The Perfect Ecommerce Homepage (That Builds Trust and Sells)
What Belongs on the Homepage of Your Ecommerce Site?
Surprisingly, many brands don’t know. Many use their homepage as a place to showcase all their products or a place to talk in depth about their brand. In reality, the main purpose of your homepage is to introduce your brand and to serve as a routing page for everything else on your site to the most general audience that will visit your store.
Your homepage should be a crafted experience that helps any visitor (whether new or returning) get the information they need and link them to the next stage of their journey.
Think of the homepage as a funnel. The top should be very broad, giving a general overview of your brand, getting more and more detailed as the user scrolls down the page. All sections throughout should have CTAs allowing them to jump off to the next page as soon as they have the information that they need.
In this guide we’re going to walk you through our framework for the perfect ecommerce website homepage. We’re going to list out each section you should have (some are optional) along with the thinking behind the purpose of that section and it’s priority on the page. If you use this guide as a baseline to create your homepage, you will set yourself up for improving your conversion rates by 20%.
How Do You Construct A Successful Homepage?
What should the goals of your homepage be?
The goals of your homepage are the following, in priority order:
- Orient visitors: Why are they at your site? What do you do?
- Create an emotional connection: Remember, people take action based on emotion not information
- Build trust and credibility: Features, benefits, and a great price is not enough to move people to purchase.
- Motivate towards action: Human beings are built to procrastinate unless there is a reason to act.
The reasoning behind these goals
For most people, the homepage will be the first place that they interact with your brand’s website. Upon landing there, the visitor should know immediately who you are, what you do, why you do it, and why they should care all within 5 seconds. This might seem like a lot of information to pack into a first impression, but you’d be surprised at how much information you can relay with smart, concise copy and effective imagery.
Actions are motivated by emotion, so make sure your homepage builds a connection with your visitors. Ego doesn’t sell. It’s not about you (or your brand). Shift the focus of your homepage (and your sales pitch in general) to your customer and how your brand and your products will improve their lives.
One brand that teaches this concept incredibly well from right here in Nashville is StoryBrand. They teach making the customers the hero, shifting all the messaging to how the customer will be more successful as a result of your products and services.
The Sections Of The Perfect Ecommerce Homepage
Let’s get into the specific homepage structure that will capture visitors’ attention and convert them into customers.
Section 1: The Hero
Here is where you feature an intriguing headline that makes a bold claim about your brand (that you can backup, or course). Follow it up with a sentence or two of clarifying, practical subtext to explain what it is that you do and what you are offering. The goal here is to give just enough information to orient a visitor, and provide them the option of digging in deeper.
Make sure to include a CTA to learn more or shop now to allow visitors to jump directly to the next step in the funnel if they are ready.
Section 2: The Why
Directly beneath the hero clarify why your brand exists in 2-3 sentences. This should contain elements of your story… the reason you exist. You could also use a video here. The point of this section is to start building that emotional connection with your customers by explaining not just what you do, but why you do it.
Section 3: The Evidence
Next you need to back up the bold claims you’ve made about your brand with some evidence. You could also call this section your resume. This could be research about your product, proving that it works, a list of brands that use your product, or even a feature of PR mentions in noteworthy publications. The more genuine, factual, and transparent you can make this section, the more effective it will be. Make sure to also include a CTA for customers to learn more here as well.
Section 4: Top Sellers
Now it’s time to bring in your products or services. If someone’s never bought from you before, you need to help them make a decision. People struggle with more than 3 options. Let people know what your best products are and include a CTA to allow them to shop all products if they want to browse beyond that.
Section 5: Social Proof
What you say about yourself only goes so far in building trust. To build real trust that people believe you need to include social proof. What are other people saying about your brand? This is the key to raising conversion rates in ecommerce, because the truth is, visitors will always listen to a third party before they listen to you. Nothing sells like social proof. It’s the single biggest factor in improving conversion rates.
This can either be a feed of reviews for your products or curated testimonials. Add a CTA to read more and link to your reviews page or a full listing of testimonials. Make sure they are legit and genuine.
Section 6: Product Categories
As we get deeper down the page, we need to accommodate the “browser” style of the customer. Here we want to showcase more products or more typically we recommend featuring your product categories to allow visitors an easy way to jump into the various collections of your product line that they are most interested in. This section highly depends on your product line. If you have a more limited product line, this can be a great place for a specific product feature.
Section 7: Supporting Content
If visitors have made it this far down the page, they are very interested in your brand, but obviously they haven’t made the decision to purchase yet. This is a great place to answer any remaining questions they may have. Feature your top FAQs with answers right here on the homepage, showcase your money back guarantee, or include your most recent blog articles with product how-tos. Once again, make sure to include a CTA to learn more that links to additional articles or FAQs.
Section 8: Social Connection
Make it easy for your site visitors to connect with you on your social platforms. If you are very active on a particular social channel, you may even want to include a feed of your account in this section of the homepage. Also include an email signup with an incentive to sign up to your newsletter.
Section 9: The Functional Footer
Finally, make your footer very functional. Your footer should be a list of menu items linking to the important content on your site as well as any customer service pages. You could include a second email signup form here as well.