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The Perfect Home Page

Printed From: ProductCart E-Commerce Solutions
Category: ProductCart
Forum Name: Suggestions
Forum Description: ProductCart Suggestions
URL: https://forum.productcart.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3661
Printed Date: 21-May-2022 at 8:11am
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 12.04 - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: The Perfect Home Page
Posted By: ProductCart
Subject: The Perfect Home Page
Date Posted: 29-April-2010 at 4:39am
What should be on the Perfect Home Page?

ProductCart already gives you some flexibility in managing the content shown on your store's home page. But, it's time to gather some good feedback from you on this key element of your ProductCart-powered store.
  • What features are - in your view - missing from the "Manage Home Page" section of the Control Panel?
  • What would you like your home page to do, which it cannot do today?
Of course, we are already looking at a number of new ideas. For example, check out this ../demos/standard/pc/homeslider.asp - feature products slider that we were playing with a few days ago (definitely a "BETA"): this could become a feature that you turn on and off, indicate how many products should "slide", etc.).

We look forward to your feedback!


-------------
The ProductCart Team

Home of ProductCart http://www.productcart.com" rel="nofollow - shopping cart software



Replies:
Posted By: mattprice
Date Posted: 29-April-2010 at 4:52am
Thanks for the opportunity for feedback.
 
I am always going on about the importance of customer Product Reviews and am really looking forward to the forthcoming changes in V4.1.  I would love to see the option of adding the latest x product reviews on the home page.  Not just a list of products that have been recently reviewed but the overall star rating, small product image, and short excerpt of the review text.
 
Matt
 
 


Posted By: Greg Dinger
Date Posted: 29-April-2010 at 10:32am
The above scrolling thing does nothing for me.  I see this as uninteresting as the new v4 hover effect on the category page - just something to turn off and to work around when editing code. (Sorry.)
 
Our most frequent requests/needs are the ability to:
 
- feature categories on the home page rather than individual products
 
- use different images (either for products or categories) on the home page than those used in the interior pages.  The idea being that product images in some industries are very poor.  The images on the store are selected on the basis that strong images were available for an isolated selection of products.  The images used for the interior pages for those same products are the manufacturer's "inferior" images (or smaller) so that they don't clash with the rest of the product line, but we do happen to  have nicer images for the home page. 

Interior page images are frequently a different size than home page images.  We store those home page images at a different path, EI could provide a 4th image reference which is intended only for  home page use - for example.
 
- Arranging "new arrivals" in the same horizontal layout as "featured products".
 
We've developed an alternate strategy, featured on http://www.madcowcutlery.com - www.madcowcutlery.com , http://www.ahamodernliving.com - www.ahamodernliving.com and http://www.koolertek.com - www.koolertek.com where we administer the images/links/text/prices via a seperate configuration file. Using that strategy, we have ultimate control over the layout, while providing a mechanism by which the merchant may alter their selections. If we had that level of control via the store admin, that would rock.
 
Ultimately, I think messing with the home page is less important than other possible improvements.
 
One of the most important feature enhancements I would wish to see, rather than dancing around the edges and playing with the home page, would be the ability to put products on sale without touching standard pricing.  I'd want the sale price to override the online price, and to be controlled by a begin/end date setting.  Establishing a store or category-wide sale, perhaps using a percentage, would add flexibility.  And yes, I understand this requires a greater effort than home page cosmetic changes.  But I see it as a critical need.


-------------
GreyBeard Design Group

Certified ProductCart Developer

Web Design/Development/Hosting

http://tinyurl.com/5c8t4t" rel="nofollow - Add-Ons & Custom Code |


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 29-April-2010 at 1:54pm
Originally posted by Greg Dinger Greg Dinger wrote:


I'd want the sale price to override the online price, and to be controlled by a begin/end date setting.  Establishing a store or category-wide sale, perhaps using a percentage, would add flexibility.  And yes, I understand this requires a greater effort than home page cosmetic changes.  But I see it as a critical need.

