According to Statista, ecommerce sales are projected to grow to almost $3.5 trillion in 2019 and grabbing only a tiny portion of the market share means generating some serious profit. However, in order to start a successful online business, you need to create an outstanding website.
Since the homepage is the first thing users see when they visit your site, we want to concentrate on this element and explain how to take care of it most effectively. Here are the ten best practices to build a perfect e-commerce homepage:
1. Simple Navigation Bar
An average visitor of an ecommerce website probably wants to check out some of the products. This is why you need to create a simple and intuitive navigation bar that can take users to the targeted page in only one click. The navigation bar must be highly visible and placed horizontally in the upper part of the homepage.
Allow it all the categories relevant to your digital store. For instance, this is what writing service sites such as EssaysOnTime.com.au do on their homepages – they immediately give visitors the opportunity to choose between different types of product through the navigation bar.
2. Add a Search Box
No matter how simple your navigation bar might be, some people will want to search for items differently. In this case, it is crucial to offer a search box and allow visitors to look for different products on their own.
Therefore even the most famous websites use a Search Box. You can see it on Medium or Apple homepages.
3. Eliminate Rotating Carousels
Rotating carousels have been around for a while and we definitely have to tell you that this homepage element does not belong to ecommerce websites.
While carousels do help businesses to display more products, as you can see at Forever21 and Adobe, rest assured that no user is willing to wait, and watch images rotate in front of them. People demand instant activity and carousels only interfere with their desire to check out products quickly.
4. Highlight Free Shipping
Do you know that 9 out of 10 users claim free shipping is the number one incentive to shop online more often? It’s a major point in online retail, which forces ecommerce websites to highlight the free shipping feature on their homepages (that is, of course, if they offer free shipping at all). When visitors notice this feature, they are much more likely to convert from leads to customers. 6pm and Adidas use this tip to attract new customers.
5. Give Recommendations
Ecommerce platforms are incredibly powerful and able to analyze customer information in real-time. You can take advantage of it by giving personalized recommendations based on users’ history of interactions with your content. A vast majority of users loves to check out the ‘You May Also Like’ section, which Amazon and Lifehacker use, just to make sure they are not missing add-ons and additional offers.
6. Publish Attractive Visuals
Product images are critical to the success of your ecommerce business. Although you can’t display every item on your homepage, you should always add a few interesting products to intrigue your target audience. The best option is to keep changing photos regularly so as to fit the current trend. For example, as Apple does, you might consider changing visuals for different seasons, product launches, events, holidays, and so on. It will make the homepage more appealing and offer more relevant.
7. Play the Scarcity Card
Scarcity has always been a nice tactic in the retail universe, both online and offline. People feel the urge to act and buy products that are popular and almost out of stock, so you might occasionally play the scarcity card. This is particularly the case in situations where you want to get rid of slow-moving items that don’t really sell all that great. Starbucks likes this tactic – as they have employed with their Unicorn Frappuccino.
8. Boost Customer Service with Live Chat
Chatbot technologies allow ecommerce stores to be available 24/7. Users appreciate this feature because they want to information and answers delivered as quickly as possible, so we definitely suggest adding live chat to the homepage. A 112-year old distributor in upstate New York implemented an ecommerce chatbot and immediately lowered costs, increased sales and improved customer satisfaction.
9. Use Word of Mouth
Word of mouth can generate tons of new leads, but how can you incorporate this element into your homepage? The idea is simple – mention the partners you are working with, especially if these are renowned brands and clients. This simply means adding a few logos and your online store will look more authoritative.
Some users don’t care about easy navigation or live chat. Instead, they want to check out your website in general and you need to indulge them by adding URL to the FAQ page. Of course, your HR system needs to make sure to answer common inquiries and to ensure the effortless experience for your potential customers. As it is one of the most important tips for the successful website, WhatsApp and YouTube are great examples of strong FAQ pages.
Guest Contributor: Kurt Walker is an ecommerce and digital marketing expert based in London.