Your homepage is the gateway to your website, telling visitors who you are, what you sell, and why they should choose you over another brand. But if a visitor can’t clearly decipher any of those things within a few short seconds, they’ll take their business elsewhere. So, what can you do to delight your potential customers and avoid leaving money on the table?
Let’s take a look at 4 ways you can optimize your e-commerce homepage so your visitors will stay on-site, keep clicking through, and ultimately make a purchase.
We’ve all been there before—scrolling so far down a product list page and then having to scroll all the way back up to reach the main menu again. While many of us accept this as part of online shopping, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement!
To combat scrolling fatigue in your visitors, try testing a sticky navigation bar that stays at the top of the screen no matter where a user scrolls. Of course, it’s important to be mindful of the sizing (especially on mobile devices) so you’re not taking up too much of your precious above-the-fold space. But when done well, a sticky navigation bar makes your site more actionable, inviting your visitors to click through to another page whenever they’re ready.
Did you know that nearly 30% of e-commerce visitors use the on-site search function? With so much of your traffic using this function, it is crucial to optimize it.
Having an open search box (as opposed to a small search icon that visitors have to take an extra step to find and then click on) can vastly improve the usability of your website. Similar to a sticky navigation bar, the open search box is a constant reminder that you’re ready to help the visitor find exactly what they need—does it get any better than that?
If you already have (or are now testing!) the sticky navigation bar, see if you can incorporate the open search box into your menu to make it even easier for the user to locate at any point in their journey. This may be harder to pull off on a mobile device but, if you have a hamburger-style menu, try keeping the open search box at the top of your navigation so it is immediately visible.
While the user experience plays a key role in someone’s purchase decision, sometimes timing can be the most important factor for your customers. If they know they need something by a certain date, they want to determine quickly if you can make it happen or if they need to look elsewhere. This is why it’s critical to clearly display your shipping and/or pickup options right on your homepage.
Depending on the options you offer, you might consider displaying any free shipping thresholds you have, your standard shipping window and pricing, and your time window for in-store pickup options (e.g. your pickup order will be ready in 2 hours or less). If you’re offering free shipping sitewide for a limited time, add a countdown timer to your homepage to create a sense of urgency. Displaying all of these options above-the-fold on your website (perhaps below your navigation or in your header section) can help visitors determine upfront if your shipping/pickup options work for them and potentially stop another dreaded cart abandonment!
No matter how captivating your marketing is, sometimes word-of-mouth is the best way to grab a visitor’s attention. Honest customer testimonials on your homepage help you to establish trust with potential customers in a way that branded marketing just can’t replicate.
Use photos and/or videos from customer reviews or social media posts that show how your product worked for or fit the customer. For example, if you’re a skincare brand, use before and after photos that highlight your product’s effectiveness. If you’re a clothing brand, display photos or videos of your customers wearing and living in your clothes. When your visitors feel some kind of connection to the real customers highlighted on your website, they’ll realize your brand could be a perfect fit for them, too.
There’s no denying your homepage’s impact on a visitor’s experience and their chances of converting—and that’s why it’s imperative to continuously optimize it.
These 4 ideas are just the starting point to creating a better homepage experience and compelling your visitors to stay on-site and convert. For even more ideas to optimize your entire e-commerce website, download our 32 E-Commerce Optimization Ideas eBook.