How to Build an eCommerce Website Footer for Better SEO, CRO, & UX
At Monte Verde Media, we do a lot of work with eCommerce businesses. Along with running ad campaigns, our engagements often include search engine optimization, conversion rate optimization, and user experience consulting.
Along with your site header and main navigation menu, your footer is one of the few design elements of your site that is visible to almost all of your site visitors. As such, it’s important to get the design of the footer right.
Some of the common design elements we’ll see in the case studies below are:
- Links to branded social media profiles
- Customer service information
- Trust seals
- Secondary navigation menus, especially including About Us pages and top content pages
- Promotion of branded mobile application
- Email list signup
Let’s take a look at some examples from top ecommerce sites:
Apmex is a great case study on best-practices for ecommerce footers with some unique twists. They’ve got everything you expect: customer service information, social links, links to top landing pages and content. Some of the things apmex does a little differently… they’ve got their logo and tagline prominently placed, their newsletter signup is below their sitelinks vs above, and they put an extra emphasis on building trust (makes sense given their niche).
Wayfair’s footer is pretty standard. It’s got social links, customer service info, email capture, and navigation to top content pages. One thing Wayfair does that some other pure play ecommerce sites don’t do is they’ve got their name and address listed. This is a common SEO tactic for local businesses, but isn’t seen often in ecommerce. Whether it helps or hurts them, who knows. Although they seem to be doing pretty well!
There’s lots going on in Dick’s desktop footer. Many of the usual elements… customer service info, email capture, social links, navigation menus. Interesting to see them calling out their unique selling points (USPs) on every page. Plus, they’re one of the only sites we’ve seen that promote gift cards in their footer.
Macy’s seems like they’re behind the ball a bit when it comes to selling online. They check the box for customer service info because they’ve got a nav menu dedicated to it, including a Contact Us link, but they’re one of the only top sites we’ve looked at that doesn’t have a prominent placement for a customer service phone number, live chat, or email address. They’re deploying a similar tactic for email capture. They check the box with the “Email and Notifications Signup” link on the right side above their social icons, but they’re hiding that feature behind a click on a different URL.
REI has a really strong team behind their website, and it shows. They’ve got email capture, social links, USPs, customer service, and a secondary nav menu. There’s not much to dislike about this footer, other than their color palette.
Walmart checks all the boxes here with their footer, although I’d like to see them put more emphasis on customer service and support.
Best Practices for eCommerce Website Footers
Ok, we’ve looked at a few examples of website footers on eCommerce sites, but what can we take away from this?
Well, we’ve created a 19 point evaluation of website footers on eCommerce sites to bring you this matrix of best-practices.
Here are some takeaways from the study:
- If you’re going to include a link to your sitemap in your website footer, make sure that URL is user friendly and you don’t mind people actually going to that page
- Less than half of the sites in this study offer support via live chat, and even fewer offer an email address. Of the sites that do have live chat, none of them were proactive in reaching out to website visitors.
- Almost none of these sites used trust seals with the exception of Apmex and a BBB badge on the Sears site. Still, these sites are all well-established brands. This could be an opportunity for testing if your site isn’t a household name.
- I’m amazed at how many of these seemingly best-practices are ignored by Macy’s. No email capture? No customer service info? No About Us page? Plus a sitemap link that isn’t user friendly. Ouch.
- If you can squeeze out a budget for a mobile app, it’s probably a good idea. All 8 of these sites have them (granted, these are big brands).
Curious how your site stacks up to the best in class? Ask us about a site audit.