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What is an Image Carousel?

Learn all about digital marketing, we have built this glossary to help you understand everything to thrive in online marketing and promoting your website or business.

What is an Image Carousel
An image carousel lets you display multiple pictures in a row or a loop, with several navigational options, including automated timed cycling, forward and back buttons, thumbnails, pagination, and swipe capabilities in mobile view. Commonly, they accommodate between three to five images, though some can host more.
Carousels can simultaneously display different types of information visually, reducing the need to navigate to multiple pages or scroll endlessly. They're a perfect feature for e-commerce platforms, news and blog sites, portfolio pages, and more, as they bring a dynamic element to any web page design.
However, poorly planned or overused, they may hurt your website's usability and SEO, thereby negatively affecting user engagement and conversions. Thus, a measured and strategic approach is advised while employing image carousels.
Image Carousel’s Role in Digital Marketing
Despite some potential drawbacks, when used strategically, image carousels can significantly boost user interactions and engagement levels. They allow marketers to efficiently use the 'above the fold' space on a website, showcasing multiple messages or promotions simultaneously and increasing the likelihood of catching the visitor's attention.
Especially for e-commerce, they can effectively pique visual interest and drive conversions by highlighting featured products, deals, and categories. Similarly, they can aid in storytelling for brand pages, educating users about the company or product sequence. They're a great way to present content in a structured and interactive manner, adding a visual appeal that can enhance user experience.
However, it's crucial to factor in page load times and mobile responsiveness, as poor performance can deter users and harm search engine rankings. Besides, it is essential to ensure that carousels are accessible to all users, complying with web accessibility standards.
Image Carousel Examples
The widespread use of image carousels can be attributed to their versatility and adaptability. Many major online retail giants like Amazon and eBay use carousels quite effectively on their homepages to showcase deals and categories. Such large-scale usage stems from a carousel's inherent advantage of saving screen space while keeping users informed about various offerings.
Media or news outlets like BBC and CNN frequently use carousels on their websites, letting visitors flip through the day's top stories. This method significantly enhances visitor engagement by offering diversity and a broad scope of content quickly.
Even portfolio websites extensively leverage carousels to display different work samples while keeping the user interface minimal and clean. They present an interactive way for potential clients to understand a professional's range of skills and expertise. It clearly demonstrates how image carousels, when effectively utilized, can significantly enhance user experience and drive engagement.