3 eCommerce Homepage Design Tips and How to write a compelling headline (Facebook LIVE)

In a Facebook Live session, Matt and Beth talk about the importance of the homepage for your eCommerce website.

Watch the video and learn:

  • The real measure of a successful homepage.
  • How to write an incredibly compelling headline that will make customers click through and spend money on your website.
  • Pro-design tips on choosing the best hero image for your homepage.
  • The key area that the Internet is heading for eCommerce websites.
  • One question you must ask yourself to determine the tone and content that is displayed on your homepage.

Watch the Video

eCommerce Websites we talk about:


[Matt] Hi and welcome to our e-commerce Facebook Live! My name is Matt Edmundson and I am here with the phenomenal and talented Beth.

[Beth] Hi!

[Matt] Welcome to, this is our second Facebook Live for the e-commerce stuff isn't it?

[Beth] It is number two, our second, second Facebook Live.

[Matt] Ooh, we're pros now! Very, very, professional.

[Beth] It's having a bit of issues, here we go.

[Matt] Uh oh, are we back on?

[Beth] We're back on, okay.

[Matt] Technology, you gotta love it. Gotta love it when it's live, we've just shot actually, a Facebook Live for one of our other, sort of, e-commerce businesses that we've got right?

[Beth] mm-hmm

[Matt] And we had a power cut halfway through the Facebook Live.

[Beth] We did!

[Matt] Which is not something that they prepare you for in the manual, right? So hopefully we will do this without incidents today.

[Beth] Yeah, yeah, that should be good! Caught up the question of the Facebook Live...

What qualities are shared by most successful e-commerce home pages?

[Matt] Homepages for e-commerce websites, super, super, important right? And the reason they're important, obviously, if you look at your analytics, you'll find for most people, this will be the first place that customers are going to interact with you. So your leads will go straight to your homepage. You may have dedicated landing pages on your website that you send customers to (maybe using ad words or something like that) but a majority of the time, they're going to your homepage.

Your homepage is absolutely essential for your eCommerce website.

[Beth] We've got three tips, we're actually gonna attempt to show the website. Is that the right phrase I wanted to use?

[Matt] Beth's not the most technical person.

[Beth] So for the first time in Facebook Live, we're actually going to try and screencast.

[Matt] So we're going to try and screencast what's on my Batman laptop, which I think is just the coolest decal in the world. This is just a moan at Apple right? I have the new Mac Book Pro, the same size, the 13 inch, but the apple thing doesn't light up on the back. So I can't put my Batman decal on the back of that, and have the same effect, you know, when it's like, dim and dark which is a real shame. Apple, what were you thinking?

Anyway, we're just gonna, moan rant over, we're gonna try and show you the screen during the Facebook Live, so let us know if it works. And we're going to look at some websites, aren't we?

[Beth] Yep, we're gonna review websites' homepages, the first one being Beauty Counter, which we discovered last week, and that's why we are reviewing this.

[Matt] Is it? Okay. I'm reviewing it because you told me to. That's normally how it works.

[Beth] Well, it's a beauty company, Jersey, yeah we've got a beauty company so, kinda liked it. Okay so we've got three tips:

Tip 1: Make sure you create a clear and compelling headline.

[Matt] Okay so, the idea of creating a clear and compelling headline is hopefully obvious, and this is one of the things, I'll venture to say most e-commerce websites do very badly. They don't create these compelling headlines, now if we look at Beautycounter. So, this is their website, and if you can see this, can they see this image here?

[Beth] I'll tell ya.

[Matt] Yep, Josh is nodding at me in the back, which is great. So here we can see the homepage and it says here, 'Care About Your Skin Care', it's a really big headline, it's the first thing that my eye is drawn to.

And that's the thing about headlines is, it's the first thing your eye is drawn to when you look at a website, so the headline has got to be big, and it's gotta stand out, it's got to obviously make sense for your website.

So Beautycounter have, 'Care About Your Skincare' - well, that makes sense on their website because it's a beauty website, you're inviting the viewer to do something. So, typically, top tip for you, I would suggest you start the majority of your headlines with a verb.

