In this lesson, you will learn how to:
- Designs areas to focus your efforts
- Important Bigcommerce fields to complete
- Tips and tricks for a design that converts shoppers to buyers

Selling online is not that much unlike having a physical business. It all starts with a shopper entering your store, right? You want to make a good impression, streamline their shopping experience, communicate special offers, and let them know you have a legit business.
If you don’t do this, folks are gonna leave and shop someplace else. Obviously, not what ya want!
A logical place to start optimizing your store for conversion is your homepage. If you didn’t already know, you have less than 5 seconds to impress your shoppers no matter where they enter your site. This means, when someone arrives at your store they should know what you are selling, and can decide what to do next, in 5 seconds.
Be sure to look in our additional resources section as we have tools ready and waiting to help you with this.
Let me show you some basic elements that every store should have in place to help convert shoppers into buyers.
So, here’s an excellent homepage. It’s simple and focuses on the product. Great first impression.
Starting at the top in what is known as the header. The header is exceptionally important as it will be seen from every page of your store. We’ve got loads of things already baked in for you including; your branded logo, search bar, social icons, add to cart button, and more. However, you will need to include your contact information.
You wouldn’t believe how many store’s forget to do this!
To complete your contact information inside of your control panel, select Setup & Tools then profile. All of the important pieces are here and waiting for you.
The next thing to focus on are your categories. We have a whole video in the build your store section of Bigcommerce university on this topic. It’s so important, we’re bringing them up again. Keep your categories simple and on 1-2 lines. If you have loads of products, you may want to switch to one of our templates that has left-hand category navigation. This will help shoppers find what they are looking for.
Some bonus pieces that you can work on down the road to flesh out your categories and perhaps your homepage are; adding a contact us form, a privacy policy, a frequently asked questions or FAQ page, maybe a testimonials page, and of course, shipping and returns policy. These are essential elements to any online store and help answer customers common questions.
Ok, to continue on down the homepage, here’s another great design. Depending on what design theme you have chosen, you may have access to this o-so-adored scrolling carousel. Use-it-wisely! It is extremely powerful and compelling for shoppers and you can use it in loads of ways. We have another BCU video on how to best utilize the carousel under the build your store section. We highly recommend you check it out. In
short, make sure you use compelling images, valuable information, and engaging call to action buttons to help shoppers navigate your store.
Another really cool thing you can do on your homepage as well as your brand, category and product pages is to use banners. Whatever you want for your shoppers to know or possibly do, banners can help.
They can be simple like this site or a little more complex. It all depends on your template as well as your business needs.
To tinker with banners, go inside of your control panel and select marketing > view banners. You can create a brand new banner right here. Give your banner a name so you may reference it later, create the content (note that you can add images and videos) and select a location. From there, you can decide on a date range and the location in which you would like for the banner to appear. It’s cake.
Here is yet another great example site! Below the carousel, typically in our design theme, you will find a featured items section. Especially as you are starting, try featuring your best sellers and specialty items. Do not try to clear out your less popular inventory. Shoppers are more than likely coming to your store to find a product that has some buzz, so you should help them find it easily.
You can change your featured products inside of your control panel by going to products > view products > and selecting those you would like to feature with the star icon. You can also complete this when add or edit a product. Go to the other details tab and make sure this box is selected.
Oh, a cool thing if you’d like to feature more or less products on your homepage. Go to
Setup & Tools > Store Settings and select Display. Right here at the top you may decide how many featured product slots you would like to have on your homepage. Try and keep it to a happy medium though. Not too many and not too few.
So, I referenced Goldilocks and the three bears during attract buyers. Now, we’re gonna talk Hansel and Gretel when it comes to breadcrumbs. The same idea of following breadcrumbs applies to online browsing. When I select something from the site it brings me to a new page. However it tracks my travels here with breadcrumbs making it easy to get back the way I came. This is very helpful to online shoppers.
Breadcrumbs should already be enabled for your store, but if you want to double check go to setup & tools > store settings > display and choose your breadcrumb settings. We recommend “show one” to start out.