Pop-ups can be a handy tool to collect important information. Find out how to optimize your ecommerce pop-ups here.
We reviewed 300 Shopify store owners and discovered that 50% used website pop-ups as their preferred customer engagement tool. This isn’t surprising since pop-ups can yield a conversion rate of between 3% and 11%, compared to the standard rate of around 2%.
But using pop-ups to get more conversions for your website requires more than just slapping a newsletter email signup pop-up window on your website. In fact, poor use of pop-ups can drive customers away.
High-converting pop-ups are built on some of the best apps and tick all the boxes on our pop-up checklist. Below, we’ll dive deeper into this checklist and provide you with our top picks for pop-up app software.
11 ecommerce pop-up types and examples
If you spend any time on the internet, you’ve likely encountered a pop-up campaign at some point. You may have even seen one on your journey to this page!
Pop-ups have come a long way over the last decade. Whereas they used to be aggressive annoyances, they are now significantly subtler and operate as invaluable sales and marketing tools.
Here are some of the most popular types of pop-ups to consider using for your store with ecommerce pop-up examples for each.
📚 Read more: 13 Ecommerce Growth Tactics to Boost Revenue
1) Sign-up form pop-ups
Depending on your current digital marketing strategy, sign-ups can be useful for a number of goals. You can invite visitors to sign up for a newsletter, register for an event, or receive an exclusive discount.
This lets you collect valuable customer information like email addresses and phone numbers that can be used for marketing efforts.
Offering something like a discount in exchange for an email subscription sign up is known as a “lead magnet.”
Example of a sign-up form pop-up
When customers visit swimwear brand Kulani Kinis ecommerce store, the first pop-up they see is a sign-up form. It also includes an enticing offer of a discount on a customer’s first order. And it’s all done with cute graphics that match Kulani Kinis’ branding.
Also note that the pop-up includes a line that says “By signing up you agree to receive email marketing.” This is required to comply with email marketing laws.
2) Special offers and discounts
Those glossy pop-ups that appear and, for example, offer free shipping for orders over $xx or highlight a sale.
These can be tailored to just about any offering your ecommerce brand wants to promote, and can even be turned into a game to attract more interest.
Spin-the-wheel pop-ups that allow customers to “spin” to unlock their discount percentage is a fun way to interact with customers, and many enjoy the gamified experience.
Example of an offer or discount pop-up
When shoppers visit Bagallery, they’re greeted by a large pop-up promoting an up to 60% discount and a link to “shop now.”
3) Exit pop-ups
If you’ve ever visited an ecommerce store and moved your mouse to navigate to another tab, you may have seen one of these pop-ups.
Exit pop-ups trigger when customers try to leave your website or have left the tab idling and are a great way to grab a customer’s attention and convince them to go to checkout.
It’s smart to offer an incentive to stay, like a discount code if they follow through on the purchase. The goal here is to reduce cart abandonment.
Example of an exit pop-up
This is the pop-up that appears on Princess Polly, a women’s apparel ecommerce store.
It’s triggered when a potential customer has added items to their shopping cart but left them sitting. The pop-up entices those customers with 10% off if they follow through with the purchase.
4) Seasonal pop-ups
Around seasonal shopping holidays, you may have targeted products or categories you’re looking to highlight to customers.
A pop-up can be a great way to draw attention to those products. A great example would be gift sets or stocking stuffer ideas during the Christmas season, or spooky items around Halloween. This pop-up type helps customers find what they need faster.
These can also create a sense of urgency by promoting a limited-time deal that coincides with a holiday.
Example of a seasonal pop-up
Here’s an example from skincare brand Absolute Collagen. It appears once the customer has scrolled down the main landing page a bit and reminds them that the “countdown to Christmas is on.”
Clicking through brings customers to Absolute Collagen’s curated gift sets, which is exactly what a customer might be looking for just before Christmas.
5) Upsell pop-ups
Upsell pop-ups suggest additional products a customer may want to add to their cart based on what they’ve already added. It typically pop ups right after an item has been added to the cart.
It’s important that these pop-ups are related to what customers have already been shopping for. It just doesn’t make sense, for example, to suggest purchasing a piece of cookware to someone who just bought a beauty product.
Product value also plays a role. If someone has just added a $25 product to their cart, it’s unlikely you can upsell them on a $100 product. The upsell product should be a cheaper product related to their original product choice.