A verb, because you want your visitor to do something when they're on your website. So, 'care' is obviously a verb, 'to care', I need to care about, so we want you to care about your skin care. So, I'm drawn in.

How do I do that [care about my skincare]? And then they're going to explain to me how I do that. With their products, and so on and so forth, right?

They go down to their sub-headline which then says, 'Get results with clearer ingredients in every step of your routine. Now featuring the all new Beautycounter plus Collection!'. I think that probably could be a little clearer, if I'm honest. It's a bit non-speak, it doesn't really say anything. So, care about your skin care routine and get results with cleaner ingredients in every step of your routine. I just think, make that a little more personal. Towards the customer or the visitor, and draw them in a lot more, for example, 'Care about your skin care, learn how using specific ingredients will dynamically improve your skin care routine, click here to learn more."

This is a bit more compelling.

'Now featuring the all new Beautycounter plus collection', as a visitor, I have no idea what that means right? Maybe as a customer I know what that means, but as a visitor, that needs explanation for me, I don't actually know what that means. I get slightly confused, 'Beautycounter+'. Does that mean Beautycounter without the plus sign is a bit rubbish? - I don't know that, right? So, again, just be clear when using in-house terminology.

Clear and compelling headlines draw the people in, make them personal. Start them off with a verb and you should do really well. Make them big, the first thing people are gonna see, you know, use that to really draw people in.

[Beth] Scroll down a little bit....Oh yeah, it doesn't, the thing that I don't find clear about it is, it doesn't have, where do you click? Do you know what I mean, on that headline.

[Matt] There's no actual call to action on this headline...there's no button there. So, that makes it quite difficult. Now you obviously went to this site, you liked it. So, what was it about the site that you liked?

[Beth] I just liked the fact that they had a nice headline I think, and I was like, ooh this is nice. And also, it's got a 'never list' which has got beauty ingredients that you shouldn't use, which said something on it I like, but really transparent, and really cool.

[Matt] Oh yeah, if we go to there, actually, I'm not on their homepage, so here again, we're now on the homepage...you see that, it has got a call to action.

'Hello Sunshine', is quite a catchy headline I suppose if the sun's coming out. 'Catch rays the safer way with sun essentials for face and body', that's quite clear, that works quite well I thought. But, as you can see on my screen, it's the main thing, it's the primary thing that I'm seeing here, and I do think...can I say something about their logo?

[Beth] Yeah.

[Matt] ...sorry Beautycounter, it is way too big on this page! I mean, if you think about how much real estate space that your logo has taken up on my screen, that's a shedload of stuff right there on my screen right? So, I'd make that logo a little bit smaller, so that actually, when I hit the page, I see the whole of this image rather than having to sort of scroll up and down.

And I'd probably get the programmers to write a little bit of code to maximise that to different screen resolutions, if that makes sense. - So, little top tip for you. So now they've got this Talk Transparency.

[Beth] Yeah, which is great, because that pulled me in because there's that ooh!

Tip 2 for creating a successful eCommerce homepage: design a hero image that relates to your ideal customer.

[Matt] Okay, so let's pull up the Squarespace website here. And, I love the Squarespace website, I think they do this whole thing well. If I talk briefly about their logo: see how small that is? Compared to Beautycounter, be like Squarespace right?

[Beth] You've got logo issues.

[Matt] I've got logo issues! No, I have to be honest, people don't care about the logo. They just genuinely don't. You care about it, which is great, but everybody else doesn't. Anyway, I digress. So, let's look at their headline, 'Make Your Next Website', I think that is a super clear headline for anybody who comes to their website, right? I mean, this just tells them exactly what they're gonna do.

The thing I think Squarespace do super well is they do their customer image super well, so they design a hero image that relates to your customer top tip, so they've got actual pictures of their customers and their customers' websites on the homepage.

[Beth] That's great, I like it.

