Imagine your online store as one aspiring celebrity in a throng of auditioning singers for American Idol. You'll be given just one chance to show your stuff and make an impact on the judges, the same way that your website's home page has to impress a first-time visitor and encourage him or her to want to see more of you over the others.
What should you avoid in order not to keep losing first-time visitors? What are the usual home page mistakes that will cause them to leave and possibly never come back again?
1. Cluttered and Crowded Look
Sometimes there are webmasters and business owners who seem to want so many elements on the home page all at the same time, leaving no room for a visitor's eyes to breathe. Everything's just confusing! Someone who comes for the first time will likely feel baffled and constricted rather than relaxed and excited.
It's highly essential to have sufficient white space in your web design so as to separate elements clearly from one another and also to have enough room for the important things. Don't put too much text, but rather use huge pictures to signify what you're selling.
2. Small and Unprofessional Pictures
Seeing small pictures is a major turn-off. It's like going to a boutique with no display window or mannequins but merely racks and shelves of various clothes. You ought to have a portion that shows off clear, big, and professional-looking photos of the items you're offering. This segment can be static or in the form of a slide show.
3. Lacking Policy Features
Anticipate what common shoppers frequently wonder and complain about. Isn't it that many are concerned with the payment methods, the shipping amount, and the return and exchange policy? Hence, you must have clear tabs for these that would immediately address the unsaid potential objections. For instance, instead of just placing "SHIPMENT POLICY" as the title of the tab, you can name it "FREE SHIPPING" or "AFFORDABLE SHIPPING RATES". In replacement of "RETURN POLICY", you can indicate "EASY RETURN POLICY".
4. No Contact Details
You've caught the interest of first-time visitors! They are eager to place orders now. However, you forgot to put your contact details up front but have it buried in a tab within a tab. Or perhaps they still need to click on "CONTACT US" before they can find out which number to call. In this light, you should never, ever make the mistake of NOT putting this detail on the home page where it can easily be seen.
It's also advisable to have an "ORDER NOW" sign which can quickly lead an interested buyer to a page of product categories with pictures and write-ups. If you have very few products on sale, you shouldn't break them up in categories but simply place them all on that display page. What's more, this sign will also serve as your call to action.
5. Unclear Categories
One of the greatest sins that an online seller can commit today is to have unclear categories that will enable a first-time visitor to browse through the products smoothly. For example, it's always better to come up with tabs that are named "TOPS" and "BOTTOMS" rather than "CHELSEA COLLECTION" and "ANNABEL APPAREL".
Picture yourself during your American Idol audition belting out the wrong tune, speaking too softly, and looking as if you've just climbed out of bed. Yes, you'll definitely make an impression on the judges--- a bad one! Hence, don't let this happen to your online store. Avoid the common mistakes described above and make your first-time visitors feel happy, safe, and satisfied.