Create a Site That Allows For Ecommerce Storytelling

If you're in the planning stages of your online store then you're probably looking for plenty of inspiration on what makes a great Ecommerce home page. We think the key to creating a successful home page is ensuring that it reflects your brand, but how much thought have you given to the story of your brand?

Why is the story important?

From your imagery, messaging, design and user experience, your story is everything that makes up your brand. The reason it's so important to get this right is because it helps to create an emotional connection with your customers, and once the connection has been made, they are likely to become your customer for life.

Did you know that if you improve retention rates by just 5%, you can actually raise your profits by an incredible 95%? A repeat customer is one of the greatest assets you can have, and it all starts by effectively telling your story...

Where do I start?

We think the best place to start is on your home page, and if you've read our previous posts then you'll already know that your brand needs to be consistent. But what else can you do to make sure all the key elements are there, and are working well together?

Take a look at our top tips, plus examples of Ecommerce stores that use our platform, to see how they have mastered the art of storytelling on their home pages....

1. Make your logo and messaging clear

When a user first lands on your home page they should instantly know who you are, and to get this right you need to make sure your logo and messaging is prominent. Research shows that we are naturally drawn to the top left of a page, which is typically why you will find most websites follow this rule. But that's not to say you can't feature your logo in the center or to the right, but you just need to make sure that it is the first thing you are drawn to on your page.

The very next step is to ensure your messaging or slogan is clear to the user. What impression do you want to give to your customers? Your message should go hand in hand with your logo as your audience should know who are you are, followed by what you can offer them.

Take a look at our home page as an example:

As you can see, our logo is clear to see, and by using a very simple message: “BUILD YOUR ONLINE STORE” - the reader will understand within seconds of landing on our home page, what we can do for them.

2. Feature stand-out products

In addition to the logo and messaging, your product really needs to stand out on your home page. Now we're not saying you need to feature every product you have on your home page – that would make it too cluttered, especially if you sell a lot! But there has to be a focus on what you sell, and it needs to attractive and noticeable to the reader.

As we move towards 2015 it's clear that websites are becoming extremely visual. Many Ecommerce stores now feature a large hero image, that tend to be in the front and center. Your hero image needs to have the 'wow' factor in order to tempt your customers to continue shopping.

As you can see from the Steelcase example below, they have mastered the art of a great hero image:

If you want to feature more than one product, then you can always implement a rotating banner so that it features a variety of different products. If you do this, make sure you don't use too many rotations as this can harm web load times and be off-putting to the user.

Check out the Rvinyl website for the perfect example of this.

3. Craft powerful headlines

The headlines that you use on your home page can really help to create your brand story. You should aim to use headlines that will connect with your customers emotions and make them want to take action on what you are telling them.

For example, the Global Gift Guide below asks the reader to “Change a life this Christmas”.

This is so powerful as it connects to the reader's emotions by putting the focus on people less fortunate during the holiday's. It also gives the reader a sense of empowerment by telling them that they can really make a difference to a person's life during a time that should be enjoyable.

Another great example is from ShopInspiredLiving.com as they have really got to grips with who their audience is. Their image below is taken from their home page and it represents the type of products they sell, and targets a vegan audience who want to shop for 'trendy' products. It's simple, effective and it really reflects the brand.

4. Create a seamless user experience

The navigation is another important factor as you need to provide a great user experience, in order to tell the right kind of story. You should try not to clutter your top navigation bar with too many options as this can overwhelm the user. Keep it clear, simple and always keep in mind the path that your customer will want to take.

As you can see from the Eurway example, they have just five tabs with a drop down option on each, so that the user can be more specific if needed. Each option leads the user to a specific type of product and they are labelled as: new, furniture, lighting, accessories and sale. This gives a clear indication as to what the company sells, and offers a simple way to navigate through the website.

If you do need to put extra information on your home page, then you should think about placing this at the bottom. Many users will look to the bottom of your page for customer service, company information, contact details and social tabs. Below is the bottom navigation bar on the Eurway home page as an example:

Let us help build your store!

Hopefully this article will have provided you with plenty of inspiration on how you can effectively tell your story on your home page. But why stop there? We can provide you with a powerful ecommerce software solution to build a successful online store. From design, marketing, social engagement, integration with other apps and more, our platform offers everything you need to become an Ecommerce pro.

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