Make your website a selling machine

Homepage Design Tips Every eCommerce Store Should Implement

The 5 Second Rule

The 5 Second Rule is a common web design test used to determine how well a homepage design is set up. A viewer is asked to look at a website they have not visited before and after 5 seconds time be able to tell you what the brand does, what their offer is, and what is the next step to take. This is because it is quite common for someone to visit a website and fail to have these questions answered quickly and then to become frustrated, confused or overwhelmed by the webpage – then leave.

To avoid this, have a short clear main headline that explains what you do and how you add value to the customer’s life. As an example, a digital marketing website might read:

John Smith Digital Marketing
“We Help Small Business Owners Save Time and Increase Their Bottom Line”

Followed by a button to “schedule a meeting” or “request more information” – whatever your primary call to action is.

A Clear Primary Call to Action

Simply put, a primary call to action is what you desire the person viewing your homepage design to do next. It might be to register for a webinar, it might be to view your new winter collection, it might be to shop now. Once you have established what you want people who land on your homepage to do next, use a brightly colored “clickable” button to attract your visitors to that area of your website.

You want to avoid using a call to action that is considered too passive. This might be something like “learn more.” This might be appropriate in some instances but generally in eCommerce you are asking that a purchase is made. For this reason “Buy Now” is a popular choice. It clearly explains to the visitor what you’d like to do next and how to do it.

A Secondary Call to Action

It is also important to not have too many CTAs displayed on the hope page of your website. You should have your main “ask” placed on a clickable button, above the fold of your home page. But it is smart to have a secondary call to action available to visitors who are not quite ready to convert, but they are interested in your brand enough to visit your website.

This is commonly addressed by eCommerce stores by asking you to opt into their email lists for discounts. This secondary call to action captures the information of the visitor and provides both a warm lead and an opportunity to nurture the customer. You should then provide the visitor a promised discount along with social proof, FAQs, reviews or other sales tools to convince the potential buyer that not only are you offering them a great deal – but you are a solid, trustworthy brand with premium products.

Include Social Proof

It is one thing for you to tell a customer how great your brand is, and it is entirely another thing for other recognizable brands and raving customers to say how great your brand is. A common yet powerful way that websites create a sense of confidence in their buyers is to include social proof on the bottom half of the homepage.

This section should include particularly outstanding customer reviews, featured articles in top publications or other websites and information like which top stores your products are available in, and if anyone of note (influencers, celebrities, etc) use and enjoy your products. You can do this by including a section with logos next to a heading reading: As Featured In, or As Seen On.

Optimize Load Speed

One easy element to overlook when designing your own eCommerce website or creating one on a budget is that in addition to all of the above, the website will not grant you sales if the loading speed is too slow.

I am sure that even you can recall a time that you visited a new website only to be met by a painfully low load speed? What did you do? Odds are they you quickly left that website and completed your purchase on another website that was more enjoyable to visit.

In fact, recent reports have found that a one second delay in load speed results in 11% fewer page views, a 16% decrease in reported customer satisfaction and a 7% loss in sales.