[Matt] I think they do that really well, so, top tip, watch Squarespace and see how they do things. The image that goes with it [your headline, is called...] a hero image. In that hero image, if you can, show what success looks like for your customer, that is a super clever thing to do. - So have a look at doing something like that.

[Beth] Cool, so you've got an amazing headline, you've got a wonderful hero image that reflects your customer, and...

Tip 3: Differentiate between new customers and existing customers

[Matt] That this could be like, a whole video on just this one thing right?

[Beth] We should probably do it in the future.

[Matt] Probably should. In fact, we found we could do a whole series on headlines and imagery, and we've done actually a lot of webinars and so this is a little teaser! There's more information coming at some point.

The thing about this is, this for me is where the internet is going at the moment.

For eCommerce, one of the trends over the last few years has been the massive shift from desktop to mobile, right? And if you run an eCommerce website, you've had to think about that, and prep for that, and make provision for that. And so, as an e-commerce site owner myself, and doing all the consultancy, one of the things I'm like, 'where is this all going?'

Personalization is the big thing now to start hitting eCommerce websites. What do we mean by that? I think the journey, the website journey, is going to start to become much more tailored, much more specific for different users. So rather than just having one kind of way that everybody interacts with your website, you'll change it depending on who is visiting your website.

So just a real simple thing, if you think about Amazon's website right? Now Amazon, if I go to Amazon and look at their homepage, it looks different for me than it does for you.

[Beth] That's true, yeah...with all the favs.

[Matt] All your favs. All your soft, cuddly things.

[Beth] Yeah, no, my books! All my books.

[Matt] All your books and things like that right? Now, and I'll buy gadgets and all that sort of stuff, so Amazon is very good at personalising their homepage towards me based on my buying habits. - And they're very good at personalising towards you and your buying habits. So it draws you in right? Super helpful if you've got a lot of products.

Top Tip, when someone comes to your website and you don't know who they are because you've not stored a cookie on their computer, so you don't really know them. You think this is the first time they've been to your site. You treat them as a lead, you treat them as someone you have to woo in effect to become a customer.

[Beth] Woo.

[Matt] Woo.

[Beth] I like that word.

[Matt] Woo. So what do you have to do to win this person to become a customer, and that becomes the main thing about homepage right? So, on Jersey, for example, let's talk about Jersey. Wonderful Jersey, this is our website, which Beth has all the content for, she's awesome. So, as you can see, it says here, 'Everything You Need For Amazing Skin, Get expert beauty advice, order free skincare samples and buy with confidence!'. Simple, clear, compelling headline.

But notice how we have done this 'Try Free Samples, Create a Skin Profile', this is all targeted right, at new people, so if you're an existing customer, you don't necessarily need the free samples then because you know exactly what is you want, right? But, if you're new to our site, and you don't know what it is that you want, you don't know what to buy, we've had a lot of success by promoting the free samples. Customers try the free samples, they order free samples from our site, we send them the free samples with a voucher. And encourage them on their next purchase, which means actually, we draw people in quite a lot because these products aren't cheap.

But the point I want to make is, we treat people that we don't know about as if, actually, they are a new customer, Netflix do this really well. And so if I scroll down on this page, other things that we do, we clearly show the brands that we sell because people that come to our site, maybe haven't shopped with us before, maybe do know what kind of brand product they want, so we want them to click through to that really quickly. We show the best sellers, which again is super helpful, right? Because people, more than likely are going to be interested in these kind of products.

[Beth] Yep.

[Matt] Then I'll scroll down a little bit further, we start to have things like, now we've got the video. A sort of what is beauty video, which is quite cool.

[Beth] That's Michelle.

[Matt] There's Michelle, the lovely Michelle, who I think caused the power cut earlier, but let's not go into that. So you've got Michelle and all the guys here at the office talking about beauty and we, we're starting here to show our values, right? And that culture which again draws people in, people are definitely drawn to culture and values, and this, connecting with their story. We've got some offers on there, we've got reasons to buy from us, free delivery, join our Facebook thing, get some free samples, money back guarantee, read our blog, then we've got testimonials, so this is all designed for someone who's never been with us before to get confident to shop, to try things, to try new offers, all that sort of stuff.

