6 Popup Strategies That Will Help You Boost Ecommerce Conversions

Today's guest post comes from Greg d’Aboville of WisePops, a super easy pop-up builder platform

It's hard to question the impact of good customer communication on conversions.

Converting website visitors is a subtle art. Some folks just need a few questions answered before they're ready to buy — which is where live chat software really shines. But others will need an extra push to decide that now is the right time to make a purchase. 

There are lots of ways to nudge these visitors down the sales funnel, but one that's worked well for our clients is a strategically placed popup. In this article, I'll show you six scenarios for using popups to boost your ecommerce conversions. 

Intrigued? Then let’s do it!

Strategy #1: Displaying site-wide promotions to new visitors

From a conversion perspective, first-time visitors can be problematic. You have no historical data on their interests, motivations, or preferences, so it's pretty tough to target them with a specific offer or campaign. 

Your best bet with a first-time visitor is a solid general marketing message — one that hits all of the following notes:

  • High Value. Make it clear what the visitor will gain from responding to the offer. 
  • Emotional Appeal. Highlight the offer's personal and emotional benefits, in addition to financial perks.
  • Credibility. The offer should be consistent with your brand — and shouldn't be "too good to be true". 
  • Time-sensitivity. Give the offer an expiration date to provoke immediate action.

Here’s an example from one of our clients:

An image of an eCommerce popup that makes an enticing sales and marketing offer to the customer.

Note how their popup covers most of the elements of a strong offer:

  • Value: €10 discount
  • Emotions: References "Blue Monday", which some consider the most depressing day of the year
  • Credibility: The offer is reasonable, and the popup matches the website brand
  • Time-sensitivity: "Only today”

By displaying this popup to every new visitor on the site, the company was able to generate 15% more conversions.

Strategy #2 - Collect emails on out-of-stock products 

There's an ongoing debate around out-of-stock products and their corresponding landing pages. Some say you should take them down...with others say they're an enormous conversion opportunity.

Personally, I'm in the second camp — I believe out-of-stock pages offer an incredible opportunity to engage visitors. By using a popup to collect email addresses from visitors who are interested in out-of-stock products, you set yourself up to run a great remarketing campaign when the product is back in stock. 

Here's how one of our clients uses this strategy: 

An example of an ecommerce popup that uses an out of stock product to encourage a customer to make a purchase.

This popup merges a highly relevant message, displayed at the right time (on the sold out product’s page), with a strong incentive ($20 off the first order).

It’s simple — but extremely effective.

Strategy #3 - Use exit popups to overcome cart abandonment

Shopping cart abandonment is an absolutely nightmare for most online retailers:

Email campaigns can help you follow up on abandoned carts — but what if you could prevent cart abandonment before the customer even leaves the page? That's where exit popups come in. One highly effective exit popup strategy is to offer a discount to entice the customer to continue their purchase:

An example of a cart abandonment popup on an ecommerce website.

This campaign received a staggering 28% click-through rate.

You could also suggest that the customer save their basket for later:

An example of a cart abandonment popup on an ecommerce website that encourages the user to save a product to their basket for future purchase.

Strategy #4 - Use geotargeting to promote free shipping  

Free shipping is one of the biggest drivers of online purchases. In fact, according to Marketing Land, 9 out of 10 consumers say that free shipping is their top incentive to shop online more.

But what if you can't offer free shipping to all customers? For example, you may be able to cover domestic shipping costs, but still need the customer to chip in for international orders. You don't want to display free shipping promotions to visitors who can't benefit from them; they'll just feel let down when they try to finalize their order. 

Fortunately, there's an easy solution — most popup platforms allow you to use geotargeting and other advanced targeting options to display popups only to visitors in specific locations. Here's one example of a nicely targeted shipping promotion: 

An example of a geo targeted ecommerce popup on a retail website.

Strategy #5 - Offer incentives to repeat visitors

The more someone visits your site, the more confident you can be that they're seriously considering a purchase. But if they haven't converted after a few visits, you can also reasonably assume that they need a little nudge. 

Consider targeting repeat visitors with a popup, and perhaps offering them a small incentive to buy. For example, you might design an offer for anyone who's visited your site at least twice in the past week. Here's an example: 

An example of a popup on an ecommerce website that targets returning visitors to make a purchase.

Strategy #6 - Capitalize on traffic from specific sources

PR and media mentions are gold for any online retailer — if a top industry blogger references or reviews your products, for example, you're likely to see a serious uptick in site traffic.

Why not greet these new visitors with a personalized message, and maybe even a discount offer? By making them feel special, you'll plant a seed of loyalty and move them closer to a purchase, even if they were just intending to browse. You might even be able to capture email addresses for a followup campaign, as in this example:

An example of an ecommerce popup that uses a PR hit or blogger review to boost conversions.

And there you have it…

Six strategies for using popups to boost ecommerce conversions! If you've used another popup strategy to boost sales, comment on this post — I'd love to add your ideas to the list. 

Check out relevant topics on: eCommerce and Retail

Greg d’Aboville

Read more posts by Greg d’Aboville

Greg d’Aboville is a CRO and email marketing enthusiast. He works at WisePops, a popup solution, where he’s head of Customer Success.