eCommerce Website Development: How to Design a Powerful Homepage Storefront

Your homepage isn't just a landing page, it's the front window of your online store. We discuss how to design an effective homepage that drives online conversion.

By:
Gregg Beall
eCommerce Strategy
design powerful ecommerce website

What makes a great eCommerce website homepage? Your homepage isn't just a landing page, it's the front window of your online store. Your homepage is your leading chance to win over new customers from the digital foot traffic of SEO (search engine optimization) users and return customers. It is your primary conversion optimization tool but it is also the face of your entire digital store. Your homepage can turn a browse into a buy. It can increase participation in your sales and boost new membership conversions with the right assets and design. Your homepage also needs to do the simple yet essential job of telling new customers what your store is through your eCommerce platform.

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The Many Roles of an eCommerce Website Homepage

  • Your Digital Storefront Window
  • Feature Products
  • Convey your Brand
  • Entice your Target Audience
  • Spotlight Deals and Programs
  • Provide Reliable Information

An eCommerce homepage serves many purposes all in the same first impression. You want to convey in the fewest possible assets what you sell, who your brand is, and your unique value point. Ideally, you can do this in the header bar and your first graphic or carousel; above the fold of your homepage design.

Homepages often have a long scroll, spotlighting the multiple categories or user groups of your eCommerce business. Most of your content will feature your products, but you may also spend some of your homepage real estate on deals, membership programs, or special interest blurbs like your charity partnership or zero energy mandate.

Above the Fold: Your Brand, Your Merchandise, Your Style

  • Branded Header and Account Menu
  • About, Shop, Blog, Contact
  • Choose from:
  • Full-page artistic graphic
  • Branded product carousel
  • Multiple category rows

Above the fold is the first thing your web visitors see when your page loads. This is the visible content before they scroll or click anything. Most often, it contains your brand header and your top graphic content. A Google study focusing on eCommerce web development found that above-the-fold ads achieved 73% visibility, while ads below the fold were seen with only 44% visibility.

eCommerce Site Header

During eCommerce development, be sure to include the usual page links that everyone has come to expect in the header: About, Shop, Blog, Contact, and the account menu drop-down. This is essential for your eCommerce development and is standard across all eCommerce platforms. You will also want your search bar in the header, powered by a well-tuned search engine and a streamlined to advanced product sorting filters to streamline product searches from directed website visitors.

Above-the-Fold Graphic Choice

There are three fields of thought on eCommerce above-the-fold content just below the header. You can use an artistic and impressive full-page graphic, a large content carousel featuring products and branding panels, or multiple rows of categorized content to entice more scrolling. Your brand personality should guide your choice here.

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A Rich Content Scroll of Categories and Products

The central section of your homepage should be a content-rich scroll. Most eCommerce brands choose rows of product categories, whether you use an artistic graphic display for each category or a scrolling selection of featured products. The goal is to give your audience a feast for the eyes and a few good excuses to click and shop. Every category should be a new point of interest, targeting activity types or user interests that will inspire users to scroll to see more or click on something they like. This allows you not only to entire buyers but also to make use of product category analysis.

eCommerce website development - Rakuten Super Logistics

Special Deals and Programs

Your special deals and membership rewards spotlight the unique value that your brand has to offer. Don't forget to feature seasonal sales, special packages, and the benefits of loyalty membership in your homepage content. These eCommerce solutions are often included in the opening graphic carousel or layered into the product categories further down the page. Some eCommerce websites also create a color-coded page where each section also features a deal or membership reward.

The Universal Footer

  • Basic NAP Information
  • Site Map Links

The final element of your eCommerce homepage design is the universal footer. When users can't find what they are looking for, they often scroll all the way to the bottom of the page for reliable footer information.

The NAP

This includes your NAP (name, address, phone) which can also expand to include email, hours, and other quickly relevant store data. This helps the many users on mobile devices, including 64% of tablet searches and 78% of phone searches, who are looking for an offline store experience to find you. Even if you don't have an offline location, this data is still essential for mail, phone calls, future employees, and business partners.

Site Map Links

The footer also includes your site map, a list of links to essential parts of the site that may not be officially included in your conversion funnel. Often, this section includes Blog, Help, and Careers for those looking for something specific. This function is standard across all eCommerce software platforms and is a crucial step in the development process of your homepage.

The Ideal Homepage for Your eCommerce Website Development

The homepage of your eCommerce store and its website is your storefront window. It is the first thing digital foot traffic sees of your store and needs to immediately convey your brand, products, and rewarding shopping experience all in a single first impression. Done right, however, a great homepage can become your best tool in conversation optimization.

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