So, your homepage predominantly assumes that everybody is a new customer. Now, if you can, add some personalization to it. And you can start to track what people are doing, so you know, actually the person visiting the site, is a customer, or they've signed in, or they've got a cookie on their machine. Then, you can do things like this.

So we'll update our website, so it now says oh Matt, you're logged in, so rather than showing you best sellers, I'm gonna show you your favourite products, which then draws me in quick and easy to the products that I want, right? And shows offers related to me and the products that I buy, rather than showing me generic offers and stuff like that.

[Beth] That's really cool.

[Matt] Yeah, that's what we mean, right? So, differentiate between you're new customers and existing customers, wherever you can on your homepage, if you can have a personalised homepage depending on who's visited it, that's where e-commerce is going. That's where you should be looking to invest your money where tech is concerned, and really starting to create this really tailored, personalised experience.

[Beth] Yeah, wow, and if you want to know how to do this specifically for your own homepage, now tell them about mastery, you're the best person to share.

[Matt] Mastery, mastery is a new e-commerce course which we're gonna launch hopefully in the next week or two, actually, and we're just putting the finishing touches on it now. And so, in the next week or two, we are going to launch mastery, but you can pre-register.

[Beth] You can pre-register, yeah, I put the link above, so you'll be able to see that.

[Matt] Above the video, not below? - No, not below, comments below, link above. - Just click on them all and you can see the link. So if you go pre-register, because if you pre-register, you get the best price, but in effect, mastery is a course that is designed for people that run e-commerce businesses and we talk, I mean, we go into so much detail about how we run our own businesses here. What we found works, what we found doesn't work, and how we're driving our e-commerce business again, and the growth that we've now got, and so on and so forth. So, really great, practical stuff, all the lessons we've learned from doing all the consultancy, it is a packed course on how to do e-commerce well. And one of the things that we cover in that, in a lot more detail is this whole personalization thing. In fact, we also cover the headline thing in there as well.

Quite a bit, and actually we do formulas on how to write headlines and what works. So, again, if you want to know a lot more, try mastery, and if you do an e-commerce business, then I think mastery is gonna be such a game changer for you guys. And guys who have done it before, just go and read the testimonials on the site, really, really cool. So, have a think about that, yeah.

[Beth] Yeah, that's fine, the Facebook's just blowing up, but keep commenting! We're having a few technical issues here today, - Mainly with WiFi, so I hope that's all coming through okay because obviously I can't tell, I'm just talking.

[Matt] Regardless of who's carrying on. But yeah, hope you got a lot out of this, if you've got any questions, then leave them in the comments below. Check out the mastery programme, there's more details online. Be worth checking it out if you run an e-commerce business.

[Beth] And we will be back next week. - Next week, yeah? At a later time, probably six o'clock.

[Matt] It's at six, is it not five o'clock with Brenden next week?

[Beth] Oh, it could be next week, yeah, it is! You know more than me, I'm set three weeks ahead, yeah. We pulled it forward and put in a wonderful marketing genius.

[Matt] So yeah, we're gonna be talking about digital marketing next week, and actually, Brenden and I talk about that a lot on the mastery course, so we're gonna be talking about some of those principles. Next week on Facebook Live, Brenden is our digital marketing guru genius fellow, and so if you've got any questions, let us know what they are so we can then try and get them answered on Facebook Live for you, but we'll be talking about all things to do with everything, well, not everything, we'll narrow it down I'm sure. - In part, marketing. - Yeah, Digital Marketing for E-Commerce Owners, something like that will be the title, so if you're interested, check it out, make sure you subscribe and sign up for the notifications on the Facebook Live so you get a notification when it's coming because you don't really wanna miss any of this content, it's gonna be great stuff as we do more on more of these. - Fab. - Is that alright?

[Matt] Yeah, that's good....Thanks for watching guys, we'll see you next week.