The Importance of “Above the Fold” in Ecommerce

Listen to the episode:
  • Youtube
  • Stitcher
  • Spotify

Brad Owens Feb 07, 2024

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Mastering above-the-fold strategies is crucial when looking to maximize the impact of your online store. You not only need to think about what’s immediately visible on-screen but also understand user experience and conversion rate optimization.

Let’s look at how to use “above the fold” to your advantage on different devices and significantly boost your online success.


Example of above the fold, where 50% of users scroll on this ecommerce homepage

Understanding Above the Fold in Ecommerce

Understanding the concept of “above the fold” in ecommerce is your first step toward harnessing its power for your ecom store. The term is borrowed from newspaper design and refers to the part of your website that’s immediately visible to customers when they land on your page, without any scrolling. It’s prime real estate, and it’s where you’ve got to grab their attention.

You can think of it as your digital storefront. If your best merchandise isn’t on display, customers won’t be interested in exploring further. So, it’s vital to strategically place your most compelling content above the fold. This might include exclusive deals, best-selling products, or powerful calls to action.

However, every device displays above-the-fold content differently. It’s crucial to design with mobile users in mind, as they’re a rapidly growing segment of ecommerce customers. Staying on top of these nuances can give you a competitive edge.

Is Above the Fold Important?

You might be wondering, ‘Is ‘above the fold’ really that important for my ecommerce success?’ The answer is a resounding yes. It’s not just a fancy term in the digital marketing sphere; it’s a strategic tool that can significantly impact your online store’s performance.

Consider this: research by Nielsen Norman Group shows that 80% of user attention is focused above the fold. This demonstrates the importance of grabbing your visitor’s attention immediately. It’s where you have the best chance to engage your audience, showcase your brand, and express your value proposition.

However, crafting an effective above-the-fold experience isn’t about cramming as much content as possible. It’s about strategic placement and prioritization. Think about what’s most crucial for your visitors to see first: your top-selling products, special promotions, or perhaps customer testimonials.


Strategic placement of elements on All33 ecommerce homepage

In essence, the importance of ‘above the fold’ in ecommerce can’t be overstated. It’s not just about visibility; it’s about maximizing that visibility to create a compelling, persuasive first impression. So, if you’re not leveraging the power of the ‘above the fold,’ you’re potentially missing out on a significant opportunity to drive engagement and conversions.

How to Check Above the Fold in Ecommerce

To ensure you’re making the most out of the ‘above the fold’ area on your ecommerce store, it’s essential to understand how to properly check and optimize it. A huge part of this portion of the webpage is what your visitors see first without scrolling and can significantly influence their actions.

At Build Grow Scale, we recommend that you use tools like Hotjar and Lucky Orange to check above the fold of the various pages of your ecommerce store under the scroll map. Scroll maps show you the length to which the customers reach in terms of percentage and 50% is usually ideal as that means 50% of the customers who visit your store scroll up to that length, hence all the important products, call to action buttons or elements that are getting a lot of clicks should be above this section.

It is important to observe the elements within this area. Ask yourself, are the products, promotions, or calls to action prominently placed? Do they visually pop out and encourage visitors to engage? If not, prioritize these elements. To be certain you have the elements that get the most clicks on this section, use heatmaps to analyze which elements get the most clicks on a particular page and rearrange them accordingly so that they appear above the fold.


Using heat maps to analyze the most clickable elements on All33 product page

You should also monitor your website analytics. Check metrics like bounce rate and time on page to gauge how effectively your ‘above the fold’ content is engaging visitors. If these metrics are unfavorable, it’s time to reassess and optimize this crucial area.

Effects of Above the Fold on User Experience

In the world of ecommerce, the first few seconds of your visitor’s experience can make a significant difference, and it’s your ‘above the fold’ content that sets this initial tone. This area, the part of the webpage that’s visible without scrolling or up to 50% of where your customers scroll, is your golden opportunity to engage users immediately.

