What Should A Customer Know From Your Home Page?
When a customer arrives at your e-commerce home page, what do they know? Do they know who you are, where you are, what you sell, when you can purchase and expect it, why they need it, and how they can buy it? If your customer cannot answer all of these questions from your home page, then you may not have a customer at all.
Customers want to make informed decisions when they buy. If you stock your home page with everything they need to know to buy your product or service, or at least offer easy navigation to their answers, you can capture most customers.
Following an old journalism trick to give a full story, make sure your home page answers the following questions: Who, Where, What, When, Why, and How.
Customers want to know from whom they are buying. A logo, though it may answer the question literally, is not enough to satisfy the customer’s curiosity. Let the customer know exactly who you are. Who runs your company, who invests, who staffs it, etc.? Knowing who one is dealing with can greatly alleviate any hesitation is moving forward with the purchase.
The Internet has yet to overcome the local search problem. Ever go online to look for a business in your area to only get pages and pages of national vendors? To remedy this problem and to keep your local clientele, make sure to include where you are on your home page. Adding a zip code or the city helps the search engines find you when your customer is looking.
Way too often, homepages try to dazzle their customers with flash and gimmicky marketing. A customer can be on a page for minutes before they ever know what they site is selling. Do not confound your customer. Products and services should be clearly marked on your homepage. If you dazzle rather than inform, you customer will be someone else’s.
Let your customer know when they can contact you or come by your business or showroom. Answering when will greatly improve your contact with your customer. Finding you should never be a guessing game. If they can order online anytime, let them know. If they need to set an appointment, let them know when to contact a receptionist. Too many times, Web businesses act as if they only exist on the Web when in fact they exist in a physical space and operate within the limits of normal work hours.
Probably one of the most important questions to answer on your Web page is why should a customer buy from you rather than a competitor. You have a chance to answer this question for your customer so that he/she does not have to figure this out for himself/herself. Most markets are saturated with competitors, and if you have answered all of the other questions above, you do not want to lose your customer to his/her habit of surfing or comparison shopping. Answer why, and convince them that you are the best choice.
The last question to answer on your home page for your customer’s benefit is how. How do you offer your product or services? How does one purchase it? Do not leave your customer guessing about the method of transaction. If you use a shopping cart, define it clearly. If pick up is necessary, let them know immediately. Before purchase even.
Getting a customer onto your Web site is only half of the battle. Keeping them there is the harder half. If you answer all the questions they will have on your home page, the Who, Where, What, When, Why, and How, you will keep them and make loyal clients of them all.