Your home page wears many important hats as the entry point to your website. It dictates the initial impression of your band, communicates special offers, funnels users toward content or products that interest them, and shows that you have a legitimate business. Your home page is dictating whether your shopper is going to continue down the rabbit hole or become another bounce rate into the abyss. How do you turn opportunities into sales?
There’s no perfect formula guaranteed to fix all your conversion problems. A/B testing is the recommended route for accurate finding related directly to your customer base. However, there are guidelines you can follow, which have shown positive growth for other retailers.
Here are 5 tips to help captivate your shoppers and boost conversion.
1. Leverage Your Best Sellers
Simply put, your home page should show people what they’re interested in.
Prioritize your navigation based on what people click the most. Once your site is live and making sales, look into your data. If a large majority of users are clicking the last link in your navigation, make it the first link. If you can pinpoint your in-demand products with existing customers, they are likely your best shot with potential new customers as well.
Feature top selling items on your home page. This can be achieved through a promotional static block, a featured products section or by adding “Best Sellers” to your navigation. A featured products section is a great way to show items on your home page that you know people are interested in. Keep your focus to a few products, not a bunch or it will lose effectiveness. Harry’s does a nice job of this.
Continue the shopping experience with relevant links. Have you ever clicked through a product on a home page only to find yourself lost in a sea of random products? If you’re going to feature products on your home page seal the deal by sending them straight to the purchasing options on the product page.
2. Have a Strong Navigation System
If they can’t find it, how will they buy it? Search functionality is a key component to every eCommerce site, but will never replace category navigation.
Don’t overwhelm your shoppers with options. If you have a large product inventory, funnel them into high level categories and let the listing page do the leg work. Urban Outfitters does a good job of this. Instead of displaying large complex 3-tier navigation drop downs, they force users into a high level category (e.g. Women’s). From there you are presented with a landing page with sub categories and drop downs. Users can quickly navigate through three tiers of navigation without much thought.
Never beat around the bush with navigation language. Giving your links quirky names doesn’t make you unique or create mystery, it forces users to interpret your jargon. Shoppers don’t read, they skim, so use the most simple language possible.
Product should be the focal point. If making sales is your goal, the main navigation should only contain shopping categories. Don’t distract first time visitors seeking products with links like “About Us” taking up prime real estate in the navigation. Generally, shoppers are buying an item for it’s value or purpose, not because they relate to your story.
Related: Increase Revenue with On-Site Search
3. Use Effective Calls to Action
Turn visitors into customers by leading users in the right direction quickly and effectively.
Consider colour theory. There’s a lot of history and logic behind how colours affect human emotion. You can leverage this by using the right hues at the right time. For example, we all relate the colour red to a sale. You can subliminally lead users where you want them to go by utilizing one consistent call to action colour throughout your site. This colour will tell users where to click next without having to read copy. Make sure your buttons stand out from their background. I’ve purposely added the below example from Pact Coffee at a small size. Without reading any content you are able to see where you are supposed to click.
Use buttons with short, concise language. Your buttons should tell your visitors what to do. For example “Shop”, “Buy”, or “Learn More”. By using small, simple words you’re allowing users to digest it at a quick glance and understand the outcome of clicking.
Related: The Parallax Effect in eCommerce
4. Consider Language
Communicate clearly and appeal to your target.
Have a value proposition. When a user lands on your site they should instantly know what you’re selling and why they should buy it. I know it can be hard to simplify such an important statement but try to keep it to a headline with one support sentence. Clear and simple like Luxy Hair.
Create urgency. Words like “Limited Edition”, “Sale Ends Today”, “Only 3 Left” create the illusion that you’re presenting a unique opportunity and users need to act fast. Live timers are an emerging trend that is very persuasive. Making shoppers feel like they are running out of time will urge them to make the decision without putting as much thought into it.
Be relatable. Know your target audience and research their language. Read customer testimonials and Facebook page interactions for guidance on writing styles. This will make your shoppers feel as though you understand their wants and needs and will make them feel a closer connection to your brand and products.
Related: Developing your Brand Identity
5. Utilize Design
According to Super Fast Business 94% of first impressions are design-related.
Keep your design up to date. Displaying a premium design will boost your customer’s satisfaction and improve their overall experience. It also assists in legitimizing the safety of purchasing through your site. CloudSponge performed a redesign and saw a 33% increase in conversions. By regularly updating your content you portray yourself as relevant, active, and successful which will build trust with your users.
Invest in high-end photography (both product and lifestyle). Many shoppers base their purchasing decisions on want over need. Using people in your photography humanizes your brand and connects a lifestyle associated with using your products. If you sell items that are dependant on looks then investing in quality product photography is a no brainer. It gives users a more accurate portrayal of what they’ll be receiving and increases their purcahasing confidence. The following examples from Michael Kors and Patagonia show their products in real-life situations that would be relatable and enticing to potential buyers.
Conclusion: Test Stuff!
Concrete data is more informative than assumption. If you don’t have the budget for proper AB testing try watching over the shoulder of a friend or family member as they surf your shop. Ask them to comment out loud as they browse. It’s easy to get too close to your website and your biggest problems may be right in front of you.
Have you seen a spike in conversion? Share your findings with us by commenting below!