Pop Ups: The Hidden Key to eCommerce Success

By Bethany Llewellyn • Last updated: Monday Apr 22nd, 2024

Laptop with eCommerce sales

In today’s digital era, running a successful eCommerce business requires more than just having an online store. 

It takes a well-rounded marketing strategy that leverages the latest technology to capture, convert and retain potential customers.

Some 78% of consumers report that they have shopped online more since the pandemic — and 86% say they will continue to do so, despite cost-of-living concerns.1 Implementing a strong marketing strategy is essential to supporting customers and driving conversions.

This article discusses how pop-ups, also known as Overlays, can positively impact eCommerce businesses and how you can implement a pop-up strategy that converts visitors into customers.

Suggested reading: Read our report, ‘The State of eCommerce in 2022’, to learn more about the changing eCommerce landscape.

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Pop-ups: what are they and how can they benefit your eCommerce business?

Pop-ups, also commonly referred to as Overlays, are used to deliver targeted messaging on websites.

They can be triggered based on consumer behaviour, such as a user clicking on a specific product page or attempting to exit your site.

They optimise the most influential touchpoints of the customer journey by displaying tailored, relevant information to your customers that boosts eCommerce customer engagement and encourages more purchases.

Delivering the personalised shopping experience your customers expect, your Overlays tool can:

  • Create urgency 
  • Reduce basket abandonment
  • Prevent competitor comparison
  • Increase order values
  • Grow mailing lists
  • Provide an incentive

While pop-ups are not a new eCommerce solution, they are often thought of as being too pushy or overwhelming for online shoppers, leaving site visitors with a negative experience.

But when used effectively, with intelligent triggers and conditions that target shoppers at exactly the right moment, Overlays can deliver key information and incentives that reduce basket abandonment and drive conversions. In fact, research on over 80,000 businesses has shown that Overlay modal pop-up forms alone can increase conversions by 3.2%.2

What you can do: Explore Salesfire’s Digital Assistant and discover a reimagined Overlay strategy that supports customer journeys with genuinely helpful, unobtrusive messaging on-site.

Incorporating pop-ups into your eCommerce strategy

In today’s competitive market, it’s important for businesses to not only offer high-quality products or services but also implement crucial marketing campaigns.

Successful Overlays are able to leverage consumer behaviour to improve conversions for the long-run by:

  • Offering limited-time discounts
  • Showcasing key information
  • Utilising exit intent technology
  • Reminding customers of abandoned items

These strategies can effectively increase your customer lifetime value and generate more profit for your business.

1. Target new shoppers

Overlays can be used to offer limited-time discounts to new customers, encouraging them to convert before logging off and losing the opportunity.

This approach not only provides an incentive for the user to complete their purchase but also helps build customer loyalty from the get-go to grow your customer base.

To put this Overlay strategy into action, use your social media platforms to:

  1. Direct more traffic to your website
  2. Target shoppers with tailored content based on the platform they found you on
  3. Incentivise purchases with time-sensitive Overlays 

Pro tip: You can also launch a data-capture campaign like a newsletter sign-up Overlay to grow your subscriber list and gain information on your new visitors. 

This allows you to retarget and re-engage these users at a later date through your email marketing strategy and encourage them to return to your site time and again.

2. Welcome back returning customers

Overlays can be used to welcome engaged customers back to your site by reminding them of the items they viewed last time or by offering them a discount code.

56% of online shoppers are more likely to return to a site that offers personalised recommendations, so displaying recommendations based on the products your customer viewed on their last visit can create a more positive experience, leading to repeat business.3

eCommerce personalisation makes your existing customers feel valued, builds stronger brand relationships and increases the chances of customers advocating for your business, whether through organic social media posts or word-of-mouth marketing.

What you can do: Launching a ‘Recently Viewed’ campaign on your site will allow you to show your loyal customers the items they loved on their last visit.

Incorporating this campaign into your retention strategies will help to increase purchases from returning visitors and generate loyalty from your customer base.

Create your free Digital Assistant dashboard to get this campaign on your site in just a few clicks.

