By Joyce Harrison
You may have a very small business but your Web site has to compete with the big guns. You have only a few seconds to make an impression with “window shoppers” who come to your home page. If your “storefront” doesn’t attract them, one click and you’ve lost potential sales.
Here are some tips for creating the ideal ecommerce home page.
Get to the point. Display your logo with a brief tagline at the top of the page. Use everyday language such as “gourmet dressings to spice up your salads.” In 7 words, the line identifies the category (dressings), defines it (gourmet), and gives the end-user benefit (spice up your salads).
Place your home page menu where it’s expected to be: at the top and/or on the upper left side. Make the product categories simple but specific. If you sell cameras, list digital cameras separately from video cameras to help your customer easily find what they’re looking for.
A site that looks organized for easy navigation is critical. Experts say any destination should be reachable in 3 clicks.
Most shoppers are searching for a particular item or service. That’s why it is important to make your search box easy to locate. Do include a go button to avoid any confusion about where to click.
Your cart along with a customer service or contact link (reassurance for the shopper) typically goes upper right. A checkout icon helps too.
A picture is not only worth a thousand words; it’s also an excellent sales tool. Showing a sweater on a sportsman versus a woman adds product appeal and, at the same time, instantly communicates the line of clothing. Make your graphics relevant to your business. But absolutely avoid cluttering the home page with images.
Opinions vary on text length for a home page. Brief is always better. Stick to the highlights and expand on the other pages.
One more point that’s often overlooked. Once you create your ecommerce home page, plan to check it out in different browsers to make sure the view doesn’t vary.
An independent freelance writer, Joyce Harrison has had a long career in advertising, broadcasting, and music. Her Web site is www.joyceonthekeys.com.