A Page by Page Guide to eCommerce Web Design - Homepage

Your homepage is the most important page on your eCommerce website. It’s your first chance to make lasting impressions, convert visitors into customers, and grow your brand.

Generally, it’s the most visited page on your entire site. And among other things, the design is a primary factor in determining whether or not visitors will engage with your website and make a purchase. 

A poorly designed homepage will result in users exiting your site before even shopping your products. On the other hand, a well-designed homepage will result in users engaging with your website, shopping your products, and ultimately making purchases.

So how do you design your homepage to increase conversions and grow your brand?

How to design your eCommerce homepage

Design it for mobile

Nearly 60% of all website traffic in 2021 occurred on mobile devices, compared to just over 40% on desktop devices. And with smartphone technology improving by the day, that number is expected to increase over the next couple of years. 

As we already mentioned, most visitors will land on your homepage when they first visit your website. And because the majority of those visitors will be using a mobile to do so, your homepage needs to be designed with mobile users in mind

But just because most of your visitors will be mobile, you can’t forget about desktop users entirely. Make your website responsive to both mobile and desktop users so that no matter what kind of device they’re using, they can still view the most important content and easily navigate the website.

Make sure it loads quickly

High-converting, beautiful homepages are important. But if it takes forever to load, users won’t even be able to see it.

Ideally, your website should load in under two seconds – this is especially the case with mobile visits. In fact, over 50% of mobile site visits are abandoned if your website takes more than 3 seconds to load.

Keep it simple

You may be tempted to cram a ton of content like text, images, and calls-to-action (CTAs) on your homepage. But rather than overwhelm your visitors with too much information, it’s best to keep your homepage design as simple as possible.

Choose an easy-to-read font & high-quality images, write attention-grabbing headlines, and use ample white space to showcase your brand to potential customers. 

Along with those basic design principles, your homepage should include the following elements:

  • Main Menu
  • Above the fold content
    • Banner image
    • Main headline/UVP
    • Unique CTA
  • Social proof
    • Trust badges
    • Testimonials
  • Sales, deals, and special announcements
  • Brand identity section
  • Featured products
  • Product categories
  • Footer

Elements to include on your eCommerce homepage

Main menu

Your main menu is one of the first things customers see when they land on your website. It should contain your brand name, logo, and several navigation options so that customers can easily find what they’re looking for. 

Choose only the most important elements to avoid crowding the menu and make it responsive to both mobile and desktop.

See how the Garden Shed Company's main menu differs between desktop and mobile.

On desktop

main menu - desktop

 

On mobile 

mobile main menu

For more tips on designing your website header, check out this guide.

Above the fold content

What is above the fold? “Above the fold” refers to the content that a visitor sees as soon as they land on a website before scrolling down.

It’s the most important part of your homepage – because if visitors don’t like what they see, they won’t scroll or interact with your site any further.

And to make a good first impression, your above-the-fold content needs three things: a high-quality banner image, main headline, and a unique CTA.

High-quality image

To capture your visitor’s attention, your main image needs to display your product and showcase your brand identity. Your visitors can’t try out the products online, so the images need to be captivating enough to encourage them to buy. 

If you run a swimwear business, choose an image of your model(s) wearing your swimwear at the beach or near a pool.

Main headline

Along with a great image, headlines encourage users to engage with your website. To write a great headline, consider your visitor’s point of view – “Why should I care about this?”

Craft an eye-catching headline using your brand slogan, announcing a special deal or sale, or naming your brand’s unique value proposition (UVP). 

What is a UVP?

Your company’s UVP, or unique value proposition, clearly defines your offer. It lets customers know how your product(s) will benefit them and how they differ from competitors.

Unique CTA

Rather than just telling visitors to “Click Here” or “Shop Now,” craft a specific, unique CTA that makes them want to click on the button and engage further. For a great CTA, relate it to your main headline. 

Appliances 4 Rent does a great job with their above-the-fold content. Their homepage has all three elements - a high quality image, two headlines, and a clear CTA.

above the fold example

Social proof

If you don’t already have customer reviews and other trust badges on your homepage, you need to add them ASAP – they’re an effective marketing tactic that uses psychology to increase sales. 

The concept is simple – people are more likely to engage in something if other people are already doing or have already done it. Social proof applies this concept to eCommerce. 

Potential customers will have less objections after reading positive customer reviews and recognizing common trust badges. Include both brand and individual product reviews to increase their faith in both your brand and your products and trust badges that show their personal data, payment information, and more is safe with your business. And if you’ve received any industry-specific awards, include those as well – they’ll show that your brand is reputable. 

Here's an example from one of our recent eCommerce builds. 

social proof ecommerce example

Brand identity section

Customers buy brands, not products. Even if customers already know your UVP, they still want to know the brand they’re doing business with. Tell them a bit about the brand, the products (and their quality), company values, and anything else that might increase the likelihood of a website visitor becoming a customer. 

Don’t crowd this section with too much information – the goal is to cast your brand & products in a positive light, not bore the customer. 

Featured products

If you just released a new product or collection – show it off! If you’re running a promotional sale, that sale should be highlighted in your above-the-fold content. Not everyone might be there to shop the sale, and that’s okay…

And for those visitors, it’s important to showcase your other featured products such as your best sellers, sale items, or past collections.  You should highlight these further down the page, along with a product-specific CTA.

Further down the page, Mt. Lyford Honey present their most popular types of honey with a brief description, pricing comparison options, and clear CTAs.

featured products section example

Product categories

If your brand has a large product catalogue with multiple product categories, highlight each of these categories on the homepage. If they’re new visitors, they probably don’t know exactly what you sell yet. But with links to product categories, they’ll narrow their search and bring themselves that much closer to a purchase decision. When designing this section, choose an image that best embodies the entire category.

Footer

Website visitors expect to find certain things on specific areas of your website – this is no different for the footer. Include important links such as:

  • Basic contact information (hours, address, phone number, email, etc.)
  • Shipping & Returns Policy, Privacy Policy, and Terms & Conditions
  • Customer service links
  • Links to social media
  • Major category pages
  • Other relevant links

Check out this one from Party Pastries Macarons. It contains basic contact information, social links, and legal policy links.

ecommerce footer example


The goal of your homepage is to make a great first impression. By following this guide and adhering to basic web design principles, you’ll not only make a great first impression, you’ll turn engaged visitors into loyal customers. 

And if you’re struggling to design a homepage for your site, we’d be happy to chat about design solutions to grow your eCommerce brand.