Most modern Shopify themes include the option to add a rather large header image to your homepage. Sometimes this image is a static image; other times shop owners prefer to use several banner images that automatically rotate via a slider. These images are known as ‘hero’ images in the web development world. They are critical to the success of your Shopify store.
The term ‘hero images’ is derived from the fact that these images do something heroic for your website. What do they do? They increase brand awareness and loyalty. Hero images are as critical to brand awareness as calls to action are to conversion rates. A hero image could literally mean the difference between establishing your brand and causing people to forget your store.
Here are four important things a well-designed hero image can do:
1. It Can Establish Your Brand
Your hero image may or may not include your company logo. It does not necessarily have to because the image itself can tell the story of what your company is. This is why a company selling mobile phones uses a hero image that includes the latest Android and Apple devices. Your hero image or images give website visitors a visual cue that explains what your company is all about.
2. It Can Announce Something Special
You can use a hero image to announce something special about your company. Let’s say you were celebrating your first anniversary as an online retailer. Create a hero image to tell that story. Announce to the world that it is your company’s first birthday and you want them to help you celebrate.
3. It Can Tell Your Customers Why
Unless you have discovered a niche market that no one else has figured out yet, you are dealing in an industry that has at least some competitors. So use a hero image to explain why visitors should choose you over the competition. Your image should invoke some sort of value, be it monetary- or service-orientated, that sets you apart from the competition.
4. It Can Challenge Your Visitors
One of the best ways to use a hero image is to combine it with a call to action. In this way, you can use the image to challenge your visitors to do something with whatever information they glean from your site. Perhaps you want them to complete an online survey or sign a petition. Or maybe you want them to take advantage of some sort of special promotion you are currently offering. Get their attention and demand some action with a hero image and text.
Bear in mind that you can use multiple hero images in a slider to make as many points as you want. But also consider that the greatest action comes from the first image in your series. User decisions decrease as the viewer works through the slider, dictating that the first image should be the most important and most powerful one you offer.