In this post, we will break down what a best-in-class eCommerce homepage looks like, according to our conversion optimization best practices research.
We compared the conversion optimization features and tactics used on over 20 of the top eCommerce sites out there, and put them into a matrix so marketers can easily identify best practices, emerging trends and fading tactics. Here’s what we found out about their homepages:
Shop by Category on Mobile (not within the menu)
14 merchants do it, 6 merchants don’t = Best Practice
What it is: Categories offered on the homepage in addition to what may be in the menu or header area.
What we say: Category navigation from the homepage is becoming convention and has consistently tested well, particularly on mobile. It is ok for this experience on mobile to differ from the standard desktop experience.
Hero Image Auto Slide (aka Carousel)
4 do it, 16 don’t = Not Conventional (on mobile)
What it is: Hero image automatically slides through images.
What we say: Zappos shows that rotation below category navigation works better than rotation above category navigation.
True, this is not in the Location, but it’s close (only Wayfair.com and similar companies can get away with a carousel in the hero spot.)
6 do it, 14 don’t = Don’t do this (on desktop).
What we say: Wayfair has carousel and it works for them, possibly because of the large and varied product selection. Chances are, you are not Wayfair, so it’s best to avoid hero carousels.
8 do it, 10 don’t = Emerging Trend (on mobile)
What it is: Products are shown on the homepage so users can see examples.
What we say: Unless you have a good idea of what users are looking for on your site, showing specific products can be distracting on mobile homepages. This element should be tested to see how it impacts your own site.
20 do it, 0 don’t = No Brainer (on desktop)
What we say: All sites here are showing merchandise that they sell on their homepage. In the near past, this was not the case, with some sites believing it was not possible to show just a few of their products when they sold so many.
Scroll through Bestsellers/Featured Products/Etc. – Mobile
4 do it, 16 don’t = Emerging Trend
What it is: Expanding on “Show Merchandise”, does the mobile site make space-saving use of horizontal scrolling?
What we say: Again, we recommend testing whether or not to show specific product on the homepage.
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