The Return of the Ecommerce Pop-up: 9 Awesome Use Cases

Ah the pop-up, a once much maligned feature of the internet – destined, it seemed, to be banished from our screen. But the pop-up, like double denim and novelty facial hair, has seen an unlikely comeback! Proving itself to be a key tool in ecommerce by driving increases in conversion by up to 44%.

And with behavioural targeting options far more specific than ever before, they are now more relevant, more personal and more effective. So, whether you are enticing hesitant shoppers with a time-limited discount, or encouraging email capture to allow for further marketing, one thing is for sure- the humble pop-up is back and it is here to stay. Here we look at nine ways to embrace it!

1. Greet new customers and collect valuable email addresses

Some say bribery, we say incentive. Whatever you call it, one way to encourage visitors to your site to leave their email addresses behind is by offering them a discount in return. They get money off their order and you inspire action, as well capturing potential shoppers’ details. It’s win, win. But remember, this type of pop-up is best set to appear to new visitors – preventing discounts being given for old email addresses.

Jewelry retailer Tateossian and children’s clothes company Geggamoja may be using very different designs but their pop-ups serve a similar purpose, offering new visitors 10% off their first purchase in exchange for a newsletter subscription. By doing this both companies simultaneously increase the likelihood of purchase and pave the way for marketing at a later date, through retargeting emails.

* Copy has been translated from Swedish

Bonus tip: To really maximise the value you generate from these shoppers, consider setting up personalized triggered emails. These are sent automatically and tailored with personalized product recommendations – choose from post-purchase or “we miss you” emails.

Nosto customer? Here’s how you do it…
Create a ‘Welcome New Customers’ behavioral pop-up campaign in your Nosto admin. Set the pop-up behavior to ‘Ask for Email’, choose your discount coupon type and set a desired date range. Tweak the design by uploading your own background image and off you go!  

2. Generate a sense of urgency to boost season sales

As most of us will remember from school, there isn’t much that will get people moving like a looming deadline. The same applies to ecommerce- and a pop-up is the perfect vehicle to deliver it! The Present Finder, a British gift shop, is one store that made excellent use of this- even going as far as to display a countdown of eligibility for the 10% Christmas discount they offered. This approach creates a sense of urgency and encourages shoppers to act quickly, while constantly reminding them that it is a limited offer. Interestingly, they also used the pop-up to remind shoppers that they were offering free shipping for this time period, further incentivising them and removing another possible barrier to purchase.

Nosto customer? Here’s how you do it…
Create a new ‘Boost Season Sales’ behavioral pop-up campaign in your Nosto admin. Choose whether you want to show a discount coupon immediately (like Present Finder) or if you’d like the coupon to be revealed in exchange for submitting an email address. Add the timer by creating it with a plugin or by coding it internally. Then add the timer div to the pop-up template HTML. Finally specify which dates you want the pop-up to be displayed on.

3. Make the most of flash sales to increase engagement

Flash sales are a great way to light a fire under your customers and pop-ups are a great tool to promote them! Not only are they are easy to set up but they also don’t disrupt the usual look and feel of your site and can even be targeted specifically at shoppers who are about to abandon, meaning your flash sale discounts only come into play when absolutely necessary. In short, it is the smarter way to flash!

Jewelry store Orelia are a great example of this done in an innovative and fun way, using pop-ups to display daily offers in an advent calendar style during Christmas. Not only did this encourage shoppers to convert but also to return to the store day after day to get their daily deal.

Nosto customer? Here’s how you do it… Create a new ‘Season Sales’ behavioral pop-up campaign in your Nosto admin. Choose your preferred visual settings and in campaign duration set the date range for when the pop-up should be visible.

4. Offer a discount based on cart value for increased AOV

A discount is all well and good, and no doubt a powerful tool but sometimes it is even better if you can make it work to achieve more than just a simple conversion. This is exactly what Condom Outlet did by using their pop-up to entice customers to increase their cart value. By offering 10% off orders over 25 USD, they effectively encouraged shoppers to add a couple more items to their cart to qualify.

Alternatively, if you are more concerned with encouraging those shoppers who are already big spenders to make it to the check-out then you can set your pop-ups to be triggered by cart value. This ensures that you only offer discounts to those people who have a cart of substantial monetary value.

Nosto customer? Here’s how you do it…
Create a new ‘Season Sales’ behavioral pop-up campaign in your Nosto admin. Choose your preferred visual settings and campaign duration, after which you can edit the Advanced rules. Select ruleset type to ‘cart’ which shows or hides the pop-up based on the value of a visitor’s shopping cart. Then choose a minimum and maximum cart value for targeting.

