The purpose for the homepage is to get the user into the mood of buying. A buying mood is characterised by a series of actions users take in their journey leading to a a goal (a purchase).
The team at Site Tuners say the purpose of the homepage is to “get visitors off the homepage”, which is right, the homepage is a “sign post… it’s not where your content really lives.”
When a user lands on a homepage they are at least one step into their journey and want to continue moving closer to their goal. Users rarely think, “I hope this retailer has the product I am looking for on the homepage.” They expect to take steps, and yet retailers feel compelled to present products.
Some of this may come from the old school thinking of “three clicks to a product”, an old usability rule ensuring products were presented by the third click.
A Functional homepage
For the homepage to maintain momentum and achieve its purpose it requires a cocktail of functionality and content to present four fundamental navigation options:
- Large search box.
- Clearly displayed main navigation bar/menu.
- Content tiles in the body of the homepage pictorially representing main categories.
I did a review of several online retail shops in Kenya and found a couple of stores.
They have been doing online and home delivery for a while now. But the user experience is so poor it kills my momentum to buy. First mistake that is noticed on the first glance was the products without images. What, you seriously expect me to buy a product that I have no idea how it looks?
Second, immediately after them telling me they have fresh groceries, I am given wine, cooking fat and condoms.
This is a huge fail.
First there is no sign of security. The domain is not secured. Notice the http:// it should be https:// with green padlock to assure me that any transaction done on the site is spoof proof.
Again the UX is terrible, it is not responsive meaning it won’t work on mobile.
Ideal Ecommerce UX
The site was done in the mid 2016. The shop being known as the best green grocer in Kenya since 1999.
First instance i see when i visit the site is the delivery time. I automatically know they deliver. Second is the store contact, then the process of shopping third the categories.
This is more important because it directs the user to specific product they need, instead of fumbling around not knowing where to find what.
Note there are no products on the homepage. Because they don’t want to offer you condoms when you want cheese.