Feature Product Categories and Not Products
Should you feature products on your homepage?
Short answer: No!
Long answer: Still no, but here’s why…
According to eConsultancy, featuring products on your homepage has negative impacts:
⚠ It jeopardizes consumer buying momentum. The purpose of the homepage is to maintain a consumer’s ‘buying momentum‘, which is characterized by a series of micro-actions consumers take in their journey that lead to a purchase. For that to happen, they need to get off the homepage. The homepage is a sign post, not where your content lives.
⚠ It reduces the chance of consumers scrolling down the page. If consumers see irrelevant content at the top of the page, they are less likely to scroll. Similarly, users with no prior knowledge of the site’s brand will largely base their understanding of the site’s product range on the homepage content and the main navigation categories. Therefore, if the homepage displays a very narrow selection of products, most users are likely to adopt a similarly narrow understanding of the site’s product catalog as a whole.
✔️ Do the litmus test. Have a quick glance over your homepage to see if you are adequately conveying your store’s product diversity.
✔️ Demonstrate the breadth of your product catalog on the homepage by showcasing your product categories.
✔️ Your most important categories should take the most space on the homepage, but if you want to avoid having visitors underestimate your product range, dedicate some space to other product types as well.
✔️ Whether you’re featuring your product types with specific product images or category images does not seem to make a difference on conversions. But if you’re using product images to feature your product types, make sure that they link to their parent category.
✔️ Feature at least 30-40% of the main categories.
✔️ eConsultancy recommends your homepage to have these four components:
- Large search box
- Clearly displayed main navigation bar/menu
- Mega menu
- Content tiles in the body of the homepage pictorially representing main categories
You can see a good example of what to do below, which is from Bellroy. This is a good example because the main sections show the product categories but they also show some of their products without overwhelming the user or minimizing their range of products.
What has been your biggest challenge with homepage categories?
- Homepage Usability: Can Users Infer the Breadth of Your Product Catalog? (Baymard Institute)
- Why ecommerce retailers should never place products on the homepage (Econsultancy)