The effect of above-the-fold content on user experience is profound. It’s your tool for making a strong first impression and shaping user opinion about your brand. If you can capture interest and deliver value in this space, you’ve got a greater chance of retaining visitors, reducing bounce rates, and encouraging further site exploration.

However, misusing this space can have adverse effects. Overloading it with too much information or too many CTAs can overwhelm users, causing confusion or annoyance. On the other hand, an underwhelming above the fold area mightn’t give users enough reason to stay.

Therefore, it’s crucial to strike a balance. Show your value proposition and clearly guide users towards the next step, but avoid clutter. Remember, your aim is to create a smooth, satisfying user experience. That’s the key to maximizing your ecommerce impact.

Effects of Above the Fold on Conversion

While it’s vital to optimize the above-the-fold area for user experience, its influence on conversion rates can’t be overlooked either. The space above the fold is where you make your first impression, which plays a crucial role in whether a visitor continues to engage with your site or moves on.

If you strategically place compelling content and clear call-to-actions (CTAs) above the fold, you’ll likely see a spike in conversion rates. You’re essentially giving visitors a direct path to conversion, whether it’s purchasing a product, signing up for a newsletter, or filling out a contact form.

However, don’t cram too much into this area. It’s a delicate balance between providing necessary information and maintaining a clean, uncluttered design. Too much clutter can confuse or overwhelm visitors, negatively affecting your conversion rates.

To maximize conversion, keep your messaging concise and your CTAs visible and compelling. Test different layouts and content to see what resonates best with your audience.

Above-the-fold optimization isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, but with careful planning and execution, it can significantly boost your conversion rates.

Optimizing Above the Fold for Different Devices

You need to consider device diversity when optimizing your above-the-fold content, as what works perfectly on a desktop may not translate well on a mobile screen. Remember, different devices have various screen sizes and resolutions. Therefore, it’s crucial to adopt a responsive design that automatically adjusts the layout based on the user’s device.

But it’s not just about aesthetics. Your above-the-fold content must load quickly, even on slower mobile networks. Users won’t wait around if your page takes too long to load, so optimize your images and scripts and consider using AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) for faster mobile performance.


Mobile optimization of elements above the fold on All33 ecommerce store

Furthermore, touch usability is paramount on mobile devices. Ensure buttons, links, and navigation menus are large enough to be easily tapped. Don’t let your customers struggle to complete their purchase because of challenging navigation.

Lastly, remember that mobile users may be operating in a context different from desktop users. They might be on the move, in a hurry, or multitasking. Hence, ensure your key message is clear, concise, and immediately understandable.


So, you’ve seen how critical the ‘above the fold’ area is in eCommerce. It significantly impacts user experience and conversion rates. It’s essential to optimize it for various devices to maximize its potential.

Always remember your above-the-fold strategy can make or break your online success. So, test, analyze, and optimize continually for fruitful results.

After all, your eCommerce site’s success lies in the first impression it makes.

Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Some Common Mistakes Made When Designing the Above-The-Fold Area in Ecommerce?

You’re often overcrowding your above-the-fold area with too much information. You’re not prioritizing key messages or call-to-action buttons, and you’re using poor quality images that don’t entice customers to explore further.

How Can A/B Testing of Above-The-Fold Elements Improve My Ecommerce Performance?

By A/B testing above-the-fold elements, you’re able to compare different designs and content, identify what’s driving or hindering conversions, and optimize your site accordingly. It’s a strategic way to boost your ecommerce performance.

What Role Does Content Marketing Play in Maximizing the Impact of Above-The-Fold Strategies?

Content marketing plays a crucial role in your above-the-fold strategies. It attracts and engages users, boosting your ecommerce performance. You’re not only selling products but also providing valuable content that keeps customers coming back.

What Type of Images or Visuals Can Enhance the Effectiveness of My Above-The-Fold Content?

To enhance your above-the-fold content’s effectiveness, use high-quality, relevant images. Product photos, infographics, or videos can grab attention. They should be optimized for speed and mobile viewing. It’s not just about aesthetics; it’s strategy.