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by Michael P. Hill March 14, 2017

Featured promotions are simple and straightforward Shopify theme sections that rely on tried and true user interface design principles to pique shoppers’ curiosity into clicking and delving deeper into your site.

Featured promotions should be a key part in any store’s homepage design strategy to engage users, connect them with the products or information they are looking for and encourage purchases.

New section: Featured promotions

At its core, a featured promotions section lets you add two or more unique images that can, in turn, link to any Web address you’d like.

They are a great way to “tease” your shoppers with an intriguing image and bit of text and get them to engage more with your store and find out more information or explore your offerings:

  • Each featured promotion can have a unique image along with optional text and link.
  • Note that the entire featured promotion images and text become clickable.
  • Although featured promotions often do not include a button, when used with strategically crafted text and the right imagery, most users should realize the items are clickable. Turbo 2.0, will however, support a clickable button.
  • You can select from between two and four promotions per row. This setting also controls when a new line is started. Note that all lines in the same featured promotions section must have the same number of blocks.
  • For best results, keep all of your featured promotion images the same size. Your text should also be consistent lengths.

Depending on which Out of the Sandbox Shopify theme you’re using, the exact look and options of the featured promotions section varies:

  • In Mobilia, the featured promotions can be standard or full width with the option of having text always visible below the image or only on hover over the image (shown below).

  • In Retina, images are a set width separated with whitespace. The text of your choice appears over the image, with an optional animated line effect on hover (crossed lines, double underline, circle, etc.).

  • In Responsive, the featured promotions always appear with with any text below. You can select from a full width layout with no spacing between images or a more standard layout with margins between each, and there is an option to circle-crop your images.

  • The Parallax theme uses a very similar styling to Responsive, with images displaying the text below the image and an optional circle-crop on the images. In Parallax there is also an optional divider line under the title as well as multiple animation options for the way the images fade in (or not) as you scroll to that section.

  • In Turbo, you can change the number of promotions per row and toggle between standard width or full width layouts plus pick from square, rounded corner and circular shapes. Other options include animation and title placement.

Using the featured promotions Shopify theme section

Here’s a list of some obvious and not-so-obvious ways to use this exciting Shopify theme section.

  • Sales and promotions: Given the section’s name, it shouldn’t be a surprise you can use it to feature specials or promotions from your store. Maximize your promotions, however, by using creatively cropped imagery and short bits of text that make shoppers want to click to find out more. If you’re concerned about users not realizing the promotion is clickable, consider adding arrows or rounded corners to your image file to make them look more like a button or icon — and use the text to make it clear there’s more to see. Update the content of thee featured promos frequently to keep your homepage fresh.
  • Featured collections: Featured promotions are also a great way to spotlight a few of your most popular collections without having to build a new menu. It can also be easier to swap out what collections are featured.
  • Featured products: Likewise, you can also create simple and easy to use links to your best selling products’ pages using a featured promotion section.
  • Category browser: Featured promotions can also be a great way to show a grid layout of a variety of options and let users click through to the appropriate collections.
  • Spotlight vendors: Consider using logos or photography to spotlight your top selling vendors. To do this, just link your promotion to “/collections/vendors?q=Vendor Name”.
  • Multiple blogs: If your site has multiple blogs, a featured promotions section can be a great way to drive traffic to each blog’s main page. Simply pick a compelling image and headline.
  • Social media: Looking for a way to showcase your social media profiles? Upload custom images of social media network icons and link each promotion block to your profile page.
  • Contact methods: Find icons or photos representing phone, fax, email, live chat or other contact methods. List the email address or phone number as the block’s text and link to the contact method (use “mailto:mailbox@domain.com” or “tel:123456789” to create email or phone links). Alternatively, you can link to your store’s contact form.
  • Very FAQs: Do you have a few questions that come up very frequently? Consider using featured promotions to link customers directly to the answers. Use an icon or relevant image and the question itself as the heading text. Optionally, use the final block to link to all FAQs or your help page.
  • Shipping methods: Build a quick section that showcases your delivery methods. This is particularly useful for stores offering local delivery or pickup options. Use stock photos or icons to represent the various options and link to a page with full details.
  • Payment methods: Similarly, upload icons representing payment options you accept. This can be a good option if you accept unique payment methods.
  • Certifications: Like our logo list section, the featured promotions section is a great way to showcase special certifications such as organic or non-GMO if you offer these products. Consider linking to either more information about the certification or a collection with products that meet the criteria in question.
  • Press mentions: Upload a logo, screenshot or photo from coverage you’ve received and link directly to the post or publication homepage.
  • How it works: The grid-like layout of featured promotions is also a good way to showcase step-by-step content such as “how it works” or “our process.” Link each item to a page or blog post that describes that particular step.
  • Meet the team: Emphasize your personal service with headshots of your team. Give each person’s name and his or her role at your company — and link to a full bio or a collection of his or her favorite products.
  • Big buttons: If you need large and eye-catching buttons or links, consider using featured promotions without the text. Just ensure your images “read” as buttons or contain language such as “click here” so users know to click. It’s a good idea to limit this strategy to only a handful of key calls to action — such as “request free samples” or “request a quote.”
  • Mini lookbook: Create a mini lookbook on your homepage that showcases lifestyle shots of your products in use. Link each image to a relevant collection or a full gallery or lookbook page.
  • Shop by: Featured promotions are a great way to offer “Shop by” style grids — whether it be color scheme, style, material, category or anything else you can think of. Use large and clear imagery so users know instantly what each block represents.
  • Holidays: Celebrate upcoming holidays with special featured promotions. This is especially helpful during the winter holiday season when there’s multiple holidays close together. Use the text to remind shoppers of the date to help drive gift sales. Link each item to a special collection you create.
  • Images only: You can also leave off the link and text to create simple grid-style image galleries. This type of design can be a nice way to break up text-heavy or other content on your store. You can also opt to leave off the text but still link each image to a relevant collection, product, blog post or informational page.
Michael P. Hill
Michael P. Hill

Michael P. Hill is a Shopify, Shopify theme, content marketing, digital marketing and product management expert based in Chicago. Follow him on Twitter at @michaelphill or connect on LinkedIn.

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