Should Your eCommerce Clients Implement Infinite Scroll?

Author: Tom Cottrill | Date Posted: Apr 30, 2020

We’ve all been there, our clients learn about a new buzzword and immediately think, “we have to have that!” But as their marketing agency, it’s your job to lead them in the right direction when it comes to making updates on their website.

And while infinite scroll has grown in popularity recently, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right choice for every company to implement on their website. The main goal in tweaking the way products are displayed on a site is to improve usability. Creating a seamless user experience and improving the way potential customers shop the site is the ultimate goal.

So, let’s dive into the three most common patterns for loading multiple products on an eCommerce site so your clients can decide what is the right choice for them.

  1. Pagination
The most common option for eCommerce sites, pagination is typically built by default into most CMS solutions. This type of pattern puts the site user in complete control of the decision to go forward, backward or to skip pages. One of the best things about this type of pattern is that customers are familiar with it and the pause between products is oftentimes useful. Typically, products on the first page sell at about a 200% higher frequency than subsequent pages. If you have higher-margin or higher-importance products, you can easily prioritize them with this loading pattern.
  2. Load More
In several usability studies, a “load more” approach to loading products is a clear favorite among users. It’s the perfect balance between the infinite scroll and pagination. It keeps the user in the driver’s seat, while also making it easy and efficient for them to view more products without interrupting the flow. Lazy loading is another variation of this type of scroll and is a simple performance optimization that reduces load time and server load. This can improve site speed while keeping a user engaged, making it our general preference for implementation.
  3. Infinite ScrollOften referred to as endless scrolling, this type of pattern is controlled by the site and not the user. It can be difficult to implement and is code-heavy. Taking this approach limits the ability to focus users on a specific set of products and users can easily get lost in it. While it does allow users to get exposure to a wider range of products, there is little impetus for action. We typically recommend clients use this form of loading products sparingly.

Not surprisingly, there have been quite a few usability studies done on this subject matter. When trying to convince your clients of a particular type of scrolling pattern, we recommend presenting them with some of the stats on these three patterns. If the goal is to help your clients improve click-throughs and ultimately conversions, you want to do your part to steer them in the right direction.

If you need help weighing the pros and cons of loading patterns for eCommerce sites, we’re happy to help. Our team can help your clients follow best practices and optimize their site in the smartest way possible. Let’s talk.

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