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What should go into the homepage of an e-commerce website?, Retail News, ET Retail

Ecommerce companies usually keep a diverse content on their homepage.
Ecommerce companies usually keep a diverse content on their homepage.

Any ecommerce company has a few goals when it comes to designing a homepage — it must be eye catching, should cover a lot of diverse content, from new products to discount to personalised content, and most importantly, it must make the customer buy.

But, what are the various ‘items’ that go into a homepage?

The basic premise is that a homepage is a limited workspace and must be divided into slots of various sizes and content must be put in based on importance. Ecommerce companies usually keep a diverse content on their homepage. The user must feel like he/she is exploring the breadth of the platform.

The content on the homepage could range from present offers, request for reviews of products purchased, advertisement for new products or categories and also personalised content based on browsing and purchase history.

Each of these items serve a different purpose. For example, an ad is targeted at potential reviews whereas personalised content can help in luring back customers to their favourite categories. At any given time, if one were to compare the apps of two users, they will be different at various slots.

The important metrics are – engagement, conversion and value. “There are a fixed number of slots, vertically stacked… say ‘k’ slots and ‘n’ number of varied content. How do you pick the best one of these? There is a blending engine, it sits on top of content providers, interprets various content, tries to blend in and paint the homepage,” said Rahul Pradeep, software development engineer at Flipkart.

Also, external factors are sometimes important in deciding on what goes on the homepage. For example, if it is a flash sale or a company sale, the highlight of the day — say mobile phones — gets featured more. Similarly, you have more money to shop at the starting on the month. Understanding these simple things go a long way.

Finally, slots get filled so as to break monotony.

Usually, if the first big slot has featured a mobile phone, the next slot is, say, baby products, and so on. A collection of all these factors determines the final look of the homepage at any given moment.

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