No matter how many sales reps you get, those salespeople will never be able to close as many sales as a good website. They cannot be as accessible or offer as much information in as little time as a well executed online store.This being said, your homepage acts as your display window and the front door to your online store. Here are three cues to consider that were taken from A List Apart, one of the most referred to design sites on the web:
1.) Answer the question, “What is this place?” It is important to show new users what it is you are all about. Usability studies show that when users do not understand a website or application, they tend to blame themselves as the idiot rather than the designer or the developer. Should your visitors be made to feel like idiots because you have not made it clear to them what the purpose of your website is? A List Apart’s writer Derek Powazek has a summary of this process. “Don’t be afraid to use good old fashioned text to say: ‘This is who we are, and this is what we’re about.’ Then link to a more verbose about page or tour. That way, the people who need that help have a place to go to find it. And make sure the text you use is excited and positive—and makes the reader feel important.”
2.) Don’t get in the repeat visitors’ way. You can get so carried away in attracting new customers that your existing customers cannot just enter your site and find exactly what they need.
3.) Show what’s new. This is the easy part, since new products appeal to both new and existing customers. Don’t be afraid to tell your customer exactly where to go to see your latest additions to your site.
Being mindful of these three important factors ensures that all your visitors will feel welcome and ready to buy upon entering your store.