First impressions count.
And when does this matter most? When a visitor lands on your website’s homepage.
It’s the shop window of your store. A place where visitors’ eyes will browse quickly, and decisions to stay (or go) will be made within seconds.
So, making the most of this space is, quite simply, essential to the success of your store. A great way to make your homepage engaging and meaningful is to personalise it around each shopper – whether they’re a first time or returning visitor.
Unfortunately, for many online retailers, the homepage is often the most generic page on their site. In short, this means they are losing out on significant opportunities to raise conversions and improve their visitors’ experience.
Here are some tips for getting started.
Adaptive call to actions convert better
A mistake that websites often make is a static call to action that doesn’t take into account who is viewing the page. Did you know that personalised call-to-actions convert 42% better than non-personalised ones? (source: HubSpot).
A good to way to get a shopper to engage with your brand before purchasing is offering helpful content on your homepage. Getting people to subscribe to your blog means they are more likely to buy from, and engage with your brand in the future.
But what if they’ve already signed up? Segment these visitors, and use the space available for a different, relevant call to action (perhaps, ‘get a customer account’ or ‘watch our explainer video’), depending on what is pertinent to your business.
Personalise your homepage to build trust
Make sure you welcome your visitors. Is it their first time on your site? If so, greet them, assure them of your contact details and an available FAQ if they need it. This is the online equivalent of a bricks and mortar shopkeeper greeting their customers with a friendly smile. And it can easily be done with a non-intrusive pop-up or header.
For international visitors, lack of trust is the biggest barrier to buying. For these visitors, there’s no quicker and easier way of instilling trust than assurance that you support and ship to their region. If your visitor is in France, for example, then clearly display your custom and shipping policy for France. Add a flag of their country on the homepage, and show them your customer support details.
Bonus points if you can do this in their language.
Recommendations aren’t just for product pages
Your homepage shouldn’t be all about you. It should be about what your customer loves.
Use the data at your fingertips to recommend items your visitor has previously shown interest in. This could be recently viewed (but not bought) products, abandoned items, cross-sells to previously purchased products, or even product replenishment (‘buy again’), if appropriate. Personalised ‘new in’ products related to the visitor’s interests can also work well.
Your homepage should reflect the season … or weather
If we look at this fashion store’s homepage, we can see they have cleverly adapted the homepage content to their visitor’s geolocation.
By updating this in real time, the store is offering products relevant to the visitor’s current weather conditions. This can also work well for season. Your visitors, depending on what hemisphere they’re in, will be in different seasons – so you can personalise your homepage products around their location.
In order to do this, you need to have the analytical capacity to know exactly where your visitors are coming from. This is something that can be done on a shopper’s first visit.
Inject the Power of Social
First time visitor? It’s commonly known that showing what others are doing can motivate your shoppers. By displaying ‘trending products’ (ie. products that are currently being viewed frequently, or that are selling well) you can engage visitors and kick-start browsing.
Even better, you can personalise this list to show trending products within your visitors’ favourite brands or product categories.
The most important thing to take away is this: your homepage shouldn’t be all about you. It should be a refection of what your customer loves, and it should engage your visitors from the moment they arrive. Making your homepage relevant to each visitor means a better experience for them, which will translate into more conversions for you. As always, if you need help implementing any of these tricks, a tool like Bunting will do the hard work for you.