Should I use sliders in my B2B website design?

When designing your B2B website, there’s one recurring question: should I include sliders? Here’s data-driven reasons to why you should (or shouldn’t) include them.

Picture of Calum Joyce Calum Joyce

Published: 07 Feb 2022

8 minutes read

Should I use sliders in my B2B website design?

The key to B2B website design is making sure that your website not only looks good, but is built in such a way that helps a user to convert.

And consumers agree, with 50% of buyers believing that their overall impression of a brand depends on the design of a company’s website.

But, when it comes to designing a website, one key question often comes up: should you use sliders in your B2B website design?

In this context, a slider refers to a slideshow on a website. This revolving carousel can either display products, photos, or quickly show a user a limited number of products or services that they offer.

slider

[Source: axongarside.com]

While many designers have a strong opinion about the use of sliders and slider controls in B2B website design, ultimately there are a lot of data-driven decisions why you should (or shouldn’t) use a slider in your website. Let’s find out more.

 

Data on using sliders in  B2B website designs

While businesses have conducted their own experiments on websites, using tools such as HotJar or HubSpot’s tracking function to see if users are interested in sliders, one prominent content experiment was published by Tom Bowen.

In this experiment, he took four different sliders with different levels of interactivity, and measured:

  • How they were interacted with
  • How they affected the bottom-line conversation rate of a website

A shocking 1% of users clicked on a slider, with above 75% of those clicks going to the first item in the content carousel.

Conversion rates, therefore, are affected, with Bowen’s study concluding that websites without a slider increased the number of sales made vs those that didn’t.

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Pros and cons of using sliders in your B2B website design

Benefits of using sliders in your B2B website design

While the data is not in their favour, depending on the context you use sliders in, they can offer benefits for your website. These include:

Product showcase

If using sliders as a way to showcase photos, such as on a product page, they can offer a rich experience for your visitors.

product showcase

[source]

Often, B2B businesses use sliders to showcase their products in different ways, such as:

  • Being installed by a technician.
  • Professional, in-studio images.
  • Videos, either explaining how to use their product or offering more information about the benefits of their product. 

Instructional use

As slider modules offer a linear journey between one slide in the slideshow to the other, some companies have used them to display instructional content.

As a lot of instructional content can be quite lengthy, using a slider with a supporting image that both clearly states in text and shows with a visual what the participant must do helps users of all abilities understand how to use a product.

This idea can be utilised with SaaS businesses, for example, explaining in detail how to use their software while not taking up significant space on a page.

Outside of showcasing products and using them for instructional use, however, sliders often provide few benefits for your website and come with a variety of negatives.

Negatives of using sliders in your B2B website design

Fundamentally, there are three key reasons why they don’t work for B2B website designs, which are:

1. Sliders can be confusing

Giving the user multiple offers at once, sliders or content carousels often dilute a users journey down a page making them question - what is it that I actually want?

Often tailored towards different part of the funnel, a content slider typically offers a range of content that a user might not be interested in. With the aforementioned data showing that 1% of users interact with a content carousel, and a majority of that interaction is with the first slide, there is a significant chance that while trying to offer your potential customers a wealth of information or products, they’re likely too high up the funnel to make that decision and are confused by the offering.

2. Sliders are easily ignorable

Whether it’s a physical click, as your user scrolls their way through the content carousel, or there’s an automated timer attached to the sliders, the content within them are easily ignored.

No matter if this is because the user is unable to read all of the text due to the amount in the module and the speed of the scroll, if the timer is too slow and the user gets bored, or if they simply ignore the ‘next’ button, users see sliders as advertisements.

State 1:

arjay 1

State 2:

Arjay 2

[Source

Viewed as ads rather than highlighted products or offerings, as users become more accustomed to spending time on the web, naturally we block them out. So, regardless of the value of the offer, a user is highly unlikely to click on a product or offering in a slider module as opposed to a static hero or call-to-action banner.

3. Sliders don’t work well on mobile devices

When making a slider, they’re typically optimised for loading on computers. Sliding or scrolling well on desktop devices, some designers when coming up with a B2B website design often overlook this module’s usability on mobile devices.

With a staggering 56% of global website traffic coming from mobile devices instead of desktops in 2021, it is more important than ever that businesses account for mobile usability of modules when planning their B2B website design. 

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Should I use sliders in my b2b website design?

Ultimately, whether or not you include a slider in your B2B website design depends on the intent of your site as a whole.

While sliders can create a good UX experience if used correctly, typically on B2B websites their interactivity or intent is not considered, and are often used as a ‘dumping ground’ for content.

At Axon Garside, we advise our clients against using sliders if they’re including rich value content within them, such as blogs, eBooks, or product pages. This is because they’re easily skippable by any potential customer coming to your page.

Instead of using a slider, we typically design websites with a dynamic resources module.

In this module, clients often opt for a ‘featured resource’, typically twice as big as the others. Then, either under or around it, other resources are offered, such as eBooks or blogs. As dynamic content on your website, this means they automatically pull through the most recent content on your website, potentially highlighting a featured resource of your choice. This could be a case study, a high-volume blog, or a new eBook.

pennington choices cards

[Source]

The benefits of a dynamic resources module are:

  • All of the content is on the screen at once, meaning that your client is aware of all of the offerings that would traditionally be available in a slider module. If they’re interested in a resource, they can simply see and click on the offering instead of skimming through a slider, not really paying attention.
  • They can help you win clients. For example, if you were trying to win a deal with a manufacturing client and toggled ‘manufacturing’ in the back-end of your website, the dynamic resources module could pull through resources on how your service helps manufacturing companies. By featuring this module on your homepage, you would be offering prime content to potential clients, while still not alienating other users who approach your site.

Alternatively, if you’re considering using a slider as a header on the homepage of your website, we would recommend using a static hero instead. Not only is this easily optimised for mobile use, but by offering a single solution, it simplifies the journey for the user, guiding them down the page and following the route you intend.

In short, while you may be keen to convert users as much as possible throughout their time on your website and offer them as many assets as possible, having clear conversion points throughout your website is much better than a slider. When planning your new B2B website design, focus on clear conversion points and navigation options instead of a confusing slider that most users will likely ignore.

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