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RainDrops Blog: Web Design & Dev Insights

Why Automated Image Sliders Are Bad For Your E-commerce Website

You can see automated image sliders on most e-commerce websites so it must be a good idea, right? Think again - there are many downsides to using them.

Why Automated Image Sliders Are Bad For Your E-commerce Website Keep the clutter to a minimum
Keep the clutter to a minimum

Due to their popularity, it’s a staple feature of many pre-built themes in popular site-building services. However, we believe that image carousels are bad for e-commerce websites (and “regular” websites as well). This is why we think you shouldn’t use automated image sliders:

1. People perceive them as banner ads

Banner blindness is a term that describes people developing a habit to ignore ads on websites. Image sliders are usually located where many websites place banner ads. As a consequence, many visitors dismiss the rectangle-shaped image carousel as a mere advertisement, completely missing out on all its offers and CTAs.

2. People don’t wait to see additional slides 

Only 1% of people actually click on a carousel, which almost always happens to be the first slide. And anything beyond the initial view gets a huge decrease in visitor interaction. That makes it a fraction of 1%! Such an abysmal conversion rate is hardly worth taking up space at the top of the page.

3. Carousels split people’s attention span with too many offers

Even if visitors do pay attention to the slider, they get overwhelmed with the offers. Most image carousels are timed, and users simply don’t have enough time to read the entire promotion. And then, without a warning, then they get bombarded with a new offer. 

To add insult to injury, the existing page design doesn’t always look nice when paired with the images that are added in the carousel. The overall look contributes to the general chaotic feeling that the landing page gives off when it has an image slider. When it comes to modern website design, less is more.

4. They slow the page down

Image carousels increase page load time. Even 3 wide, large images loading can be too much – even if you’re optimizing and compressing them. These larger images are slowing down the loading of the site and hindering the usability and lowering positive user experience. And especially if no one is looking at the additional images, removing the additional slides is a quick win to speed up your site.

5. Sliders are not always optimized for mobile. 

They are not responsive and give users very little control over slider navigation. These factors contribute to poor search engine ranking and lower search traffic as a consequence. 

On larger screens, you usually see text and a CTA button hovering over the image. This is fine when you have enough real-estate to work with (and images that have enough white space to allow for readable text). But when everything shrinks down to mobile screen size, there is no room. The text will hover over the image resulting in both not being clear – you can’t read the text because of the background image and you can’t see the image because of the text. 

You could place the text below the image, which is what happens, but this is also strange as the text, on a blank background would fade in and out while the image slide does too. 

6. They have accessibility issues

Image carousels are not ADA-compliant unless they have a pause button that can be accessed via a keyboard. Additionally, each promotional image has to meet particular color contrast requirements, which significantly limits design possibilities. These limitations make it really hard to utilize image sliders for marketing objectives.

There are really no obvious benefits to using an image slider any longer. Using them, you get a number of responsiveness and accessibility issues and also a lower user experience in return. Additionally, most visitors ignore CTAs that are located on the sliders due to banner blindness, and so what’s the point?
An image carousel is an ineffective tool, and your website deserves functionalities that will increase conversion rate and improve user experience. Contact us if you’d like to discuss how we can help improve your website.

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