If you had a physical retail outlet and you wanted people walking by to come in and shop, you'd place your best, most intriguing items in the store window and arrange the window display to be as appealing as possible. And when people came into the store, you'd make sure that the first things they saw were products you wanted them to buy (or at least products you believed would make them want to come in and explore further).
Your Web-based store is no different. When people arrive at your site, the first thing they'll see is the content you show them on your home page, above the fold. (“Above the fold” refers to the top of a Web page, before the user has to scroll down to see more. The bottom of the Web browser is considered the “fold” of the page—much like how you would fold a newspaper.) This is the most valuable real estate on your site—the first area that people see, and the most often viewed space in your store. Design this space wisely to let people know what your store is about, what they can expect to find in it, and why they should shop there. Present attractive product images or application shots of the items you most want to sell or about which you believe your customers will be most excited. Use these items to draw people in and encourage them to browse around and make purchases.
Although visitors to your site will always be free to browse to whichever pages they want, and in any order, smart Web retailers will creatively lead their customers in the direction they want them to go, pushing the best, most profitable products. The trail always starts at the home page, above the fold.