Goal of the Homepage on an E-commerce Site

Goal of the Homepage on an E-commerce Site

Lemuel Galpo
Written by Lemuel Galpo
June 20, 2014

The Ultimate Conversion Webpage Review webinar we recently did, has revealed that almost every site that they looked was in dire need of some vigorous testing – whether it’s A/B testing, multivariate testing, or . This issue was discussed during a recent webinar by Creative Thirst (represented by Bobby Hewitt) and Convert Experiments. In the webinar, they reviewed a number of websites and identified the things that most websites do wrong that end up hurting their overall conversion optimization efforts.

What is the Homepage for?

The goal of the homepage on an E-commerce website may attract divided opinion – just as is the case with the rotating banner – but while the jury is still out on this issue, I sought to clarify the matter with one expert on conversion rate optimization. And this is Bobby’s opinion:

The homepage serves as the welcoming page for every website. Take it as a guest visiting my house. You get to the doorstep, ring the bell and I welcome you in. Since you are an invited guest, naturally I’m not going to rush you with things such as ‘Can I pour you a cup of coffee?’ or ‘Do you want this or that?’ That’s what a site with too many elements competing for attention on the homepage technically resembles. It throws everything at you all at once, and it can be overwhelming.

Normally, what you should try to do is welcome the visitor step by step, room by room. You should first take them to the living room and ask them to have a seat. This should be the same goal on any e-commerce website: welcome the visitor and get them to where he/she needs to be.

Where the visitor needs to be is partly political given that you have to consider issues like what sales you have going on, the prices you have going on, as well as the columns relative to your position. The more you know about the visitor, the more you can customize that experience for them; but if you don’t know anything about them, then the best you can do really is get them the tools that they need to get to where they need to be. The tools in this particular case are the category levels.

Getting to know You…

Another analogy that was used was one likening the idea of ‘Add to Cart’ button on the homepage to having a ring and marriage proposal ready on your first date. Nobody does that, right? Getting people to look at, and understand, each page is vital and these are some of the questions that you should try to answer with respect to that:

  • What is the main objective?
  • Who are you and what do you sell?
  • How do I build the trust?
  • How can I make it possible for the user to venture deeper?

If you have a large and recognized brand, you don’t have to do much explaining who you are anymore. In these cases, you could skip certain things. Access to the full webinar can be found here.

Originally published June 20, 2014 - Updated August 10, 2015
Lemuel Galpo
As Customer Content Manager, Lem is responsible for bringing learnings in conversion optimization and testing to the world. He is part of Convert.com's growth team and coordinates all writers, editors and illustrators.
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