The primary goals of your homepage are to introduce visitors to what your brand is about, send clear trust signals, and help visitors navigate to other parts of your website. Your homepage's secondary goals are promoting offers, displaying new products, and capturing email addresses.
The homepage is the virtual front door for your eCommerce store. It forms the first impression for new customers and keeps your returning customers updated.
Too many competing elements on a page makes it harder for customers to understand and use your site. A simpler page design makes it easier to find and buy products.
Display your core products
The products shown on your homepage should reflect your overall product range. Customers rely on this first glance to evaluate your site.
Highlight core features and benefits
Showing key product features and benefits—such as free shipping and your return policy—helps build trust and keep shoppers' attention.
Avoid distracting and annoying ads
Customers don't like banners or pop-ups. If you include ads, make sure they're not intrusive and don't interfere with the shopper's experience.
The right signals and effective messaging are key to earning customer confidence.
Display your contact information
Letting customers know how to get in touch reassures them your site is genuine. Include your address, phone number, and email address at the bottom of the page.
Link to a help or FAQ section
Customers looking for key information or assistance often look for a link on the homepage. Your help or FAQ section should include accepted payment methods, shipping costs, cancellation and return policies, and warranty information.
Tell stories when possible
What’s your company’s unique story? Stories are memorable. Tell customers about who you are and why you sell what you sell. This could be on your homepage, category pages, or on an about us page.
Communicate key messages with numbers
A genuine data-driven value proposition is more objective, scientific, and trustworthy than just words.
Your search engine and products need to be fast and easy to find. Don't play hide and seek with your customers!
Make the search bar stand out
The search bar is one of the quickest ways for customers to find what they're looking for. Make sure it isn't difficult to see because of overcrowding on the page.
The search navigation is the one thing [people] are familiar with across the web, and if they don’t see one, it can cause them to leave the site.
The functionality of your search engine is essential for finding products. Make sure it corrects spelling errors, allows for multiple ways of searching (e.g. product names, types, and categories), and is up to speed.
Suggest search terms while customers type
Offering useful suggestions as early as possible helps customers find products faster. If there's no result, make sure your site suggests alternatives.
Let customers sort and filter search results
Empower customers by allowing them to organize their search results. Let them prioritize by price, brand, category, and availability, or whatever filters are most relevant to your business/products.
Offer alternatives for unavailable products
Never leave your customers at a dead end. If someone is looking at a discontinued or out-of-stock product, offer alternatives.
Use product categories as the first level of navigation
Customers are familiar with using main product categories to browse products, so make sure yours are clearly visible.
Show a maximum of 10 main product categories
Too many product categories make it hard to navigate your site. You can use subcategories and filters later on in the process to help your customers narrow down products.
Your product pages are where you show off your products and convince people to buy them. Every product page should include item features and specs, a compelling product description, and potentially a short FAQ.
It’s worth spending a lot of time on your product pages. Keep in mind that your product page shouldn’t just inform, it should convince. It’s important to organize this page well, write powerful and informative copy, leverage social proof, and use high-quality photos.
Showing off your items
Covering every angle and leaving nothing to the imagination gives your customer a clear idea of what they're getting.
The importance of product photos in eCommerce stores can't be overstated. If you want your sales numbers up - make sure all products have high-quality images.
Customers normally want to see a minimum of three images from multiple angles. Showing just one or two photos limits their ability to assess your product.
Include zoom functionality
Some shoppers like to see products close up. Letting them zoom in to see important details is empowering and reassuring.
Show related products and categories
Customers often want to look at multiple options before choosing. Showing related products gives them useful browsing options.
Display included accessories
Shoppers might think accessories aren't included in the price unless you add a clear photo of everything that comes with their product purchase.
Present products in proportion to other items
Customers can’t judge an item’s size without seeing it compared to something else. Showing your products on a person, mannequin, or next to a familiar object makes size assessment much easier.
Show your products being used
This helps customers imagine wearing or using your items themselves, and makes the products more attractive to buy.
Include a video if possible
Videos can show products in real-world environments or in use. They're also a great way for customers to process product information, such as reviews and instructions.
Describing products in detail and answering potential questions at the outset can resolve purchase doubts and help eliminate returns.
Write detailed product descriptions
Customers won't assume what isn't in the description. Make sure you explain the product's basic functionality and features.
Use objective, neutral language
Customers know when you're trying to oversell a product using marketing language. Instead, give as much detail as possible, stick to the facts, and let customers make up their own minds.
Speak to your customers directly
Create a dialogue and connect with customers using second-person language (such as 'you' and 'yours') when explaining how they'll benefit from your products. This makes your copy more personal and engaging.
Customers expect product descriptions to explain how it solves their problem. They want to know benefits, features, and what distinguishes it from competitors.
Your add-to-cart rate is a key indicator of site success. Optimizing this process and making it as seamless as possible for customers will improve your conversion rate.