I'll second this in a big way. I was quite surprised not to see this in PC. I think it's the only cart I've ever seen that doesn't have a field for sale pricing at the product level -- complete with strike through on regular price an indication of "Sale Price".


Posted By: ProductCart
Date Posted: 29-April-2010 at 2:01pm
Originally posted by Greg Dinger Greg Dinger wrote:

The above scrolling thing does nothing for me.  I see this as uninteresting as the new v4 hover effect on the category page - just something to turn off and to work around when editing code. (Sorry)


Greg: it might do "nothing" for you, but do you realize that virtually ALL of the leading e-commerce Web sites have a slider or "gallery" element as the #1 element shown on the home page? Again, not one of the elements on the home page. The number one element on the home page!

Let's just look at a few:
  • http://www.staples.com - Staples
    9.8 B in sales. Automatic slider with 4 offers shown.
  • http://www.dell.com - Dell
    4.5 B in sales. Automatic slider with 5 offers shown.
  • http://www.officedepot.com/ - Office Depot
    $4.1 B in sales. Automatic slider with 4 offers shown.
We could go on and on.

In any case, this is just one improvement that could be made to the home page, and that - according to empirical evidence - is one way chosen by most leading e-commerce stores to present their newest and best offers.

The home page is an absolutely crucial element of any e-commerce store. Please keep your suggestions and comments in this thread strictly focused on what tools and design elements could be added to the home page to make it a stronger, more effective "landing" page within a ProductCart-powered store.

Thanks!


-------------
The ProductCart Team

Home of ProductCart http://www.productcart.com" rel="nofollow - shopping cart software


Posted By: ProductCart
Date Posted: 29-April-2010 at 2:08pm
With regard to Sean and Greg's messages about sales prices: a "sale manager" has been on the drawing board for a long time. It's a very, very complex feature due to the depth of our application (i.e. sales price relationship with: tiered pricing, pricing categories, sub-products, BTO configurations, promotion pricing, bundle pricing, category-based tiered pricing, etc. etc. etc.). It's a massive development project. Let's discuss it separately and keep this thread focused on the home page.

-------------
The ProductCart Team

Home of ProductCart http://www.productcart.com" rel="nofollow - shopping cart software


Posted By: RedLeafDev
Date Posted: 29-April-2010 at 2:56pm
Everyone has great ideas! I am only going to make one or two comments right now and then think about other things to add later.
 
Along the lines of the "slider" - I second Mark's comment about using something like JQuery - why not just use JQuery?? I think that this is a valuable option for the home page (but please make it so that it can be easily turned off).
 
And, instead of publishing to twitter why not make it an option to grab the JQuery "Recent Twitter Posts" thing - that displays them right on the home page? It is super easy to style!
 
I liked the featured categories idea as well.
 
OK, that was 3 comments!
 
Amy


-------------
http://www.redleafdevelopment.com" rel="nofollow - Red Leaf Development

Certified ProductCart Developers

www.redleafdevelopment.com


Posted By: mattprice
Date Posted: 29-April-2010 at 3:04pm
I give the slider / gallery a big thumbs as an option for the Home Page.  I do agree with Greg however that the images most store owners want on their home page are not the same images they use for their products and I would like to see the glider in particular have the ability to undependently set an image and destination link instead of just the default product images.
This way the store owner could use the glider to send a customer to a particular category, a content page, or indeed a product if they so wish.
The three example stores given by EI : Staples, Dell and Office have made sure the flashiest images on their site take centre stage on their glider.
 
Matt
 


Posted By: ProductCart
Date Posted: 29-April-2010 at 3:11pm
Originally posted by RedLeafDev RedLeafDev wrote:

Along the lines of the "slider" - I second Mark's comment about using something like JQuery - why not just use JQuery?? I think that this is a valuable option for the home page (but please make it so that it can be easily turned off).