5. Offer complementary items for increased cart size

Pop-ups don’t just have to be used for discounts and email capture (although as we have seen they are great for both of those purposes!), they can also be used for product recommendations. OKA Direct do this to great effect with an overlay pop-up that appears when a customer has added something to their cart. Instead of just confirmation text, they use the pop-up real estate to recommend complementary items. This allows the customer to discover relevant items without disrupting their journey.

Nosto customer? Here’s how you do it…
Add a Nosto cross-selling recommendation in a lightbox element, indicating that an item was successfully added into the cart

6. Targeting the most likely buyers for increased conversion

Of course, a key element to conversion is relevancy. One way to achieve this with pop-ups is to set your pop-up to be triggered on predefined URLs. For example, McSport, Ireland’s leading supplier of sports equipment, delivered an offer on a football to only be featured on the soccer category page. Customers who were on this page were then more likely to be interested in the offer as it was relevant to the category they were viewing.  

Nosto customer? Here’s how you do it…
Create a new ‘Season Sales’ behavioural pop-up campaign in your Nosto admin. Choose your preferred visual settings and campaign duration. In ‘Final Touches’ click ‘Go to advanced settings’, select the ruleset type to ‘Page URLs’ and insert the URL that you want the pop-up to show up on.

7. Converting visitors before they leave

Site abandonment is never a good thing but that isn’t to say that can’t turn this negative event into a positive opportunity for your business! The answer is, you guessed it, a pop-up! How can you do it? By selecting a trigger that targets abandoning shoppers specifically. Intent to leave your store can be detected by a user’s mouse movement and then used to your advantage.

Fashion store Best of Brands do exactly this by re-engaging customers that are about to leave  with an exit pop-up offering a discount code. By offering a time-limited discount of 10% hesitant customers are more likely stay on the site and go on to complete a purchase, with the copy to clipboard option making it even easier for them to do so. By targeting only those shoppers that are abandoning the site, the offer is used sparingly and when it is most effective.


Nosto customer? Here’s how you do it…
Create a New Behavioral Pop-up campaign, ‘Convert Abandoning Visitors before it’s too Late’  is set up by default with the ‘On Exit’ trigger. Set the pop-up behavior in the next step to ‘Show Coupon’. After that edit the text-fields to your liking and add colour schemes and a background image to match company profile. Voilá!

8. Offering a cart contents reminder

With the global average for abandoned cart rates now almost hitting 70%, it is essential for online retailers to directly target customers who are leaving without completing their purchase. This is a similar concept to the site abandonment pop-up discussed in the last example but looks specifically to target customers that have actively engaged by adding items to their cart.

Greatdays have implemented this style of pop-up- targeting abandoning unidenitifed shoppers with an offer to saves their cart contents. This allows them to reach out through email with a reminder of what they had shown interest in. The shopper is then able to continue their shopping at a more convenient time and Greatdays can store their email address for further retargeting purposes.

Nosto customer? Here’s how you do it…
After you’ve set up abandoned cart emails, launch the abandoned cart pop-up by going to your Nosto admin panel and launching a new ‘Follow Up Abandoned Carts‘ campaign. Simply edit the text-fields provided and add colour schemes to match company profile, preview, and the tool is ready to go live!

9. Make the most of PPC campaigns for increased ROAS

When traffic comes to your website through a paid route you want to make sure that you are making as much of that opportunity as possible. One way to do this is by displaying a pop-up exclusively on the the pages PPC acquired shoppers will land on. The Pen Shop is optimizing for exactly this by using a pop-up triggered by the relevant url-parameter. When this is clicked to bring a customer to the store the pop-up appears, incentivising them to make a purchase and aiding the ROAS from that channel! This can be done for other channels and campaigns also – for example traffic coming from Facebook ads, newsletters, blog posts or other content sites.

Nosto customer? Here’s how you do it…
Create a new ‘Convert Abandoning Visitors before it’s too Late’ pop-up campaign and follow the instructions to get your look and feel right.

Hopefully the innovative ways in which these companies are using pop-ups has inspired you! And that’s not the end! Other possible options include;

  • Pop-ups triggered by page view – Shown after a given number of page views has been reached during one same session, meaning you can choose when in the customer journey a pop-up appears.
  • Pop-ups triggered by category – Shown only on the categories you choose, allowing you to be selective in the ranges you want to actively promote. You can select those categories that are no longer seasonal to get rid of excess stock, highlight specific brands as part of a promotion or, if you wish, go within the category pages to promote only certain styles or colours.
  • Pop-ups triggered by category brand – Shown only on brand categories, allowing you to appeal to those shoppers who are particularly brand loyal.

So, there we have it- nine companies using the ecommerce pop-up to successfully boost their business! And you thought the return of double denim was something to get excited about! 

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