Content at the top of the page always influences the user experience — regardless of screen size."

Every minute, busy consumers are picking up their mobile devices with shopping on their minds — in most cases, “buying at a glance.”

Online shoppers using a mobile device spend less than five minutes, on average, on a retailer’s website, according to Salesforce data reported by Statista. In the ever-evolving world of e-commerce and omnichannel marketing, making those few minutes engaging will increase the percentage of visitors who stay and add to their digital shopping carts.

The most efficient way to increase impact and drive conversion is through the strategic use of Above the Fold (ATF) imagery — the content consumers see at the top of the page before scrolling down. This valuable ATF real estate affects further actions shoppers take, if any.

Many shoppers simply won’t take the extra time to scroll down a page if they’re not properly enticed with appealing images and descriptive, but streamlined, copy. “Believe in the fold,” said Amy Schade of Nielsen Norman Group. “It’s there, and the user experience changes drastically at that spot. Users don’t scroll for fun. They scroll for a purpose.”

Content at the top of the page always influences the user experience — regardless of screen size. Two independent qualitative usability studies have shown that shopping behavior is impacted dramatically by the fold; ATF content is viewed between 66% and 102% more than Below the Fold content.

ATF content can have an impact on in-store sales, too. More than 80% of shoppers have used their mobile devices to help them shop while inside a brick-and-mortar store, according to research presented by Google.

Best Practices

Digital marketing with ATF images is not as simple as slapping a bunch of pictures and facts at the top of a product page. The goal is to provide the right amount of information without overwhelming shoppers, because — just like an underwhelmed consumer — an overwhelmed consumer likely will leave the page without making a purchase.

The key to ATF success is leveraging product renderings, infographics and lifestyle images fluidly and using clear and concise product information, all while adhering to the guidelines of GS1, the not-for-profit organization that develops and maintains global standards for business communication. Presenting less, but more meaningful, information that has been purposefully created and strategically placed is more effective.

Sage Tree’s Digital Shelf Strategy Team recommends using 3D product renderings. Renderings can make product packaging easier to read and can be created and approved before the packaging is printed. Additionally, high-resolution renderings enable zoom capabilities, making them more legible on mobile and desktop devices.


Chip bag rendering


From enhanced images and infographics that clearly illustrate a product’s multipack status and nutritional facts, to features and benefits icons that represent product claims, to lifestyle images that convey a product’s uses, providing information in a visually appealing way that is easily located and understood will give consumers the transparency they demand before becoming brand loyalists.


Image Gallery


After strategic ATF imagery does its job — positively influencing the consumer experience, engaging shoppers in the brand’s story and building trust and authenticity — the remainder of a product page must do its part to ensure shoppers remain engaged. This content should include more information about the company, the brand and other available products, solidifying trust. Equally important, the page layout must be easy to navigate.

Think of ATF this way: Authenticity and Transparency inspire trust and business Flourishes as a result.

Laurie Rouse
Digital Shelf Strategist
Sage Tree LLC

Before joining Sage Tree, Laurie Rouse served as a store operations specialist for Ulta Beauty.

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