For retailers selling online, the question of “Grid View or List View?” for results pages is a common struggle. As Linda Bustos points out on her “Get Elastic” blog, “When presented with a list of search results, people often click the first result – paying attention to the top 3 or so.” And as “Get Elastic” reader Bob points out in his comment, “Grid views are predominantly used on sites selling merchandise when the visual appearance matters to the customer (i.e., clothing). List views are used when the text is important like a model number or more technical info is what matters (i.e., printer ink, computer RAM).”
Over the last three years I have had hundreds of conversations with retailers, and the overwhelming preference is to show site visitors results pages in grid view. Having also conducted a few A/B split tests to see which view performs better, the evidence suggests this as well. Our argument for why grid view performs better is that retailers can show more products “above the fold,” meaning that website visitors see more items in the browser window without having to scroll down. However, an argument for list view is that it gives you the opportunity to showcase additional descriptive text – good for shoppers who need product descriptions in order to make a buying decision.
The glaring problem with list view is that on the average laptop or desktop monitor, the visitor typically sees only two products above the fold. Given this conundrum, we’ve created a new view – called “hybrid view” – that incorporates the best of both worlds, offering pages that show more products, as in a grid view, while also including the additional descriptive information for shoppers.
Let’s look at a site search page from Sports Unlimited as our example. In the image below you can see how Sports Unlimited (with our help) has created a results page incorporating the best aspects of both list and grid views, and the results have been positive:
If you have any questions about hybrid view for search, feel free to post a comment here or contact us at (866) 240-2812 or firstname.lastname@example.org.