When building an ecommerce website, different rules apply than for websites selling services. Some of the same elements are important, but in order to showcase your products effectively, your ecommerce homepage needs to be intuitive, eye-catching and easy to use. This article is about the eight ‘must have’ features that we feel every ecommerce homepage should have.
1) Mobile Responsive Layout
At the risk of stating the obvious, with so much business now conducted on mobile devices, every ecommerce website should have a responsive layout. It is the most important element of any homepage. A responsive layout means that a web page will appear differently to suit different screen sizes. Straining to use an iPhone screen to view a website that is clearly designed for a desktop, is a thing of the past. Your customers will simply not stand for it.
2) Easy Checkout
While not strictly a homepage feature, it is imperative that you make it easy for your customers to purchase your products, by providing an easy checkout. There should be a direct link to the checkout from your homepage, with ‘cookies’ that remember your customer’s choices should they not make a purchase on their first visit. Checkouts that automatically reset, or empty out, after a certain time, are a huge source of frustration for customers and should be avoided if possible.
When choosing a developer to build your checkout, get them to make it as streamlined as possible. The fewer boxes that your customers need to check, and the less information they need to give, the more likely it is that they’ll make a sale. There are some great, convenient payment options available to ecommerce businesses, such as PayPal One Touch. Our website designers can advise you if you are unsure of what you need.
3) Catchy Logo
Clear, eye-catching logos are important for all websites, but especially so for ecommerce businesses. For ecommerce websites, your logo is your brand, so make sure it displays clearly and prominently on your homepage. Learn more about the importance of a good logo with this article - Brand Identity: Just a Logo?
4) Banner Display
A visual banner display is an important part of an ecommerce homepage. You can use this to promote your brand slogans, key product ranges or latest special offers. For an ecommerce site, this is often the first place your visitors go, so it should take precedence over written content, blogs, testimonials etc. These things are still important, but are better placed on other pages, such as ‘About’, ‘Company Background’, or ‘Special Offers’. Keep your banner display up-to-date to reflect your latest promotions.
5) Deals & Freebies
Draw your website visitors in with prominent deals and giveaways on your homepage. There are plenty of ways you can do this, such as by offering free shipping, daily discount codes, and flash sales. If you rotate your offers frequently, customers will be encouraged to check back regularly to see your latest discounts. For more ideas here is a great article - 20 Special Offer Ideas For Marketing Your Business.
6) Newsletter Signup
Encourage your visitors to sign up for a newsletter by providing a clear link on your homepage. Giving visitors an incentive to sign up, such as a 25% discount on their next order, will help you quickly build an email marketing list, which can be targeted with promotions based on their purchase habits.
7) Latest News
Short news snippets work well on a homepage: not rambling blog posts or company updates, but snappy information about new releases and upcoming deals. For your homepage, keep your content short, simple and to the point. You can go into more detail on your blog and product pages.
8) Popular Products
Many ecommerce businesses feature visual links to some of their most popular products or categories on the homepage. This encourages sales of your most popular lines. Your homepage can be designed so that these displays refresh in real-time based on your sales data.
There are many different options for ecommerce homepage design, but the key is to keep it simple, with important product information clearly visible and accessible. If you would like more information about building a successful ecommerce site, we will be delighted to talk to you. Send us a message and one of our marketing specialists will get back to you to discuss your requirements.