6 Popup Strategies That Will Help You Boost Ecommerce Conversions
Blog Feature

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.

After all, your visitors are more likely to buy if you provide them with the information they need to make a buying decision.

For some visitors this might mean addressing their sales inquiries before they make a purchasing decision. That where live chat software on your website comes in handy—meeting potential customers at the top of your sales funnel.

[READ MORE: What is the sales funnel?]


For other visitors, answering their questions might not be enough. They might need a good-enough reason to buy—a discount or another offer.

Now, I admit, there are many ways to communicate them to your visitors. But I want to show you one that has worked extremely well for our clients—using popups.

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 strong site-wide promotions to new visitors

First-time visitors are so problematic, aren’t they?

For one, you have no historical data to determine when to display the offer or even what would get them to buy.

As a result, you can’t launch a specific campaign to convert them.

But you can still catch their attention with a strong marketing message.Before I show you how to do it, let’s discuss what constitutes such strong offer.

In an article on what makes a great marketing offer (which I highly recommend you read in full), Brad Shorr from Straight North points out:

“Two factors determine the success or failure of any marketing campaign: technical execution and qualitative execution. [...] Even if a marketing campaign is executed to technical perfection, it will fail if the qualitative elements are weak. Most important, without a great offer, very few people will convert into prospects or customers.”

He then follows with the key elements of a strong offer, some of which include:

  • High Value. The more people can gain, the more likely they are to respond to your offer.
  • Emotional Appeal. Using personal and emotional benefits to stimulate action.
  • Credibility. Overcoming a customer’s natural skepticism.
  • Time-sensitivity. Provoking an immediate action.

And do, here’s how one of our clients used a strong offer to generate 15% lift in conversion rates:

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:

  • It offers value - €10 discount
  • Targets emotions - Blue Monday, what some consider the most depressing day of the year
  • Encourages a visitor to take action now - “only today”

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

Nice, huh?

Here’s another example - three for the price of two:

An image of an ecommerce popup that offers a third item free for the cost of two items.

Similar to the previous example, this strategy also makes a strong offer, coupled with time-sensitivity (you have to add another item to the cart NOW to avail of the offer), and targets the “fear of missing out.”

FOMO as the kids are calling it these days.

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

You know, there is an ongoing debate regarding out-of-stock products and their corresponding landing pages.

Some say you should take them down. Others boast about their enormous conversion opportunity.

Personally, I believe that out-of-stock pages offer an incredible opportunity to engage visitors interested in them.

For one, you could use live chat prompts to initiate conversation with anyone browsing out-of-stock products.

But also, use popups to collect their email addresses, and remarket them when the product is back in stock.

After all, it’s not a secret that the emails you collect today might convert at some point in the future. (Providing that you communicate with those customers, of course.)

Let me show you how one of our clients does it: 

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

Why does this strategy work? Because it merges a highly-relevant message, displayed at the right time (i.e. on a sold out product’s page), with a strong incentive ($20 off the first order).

It’s simple yet effective.

Strategy #3 - Use exit popups to overcome cart abandonment

It doesn’t matter which stats you look at...

...the fact remains, shopping cart abandonment is an absolute nightmare for online retailers.

Olark has covered examples of email campaigns to prevent cart abondonment in the past. I'm happy to tell you that displaying exit popups on the cart page can also help save or recover a sale.

Here's how:

Offer a discount to entice someone to continue their purchase:

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

(Note - this campaign received a staggering 28% click-through rate.)

Or suggest saving 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.(image source)

Strategy #4 - Use geotargeting to communicate shipping or other regional promotions

Free shipping is one of the biggest drivers of online purchases. In fact, according to Marketing Land, “9 out of 10 consumers say free shipping No. 1 incentive to shop online more.”

null(image source)

The thing is, you might not be able to offer free shipping to all customers. It might just be too expensive for some locations.

And because of that, you might find it hard to display the free shipping notice on the site.

After all, you want only customers who can benefit from it to see it, right?

Luckily, that’s where popups could help too.

Because you see, popups platforms often allow you to use geotargeting and other advanced targeting options to display popups to specific visitors only.

And in this case, you could use a person’s location to trigger a popup notifying them of free shipping to their area.

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

Strategy #5 - Offer incentives to highly engaged visitors

I’m sure you’ll agree that anyone visiting your site over and over is most likely considering buying from you. Perhaps some added incentive is what they need to finally make a purchase?

You can use targeting options to trigger a relevant offer to visitors who have returned to your site within a certain time-frame.

For example, you could offer a discount on a first purchase to anyone who viewed your site a couple of times in the last week.An example of a popup on an ecommerce website that targets returning visitors to make a purchase.

Why does this strategy work? Because it gives a potential customer who’s still unsure about trying your products a good reason to do so.

Strategy #6 - Capitalize on traffic from specific sources

PR and media mentions are gold for any online retailer. Having a top industry blogger or any other media platform to reference or review your products could result in a serious uptake in site traffic.

You can use popups to try and convert some of those visitors into sales or leads. Here’s how:

If your store gets mentioned in a major publication, or your products get reviewed, create a popup that targets visitors coming from that source, and offer a welcoming discount, or at least try to collect their email addresses.

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

Such a popup will welcome and engage these new visitors regardless of the page they’ve landed on, and add them to a targeted mailing list for further marketing.

Clever, isn’t it?

And there you have it…

Six strategies for using popups to communicate relevant marketing messages to your visitors, and boosting ecommerce conversions.

Of course, don't forget that you can use Olark to create automated live chat message popups to engage with visitors on your site. Using Targeted Chat Rules you can send messages based on behaviors, like when a customer spends more than 30 seconds on a checkout page.

Want to add Olark live chat to your website?

Start a free trial of Olark!

Have you used popups in any other way to generate more sales? Let me know in the comments.

About 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.