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Homepage Design Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Homepage design is key for keeping visitors who come to your site on your site and making purchases. Here's some best practices.

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In the blink of an eye, your potential customers have made a snap judgment about your website based on its home page. To be precise, it takes users less than two-tenths of a second to form a first impression.

After those crucial first seconds, your customers decide if they’re going to stay on the page, explore deeper or bounce off your site. In a worst case scenario, your website’s user experience is so poor that they never return.

What makes the difference between a website that draws users in and one that repels them from the beginning? Small decisions on your home page can cost you precious views and conversions. Here are 4 common homepage design mistakes that, if fixed, spell an opportunity to invite website visitors to explore your brand deeper.

Cluttered, Frustrating Pop-Ups

Pop-ups are often seen as digital clutter to be swept away by users. In 2018, GDPR regulations compelled websites to give consumers options and choices about how their data is collected and used for marketing and other purposes. As a result, many websites have a pop-up at the bottom of their home page that explains these options in detail.

But, when you stack on advertisements, promotional offers and other pop-ups, it can be difficult to see the forest through the trees. Customers are overwhelmed by the amount of information stacked on top of the website they intended to visit. As a result 51% of users surveyed by Hubspot said that popups ads that required them to click “X” to escape were really frustrating to deal with.

How to handle pop-ups is an especially important question for mobile visitors. On a smaller screen, pop-ups feel more intrusive and it’s more cumbersome to get rid of them. Since so many eCommerce shoppers today use their mobile devices, DTC brands can’t afford to skimp on their experience. The share of the market occupied by mobile customers continues to grow. Mobile eCommerce sales grew 15.2% over 2020 in 2021. And, analysts predict that by 2025, mobile eCommerce should more than double to reach $728.28 billion and account for 44.2% of retail eCommerce sales in the US.

A photo of a tablet with a website pop up advertising a sale

No Pop-Ups At All

On the other hand, eCommerce homepages that lack any kind of pop-ups miss a big opportunity to collect data and convert customers. However, they take some finesse to get them right. In this case, personalization goes a long way to make pop-ups feel less intrusive and more helpful.

For instance, generate a pop-up with an offer code or suggest an additional product when a user moves their mouse to the top of the screen to head to another tab or close the window. Or, based on their referral source, you can customize your pop-up’s message to speak to a specific need or desire.

Successful pop-ups can do the following for your brand:

  • Provide something interesting based on the context of the page
  • Give added value to your customers
  • Collect personal information about your prospects and customers to retarget later
  • Keep visitors on your website longer

To reap these benefits, eCommerce brands should use pop-ups that make sense with the context on the page. For example, asking for a newsletter sign-up on your checkout page diverts focus and can reduce conversions. Timing is also crucial. Many pop-ups appear the second a visitor lands on a page. And that’s like being shouted at as soon as they enter a room — a little overwhelming and frustrating. Waiting a beat before offering a pop-up allows users to get a lay of the land and know more about your brand. A look at your website analytics with Air360 can tell you exactly how long your users typically spend on your page and what they’re focused on. This can help craft the kinds of offers you’ll use, where to place your banners and when to time them.

Unclear Message and Product Offering

Customers want to know quickly what you’re offering and if it matters to them. Time is precious, and if the front page of your website isn’t clear, customers likely aren’t willing to investigate further.

One pitfall for eCommerce homepages is not tailoring your brand story and your message to your customers. Instead of thinking of the reasons you’d like someone to buy your product, customers want to know what’s in it for them.

The homepage design should make it easy for a visitor to find what they’re looking for next and get to it. To accomplish this, design a homepage with the right hierarchy and structure, offer advanced search, and make sure that your call to action is clear. It may seem obvious, but properly placing a buy button with your product pages sometimes gets overlooked.

Missing the Mark on Trust

Before a customer is willing to enter in their personal information, especially their credit card number, they want to know if they can trust you. A website without the proper trust markers is a red flag for consumers, even if you are actually a reputable company.

Make it easy for visitors to find your contact information, about pages and return policies. Also, providing the proper encryption and data privacy proves that you’re serious about protecting their financial and personal information. This information should be displayed prominently so no one has to dig for it.

Trust is telegraphed in other areas on your homepage too. For instance, low-quality photos, typos and confusing website layout spells danger for visitors. On the other hand, personalization, clear hierarchy, intuitive interfaces and direct messaging displays confidence and trustworthiness.

If you notice that users are bouncing off your homepage, user experience may be the culprit. Your eCommerce storefront is your website. It’s always on and ready to greet customers. Give your customers the opportunity to get to know you and trust you by solving these common eCommerce homepage design challenges.

Want to dig a little deeper? Download our eBook, Five Conversion Blockers and How to Fix Them. Or, check out all the ways Air360 can help your brand optimize and improve your conversion rate. 

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