As you optimize your add-to-cart process, start tracking your add-to-cart rate. This important metric can reveal a lot of useful information about your site and how buyers interact with it.
What’s your current add-to-cart rate? Find out by doing this calculation:
No. people who added item/s to the cart ÷ total sessions x 100 = add-to-cart rate
Pushing the right buttons
Your add-to-cart button should shine through.
Surround your add-to-cart button with enough white space
Your add-to-cart buttons need white space around them to stand out. Customers won't notice them if they are surrounded by clutter.
Make the button stand out
Make sure the color and design grab attention. Shoppers might not see important buttons if they blend into competing elements on the page.
Optimize conversion rate using A/B testing
Try out different colors and calls to action (CTAs) using A/B testing software to boost the conversion rate. CTAs should give clear instructions to your customers, like "Add to Cart" or "Buy now".
Good, honest math
The two most important customer calculations are cost and delivery time. These should be clear and save your shoppers from arithmetic.
Show delivery dates, not speed
Showing the delivery speed forces customers to work out when their order will arrive, taking into account holidays and weekends. Providing an expected delivery date or date range does the work for them.
Give a faster delivery option
Some customers need their purchase quickly and others are just happy to pay extra for faster delivery. Let customers weigh speed vs cost based on their priorities.
Tell customers the full cost in the cart
It's frustrating to discover extra costs late in the game, so be sure to show them the full cost, including taxes and delivery fees, or at least an estimation, early in checkout.
Cross-selling and upselling
This is the golden window of opportunity when you can push for more sales.
Cross-sell low-cost, consumable products
Offer customers low-cost products related to the products in their cart. These one-click add-ons are one of the best ways to boost your sales.
Make it simple to change quantities
Adding +/- boxes allows customers to increase, decrease, or remove products from their cart and mean they'll be less likely to abandon their cart if something isn’t right.
Offer related accessories
Shoppers often need accessories related to the product they're buying. Adding them to the cart at this stage saves hassle.
Asking customers if they want the upsell during the checkout process is often the best way to have customers choose it.
Your checkout experience is just as important as the rest of your eCommerce site. To successfully drive customers to purchase, your checkout experience needs to be frictionless, convenient, and as easy as possible.
Our research shows you have four minutes or less before most consumers (66%) start to get impatient with the online checkout process. Perhaps more startlingly, 28% expect checkout to happen in two minutes or less.
If anything goes wrong or if your customers find the process frustrating, time-consuming, or complicated, they will go and probably won't come back.
People in the checkout are the hottest prospects. When you have a high cart abandonment rate it’s like ignoring people who have money in hand.
Removing hurdles and help shoppers checkout conveniently.
Offer third-party sign-in options
Signing in using social media accounts, like Google and Facebook, gives customers an easy alternative to registering and speeds up the process.
Provide a guest checkout option
Forcing customers to set up an account before purchase can put them off. A guest checkout offers a quicker way to buy.
Show your customers their progress
A progress bar gives customers an idea of what they need to do and how long it will take. It should also reassure them the process won't take too much longer.
Only ask for essential information
The more work you create for customers, the more likely they are to leave. Getting rid of unnecessary questions streamlines the process.
Use clear, concise, useful error messages
Customers often make mistakes on forms so it's essential to provide guidance. Use simple, conversational language and make sure you offer a clear solution.
Offer account setup after the sale (for guest customers)
At this point, customers have already provided all the information you need to set up an account. Offer an option to set a password and create their account for future orders and to keep tabs on their purchase status.
Frictionless technology can remember customer information, so repeat shoppers don’t have to fill out the same fields on subsequent visits.
Building the right tech stack getting the most out of it is the key to boosting your conversion rate. We recommend these three types of software for your store:
A/B testing software
Test two or more versions of the same page or page element, such as your conversion buttons and marketing copy, and see which one is more successful with your customers. By forming and testing hypotheses you can boost your conversion rate and other key performance metrics.
Automate your marketing tasks such as emails, social media, and advertising. This allows you to send follow-up emails automatically, which can play a huge role in boosting conversion. The software is capable of personalizing and segmenting the various aspects of your marketing.
Website optimization software helps you work out the aspects of your website you can improve. This can boost your overall conversion rate and help you to optimize your site for specific segments of shoppers. Website optimization software can also help you find ways to boost the amount of traffic your store gets.
If you're just getting started you'll need to first decide which platform you'll use to build your store and what other software you might need. Here are the first software categories to consider:
There are numerous website platforms to choose from. It's worth taking time to consider which one will benefit you in the long run, because it can be complicated to switch once you've started. The key considerations are: how easy it is to use, what features it has, and how easily it integrates with other software.
If you're setting up a B2B store you may have some specific needs. Have a look at these B2B eCommerce platforms and think about which one has the right features and integration possibilities for your long-term needs.
Here you'll find the whole range of eCommerce software including website builders, payment processing software, marketing platforms, SEO optimization tools, etc. It's worth thinking about what features your website builder will already have, and what extra needs your business will have.
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