Death to carousels - the cruel childish game we need to stop playing

By Ilana Davis

The other day I tortured my kiddo, as I do quite often, by grabbing the last Twizzler from the pack before she could. I knew she wanted it, we were both going for it, but I grabbed it first then proceeded to take a bite.

She was not amused. It’s my obligation to teach her these things so that she may torture her children. Right!?

When I grabbed the Twizzler from my kiddo, her immediate reaction was to reach out and grab it from me. She couldn’t stop me from pulling it away. Her only choice was to wait to see if I would give it to her, take control and grab it from my hands, or move on and consider it a loss.

Don’t worry, I only took a small bite and gave her the rest. I’m not a complete monster.

This got me thinking and reminded me how similar auto-rotating carousels are to this cruel game.

Many Shopify stores use auto-rotating carousels for their banner image on their homepage.

It’s like you are showing a customer something they want and before they click, the banner rotates away.

You may as well be saying “Oh did you like this? Too bad! Here’s the next important thing I think you need to see.”

Such a frustrating experience.

Most people don’t even see the next slides on a carousel. Who is going to sit there to watch a slideshow?

It’s a rhetorical question – the answer is no one.

What’s worse, is that most customers on your Shopify site see these as ads and will likely get hit with banner blindness. Leading customers to consciously or unconsciously ignore or forget the message altogether.

When there is more than one message (e.g. more than one slide to process), it becomes too much and our brain can’t process it. The banner then becomes completely useless and a waste of space. Too many messages equal no message at all.

Pick one single message so that it gets delivered.

If you must use a slider, either because a marketer told you they work, which they don’t, or you don’t believe me, at least remove the auto-rotation. Give control to your customers and allow them to move through at their own pace with controls that are large and easy to use.

Each element on your site should have one purpose. Rather than trying to shove as much information into one place, pick one message and ditch the carousel.



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