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We have a design where a Hero Banner covers nearly 70% of the Landing Screen of the HomePage, it consists of a carousel which has collection of 5 of our best offers.

I have been going through data for the same, and I find it very interesting.

Few of the findings are ( related to the question ) :

  1. Something that is covering 70% of the screen on landing page has even less than 0.5% conversion.
  2. Other rows of products and offer list are performing well.

From data I can deduce :

  1. Either the offers are crappy.
  2. People are not interested in big banners.
  3. Our designers are not doing a good job.

I was thinking to reduce the real estate for the banners and give it to other stuff, is that a right conclusion?

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    See this post: are carousels effective. It looks like your findings are the same as most people who have a carousel: They don't work.
    – JonW
    Jul 30, 2014 at 6:22
  • Carousel, In general don't work for lot of cases but here we are dealing with real estate space (banner size) and Offers in question. Because it seems some banners perform good and if positioned at first or last slide their performance increases tremendously
    – Vatsal
    Jul 30, 2014 at 6:58
  • Do the well performing slides perform well enough to warrant taking up 70% of the screen real-estate? Putting it crudely - do they generate 70% of the conversions / CTRs?
    – JonW
    Jul 30, 2014 at 8:21
  • all in all combined the hero banner is contributing to less than 0.4 % ... that's what baffles me, I am really considering reducing the banner size.
    – Vatsal
    Jul 30, 2014 at 8:23

2 Answers 2

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The problem with carousels is that you are not going to display an attractive or wanted item to every visitor. The percentage conversion rates probably match:

  • A person who saw the offer and was not interested
  • Someone who likes offers but didn't wait for the carousel to complete its cycle
  • Someone who saw the offer, was interested, but wasn't in a position to purchase or wasn't what they were looking to buy at the time

It is possible through analysis to tailor home page offers to the visitor, but you always run the risk of all three points still. Unless the offer is something that would be attractive to the majority of people, say 15% discount on everything or a section of goods, then a multi-channel e-commerce website would do just as well to have several blocks of products instead of a carousel.

Now, that said, carousels can also have their place when you navigate into a particular section. If, for example, the visitor navigates to the "printers" section of your website it's not outside the realms of possibility to presume they are in the market for a printer. If you have a particularly attractive printer offer on at that time then you could hero that in a large banner because you're not doing it at the expense of other sections.

I wouldn't say the time of the carousel has passed, its use needs to be considered carefully along with the context of the website. Situational awareness is also important.

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  • I am focusing on the banner ... not specific to carousel... we can as well choose to show just one banner with animation. I am not against using carousel per say .. I am looking at an option to reduce the real estate (which is currently 70%).
    – Vatsal
    Jul 30, 2014 at 8:21
  • @Vatsal: How do you know the issue is with the banner area and not with the carousel? What if you have the same size banner area but don't put a carousel in it? One of your issues here is that you have too many variables to know exactly where the issue is.
    – JonW
    Jul 30, 2014 at 8:22
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Like @JonW said, carousels are notorious for their 1-3% (or even lower) conversion or click-through-rate.

In my time as UX designer at a ecommerce business, most conversion was generated by the search functionality that was displayed front and center on every page.

Although carousels have are great on a design level, they save space and it's a big canvas for you to display your products, but in my experience, the best front pages are those with clear navigation and search functionality. The products displayed should be well picked, like your top 5 products or products on sale and so on.

My advice: display the five products side by side on the frontpage. Five products shouldn't take up that much space, would they?

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  • As I was going through data for last 3 months ( Since the Design has changed ). The offers that are made are generic in nature, and not specific to a certain product. eg. Summer Sale 50%, Monsoon Offers, Electronics Mela(Carnival).. etc. Can that be the reason also ?
    – Vatsal
    Jul 30, 2014 at 8:17
  • Sorry, I don't quite understand. The reason for what? For having low conversion rates? Displaying a Summer Sale promotional image instead of products that are in the Summer Sale? Jul 30, 2014 at 8:23
  • Yes, I am looking to find a reason for less CTRs, and then make corrections necessary to improve it. Currently the offers are "Summer Sale Promotional Image" and not "Product Images"
    – Vatsal
    Jul 30, 2014 at 8:26
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    Promotional images are probably not the reason for low CTRs, but when displayed in carousels they are. I think your homepage should have the right balance between promotional imagery and popular products. It's also important to keep in mind that not every CTR of an element has to be high. The overall CTR of the front page is more important. I've come across people who see lets say the Samsung Galaxy s4, on the frontpage and then click 'phones' in the navigation tab because they have the need to compare. The CTR of the single product was low, but the overall CTR was quite high. Jul 30, 2014 at 8:40

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