Is Infinite Scrolling Right for Your Brand?

Wednesday - May 15th, 2013

Written by: Tristan Pelligrino

Is Infinite Scrolling Right for Your Brand?

Facebook. Pinterest. Twitter. We’ve seen an increase in infinite scrolling on all of these sites and throughout the web. While infinite scrolling is nothing new, the heavy use of social media is making it a more popular feature for websites. Just as the name suggests, infinite scrolling allows you to browse down the page and get all of the content you want without ever having to leave or click away. The further down your scroll, the more content you see! The opposite is true of pagination, where the site is locked into place and you have to navigate to other content.

Though infinite scrolling is rising in popularity, there are still no concrete statistics as to whether or not infinite scrolling has better conversion rates than pagination. Without those numbers, it’s hard to determine whether infinite scrolling is right for your site or whether pagination is the better option. Generally, sites with regularly updated content (like the Facebook newsfeed) benefit from infinite scrolling while static page content is suited for pagination.

Regardless of the type of content your site has, consider the pros and cons of infinite scrolling to determine whether or not it’s right for your brand!

Why Infinite Scrolling is a Positive Element

Since users only have to scroll down the page for more content, infinite scrolling keeps visitors on the pages that you want them to stay on. This means that you don’t have to worry as much about redirecting traffic and leading consumers through a sales funnel. Instead, the bulk of information is already on a single page for them – all they have to do is scroll down! This also leads to a better user experience because there is less navigation confusion. It also saves time because users don’t have to wait for a new page to load. Instead, content automatically pops up beneath them.

Again, there are no hard numbers on infinite scrolling, but it theoretically helps consumers make purchasing decisions. For instance, it’s easier for a potential customer to scroll up and down between two possible options than to have to jump back and forth between different pages.

Infinite scrolling also takes advantage of the ever-growing mobile market. Think about it – scrolling pages are made for touch screens! This feature is already optimized for mobile users and with more people using smartphones and tablets for internet browsing, this is a feature to take advantage of!

The Limited Downsides to Infinite Scrolling

While infinite scrolling is generally a great tool for many brands, it also provides some complexities. Ironically, the same element that makes infinite scrolling great for navigation also poses navigation complexities. For instance, how can users possibly bookmark content on an infinite scrolling site? Or how can users keep track of everything they like if they’re all on the same page? Infinite scrolling also requires more JavaScript, which could hinder performance in the long run because it’s so difficult to maintain and update. Infinite scrolling is also known to lead to more browser crashes, especially among older devices.

Ultimately, the decision as to whether or not to use infinite scrolling is up to you and your needs. Since it’s a feature used on websites regardless of industry or site type, there aren’t any limitations. Whether or not you use it, one thing is certain: Infinite scrolling is a trend that will continue to grow.


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