For many visitors, your homepage will be the start of the customer journey. If it doesn’t do its job effectively, that journey could be a short one. To be effective, an eCommerce homepage needs to have the right features, in the right place, to make it functional and engaging while providing a great user experience at the same time. In this post, we’ll look at six of those key features.
1. The hero image
The hero image is the large banner that goes under the header at the top of your homepage. As it is the first thing customers will see, its job is to give an overview of your website’s most important content, such as your new range of products or your best Black Friday deals. To be effective, it needs to make visitors immediately aware of what it is conveying, so that people are inclined to explore the page in more detail. Importantly, the hero image does not need to be permanent. You can change them to suit the needs of your business and you’re not restricted to using a single image; you can always use a rotating banner and have two or three images playing in succession.
2. The value proposition
One of the most important elements of your marketing, a value proposition is a very short statement that sums up why a visitor should buy from your company. In doing so, it will clearly communicate what your brand will offer and the value the customer will receive.
The value usually appears on the hero image or above it and consists of a short headline, a sentence of explanation and a call to action. To give you an example, here is the WHUK value proposition:
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Just like your hero image, the value proposition of eCommerce sites can change depending on the circumstances – with seasonal shopping patterns often influencing what they say.
3. A quick-action header
Great user experience is critical to the success of today’s eCommerce websites and a key element of that is making everything as simple as possible for the user. One of the best places to put ease of use features is in the page header.
Things placed in the header give visitors an immediate understanding of the types of information and features they can find on your website and enable then to take action quickly. Aside from a menu that will help users find everything easily, a user-friendly eCommerce header should include features such as a search bar, shopping cart and a My Account login.
4. Polished visual content
The images on your homepage serve a different purpose to product page images. While product page photography needs to convey detailed visual information about particular products, the homepage images are there to persuade people to visit the category pages.
This means using images that are in line with your brand and which attract the attention of the specific audience you are engaging with. These often require striking photography overlaid with powerful text and further calls to action. Importantly, when clicked on, the image will take customers to the section of the website the image is promoting.
5. Homepage incentivisation
Discount codes can increase conversions by as much as 8 per cent and displaying them on your homepage means you can incentivise customers right from the get-go. One of the easiest ways to do this is through the use of a pop-up – especially one that appears at the most opportune time.
A well-designed discount code can also be used to collect those all-important email addresses which enable you to send your subscribers even more tempting offers in the future.
Do make sure that the pop-up is user-friendly, however. Some pop-ups that work great on computer screens are hard to interact with or close on mobile devices. If they cause a problem, the user will just leave the site.
6. Fast loading homepage
One often overlooked but essential feature of your homepage is that it loads quickly on all devices. If this page takes an age to appear on your visitors’ browsers, they’ll leave the site before seeing any of your products. To speed up, use a lightweight theme, delete unwanted plugins, optimise images, use caching, compression and content delivery networks and make sure you are using a hosting package that provides the performance your website needs to load quickly even when you have a lot of traffic.
eCommerce homepages need to offer a great user experience. This means a page that loads quickly, immediately shows its value, makes navigation and action-taking easy, is visually appealing and which offers incentives such as discount codes. Hopefully, by adding some of these features to your homepage, you can help boost your sales even more.
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