Consumers are inundated with endless streams of fresh images and autoplay content.
By the time this day is over, roughly 95 million new photos will be uploaded to Instagram. There will be about three million new snaps taken by Snapchat users, and 432,000 more hours of video will be uploaded onto YouTube.
So, eCommerce stores need to find new ways to keep shoppers engaged. In an era when customers are used to scrolling through endless pages of content, this requires strategic product visual optimization.
To do this, retailers need to recognize the benefits of infinite scrolling and take advantage of them. Let’s look at what these benefits are and how improving product images can help you convert shoppers into customers in this crowded environment.
The Bright Side of Infinite Scroll for eComm Retailers
The main argument for infinite scroll is that consumers prefer to get all the information they need without clicking around or hunting through confusing pages of product information.
Without pagination, shoppers don’t have to click to get to the next page of content, and in many ways, this can set your brand up to provide a better online shopping experience. Here are five ways that infinite scroll can help support your customers’ online retail experience:
Save Time by Facilitating a Seamless Browsing Experience
Rather than hitting the back button to find the page or product you’re looking for, an infinitely scrolling page supports a more seamless browsing experience, as it continues to load the next images as users move down the page.
Because pages don’t have to reload from the base every time the user clicks to the next page, the overall experience can save consumers time and frustration.
Familiarity Makes for Easy Use
Browsers are familiar with infinite scrolling from social media. They know what they’re doing, and they expect that they’re hoping to find will appear just below the next image. Their familiarity with this experience can work to retailers’ advantage by working with a model shoppers already love.
Infinite Scrolling Can Increase Session Duration
With infinite scroll, you reduce the chances that your site visitors will fail to find what they’re looking for on page one or two, get bored, and bounce to a different website.
Instead, your customers continue scrolling through your wares and find new things they’re interested in, which will increase the amount of time they spend on your site (and the likelihood that they’ll convert).
Enable Your Customers to Browse Faster
Load times matter, especially on image-heavy eComm sites. One of the major benefits of infinite scrolling is that your pages will preload the next content automatically, preempting each visitor’s next swipe. This allows your site visitors to find what they’re looking for – or just look around – at a faster clip.
Seize the Opportunity to Boost User Engagement
People who are enjoying their browsing experience will keep scrolling, clicking, and poking around to see what else your brand has to offer. By presenting your best product visuals in one, clean page, you can communicate more information to your customers and increase their opportunities to interact with your product pages before purchasing.
If you don’t yet have infinite scroll on your site, don’t worry about doing a total redesign: There are plenty of web design tools to help eComm retailers make this transition and allow your customers to navigate all of your products on a single page.
How to Take Advantage of Infinite Scrolling by Improving Your Product Visuals
Mobile commerce accounted for nearly 40 percent of all eCommerce last year. In order to take advantage of endless scroll on your website, you need to ensure that you check a few boxes when it comes to your product visuals:
Optimize your images for mobile web browsing. Your file size and resolution should be appropriate for mobile browsing. They should be appropriately tagged and include appropriate text alternatives. (This will also help boost your SEO ranking.)
Make your galleries accessible to searching by including a filtering function. If your images are appropriately tagged, this tool will vastly improve the visitor’s browsing experience.
Include lightboxes or similar “quick view” options for product images. This will allow visitors to click in for details without taking them away from the gallery page and their position within the gallery.
Leverage virtual photography to provide 360 views of your products. Static 2D product images don’t cut it anymore. As an added bonus, virtual photography lets you generate better-than-perfect images of merchandise at a fraction of the cost of customary photography.
Offer immersive experiences and boost the appeal of your visuals with 3D and AR. By including these experiences at the click of a mouse (or the tap of a finger), you can create a memorable experience that stands out in the midst of an endless page of product visuals. Because shoppers don’t need to download an app to view your products in 360, they’re more likely to engage and convert.
Your visuals should be high-quality and compelling. They should stand out on a page, and they should provide shoppers with an opportunity to engage – and not just because 3D images and 360 product visuals are fun to manipulate. Those who view 3D versions of products are eleven times more likely to buy than those who don’t.
This means that 3D product imagery presents a huge opportunity for eComm marketers to inspire shoppers to pause their scrolling to learn more, and hopefully, convert.
Infinite Scroll Is Not Synonymous with Infinite Skim
To win today, companies must embrace the importance of product visuals in a mobile format. Meet your customers where they’re shopping and show them the exact product they’ll receive on their doorstep from every possible angle.
Engaging product visuals that display your wares in 360 degree views can bolster consumer confidence and boost your conversion numbers, especially in the era of endless scrolling. Especially in the context of an ever-loading page of product visuals, make it your goal to provide shoppers with the information they need to make an informed decision.