Let’s say you have a great product or service.
Let’s also say that whatever SEO, SMO or PPC strategy you’ve used (or not used) is successfully driving traffic to your ecommerce site, and that when those potential customers have clicked through to your homepage, or landing page, you're confident that it ‘looks good’.
Finally let’s say your site even provides a fine user experience. No real complaints. Everything works as it should.
So now what?
Is there anything more you can do to convince that traffic to stay a little while longer? To not bounce straight back to the SERP? To respond to calls-to-action? To increase your conversion rate?
Using the five techniques laid out in this previous article, five persuasive web design techniques, I’ll be taking a look at various ecommerce homepages that either tick one, or even all of the following persuasive design boxes.
- Clarity above all: does the homepage answer the following questions - what is this site about? What can I do here? What is there to stay for? And most importantly, will I get the information I need?
- Visual appeal: visual appeal is instantly more recognisable than user experience. Is the homepage attractive, while still being simple and clear? Most people have a good general idea of what an ecommerce website should look like, so it should also be familiar.
- Strong visual hierarchy: make whatever is the most important thing on your page the biggest thing, then size the remaining elements accordingly. Also make call-to-action buttons stand out from rest of the page with a single bold colour.
Keep attention at all costs: with larger than life images that captivate and hypnotise, with photos of people, especially if they’re smiling, making eye-contact, have open body language and who are a natural, real-life example of a customer, not obvious stock photography.
Also the use of surprising, unexpected images and copy will stand your site out from the rest, as long as it’s relevant to your brand.
- One primary action per screen: Think about exactly what each individual webpage’s function is and make that abundantly clear. Perhaps don’t provide too many calls-to-action too soon, take the user on a journey first.
So with those points in mind, let’s take a look at some beautiful examples of persuasive design...
A simple call to-action, the promise to take the user on a journey and, while reigning in the hyperbole as much as I possibly can, an extraordinarily evocative image that makes me want to be in Alberta.
Another gorgeous, overlarge image from a travel company. This page has one highly effective, primary action, directly in the centre.
Huge images, simplified text and the deployment of scarcity. Check out the 'sold' image in the bottom right corner.
An immense amount of white space that only helps to make the gloriously large product images stand out even more. A single call-to-action. A strong visual hierarchy. Clarity above all. This ecommerce homepage has it all.
Just a single call-to-action, that contrasts with the gigantic and evocative image underneath. This promises a journey for the customer to suit any mood.
A use of space and design that borrows from the flat design of Windows 8 and assorted other contemporary sites, but looks highly appealing, especially with the contrasting, overlarge black and white video playing in the background.
The reasonably happy looking models also make it different from other trendy apparel sites.
The product images are some of the largest I've seen, and look all the better for it. Hovering over the image reveals the most vital information. The user can continue to scroll down to reveal more products in a similar fashion.
This is ideal for an ecommerce store that maybe has fewer products to offer.
Soyuz Coffee Roasting
Beautiful image that promotes relaxation in the user, with a subtle product placement from a natural looking model.
The page also encourages the user to embark on a scrolling HTML journey through the history of the brand.
The clear and easy to use homepage matches the bank’s mission statement. This is also a good example of using lots of white background to drive attention to what’s important on the page.
This wryly subversive image is incredibly captivating. Also who doesn't love free C02-neutral worldwide shipping?
Not strictly an ecommerce site, but this hilariously inventive product website is well-worth spending a some time on just to admire its affectionate satire.
Large and attractive product images directly on the homepage, with just a teasing amount of detail that encourages the user to click-through.
Nike - Jordan
Two simple and well defined calls-to-action, a gigantic product image and a clear sense of purpose make for a tremendous product landing page.
A strong sense of visual hierarchy and simple and clear design.
The focus on narrative encourages the user to explore before they've even begun to think about what jeans they want. 'Do one thing well' is a very strong and persuasive statement to make.
The blurring of the two areas the user isn't hovering over is a great way to draw attention to the specific products of interest, while still not hiding them completely.
Again, very simple design, abundantly familiar and clear navigation throughout.
Fantastic sense of identity with the huge image and use of 'natural' terribly focussed model. The primary action of this homepage couldn't be clearer.
Booking.com's special haunted homepage takes you through a beautifully rendered HTML5 experience, which encourages you to scroll up a hauntingly lit staircase and visit the seven highlighted hotels, with a little blurb for each revealing how these locations came to be so ‘haunted’.
Read more about this experience here in Booking.com's journey into fear.
Finally an exquisitely laid out homepage that uses gorgeous photography to hold the user's attention.
With many thanks to AWWWARDS for some of these award nominated examples.
For more on web design, check out these 24 ultra colourful user interfaces.