eCommerce Site Best Practices Part 1: The Homepage
In this six piece series, we will cover the perfect structure of an online store to give you some tips how to improve the performance of your eCommerce activities. The topics we’re going to look at are the homepage, category pages, product page, shopping cart, navigation, and personalization.
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In this part, we will cover the main functions of your website’s homepage and tips about what to show and how to show it, with a little twist if you want to tweak sales performance — of course you want, right?
The first impression is so important
Just like on your first date with a girl/guy, you want to show the best of you. This partly means that you want to look the best you can. Similarly, in eCommerce, you want to show and give the most eye-catching offer you have on your front page to ensure that your visitor won’t leave the site immediately.
The two most important things you must show at the first view: the scale and the quality of your goods. Based on Baymard’s research if you want to give a proper first impression about the scale of your business, you should show around 30% of your main product categories on your homepage. This is meant preferably for above the fold content if possible.
How should you structure the mighty homepage
Think about your business first, you know what’s your best offer, probably you know that about your competitors too, which can give you some insights about the effect if you offer something with a better price tag than the others. So grab all the offers you want to show to your visitors at the very first time they arrive to your website. As your homepage can, in certain cases, get as much as 70% of your website’s traffic, these cool offers and content should appear on your home page.
But keep in mind that if the homepage is full of never ending offers — as you have so much to give — that will mislead the visitors and distort their focus. If you have hundreds or even thousands of products, then choose only categories (with maximum a few hero products) to ensure that important first impression. Those category widgets can lead to subpages where you can communicate more focused and topic related offers.
The goal is to show the range of what the visitor can get from you.
On the other hand, think about the big picture. You have a mission, you have your passion, you have your business with it’s own style. You should show that also because that mission and passion is almost as important as the price tags. This is your branding. What your visitors should feel when they see your homepage for the first time?
Let’s see two examples:
Berkey Water Systems
1. At the first moment, they have a declared product line of water purifying systems -a targeted message for families.
2. A bit above that they have 2 areas where they clarify the water purifying systems product line and their main categories: health & wellness, Outdoor, Home & Family.
3. Also, they have a good CTA to show the full scale of their services.
Not much information, just clear and easily understandable points about their products and my needs.
Goodwood Hardware and outdoor
1. They have their product range shown right at the top of the page. This is what they can give you.
2. Around the fold, they have specified topics to match your current (and future) interest. It is a good technique to show your products in a different way again so the visitors will have a well-defined picture of your business.
3. The page ends with some of the current best sellers for those who don’t have an exact product in their mind, but the aforementioned content got their attention and they might want to dive deeper in the purchase flow.
Goodwood’s homepage also has a good vertical structure about their page without any unnecessarily complex design & content.
We all know how much traffic our homepage gets and you can see that there is no voodoo in an optimal homepage structure. Just be creative and focus on your mission and passion.
And never-ever forget to track and analyze everything.
Originally published at www.yusp.com.