The #1 reason why you have an online shop is to sell.
Well, sometimes I see online shops that look more like blogs, or an infomercial.
What is the FIRST thing a customer would click on if they landed on YOUR online shop?
Would it be the shop button? Your Blog? A random banner ad? A link to a gift guide?
While I agree that the special sauce of entrepreneurs and start-ups is their story -- so sharing that, and their point of difference becomes key. They lack the brand power that a Nike, or Michael Kors might have.
However, if it's near impossible to find your shop. Why bother?
When you have traffic landing on your website, you want to push them through your sales funnel.
Maybe you do want them to learn SOMETHING about your company first (rightly or wrongly). So your about page should be front and centre on your homepage.
Once on your ABOUT page through, how can you push them to your shop?
Many online shops just end their about pages with 'thanks for visiting' or an email address. Why not say, come check out our collection! (with a re-direct to your online shop).
Possibly your goal is to get people into your online SHOP first. Then, your homepage should showcase your hero categories. Nothing more, nothing less.
Don't get bogged down with trying to show everyone, everything you've got on the main landing page of your website.
A good place to look for clues as to your ideal customer's path is google analytics.
The visitor's flow report in Google Analytics will show you the graphical path that users took through your website and where they exited your site.
Understanding where you are losing customers is a clue that your flow is off on your website.
Remember simple is better.
Less is more!
Get into the shoes of your customer. What's the first thing YOU would click on your homepage? Post it in the comments below!