This was just a quick "BETA" and it does already use a slider based on JQuery, adapted to use database-driven information in ProductCart.

http://webdesignledger.com/tutorials/13-super-useful-jquery-content-slider-scripts-and-tutorials - There are many JQuery-based sliders that could be used . We just need to find the one that works the best and then adjust it to work well in ProductCart.

Of course, it needs to be easy to turn on and off and to customize in terms of the information it shows and how.

Once again, the rationale behind talking about this feature is that empirical evidence (large amount of successful stores using this approach) appears to indicate that there is consensus on the fact that is an effective way to "welcome" visitors to an e-commerce Web site.

Thanks for the rest of the feedback too. Keep going!

-------------
The ProductCart Team

Home of ProductCart http://www.productcart.com" rel="nofollow - shopping cart software


Posted By: roknrod12
Date Posted: 10-May-2010 at 3:24pm
I like the idea of a slider to show off products, with the option to handle what and how the content is displayed.  Here's the type of slider I'd prefer to see though - http://www.musiciansfriend.com/ - http://www.musiciansfriend.com/

I think one of the things I'd like to see in future releases is some modular snippets that can be styled externally.  For example, a snippet of code that pulls the new arrivals and can be placed on a content page (w/o the dependence of having best sellers and specials) and then styled to fit into the store scheme.

Another big thing that I think is way past due is the incorporation of RSS feeds.  Being able to see when new products come in a particular category would be very helpful to customers.

-rh


Posted By: whizzinpc
Date Posted: 11-May-2010 at 11:17am
I think we should be able to control the images that are in the slider. It should just be like an area of the homepage that can be adjusted in size via code and we can take any image and upload it for use with the slider. Maybe have 3-5 images that will be rotated in the slider. Just having products only helps with certain stores but if it were any image then everyone is happy.


Posted By: cpgmar
Date Posted: 12-May-2010 at 10:34am
The Dell site is awesome! Excellent design, love the slider effect especially if you could tie it to a special category image like they have...lousy shopping cart.  One of the worst shopping experiences of my life ordering from them.  IMHO  

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Cindy

The Tasteful Garden

www.tastefulgarden.com


Posted By: icamer
Date Posted: 13-May-2010 at 12:48am
Thanks for the opportunity for feedback.
 
I like the idea of a slider.  Also, I think that you must consider the incorporation of RSS feeds, that today is very useful for maintaining updated to our customers of new products arrivals.
Here's the type of slider I would prefer to see in the next update:
 
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/ - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/
 
 


Posted By: knifepro
Date Posted: 17-May-2010 at 11:37am
I would definitely like to see some changes made to the way the home page is handled.

1. Option of not displaying elements such as Recently View Products, Browse by Price, etc on home page.

2. Would like to see a slider on the option on home page. Here are a couple of sliders I like, http://webdeveloperplus.com/jquery/featured-content-slider-using-jquery-ui/
http://designm.ag/tutorials/image-rotator-css-jquery/
I like being able to add text.

3. Musician's Friend has a nice layout. Really like the way they handle Bestsellers and new arrivals with Sliders.

4. Banners or Blocks sections kind of like drupal does so you can include specials, etc.. in free text. You should be able to control the layout of these sections even if you have to do it in the home page code. Something like include <!--#block1>, etc.

5. Code to include payment methods and Social Sites. Being able to assign pictures to payment methods and check which ones appear. Same thing for  social widgets. This may be something to include everywhere.



-------------
Brian

brian@theknifeprofessional.com
brian@heartlandbraidedrugs.com
www.theknifeprofessional.com
www.heartlandbraidedrugs.com
ProductCart v4.7
QuickBooks Sync
Mobile


Posted By: sdalan
Date Posted: 02-June-2010 at 1:18pm

We use a slider on our homepage.  We use JQUERYTOOLS:

http://flowplayer.org/tools/index.html - http://flowplayer.org/tools/index.html
 
I see it more as separate content manager with links to products versus a means of displaying the same product content . I could see a slider a la the PC example here for showing off accessories and up-sell items.
 
