I’ve been designing a few eCommerce templates based on OpenCart recently and have been thinking a lot about what to get right. A lot of sites that offer templates for eCommerce sites have lovely Home pages with wonderful graphics and advanced features such as AJAX sliders or image galleries. But there’s one problem…
Since starting an eCommerce site 3 months ago, with only 50 products, my Home page has had 1,800 unique page views. Not bad I guess, but the site has had 22,300 unique page views. So should I concentrate on making my Home page beautiful, or should I make the other pages the best they can be, to turn visits into sales?
Those templates with the lovely graphics on the Home page, the AJAX sliders and image galleries… they look beautiful. They look tempting. They look like they are worth $10. Hell, they look like they are worth $150. I want to lick them. I want to design a site that looks that beautiful. If I could, I’d die happy. But those lovely graphics are not there to help you sell your products. They are there to sell you a template. Don’t be a sucker.
When I look at the demos these sites have to offer and visit the Category pages and the Product pages I am almost always disappointed. They have hardly been changed from the default. They look…, well… frankly, a lot of them look rubbish.
Why is that a problem when you have such a beautiful Home page? Because, if you’re doing things right, most of your visitors will never even look at the Home page. Unless you’re Amazon the only impression visitors will have of your site is from looking at a Product page. If you’ve done your SEO properly, and I hope you have, someone searching for one of your products will find that product’s page. If they like what they see they will buy it, or look for more information.
If a visitor doesn’t like what they see they will leave and go to a competitor. If visitors do look at the Home page, it’s only because they decided to check out another page on your site after looking at a Product page.
Remember, no one ever buys anything from the Home page. So when buying a template, or designing your own site, forget about the Home page and ask yourself, would you buy from this Product page?