Successful websites make an accessible and easy-to-use interface a top priority for their users. In order to design a site that best reflects the needs of visitors, developers must take into account the context of content and the best way to deliver it.
SuiteCommerce websites have many product display options depending on the technology (Site Builder or SuiteCommerce Advanced), website navigation features or even number of items displayed on each page. However, the default way of listing products is through the use of pagination. But what’s best for a NetSuite eCommerce website, infinite scroll or pagination?
There are two main styles of content delivery: infinite scrolling vs. pagination. There are pros and cons to both, and both work effectively for different types of websites.
Infinite scrolling allows users to scroll through unlimited content with no end point. The page simply refreshes automatically as you go down. Think of sites where content is mostly user-generated: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest.
Conversely, pagination divides content into separate pages which can be reached by clicking on links or headlines. Think of sites where users are searching for something specific, Google Search for example.
So, which one should you use?
As a rule of thumb, infinite scrolling works best for sites and apps that deliver user-generated or visual content. Pagination is more effective for sites that intend to satisfy goal-oriented activities, meaning information query or commerce. But decide for yourself whats best for your site, here are some of the benefits and disadvantages to each method:
Pros of Infinite Scrolling
- An efficient way to browse information, especially for discovery interfaces where users are not searching for anything specific.
- Great for websites like Facebook and Instagram which are constantly updating.
- Scrolling is easier and faster for users, especially on mobile devices.
- Research shows scrolling is intuitive and users are doing it.
- Better usability for longer content like tutorials when compared to sliced up information.
Cons of Infinite Scrolling
- Slower loading times because more content has to load. Slower load times result in users leaving the site or deleting an app.
- Users lose progress and can’t bookmark where they’re at. They have to find their place by scrolling down each time they return.
- Ambiguous scroll bar which doesn’t reflect the amount of data available. Users don’t know how much content is available.
Pros of Pagination
- Good conversion, especially in a goal-oriented context where users are searching for something specific.
- Gives users a sense of control over how many results are available so they can quickly determine if what they want is on the site.
- Easier to keep a mental note of an item’s location or bookmark links to specific content.
- Great for e-commerce sites where users want to be able to return to the site and continue right where they left off.
Cons of Pagination
- The user has to go through extra actions to arrive at new content.
- Most sites using this method show limited content per page so users must continually find and click the pagination button. You can make each page longer with more results to avoid this problem.