Secure eBusiness Solutions

Monday, 9 September 2013

Online Shop Window - The Home Page

Monday Morning Home Page Review

Monday mornings can be a busy time if you run an online business. You need to check, process and dispatch the week ends orders.

You may need to check stock levels and to reorder those low stock items.

There are hundreds of tasks that happen in a business every week. 

I think that Monday is a great time to take a look at your home page content. In this blog we are not looking at design and user experience although those issues are very important. 

We are assuming that the design is good and that you have all the important issues covered.

Online Shop Window

Most online store owners have put a lot of effort into the design of the home page of the store. Rightly so it is important that you provide the best possible entry point for visitors landing on the home page. People browsing the web will treat your home page as the "Shop Window". 

Home page is like a shop window - ecorner blog

The 3 second rule applies. 

If you cannot grab their interest in 3 seconds then they will go elsewhere.

The biggest mistake that online store operators make is to never change the content of the home page. Typically the home page will be different to the rest of the store and offer a compelling unique sales proposition (USP).

Like a traditional shop window people browsing the web will use your home page to determine if they should enter your store. So you need to present your best items and offers right there on the home page.

Many online store owners will make the mistake of using the home page as a sort of blog about themselves or the business and not as a sales window.

So what are some typical mistakes on the home page

  1. Never changing the content or offers
  2. Having out of stock products listed
  3. Poor quality product content on home page products
  4. Not having any products or offers listed
  5. Listing poor selling products that you want to get rid of 
  6. Home page has too many listings - long scrolling list of products
  7. No Unique Sales Proposition (USP)

Content Offer Sliders and Images

If you have a promotional offer slider showing on your home page them make it work for you. The mistakes are easy to make. Firstly change the offer regularly maybe on a monthly basis. If the promotional images never change then you miss out on the impact, and landscape that they use is lost. 

Secondly make sure that each image is linked via a hyper-link to a landing page that can convert the visitor to a buyer. Give them something that they can buy.

Make sure your home page products are available

Only ever list products on your home page that are available to sell and be bought. Visitors won't come back if they find products listed that are out of stock.

Good product images and descriptions

Make sure that the products on your home page look good. That means use good quality images and more than one image of the product. Also review and update the product description to make it meaningful.

Make sure you have products on the home page

Having a home page without products is like a empty shop window. Your potential buyers will walk by your shop and not step inside.

Show products that SELL

The people that stop at your home page want to be wow'ed. Show them your very best products and offers. Do not list products that you want to dump at the cheapest price possible on the home page unless that is all you have.

Keep the homepage neat and tidy

Ever walked past an endless shop window with no entry into the shop. You can list too many products on the home page. Typically most browsers don't want to scroll a lot unless they find something that really interests them. So how many listings are too many? You need to consider that people will only scroll 2 to 3 times before they leave if they cannot find what they want. So make it easy by giving them the best products right up front.

What make your shop different?

Make sure that you clearly explain your unique sales proposition to visitors coming to your store. This will be a combination of the products that you sell, your pricing policy, shipping policy, returns policy, location and delivery speed. 

In summary, think of your home page as the shop window and make it compelling. Remember what you think when you see a dull and dusty shop window with old and uninteresting goods for sale. 

Make your online shop window as exciting as possible for the best results.