Here’s an incredible statistic for you:
Up to 60% of all traffic going to your ecommerce store will land on your home page at one time or another.
Even if you’re driving all your traffic to your product or category pages.
Why is that happening? I have a theory.
33% of every dollar spent online is spent on Amazon. That makes Amazon a huge influencer on your customers’ behavior.
And just under 50% of all the money spent in eCommerce in this country is spent in these ten online stores:
Amazon, Apple, Walmart, Staples, Sears, Netflix, Macys, Office Depot, CDW and Home Depot.
Do you know what every single one of these websites is training your customers to want from your store?
Each of these top performers has changed their store’s interface to do one thing:
To make everything their customers could possibly want available right from the home page of their website.
That means they’re teaching people how to shop by navigating back to the home page to look for the things they want in relationship to your brand.
So what does that mean for you?
It means the richer your home page is, the better: your top offers, navigation to all of your pages, everything about your brand—this should all be accessible from your home page.
And if you start following these industry leaders—and I highly recommend you do—you’ll start to notice a trend: image navigation is huge right now.
Everything is being made available in both image-based and text-based navigation. We’ve tested it, and that’s what we’ve found our customers want most.
Here’s my winning home page formula:
Headline + Intro Content
Category Image Navigation (or Offer Navigation)
Featured Product Slider
Product Image Navigation
Additional Content Block
3rd Party Press (or Brand Sales Video)
This works really well for us, but remember this:
There’s no one right way to build your store’s home page, as long as you make it rich in content—with everything you have to offer available in one place—just be careful that you don’t compromise the clarity of the page.
Ebags.com is a great example of this. I know the people who founded this store, and they really do a phenomenal job with their home page.
(Take a minute to check it out, because you will benefit from studying what they’re doing.)
Right now, we are in the middle of doing an entire site redesign of SmartMarketer.com. This is what we have in mind for our new layout:
We want to use images to support the top navigation;
we want all our most popular offers available in one place (we plan to use a “featured product slider” which works great to leverage your best products);
we want entire sections dedicated to video & text blocks;
and lastly, we want links to useful free content visitors can use beyond shopping.
Sounds like a lot, right? Well that’s okay!
A long home page is a good thing. People will scroll, so make it long.
1:03 Traditional Homepage Views
2:02 Top online stores are training consumers
2:32 Rich Home Pages Win!
2:43 My Winning Home Page Structure
3:41 Home Page Elements
4:05 There’s no wrong way when you “Make It Rich”
4:21 “eBags.com” Homepage Breakdown
5:04 Home Page Main Points
Click Here For Video Transcript
All right. So something interesting that you might notice, this is the home page. This is the homepage. Now, check this out, 18% of all visitors ended up on the homepage for this store. Now, this is boom and that’s because we drive an insane volume of traffic to an article page, and most of those people, they just bail, right? But a traditional brand is gonna look more like this, where 60% of your traffic is gonna end up, at some point or another, back on the homepage here. That’d be more like a less aggressive one, 30%. A good portion of the people who visit your brand will end up on your homepage. Why is that happening? Well, 33% of every dollar spent online is spent on amazon.com. They have a third of all the money spent online in America. That’s pretty crazy. Just under 50% of every dollar spent online is spent on one of these stores. Half of the money that is being spent online is being spent on one of these 10 stores, so I recommend watching what they do and testing it. That’s what we do, we look at what people are doing, we say, “That looks interesting. Let’s put our own spin on it and see what happens.”
So the reason, my hunch and the data suggests that the top stores are training consumers what to expect and how to interface with ecommerce. If half of every dollar you spend is on one of the stores, you get used to what they’re doing. And what they’re doing is having everything that you could possibly want available from the homepage of their website. So people are navigating back to the homepage to look for things that they want in relationship to your brand. So what does that mean for you? Well, it means that the richer your homepage, the better. Everything that you have on offer, all of your pages, everything about your brand needs to be navigable from that homepage.
So here’s our homepage formula. We do a main banner, a headline plus some intro content. We do a category navigation for you. This would be an offer navigation. We do featured products. We do product and image navigation. Again, you’ll notice a trend, text navigation, image navigation, image navigation, text navigation. So we’re making everything available in both text format and image format from a navigation perspective. Some people like to click on the images, some people like the look at the text nav. So, image navigation is a huge trend right now for every industry. You’ll notice that when you land on a big site, you can navigate to where they want you to go through text or images. We then have an additional content block, we’ve got some third-party press or some brand sales videos and then we’ve got the Firestone footer.
I’ll just break down those elements for you, let you take some pictures. I just like doing that. So we’ve got our little main banner, our headline, a little bit of intro content and then some image navigation on our stores. Then we feature our offers in a slider. So our best products, we do like a slider of those then we’ve got some additional image navigation and then we’ll have like a block of content and maybe a press video. And that’s our strategy as well as obviously the Firestone footer. You’ll notice that there’s really no wrong way to do it when you make the homepage rich. There’s not like a right or wrong way. The point is that everything that you have available, you can get to it from the homepage.
eBags does a really good job of this. They’re a phenomenal ecommerce brand to follow and see what they’re doing. I know these guys and they do a lot of testing. So they’ve got their double header and then they’ve got their main image banner. They then go into a featured product sort of slider, and a call to action button with some more image navigation, and then they go into more product. They’re just really wanting to push product, and some category navigation. They also have a place where you can get to their content. They do a lot of presell content, like destination guides and things like that. Then they’ve got another banner. They’ve got some social proof imagery. Then they’ve got more sort of content navigation. This isn’t product navigation, this is like buying guides and things like that, gift guides. Then, they do their bestsellers and they go on to their triple column footer, where they’ve got also their search and some of this other stuff that we talked about.
So homepage main points: Make it rich. Use images to support your top navigation. Leverage featured product sliders. Include text and video in sections. Link to the useful content, not just products. Feature your most popular products or content and your most popular blog posts. We’re doing a redesign on Smart Marketer and what you’ll see is that we’ll have like an intro block and then we’ll have our three most popular pieces of content. And so we’re using this same formula to sell information and software. A long homepage is a good thing. People will scroll. It’s okay, make it real long.