Maximizing eCommerce Success with Popups: 5 Compelling Reasons

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Author Scott Whatley
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The main challenge for every online store is keeping and attracting customers. One not-so-recent tactic for getting your website visitors to stay longer on your website, and potentially make a purchase, are popups. 

If you’ve used the internet for more than a decade, you’ve undoubtedly come to see popups as a nuisance. The majority of people who used the internet in the 1990s considered popups to be spam or automated programs that led them away from the original site. People would quickly close any websites that had a suspicious popup.
Marketers have gradually learned to utilize this technology. Statistics show that using popups, particularly for online stores, increases conversion rates. Some popups have conversion rates as high as 50.2%, yet the top popups only convert at an average rate of 9.28%. That’s still a rather lofty sum.

Understanding Popups: Types and Functions

A popup is an overlay that displays on your online shop and is designed to attract the user’s attention. Pop-up windows for online stores now serve several purposes, and they come in various types, including:

  1. Time-based popups: The ‘time-based’ popup is by far the most popular kind of popup. These updates occur on the site at regular intervals. These timed popups let visitors continue their browsing experience while pushing a call-to-action or special offer.
  2. On-entry popups: The ‘on entry’ and ‘exit intent’ alerts are different types. The first website popup appears when the user first visits the site, while the second one attempts to prevent the user from leaving the site. For example, you can use an email pop up to get visitors to sign up for your newsletter before they exit the page in exchange for a discount.
  3. Exit-intent popups: Attempt to prevent the user from leaving the site by offering a discount or newsletter sign-up.
  4. Scroll-based popups: ‘scroll-based’ website popups are popular on blogs and news sites, and they appear when a user has scrolled down a lengthy page a certain number of times. We’ve all seen or heard of them before, but are they effective for today’s shoppers, who have shorter attention spans and busier schedules? Well, we’ll have to see.
A couple of pop-up examples

Now that we understand the different types of popups, let’s explore the reasons why you should use them on your eCommerce website.

1. Drive Sales

Increasing revenue is a primary goal of employing popups in eCommerce websites. By offering a discount or highlighting benefits, a delayed or exit-intent popup can encourage visitors to make a purchase. According to Sumo, the top popups convert at an average rate of 9.28%, which is a significant number when it comes to driving sales.

2. Generating Leads

The first step in a marketing funnel is generating leads. Popups on your eCommerce website’s homepage can potentially generate a large number of leads. These popups often include lead magnets, such as a free ebook, online course, or product discount in exchange for the customer’s contact information. To improve their effectiveness, these popups require extensive A/B testing.

3. Assistance to Customers

Helping users when they’re lost on your page can improve their overall experience. Many eCommerce businesses utilize a popup connected with a chatbot to provide constant assistance to their customers. These chatbots can be pre-loaded with frequently asked questions for a more straightforward encounter, shortening the time it takes for a customer to go from having a question to making a purchase.

4. Promote Actions

In addition to capturing contact information and generating leads, website popups can be used to suggest various activities, such as following on social media, joining a referral program, retrieving abandoned carts, or encouraging logins. Interactions facilitated through popups can keep the visitor on the site and avoid unnecessary redirections.

5. Targeted Advertising

Sales-driving popups can respond to user’s actions and offer personalized promotions. Advanced learning engines can predict a user’s interests from their behavior, allowing eCommerce popups to be more relevant to each customer. For example, targeting a female visitor who spends a few minutes on the cosmetics page with a popup promoting a combination deal or limited-time promotion can help you win her over.

6. Reduce Cart Abandonment

Popups can be used to address cart abandonment, a common issue faced by eCommerce websites. Exit-intent popups can be triggered when a user is about to leave the website with items still in their shopping cart. By offering a discount, free shipping, or a reminder to complete the purchase, popups can help reduce cart abandonment rates and increase sales.

7. Collect Feedback and Reviews

Popups can be utilized to collect valuable customer feedback and product reviews. By prompting users to rate their experience or share their thoughts on a recently purchased product, you can gather important insights to improve your offerings and enhance customer satisfaction. This feedback can also be used as social proof, which can help build trust with potential customers and drive more conversions.

8. Promote Time-Limited Offers

Creating a sense of urgency can be an effective way to encourage customers to make a purchase. Popups can be used to showcase limited-time offers, flash sales, or special deals that are only available for a short period. By highlighting the time-sensitive nature of the offer, you can increase the chances of visitors taking action and making a purchase.

9. Geo-Targeted Popups

Popups can be customized based on the user’s geographical location to provide more relevant offers and promotions. For example, you can display popups that promote region-specific products, discounts, or shipping options. Geo-targeted popups can help you cater to the unique preferences and needs of your customers based on their location, leading to increased conversions and customer satisfaction.

10. Strengthen Brand Loyalty

Popups can help strengthen brand loyalty by offering exclusive promotions, discounts, or content to your existing customers or subscribers. By recognizing and rewarding their continued support, you can foster a sense of appreciation and increase the likelihood of repeat purchases and long-term customer loyalty.

Maximizing the Impact of Your eCommerce Popups

Now that we’ve explored the benefits of using popups on your eCommerce website, let’s dive into some strategies and design tips for creating effective popups that contribute positively to the user experience. By implementing these best practices, you can maximize the impact of your popups and drive conversions while maintaining a positive user experience for your visitors.

  1. Keep it Simple: A cluttered popup can be overwhelming and off-putting to users. Focus on a clean design with a clear message and minimal distractions to maximize user engagement.
  2. Use Compelling Headlines: Grab the user’s attention with a captivating headline that clearly communicates the value proposition of your offer or call-to-action.
  3. Make Your Call-to-Action Stand Out: Ensure that the call-to-action (CTA) button is prominently displayed and easy to find. Use contrasting colors and a clear, actionable phrase to encourage users to take action.
  4. Be Mindful of Timing: Choose the right moment to display your popup. For instance, display an exit-intent popup when the user is about to leave the site or a timed popup after the user has spent a certain amount of time on the page.
  5. Personalize Your Popups: Use personalization to create a more engaging and relevant experience for users. Personalize popups based on user behavior, browsing history, or other data points to increase their effectiveness.
  6. Avoid Intrusive Popups: Ensure that your popups don’t obstruct essential website elements or make it difficult for users to navigate your site. Be respectful of user experience by making it easy to close the popup and avoid using popups that take up the entire screen.

With these strategies and design tips, you can create popups that not only improve customer engagement and drive sales but also enhance the overall user experience on your eCommerce website.

Remember, a well-designed and thoughtfully implemented popup can be a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal, helping you achieve your business goals while providing value to your customers.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, popups can serve as versatile tools for enhancing the performance of your eCommerce website. By understanding the various types of popups and implementing them strategically, you can boost conversions, generate leads, assist customers, promote actions, and enable targeted advertising. Make sure to research and test different types of popups to find the most effective ones for your online store.

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