We sent Nate and Brooks to the Conversion Conference last week, and rotating offers and banners on homepages were a huge topic. “It seems to be a growing trend with websites,” said Nate. So, this week, we decided to take a look at an example of rotating banners. The ones we found are on Lamps Plus. Their home page has a big banner at the top that rotates through three different images and offers.
The home page:
We love that these rotating banners can let you showcase several different offers, or highlight sections of your site, or make things seasonally appropriate. Lamps Plus does all of those things. Bravo!
“Overall I like the rotating banner. It’s clean and visually well done.” –Naoshi Yamauchi, Director, Analytics
We’d love to see some of these ideas tested in the banner section…
The holiday banner: This one is the first banner that shows, and the most targeted, since it has to do with the season. It’s a little bit confusing, though, and it’s not easy to see what the actual offer is. (And, uh-oh, there’s a little copy error– “100’s” doesn’t need that apostrophe.)
“My eye was drawn immediately to words ‘Holidays’ and ‘Sale’. I didn’t notice the promotion (10-50% off) until the second rotation through. I’d love to see the focal point shift to the promotion amount rather than the campaign name.” –Josh St. John, Director, Client Strategy
The click-through: The click-through on the holiday banner is in a different spot than it is on the other two banners. We think it would be worth testing making the click-through in the same spot on all three.
The colors: On a white page, the grays of 2 of the banners really blend into the background. The light fonts are a little hard to read, too. We’d test some different background and text colors.
“The font colors either blend into the background or get mixed up with the background—they’re pretty difficult to read.” –Jamie Least, Junior Copywriter
The images: The two lighter banners leave us confused, and the holiday banner has an image twice of the same fixture, which left us scratching our heads. (Is that the only one on sale?) We’d change up that imagery in our tests.
“The design on the two lighter panels is a bit busy, and doesn’t have a clear eye path.” –Victoria Morehead, Creative Director
The back end:
“Using jQuery instead of Flash is always a good idea on the header section of a website.” –Mike Adams, Web Developer
Something completely different: What if we used something else besides the rotating banner? Sometimes the new, cool thing is not necessarily the thing that drives the best results. We’d like to see what the results would be if we tested the rotating banner against a static offer banner, and maybe added some urgency messaging, like “limited time offer.” Another point to consider is load times, especially for mobile users. A static image might be better for mobile, too.
“I would test the removal of the rotating banner all together, with a more focused message (based on general copy, or search-related dynamic copy) that improves the direction of the shopping experience.” –Nate Spotz, Director, Business Development
“What I would want to know is if it’s primarily the sale message driving the conversions from this page or the combination with other imagery that works best. Learning this will lead to the upcoming test strategy for the hero area.” –Naoshi Yamauchi, Director, Analytics
So what do you think? What would you test on these rotating banners? Do you think rotating banners are *deedleedoodeedleedoo* the future?
As always, these are our ideas based on best practices, which don’t necessarily mean they’re the best ideas, period. In testing an idea, sometimes what you think will work better just… doesn’t. Test, test, test!