Homepage is the most prominent part of any ecommerce website. It receives the highest amount of traffic. However, most ecommerce brands don’t get it right. The average bounce rate of an ecommerce homepage is a whopping 46%.
If your homepage is well designed with engaging and relevant content, visitors are more likely to explore your further which increases the chance of conversion.
We have previously covered some ecommerce homepage best practices in the past and the 20 designs you should take inspiration from. In this post, we will dive into details on how to build one and ensure that your visitors have a great experience. As well, we have expert tips on copywriting and how to choose the right words to get visitors to convert.
Let’s start things off with what every high converting homepage needs to have.
The anatomy of a winning homepage
CoreDNA has done a great job at summarizing the elements that every homepage needs. We will dive into each element and see why it’s so important.
Your search bar should be clear and prominent on the homepage. Some visitors know exactly what they are looking for and will go straight to the search bar once they land on your homepage. After all, it’s so important that 30% of customers will use the search bar and 43% will use it immediately after coming to your site.
The search bar should be top and center of your homepage. More importantly, it should be clearly visible anywhere from the website.
Notice the two examples below.
Net-A-Porter’s search bar blends in so well with their navigation bar that it’s hardly noticeable. You really have to look to find where it is.
In contrast, ASOS’s search bar is very clear and visible on their homepage.
Other things that you should keep in mind when designing your search bar includes autocomplete and auto-suggestions.
Zara has an excellent search bar experience. Once you type a keyword, it suggests related items including showing results that match your keyword immediately.
Building a great brand requires customer loyalty. Customers are likely to be loyal if they understand and support the mission of your brand. It answers the question that every visitor will be asking “Why should I buy from you rather than your competitors?”
A good value proposition is a simple statement that explains your positioning and how your brand fills the gap in the market you are competing.
Think about what makes your products truly unique. This could be anything from price, delivery, customer service or the nature of your product.
Once you come up with a good value proposition, it should pass the below smell test:
· Does it speak directly to your target audience?
· Is it unique enough compared to what’s available in the market?
· Does it address your customers’ pain points?
A good place to communicate your value proposition is your homepage.
Warby Parker is an ecommerce company selling eyeglasses. Their unique proposition is customers can pick any 5 glasses from the online store to try for free at home and only keep the pair they want.
Magic Spoon prides themselves on being the world’s first low-carb and high-protein cereal.
Both homepages communicate their brand and messaging front and center. The proposition addresses the needs of their customers. In the case of Warby Parker, their customers do not want to buy branded glasses online without trying them on while Magic Spoon customers are looking for a healthier way to have their favorite breakfast cereal.
Forget banner sliders
Many studies, including one done by Google (https://services.google.com/fh/files/events/pdf_retail_ux_playbook.pdf), have shown that sliders don’t work. They distract and confuse your visitors in a phenomenon called ‘banner blindness’. Most visitors ignore banner slideshows as they think they are spammy and just go right past them.
Most visitors will spend 30 seconds or less on your website so having distracting banners will hurt your bounce rate.
A much better way is to show all the banners as static images in a grid format.
ASOS arranges their banners in a grid layout to communicate the latest promotion and popular categories in the store.
A lot of customers are price conscious. Remember that the homepage itself does not convert. The goal of any good homepage is to encourage your visitors to click on a product so they are further along in the conversion funnel.
One of the most effective ways is to showcase your current promotions, latest arrivals or best selling products.
Sephora includes best selling and trending products on their homepage to invite visitors to click on them.
Now that we have covered a basic anatomy every homepage should have, let’s move on to copywriting which is commonly an undervalued area but will reap huge rewards when done right.
Why is copywriting so important?
Humans make 35,000 choices every day. That’s a lot.
That’s why our brains have figured out shortcuts to reduce cognitive workload. As a marketer, if you understand and crack how these shortcuts work, you will have a way to get the buyers to convert.
While the art of copywriting is complex, we have outlined 3 strategies here so that you can apply them to your business right away and see results for yourself.
Avoid statements that sound too good to be true
Buyers like good news (aka discounts) but when the news is too good, they get suspicious.
For example, while a small discount like 15-20% will be fine, but when it reaches 60% or 74%, it becomes too good to be true and conversion rate will start going down when the discount goes up. The buyer will be thinking if there’s something wrong with the product or wondering if this product is going to be obsolete.
But this doesn’t mean you can’t give away 74% discount but there’s a right way to do it.
Give customers the reason why you are giving discounts. In the above, the merchant justifies the discount by claiming that they have cut unnecessary costs and also uses this as a referral machine.
Buyers root for people who beat the odds
Customers love the underdogs especially if you can position your brand as David vs. Goliath.
Notice how Skiplagged talks about how they have won a case again United. Think about ways you can show them that you have won against all odds.
We all need motivations to break habits
Marketers often look to competitors on what they are doing. Don’t. The truth is customers have habits they can’t break. As a marketer if you can have a conversation that shows you understand the workaround, you have a winning product.
We just talked about the 35,000 choices everyone makes. You don’t want to add one more to your customer’s list.
So your copywriting needs to reduce the thinking as much as possible, make it a no-brainer to buy.
For instance, this product has a shelf-life of 25 years.
And this is their punchline.
It’s tempting to hope one never has to be in an emergency situation. And 9 times out of 10 that’s the case for most of us.
That’s enough of a nudge. It’s an implied message that if they are the one in ten that falls in the emergency situation, they are screwed.
Having a winning homepage requires 2 very important components: great design and excellent copywriting. To follow good design principles, you need to make sure that you have the important elements such as clear value proposition, attractive banners, search bar and navigation menu.
On top of that, understand your customers and how your product addresses this need. Communicate this value clearly on your homepage in an appealing way that will help them reduce the thinking and complexity of any decision making process.
With great copywriting and attractive designs, you will have a winning homepage recipe that maximises customer engagement and conversion.
Photo by S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash