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PixoLabo - Optimizing Your eCommerce Homepage - 12 Effective Strategies

Optimizing Your eCommerce Homepage – 12 Effective Strategies

Optimizing Your eCommerce Homepage – 12 Effective Strategies

Meeting Consumer Expectations is More Important than Ever

Does your eCommerce store meet the expectations of demanding consumers? Of course, there’s no such thing as achieving perfection in eCommerce, but you can strive to get as close to it as possible. And optimizing your eCommerce homepage is a great place to start!

The eCommerce industry is constantly evolving. While shoppers are returning to brick-and-mortar stores, more and more consumers realize the benefits of buying what they need and want from online sellers. At the same time, eCommerce providers continue to adapt to create a better consumer experience, become more competitive, increase conversions, and foster growth.

To achieve this growth, online retailers must double down on many of the trends that took off during the pandemic while keeping an eye on changing consumer expectations and preferences. Optimizing your eCommerce homepage is essential to keep your online store competitive.

The shift to online shopping

The Shift to Online Shopping

In 2020, the pandemic forced consumers to shift from making offline purchases to making online purchases. Unfortunately, restrictions made online shopping the first and only way to satisfy consumer demand. Now, the mess is in the past, and dozens of countries have opened their borders again, allowed people to walk without masks, and canceled COVID-19 safety measures.

Shopping remains the most popular online activity, with more and more people buying products from online sellers. During the pandemic alone, eCommerce sales just about doubled. According to the latest statistics, eCommerce sales totaled roughly $4.9 trillion globally in 2021.

As consumers avoid making in-store purchases, the eCommerce market will see additional growth in the coming years. Experts predict worldwide retail e-commerce sales will soar from about 5 trillion U.S. dollars to just over 8 trillion by 2026. And by 2040, about 95 percent of all purchases are predicted to be via eCommerce.

Why focus on optimizing your ecommerce homepage?

Why Focus on Optimizing Your Homepage?

First impressions are the last impressions. And this is especially true for eCommerce stores.

Nobody wants to visit an online store that’s not optimized; they will instead move to a competitor’s site. That is why optimizing your eCommerce homepage is essential for the success of your online store.

Now that more consumers are turning to eCommerce, competition on the business side is stiff. So you’ve got to stand out from the crowd and capture a visitor’s attention within seconds of them coming to your website.

According to Research Gate, 2.6 seconds is all it takes for users to make the first conscious impression of a website, and 94% of the first impressions on a website are based on its visuals and design. So in that short time, potential consumers decide whether to stay and look around or leave.

Primarily eCommerce sites are judged quickly, so making a good impression right from the start is essential. First impressions are where the homepage comes in. You need to make sure your homepage is drawing in and converting visitors.

We’ve got you covered if you’re ready to do it right and build a homepage that will attract, engage, and convert online shoppers. This blog post will show you how to optimize your eCommerce homepage for success.

12 effective strategies for optimizing your eCommerce homepage

12 Strategies for Optimizing Your eCommerce Homepage

Let’s look at 12 practical ways to create a homepage that attracts, engages, and converts online shoppers.

1. Have a Prominent Primary Menu

Product findability is one of the most critical factors of an eCommerce store. In addition, your website’s skeletal structure – the navigation design- significantly impacts your store’s success or failure.

Generally, the main menu consists of links that make it easy to scan and lead users to various website sections. For eCommerce sites, quality navigation describes both the structure of product categories and the act of navigating by users.

A more apparent navigation structure means a better user experience. It keeps users on a website staying longer and visiting more often. In turn, it helps boost conversion rate and improve search engine optimization (SEO).

There have been many different ways to present users with additional navigation options. A mega menu appears to be the most common and effective. It displays product categories and sub-categories in a multi-column menu.

2. Include Primary Calls-to-Action

Believe it or not, people want — and sometimes need — to be told what to do. So use calls to action (CTAs) to direct visitors where to go next. Effective CTAs can help users navigate your website better and increase conversions.

What types of CTAs are adequate for your target audience? Again, A/B testing can narrow your options. Some common CTAs include “Schedule a Demo,” “Begin Free Trial,” “Learn More,” or “Buy Now.”

In general, CTAs should contain verbs to encourage the visitor to make a move. Keeping it simple is a good rule of thumb, but you can try adding and removing words in a split test to see which performs better.

The CTA button color also makes a difference. Hubspot ran an A/B test to compare a red button with a green button, and the red converted more users by 21%. Many companies use a color that stands out from their brand’s color palette and includes white space around the button to draw the eye to the CTA. 

The location of the CTA is also something to consider. Many CTAs are at the bottom of a section of text. Perhaps it would perform better in the middle of the text or above the fold. You can also test what works better — having one CTA or multiple?

Your homepage should have primary and secondary CTAs, so visitors know what to do next. These CTAs should be guiding users through the buyer’s funnel step-by-step.

Think about the mobile shopping experience

3. Think About the Mobile Shopping Experience

More shoppers are interacting with brands from mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets. Mcommerce sales are projected to exceed $430 billion in 2022 and $710 billion in 2025.

To reach customers on mobile, you have to prioritize the mobile experience. Prioritizing the mobile experience means that it should be easy to see and navigate when a visitor is looking at your homepage from a mobile device. Avoid any flashy, complicated design that will only get in the way.

As many as 85% of adults believe a website should be as good or better than its desktop website when viewed on a mobile device.

Although using a mobile device to look at websites and make purchases is on the rise, it’s still relatively new compared to the internet’s lifetime. As a result, practices that convert mobile users aren’t as widely known as they are for desktop efforts. 

Whether you go with RWD or an m-commerce solution, the homepage on mobile devices must be ‘easy to navigate.’ Do not use flashy, overly-complicated objects that unnecessarily get in the way of browsing.

Unlike desktop, mobile context is almost for ‘on-the-go’ users. Therefore, basic things like clarity of interface, consistency from one view to the next, and ‘tapping’ interactions should be straightforward.

4. Provide Contact Information

Users are becoming more aware of false websites and phishing attempts, which has them looking for suspicious sites and shops. One thing that can assure visitors is displaying your contact information.

As many as 44% of website visitors will leave a company’s website if there’s no contact information or phone number.

Not only does displaying your contact information help build trust, but it can also create a better user experience when someone needs to contact you. Customers prefer specific contact methods, so leave as many options as possible, including social media channels, phone numbers, email addresses, etc.

5. Include Search Functionality

Search functionality is a must-have for any large eCommerce site with a vast collection of products. It allows visitors to search for their preferred product faster.

Imagine that a visitor only knows the brand or SKU. Ensure that he finds a specific product quickly with just a few clicks. For this, keep the search box at a prominent place, making the search easier for visitors.

Showcase your products

6. Showcase Your Products

Even though most of your products will live on internal product pages, you can show off your best products on the homepage. Featuring your best products gives customers an immediate idea of what to buy.

Your homepage is the best place to communicate a compelling value proposition. Show the advantages of your products and ‘don’t make me think, perhaps, is the best practice to keep visitors around and stay longer. But, of course, visitors are attracted by shopping deals the most.

Adding Daily Deals, Best-sellers (Hot sellers), and new arrivals are also suitable for showing your visitors what they are missing out on. You can also try displaying seasonal items on the homepage.

Chances are, many online shoppers do not exactly know what they want. So listing key benefits clearly on the homepage is very helpful.

7. Highlight Sales

Everyone loves a sale, so displaying current promotions on your homepage is recommended. You can also have a clearly marked and easily accessible sale section on your website.

For example, you can promote seasonal sales on your homepage and have a vertical sale section within your site’s navigation.

8. Allow Guest Checkout

Another helpful element for first-time customers is guest checkout. Forcing users to sign up before they reach the checkout page will decrease your conversion rates. In addition, it interrupts the shopping process.

Guest checkouts are always a plus, especially for visitors who don’t wish to go through the registration process. This option also makes quick and one-time purchases more convenient.

On the other hand, registration helps returnees to come back for purchase. They don’t need to enter all their billing and payment details again. A one-page checkout process will help create a streamlined experience for both groups.

Offer a personalized online shopping experience

9. Offer a Personalized Experience

Today’s customer expects personalized shopping recommendations from ecommerce sites. Utilize a customer’s purchase and browsing history to show them items that may be of interest.

You can also remind customers of items from their abandoned carts and upsell products from items they’ve purchased in the past. You can also show related items to products they’ve selected or viewed.

As many as 34% of consumers are more likely to make an unplanned purchase after receiving personalized content.

A personalized shopping experience can lead to additional purchases, but it can also increase a customer’s lifetime value and customer engagement. Customers satisfied with their experience at your store means there’s a higher chance they’ll return.

Also, do not forget about personalizing customer experience by using a live chat. Many customers want specific information about the products they are considering buying.

Research indicates that eCommerce sites with live chat report up to a 40% boost in conversion rates. Talk to your site visitors in real-time to recommend the best products, upsell,  increase average order value and make them love your customer service so that they keep coming back!

10. Optimize Your Homepage for Search Engines

Get a headstart on your SEO efforts by working on your homepage. First, you want to optimize your homepage for search engines and users.

Visitors who visit your site should be able to see who you are, why they should buy from you, what you sell, and how to find the products — all at a glance.

When a search engine crawler comes to your homepage, they need to pull information about your business, its products, and its address.

Here’s how you can satisfy both of these needs:

Include the most important information above the fold

The content on your homepage that’s “above the fold” is visible before scrolling. The content at the top of the webpage will be the basis of a user’s first impression, so it must be compelling and captivating. Putting the wrong content above the fold may result in a high bounce rate and a loss of customers and revenue.

It would be best if you had these elements above the fold: Branding and logo, contact information, navigation and search bar, current promotions, shopping cart, and calls-to-action.

Optimize your homepage title tag, meta description, and images

Taking the time to optimize your homepage title tag and meta description does two good things for your website. First, it updates your snippet on the search engine results page (SERP) and communicates to search engines what your website is promoting.

The title tag should be approximately 60 characters and include your brand name and location (if necessary). Consider using words that will get attention, such as free shipping, sale, money-back guarantee, and free returns.

Also, don’t forget about optimizing your images. Images are vital to an eCommerce website because potential customers want to see what they’re buying. But images on your homepage can slow down your website speed, which turns customers away. On top of that, images that aren’t optimized don’t help your SEO efforts.

You can prevent these issues by resizing your images; make them the actual size you want them to be. Resizing your images will reduce the file size and help your web page load speed.

Next, add ALT text. ALT text should describe what’s in the image, which helps search engine crawlers. You can also add a caption below the image that contains a description of what’s in it and any additional information helpful for users.

Increase page speed

11. Increase Page Speed

Google has indicated the site’s loading speed as a determining factor for ranking. Once your visitors arrive on your slow-loading homepage, you will likely lose them. On the other hand, visitors are traffic that can potentially generate revenue. As reported by Amazon, every 100 milliseconds of site speed improvement increased revenue by 1%.

A perfect eCommerce experience is reliable and increases your conversions. So make sure you optimize your homepage to increase your page speed.

There are many factors associated with optimizing your site’s loading time. However, from a homepage perspective, you might consider starting with minifying your code (CSS, HTML, Javascript files) to eliminate extra spaces, line breaks, and indentation.

These tweaks help reduce the size of your code, as per Google’s recommendation. Since large images take longer to load, you must keep them as small as possible.

For other suggestions, try minimizing HTTP requests, reducing server response time, and using Gzip compression to reduce the bandwidth of your pages to reduce HTTP response.

Page speed optimization requires skills that are often beyond the experience of online store owners. If you are uncomfortable performing the above steps, ask your web designer or agency for help.

12. Demonstrate Site Security

Hacking and identity theft are becoming more common, and online shoppers want assurance that you’ll keep their information safe and secure. If you can show visitors that your website is secure, you’ll be more likely to convert customers.

Display widely-recognized trust seals and badges on your homepage. You can link these symbols to your security provider, so they can research as they wish. These can go in your footer.

If you don’t already have one, you’ll need to get a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate. Otherwise, the browser will flag your website as “not secure,” and often, it won’t display your site.

Any sign of an insecure website makes a poor first impression, likely turning someone away for good. No one wants to turn over payment information to an unsecured website. Get an SSL certificate and reassure customers that their data is safe on your site.

How to start optimizing your ecommerce homepage

How to Start Optimizing Your eCommerce Homepage

Now that you’ve got several to-dos for optimizing your eCommerce homepage, you can begin making the updates. Here’s how to get started:

1. Audit Your eCommerce Site

No matter the project, it’s always best to look at the current situation and evaluate it from there. In website terms, an audit is an excellent place to begin.

An audit helps you see things from the customer’s perspective. It’s a systematic way to objectively look at your site and make improvements to grow your business.

An audit can cover several different areas of your business, including content, SEO, conversion rate optimization, site performance, and eCommerce platform, among other things.

The more topics you decide to examine in your audit, the more findings you’re likely to discover. You may do the entire audit at once, break it into chunks, and create an audit schedule.

Make a checklist for your audit. Here are some of the items you should put on it:

  • Are all of the pages and images loading correctly?
  • What is the page load speed?
  • Do all of the links go to the correct destination?
  • Does the navigation work across all devices?
  • Does the site load and work on different browsers?
  • Are there any grammatical or spelling errors?
  • Is all of the content up-to-date?
  • What does your 404 error page look like?
  • Have 301 redirects been appropriately implemented?
  • Are the search results for in-site queries correct?
  • Do the product pages have thin content?
  • Is there a robust system of internal linking?
  • Are the right related products showing up during browsing?
  • Are the product images high-quality?
  • Are your abandoned cart triggers working correctly?
  • How much time does your team take to reply to a customer question?
  • Is the customer service team effective at resolving the issue?

Once you complete the audit and note your findings, you can prioritize what to fix and update. 

It would be best if you made audits a regular marketing strategy. It’s easy to stop updating your website outside of adding new products or content to your blog, but customers will notice when things break or go stale. If you get into an auditing routine, you’ll likely fix problems before they become too severe and stop sales.

2. Identify Strategies You Can Implement

There will constantly be emerging trends and strategies on the horizon in an ever-changing industry, such as eCommerce. When these new ideas come around, you’ll have to decide if they suit your business.

Not every idea is worth jumping on because it won’t fit your audience. Other ideas may be great but too expensive to implement correctly.

An optimized ecommerce homepage is crucial

An Optimized eCommerce Homepage is Crucial

As you can see, optimizing your eCommerce homepage plays a crucial role in the success of your eCommerce business. Your eCommerce homepage impacts website traffic, is a factor in search engine rankings, makes or breaks conversions, and affects consumer experience. 

Because of the intense competition in the eCommerce sector, you should look for any advantages you can get to attract, engage, and convert consumers. For example, customers are more likely to purchase from a well-designed and efficient website since it provides a better experience.

While optimizing your eCommerce homepage, consider the visual appearance perspective as well. For example, 88% of consumers are less likely to return to a site with bad UX or because they dislike the overall aesthetics.

So, take your eCommerce business to the next level by optimizing your eCommerce homepage using the above approaches. Once you do, there’s no doubt that your homepage can stand out from the crowd. We are here to help!

Is Your eCommerce Homepage Optimized?

Are you interested in increasing conversions and providing a better user experience? Our professional eCommerce designers will be happy to help you with this. But first, look at our portfolio and read our case studies.

PixoLabo Web Design is trusted on Tech Behemoths

Then, if you believe we are a good fit for your eCommerce web design needs, reach out to us! We offer a full range of consulting and design solutions for businesses and product brands.

And if you are unsure how to optimize your eCommerce homepage, let’s talk! We will listen to you, answer your questions, and help you provide the consumer experience online shoppers expect!

Did You Optimize Your eCommerce Homepage?

Do you have anything to add to our list of eCommerce to avoid before Christmas? Feel free to add your comments below so our audience can benefit and grab our feed, so you don’t miss our next post! And feel free to share our post with your audience!

For more content relevant to your business or product brand – check out the range of articles on our web design blog. (This one, on writing compelling product descriptions that sell, is an excellent place to start!)

Thank you! We appreciate your help ending bad business websites, one pixel at a time!

By Gregor Saita
Co-Founder / CXO

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