Over the years, many have asked me what is the single most important consideration in merchandising the homepage. My answer has always been: “A clear, consitent, end-to-end branded experience that is right for the company, the brand, and the customers. Here are 10 important things to keep in mind:
- Call out the value proposition. Clearly state the value proposition of the brand or site, particularly for brands that are less known. If yours isn't a widely known brand, overcome the shopper's understandable caution by giving prominence to guarantees and risk-free returns and exchanges.
- Provide quick, easy and organized access. Provide customers with key links on the header and footer. Keeping navigation simple avoids the risk needlessly frustrating visitors and potentially losing a customer to a competitor's site.
- Optimize global navigation. Expand the menu options to include the key departments. Allow the menu to be expanded as necessary to support events such as sales and clearance, holiday gifting and special launches or campaigns.
- Front-and-center offers and promotions. Call out offers and promotions such as free shipping, gift with purchase (GWP), purchase with purchase (PWP), and others prominently. These are key conversion drivers.
- Expand on the homepage real estate. Maximize the homepage real estate to support to the key merchandising, marketing, branding and multi-channel initiatives.
- Merchandise for the broadest appeal. Until you arrive at personalization or one-to-one targeted messages, broaden the merchandising features to include the key categories, products, trends, and other merchandising initiatives to serve all your key segments.
- Develop compelling copy. Copy must manufacture the intended feelings and create an immediate call-to-action and get users to click on the features.
- Support the shopper's multi-channel requirements. Not everyone comes to your site to buy—some may be researching a retail purchase. It is crucial to understand what your customer wants to do on your site and design to accommodate the different customer segments.
- Distortion. The more important a features, the more prominent it should be. A feature's importance for your site could be potential sales, higher margins, number of customer served, cross-channel support, etc.
- Test, test, and test. It is necessary to conduct on-going version or multivariate testing in order to improve the effectivenessof the homepage.
How do you merchandise on the homepage? Are you satisfied with the homepage? How do you measure your success? What are your best practices? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comment section below.