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Joanne Grantz
 
March 23, 2016 | Site Design and Management | Joanne Grantz

How should products be displayed in your online store?

When it comes to displaying products, direct-to-consumer wine sellers have a few options. They can use pagination, dividing their inventory into a certain number of pages. They can also use a "Load more" button for users to click after viewing a certain number of products. This adds more items for them to browse on the same page. The third option, infinite scrolling, essentially acts as an automatic "Load more" button. It displays additional products each time a user scrolls to the end of a page until all inventory has appeared.

Each of these options have their strengths and weaknesses, but which is the best for your online wine store? Smashing Magazine presented user experience research from the Baymard Institute on the subject.

Despite being used across the majority of e-commerce websites, the pagination technique received the most complaints from test subjects. They said the method was slow, and participants spent less time looking through an entire product catalog. However, subjects spent more time viewing the first page.

Well-designed infinite scrolling offered the most seamless experience. Since users didn't have to do anything except scroll down to view more products, they ended up seeing much more of a store's offerings. However, they spent less time viewing the initial results and individual products. Users also had difficulty reaching the bottom of infinitely scrolling pages, especially if the store had a large product catalog.

Fewer retailers used "Load more" buttons, but the results from this method were positive. Users simultaneously saw more products overall than they did with pagination links. They also paid closer attention to individual selections than they did with infinite scrolling.

How these results affect online wine sales
When combined with information from their other tests, the Baymard Institute concluded a combination of "Load more" buttons and infinite scrolling produced the best results. Fifty to 100 products should load automatically, after which the next 10 to 30 should appear with the click of a "Load more" button.

The Nielsen Norman Group said the best way to approach page loading is to consider your audience's motivation and your store's content. Infinite scrolling is not good for finding a particular piece of content within a large number of offers. It's best for getting a general overview of the products displayed.

Thus, wine sellers should ask themselves this question: How have consumers approached my business online? Do you tend to see new users who want a general overview of the wines you have to offer, or are your customers repeat buyers with a particular product in mind? Answering these questions will help online wine sellers design the best website for their product.

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