Motivate your shoppers to take action
Your homepage exists to drive visitors into your sales funnel. After introducing your store, what next? What action do you want your shoppers to take? That’s where the CTA button comes in.
Make it descriptive
Avoid labels such as “Buy now” or “Order now”. Not only are they unimaginative, they’re thirsty. Physical stores don’t ask for money the moment you set foot into their premises and neither should you. No one wants that kind of pressure.
A label such as “Continue” is slightly better but it’s still unimaginative and vague. “Start shopping for (insert whatever you sell)”, “View our offers”, and “Explore more options” are significantly better. Any phrase that conveys the message will do. The goal is to shepherd your customers through the sales funnel without coming off as desperate.
In the teardowns I do, I often mention that the main CTA button in the hero section should be more descriptive. IKEA is a good example of what to do.
To be fair, IKEA’s hero section is a carousel and each slide is focused on a specific product or offer so it’s easier to have a clearer CTA. It’s harder when the slide or hero image is ‘general’. I understand the temptation of putting only ‘Shop’ or ‘Shop Now’ as the button label.
And to be clear, I definitely do NOT recommend having an auto-rotating hero carousel.
Should you have only one CTA?
This depends entirely on your store. If you target separate groups of customers this might be necessary. A good example is a clothing store. You’ll need different CTAs for men and women.
But whenever possible, stick to one CTA button. VWO wrote an excellent article about this. The gist of it is very simple: One CTA is best because multiple ones cause choice paralysis and cost you conversions. Their advice isn’t limited to your homepage. NameOn, a Scandinavian retailer, removed distracting CTAs from their checkout page and increased checkout rates by 11.4%.