10 Great Use Cases for E-commerce Pop-ups

June 27, 2019

We recently covered just how effective pop-ups can be, as they give you a unique opportunity to get in front of your customers and deliver a relevant, value-laden communication that gives them something to act on, while giving you increased conversion rates, customer satisfaction, and email marketing opportunities.

To help get you going, we've compiled 10 use cases for pop-ups, complete with plenty of examples to inspire you.

  1. Collect Email Addresses

First things first, one of the most important things you can achieve with your pop-ups is collecting the email addresses of your visitors, as it opens you up to new marketing opportunities.

Email marketing is extremely potent with an open rate on welcome emails being over 80% and an average return on investment of over $30 for every $1 you spend across all campaigns. The only drawback being, you need their email addresses! Pop-ups provide the perfect opportunity to do so and email collection works hand-in-hand with many other strategies as you'll see below.

Welcome pop-up at Topshop.com. Among other things, they auto-detect your location, show you their offers, ask for an email, etc. Maybe there's a bit too much, but one can certainly draw some inspiration.

  1. Offer Discounts

Know what’s a good way to get people shopping? Offer them a discount! Whether it’s a welcome discount that offers them 10% off or an exit-intent pop-up that gives them free shipping if they finish their order, a huge chunk of your shoppers will be hard-pressed to pass the savings up.

We’d be remiss not to say that this is a great time to get them to sign up for your email list and increase the chances that they’ll actually convert. Remember, while the vast majority of your users will simply leave your site, there’s a great chance many of those individuals will open up your email and consider purchasing something.

Frank & Oak offer a discount and links to their social pages. Their communication, while simple, is very playful and catches the readers attention.
Jonquil offers a discount and entices further with exclusive "insider" information and offers.
Adagio Teas has a very simple, yet bold pop-up that looks like a coupon.

  1. Hold a Contest

We understand, not everyone wants or can offer a discount to their customers. If you fall into that category, or even if you don’t, you should consider creating and integrating a contest or giveaway into your pop-up, collecting their email as part of the sign-up process.

If it makes sense for your business, you can spice your contests up and tie it into social media, hold them on a regular basis, collaborate with influencers, and so much more. At the end of the day, people love winning things so use that and create some excitement around your business and help get the word out, while collecting their email addresses for future marketing efforts.

Win a free Cratejoy subscription box? Sign me up!
Clean, simple, effective. Misen chooses a regular winner every month, making this even more attractive.

  1. Make Them Shine

This may go without saying but you want your pop-ups to look good and showcase effective copy to not only convert better but to help sell your brand. The visuals you employ will be different based on your industry, but ultimately think of your pop-up as an “elevator pitch” where you have one impactful impression to make on your customer to get them to buy into what you’re “selling”.

Where applicable, use high-resolution photos; head over to canva.com and create custom graphics; employ succinct and effective texts; minimize clutter; and make the call-to-action clear and the button pop.

Layered Popups uses great high-definition imagery and bold and contrasting colors to make their pop-up pop.
Gamification can definitely add impact to your pop-up and increase your chances at getting visitors to share their email.

  1. Top Sellers

As part of visual merchandising in traditional retail, many businesses will take advantage of visual “hot spots”, which are those places in the store where customers are naturally drawn to. These are usually at the end of a walking path, on an open portion of a display wall, or somewhere people tend to look at.

These spots would usually be reserved for new and sale items or top sellers, the latter of which translates perfectly to your pop-up strategy. If you have a product that people love, why not show it off? Pop-ups give you an ideal means of creating your own “hot spot”, getting your popular products in front of your customers and enticing them to purchase. 

Victoria Secret showing off one of their top sellers and a special offer on them as well.

  1. Loyalty and Exclusivity

If you want to increase your overall customer satisfaction and keep your business top-of-mind, creating loyalty programs or exclusive content is a step in the right direction. Loyalty programs can take on many forms, as can exclusive content, and it's up to you to determine what makes sense for your most important customers.

Do they want free recipes, e-books, or templates? Maybe they're interested in VIP discounts, exclusive sales, and product access? If you've done your customer journey mapping and identified your ideal customer, this process is much easier. Once you've got it all set, put it front and center on a pop-up to attract visitors to your brand.

Country Living offers exclusive recipes for signing up to their newsletter.
Like Wordstream, you can offer your expertise for free.
Driving traffic to your social pages, like Skechers, is definitely a great way to build a loyal fan base.

  1. Survey

Depending on where your visitor is in their customer journey, it may make sense to ask them about their shopping experience so far. By doing so, you not only collect that all-important email address, but  also gain valuable insights and feedback from your customers.

With the right questions, you can even get some valuable segmentation information and demographics, which can only help your marketing strategy. Just be mindful of where they are in their journey and craft your survey to better match their experience at that moment.

Cheryl employs a very simple pop-up asking visitors to complete a survey.
Fabletics uses this "quiz" to help craft personalized offers.

  1. Exit Intent

We alluded to this in a previous point, but did you know that you can utilize JavaScript to detect when a visitor is about to leave your site and act on that? Getting it set up may require some outside help or an additional extension to your e-commerce platform, but it’s well worth it and Samba offers a Script Manager to make managing your custom scripts even easier.

How it works is that the script will trigger a pop-up when a viewer’s mouse cursor goes outside the browser window, which usually indicates an intention to click a new tab, close the window, or leave the browser altogether. Once triggered, you can make one last-ditch effort to get them to stay and make a purchase.

Themify uses a bold, warning-like exit pop-up to draw attention and then offers a discount to help visitors convert.
J. Crew uses a combination of messages to try and get visitors to share their email address, including a discount, exclusive content, and a simple sign-up process.
Net Lingeri offers 10% off if shoppers complete their purchase.

  1. Urgency

FOMO, or the Fear of Missing Out, is a pretty strong motivator and creating a time-limited offer that capitalizes on that can be highly effective. Going a step further, you can integrate a countdown timer to make that urgency even more visceral.

These work great for holiday sales, exit intent, time-limited events, and more. Depending on how and when you use these, they can be highly effective in getting your visitor to convert.

DodoCase makes a strong case (no pun intended) for completing a purchase with this 30-minute offer.
While not tied to a coupon, Leesa Mattress lets the viewer know that the time to act is now, before their sale ends.
The Present Finder has another great combo pop-up that offers a time-limited discount, free delivery, and information on guaranteed shipping for Christmas.

  1. Out of Stock

Want to talk about effective? Instead of losing business because a product is out of stock, you can utilize pop-ups to give shoppers something to act on when the item they're interested in is not available, by either asking them to register or offering similar products.

In addition, by learning which products they're interested in, you can also offer related products, cross-sells, and upsells, when it comes time to let them know their item has made its way back into stock.

Zappos makes it easy to order an out of stock item.
Asos offers related products when a shopper happens upon an out-of-stock item.

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