3. Reduce cart abandonment

Basket abandonment is one of the biggest challenges for eCommerce businesses, with the average abandonment rate sitting at almost 70%.4

With an Overlays cart abandonment strategy in place, you’re able to reduce basket abandonment and improve your customer retention rates. Overlays can help by:

  • Offering discounts: Display incentives like free shipping, discount codes or your loyalty program to entice your shoppers to stay and complete a purchase.
  • Targeting abandoning shoppers: Target customers who show intent to leave your site without completing a purchase with an incentive or motivation, such as your USPs or messaging to show items that are low in stock.
  • Capturing customer data: Use Overlays to capture customer information like email addresses and names to help your future retargeting efforts. 
  • Delivering Product Recommendations: Provide an opportunity to cross-sell by suggesting relevant products that complement what a customer already has in their basket, increasing the chances of them increasing their order value.

Since loyalty and retention go hand in hand, by utilising these strategies you can improve your basket abandonment rate whilst increasing low customer retention rates — a win-win. 

What you can do: Use on-site tracking or analytics to understand why your customers are abandoning their baskets.

This could be due to a lengthy checkout process, unexpected shipping or delivery fees, or perhaps they’re simply not ready to purchase. 

Understanding your customers’ behaviour is the secret to a more successful business.

Suggested reading: Discover how you can prevent cart abandonment and retarget your customers in our blog, ‘How to Effectively Retarget Cart Abandoners’.

4. Leverage customer data

Create more impactful Overlays by making full use of your customer data.

Using tools like Trends, you’re able to make informed business decisions by monitoring and analysing current consumer behaviour and industry insights.

By leveraging this data, you can create more targeted Overlays that: 

  • Drive conversions
  • Enhance the customer experience
  • Improve customer satisfaction in the long-term

Pro tip: Compare your own data against your competitors to identify opportunities for improvement or to highlight successful parts of your business strategy.

Head over to Trends to track eCommerce industry stats for free.

5. Support the customer journey

One of the biggest criticisms of pop-ups is that their intrusiveness may negatively impact the customer browsing journey.

A successful Overlays strategy should support your customers through their buying journey by using subtle prompts to help them take the next step.

Using Digital Assistant, you can choose to display your message in the middle of the screen — the traditional Overlays style — for exit intent Overlay campaigns where you’re really looking to capture a user’s attention.

For messaging that’s supporting their on-site journey and helping to navigate towards a purchase, you can your message display as a small or large message in the corner of your website to subtly provide key information to customers.

This allows you to guide the customer through to the checkout page without deterring or disrupting a visitor’s natural shopping behaviour.

Here are some of the ways this subtle strategy can support the user journey and improve eCommerce customer experiences:

  • Provide personalised content: With 71% of customers expecting personalisation, it’s crucial for eCommerce retailers to provide tailored content.5 By collecting data on your customers’ preferences and behaviour you can ensure you deliver the right messages at the right time.
  • Offer self-service options: Sometimes customers want the freedom to interact with businesses on their own terms. Providing self-serve options like FAQs, knowledge bases and live chatbots can help customers get the information they’re looking for and lead to a more positive on-site experience.
  • Provide a seamless on-site experience: Your customers will appreciate the ability to move from one stage to the next on your site without any interruptions. Ensuring your customer data is consistent across all touchpoints will make it easier for users to pick up where they left off and continue their buying journey.

Ensuring your customers have a seamless, positive experience on your site will help you drive sales and increase customer loyalty in the long run.

Salesfire’s Overlays: Your key to eCommerce success

Overlays, or pop-ups, offer a powerful solution for eCommerce businesses that wish to drive conversions and reduce website abandonment.

By utilising the latest technology and approaches, you can create a targeted, impactful overlays strategy that enhances user experiences, increases customer loyalty and generates more revenue.

Salesfire’s Overlays are designed to convert more visitors into customers by delivering timed incentives and personalised messaging to your customers.

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1  Marketing for ecommerce businesses: strategies and tips for success – Startups.co.uk

2  Should Marketers Use Pop-Up Forms? A Comprehensive Analysis 

3  Online shopping personalisation – statistics and trends | Invesp 

4  48 Cart Abandonment Rate Statistics 2023 – Cart & Checkout – Baymard Institute 

5  The value of getting personalisation right or wrong | McKinsey

See how Salesfire can help you optimise your product discovery experience, email one of our experts at [email protected] or book a free demo of our personalisation tools.