I'd love to use more of these tools (tabs, tooltips, more scrollables) throughout the site (any developers interested please let me know because I really want to get up to 4.1 with a new look by fall!). I know there are other solutions but take a look at the jQueryTools demos. Slick!
 
By the way, the jQueryTools "scrollable" tool is circular - it does not do the rewind the like PC example here. One of my pet peeves! ;-)
 
Thanks for listening!


Posted By: intour
Date Posted: 03-June-2010 at 7:41am
I'm also using a slider on one of my clients homepages. This is a CSS based slider and I placed it in the ProductCart home page by cut and pasting the source code.
 
http://www.talismanuk.com - http://www.talismanuk.com
 
This slider has the ability to embed URL's and add text below it so it's a lot more powerful than this particular example.
 
I am in the process of adding sliders to 3 other stores at the request of my customers so there is a demand for it.
 
In V4.1 I'd like to see a simple way to add featured products, new arrivals and best sellers in the right hand column in a similar way to how recently viewed products are added with an include file.
 
Nigel


-------------
http://www.innerview.co.uk - Innerview
Productcart Platinum Reseller
Web Design/Hosting/Virtual Tours


Posted By: intour
Date Posted: 03-June-2010 at 7:46am
More on the slider:
 
Staples, Dell and Office Depot are all using Flash for their sliders.
 
If it's going to be manageable on the home page it will need to be coded in a way to allow the image selection from the control or the html editor.
 
Nigel


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http://www.innerview.co.uk - Innerview
Productcart Platinum Reseller
Web Design/Hosting/Virtual Tours


Posted By: Brett
Date Posted: 03-June-2010 at 10:17pm
EasySlider is a great slider and easy to implement. It uses image files for the slides, but you could probably use HTML. I've used image maps to achieve multiple links on one slide. You can see it comes built in with this theme:

http://www.hellothemes.com/demo/?theme=hellominty

*edit*

Tested, hmtl works fine in the slides. It uses javascript + css

http://cssglobe.com/post/5780/easy-slider-17-numeric-navigation-jquery-slider


Posted By: caughlan
Date Posted: 08-June-2010 at 6:33pm
If I get back in developing for clients (right now I'm taking time off to do my own project) I know they would want a simple built-in slider feature (until that trend dies out at least) and be able to turn home page boxes on/off easily.

While not just specific to the home page, I've noticed people mentioning RSS integration, and I'd love to see that built in.

S.




Posted By: mattprice
Date Posted: 04-January-2011 at 3:55am
I was wondering whether EI were still looking to make changes to Productcart's standard Home Page features ?
I was looking to spruce up my site with an image slider and notice that this was one of the main topics of conversation in this thread of last summer ?
 
Thanks
Matt


Posted By: ProductCart
Date Posted: 06-January-2011 at 1:22am
Hi Matt, we have not worked on this yet. Many ProductCart customers asked us to prioritize other projects.

There are many stores, however, that have implemented sliders on the home page. Since jQuery is built into ProductCart, you can rather easily introduce a jQuery-based slider. There are many.

For example, take http://www.azardisplays.com/productcart/pc/home.asp - AzarDisplays , a ProductCart-powered store with a slider on the home page: they appear to be using a slider called " http://css-tricks.com/anythingslider-jquery-plugin/ - Anythingslider ".


-------------
The ProductCart Team

Home of ProductCart http://www.productcart.com" rel="nofollow - shopping cart software


Posted By: Greg Dinger
Date Posted: 06-January-2011 at 1:31am
We put a slider on http://www.sndkids.com - www.sndkids.com .  IIRC it reads the products marked as "featured" in the admin.  We could do that for other clients who might need a similar mod.

