lower single digits.

Replicating the conversion techniques of brick and mortar stores online is pretty hard but not impossible. An online store can’t rely on the number one trick of brick and mortar retail: a convenient location. That leaves the number two trick: encouraging impulse purchases.

It sounds a little unethical but it’s a practice as old as retail. Shiny packaging and pleasant smells have been used to lure people into making unreasoned out purchases since the first bakery and store opened their doors.


Taking inspiration from Amazon

Amazon does this pretty well. They have multiple sections of featured products at the top of their category page that would hopefully hold your attention and nudge you into making a purchase. They feature: 

  • Best sellers
  • Top-rated
  • Recommended for you
  • Most wished for
  • Most gifted
  • Hot new releases


What to learn from this

As you can see, their featured items are designed to appeal to as many people as possible. If you are a regular Amazon shopper, it’s almost guaranteed that something they feature will catch your eye. And the net they cast is just wide enough to snag some new visitors as well.

You can either add a section at the top of the product list (like Amazon) or show your featured products first in the list (see Crutchfield in the screenshot below).