-------------
GreyBeard Design Group

Certified ProductCart Developer

Web Design/Development/Hosting

http://tinyurl.com/5c8t4t" rel="nofollow - Add-Ons & Custom Code |


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 21-January-2013 at 10:49pm
Thanks to a spam post this mornig on this thread from last year, it came back to my attention. 

Last year we released what I think is a very nice solution here: our Home Page Sliders and Carousels.

It enables one to display any set of Featured, Special, New Arrivals and/or Best Sellers as either sliders (one product at a time using PC's vertical layout -- just like PC's "Product of the Month") or carousels (groups of products displayed at a time in the horizontal layout common on category pages & such) based on the controls PC already has for showing these products on your home page (no need to change anything in the control panel).

It also has a content slider for the main content area at the top of the page (which does not diminish the use of the content field for the home page in the control panel). Here one can build slides using any HTML content using PC's Content Pages (each slide's content control by a child content page).

We also added a top level category grid (pretty much the same thing as viewcategories.asp default display) one might elect to use on their home page as well.

Meanwhile, all "out of the box" PC options for one's homepage are still readily available. The combinations of what can be done are nearly endless.

You can check it out here:
http://wiki.earlyimpact.com/widgets/thirdparty/homepagesliderscarousels" rel="nofollow - http://wiki.earlyimpact.com/widgets/thirdparty/homepagesliderscarousels

I can't think of a more comprehensive, easier way to provide so many options to quickly and affordably give one's PC home page these cool features that are so common in contemporary site design.


Posted By: M Robles
Date Posted: 30-January-2013 at 1:18pm
The prefect Home Page - Wish list

0. Multiple home page templates for quick toggles such as holiday pages which can be cloned and scheduled (okay maybe not scheduled but it would be cool).

1. Native Jquery navigation (No more third party referencing, this should be automatic)
 a. GUI to control appearance (Size, color, effects, tiers...)
 b. Toggle switch in "view categories" admin view to add or remove categories to navi
c. Thumbnails optional

2. Slider 100% yes
a. Add fourth image field for both product and categories to toggle usage with slider
b. Slider manager: Width, Height, Speed, Transition, Buttons etc.
c. Slider content manager: Just like content page manager. Add, clone, deactivate, editor, link control, Position...

3. Product showcase carousel manager:
a. Create unlimited showcase carousel: Featured, Recommended, On Sale...
b. Ability to sort, size and position
c. Ability to add/remove products through manager
d. Ability to customize text display such as turning off product name, price, or savings
e. Mouse over effects such as increase size or change background or text color

4. Ad manager - Ability to add advertisement blocks and define them.
a. HTML editor only (for copy and pasting ad such as google adsense)
b. Container control: Size, Z-index, position, link control...

I have added a slider to my homepage using jquery as well a navigation using jquery but it's labor intense and so hard to manage. Updating means I have to relearn what I did before. I think PC should have this built in so I don't have to be a webmaster and instead focus on my business.

http://www.dirtdigits.com" rel="nofollow - http://www.dirtdigits.com



Posted By: M Robles
Date Posted: 30-January-2013 at 1:24pm
Oh and mobile version


Posted By: joshs
Date Posted: 15-January-2014 at 3:41pm
Message Center / section.
For other than sales / product information.
Could be called PR feed.

An area for the store manages to display messages:
Such as:
12-25-2013 - Merry Christmas - our webstore remains open but our staff will celebrating the holiday.
1-1-2014 - Happy New Year - our office will be closed.
1-15-2014 - 10pm to 1AM - Website will be closed for 4.7 upgrade .
1-15-2014 - new shipment of surf boards arriving.
2-1-2014 - Order Deadline for July Shipments.

All messages that are useful but don't need a lot of space.
Also the message center could be tied into Twitter and Facebook feeds.
Post once and message could potentially be broadcast to all channels:
- Home Page
- Newsletter
- Email
- Twitter
- Facebook
(checkboxes for broadcast message options)

Thanks
Josh


-------------
Josh Shirley
josh@windsurfutah.com



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