Example of an upsell pop-up
Uqora is an ecommerce store that sells over-the-counter products for urinary health, targeted at women.
After adding their “Flush” product, shoppers get a pop-up suggesting their pH-balanced vulva cleanser for $10. This is a great example because the upsell product is inexpensive and targets site visitors already showing interest in health products.
📚 Read more: 11 Best Practices for Ecommerce Upselling
6) Chat campaigns
An unobtrusive chat pop-up tells shoppers that customer service is ready and waiting for their questions or concerns.
We’ll dig more into chat pop-ups later on, but they can be used for more than just offering help. They can be a spot to offer discounts, promote sales or products, or act as a personal stylist.
Example of a chat pop-up
Jewelry brand Jaxxon uses a chat pop-up to offer customer service as well as styling advice.
Powered by Gorgias, Jaxxon’s chat pop-up appears subtly in the bottom right corner of premium product pages, offering unique styling services. This is just one example of how you can use chat campaigns to spark conversation and increase conversions:
7) New arrivals pop-ups
When you launch a new product, a pop-up is a great way to get some eyeballs on it.
These pop-ups are especially important for your loyal, returning visitors to show them something new and exciting.
Example of a new product pop-up
This is a pop-up that appears on the homepage of Lillie Q, a BBQ sauce brand. It highlights their new tender sauces and also includes a button to see other new releases.
8) Local currency redirect pop-ups
Customers will always prefer to shop in their local currency, if available. According to Shopify, 17% of shoppers will abandon a cart if they can’t determine the total cost up front. Having to convert currencies makes it more difficult to determine that cost.
If your ecommerce store is equipped to offer local currency prices, or has multiple sites to offer a localized experience, a pop-up can redirect international customers.
Example of a local currency redirect pop-up
Crossnet is a sports equipment ecommerce store based in the US. However, when a customer visits from Canada they get a pop-up directing them to shop from the Canadian store in Canadian dollars.
This pop-up appears as soon as a Canadian customer visits, so their entire shopping experience can be in local currency.
9) Loyalty program pop-ups
If you have an active loyalty program for your ecommerce store that earns customers points or other perks, a pop-up can prompt them to sign up.
Having a loyalty pop-up come up early tells customers before they even make a purchase that they’ll earn something when they do convert. This is another opportunity to capture email subscribers for email marketing campaigns.
Example of a loyalty program pop-up
Campus Protein is a supplement ecommerce store targeted at college students. When first visiting the site, a pop-up appears in the bottom left corner prompting new visitors to join their loyalty program and “unlock rewards.”
Clicking through takes customers to a page to create an account on the site and start earning Campus Protein points.
10) Giveaway pop-ups
A giveaway or other offer can pull double duty. First, they entice customers to stay on the site, similar to an exit pop-up. They’re also another way to collect information such as emails.
These are best employed after a potential customer has already been on the site for some time, as a way to keep them browsing.
Example of a giveaway pop-up
This is an example from Darn Good Yarn, an ecommerce store that specializes in ethically-sourced fiber.
It triggers when the site senses a potential customer is going to leave and offers a chance to win a $250 gift card. Not only is the offer enticing, but it’s an opportunity to collect emails for marketing.
11) Bundle pop-ups
This is a type of upsell that recommends bundling an item added to a customer’s cart with other products to create a discounted bundle. This is useful if you have products that can be worn or used together.
It’s an opportunity to add another product to a customer’s cart but also give a styling or utilization recommendation. It’s also a more customized type of pop-up because the product recommendation is directly related to something the customer already wants to purchase.
Example of a bundle pop-up
On the Jaxxon website, there are products in similar styles that look great when worn together.
In this case, when a customer adds the Cuban Link Bracelet to their cart, the pop-up recommends upgrading to the Cuban Essentials Set, which includes a matching necklace, at a discounted price.
Risks of pop-ups in ecommerce
Pop-ups have a ton of uses and are a proven conversion tool, so the temptation is there to use them as much as possible. However, that would be a huge mistake.
Pop-ups are only useful if they’re used smartly, sparingly, and with purpose.
The short-term conversion win will be harmed if they’re overused, hurting:
- Brand image
- Repeat business and loyalty
- Site performance
It’s vital that your pop-up choices do more harm than good so here are some of the risks of employing a pop-up strategy.
Pop-ups annoy customers
This might seem obvious but it can’t be understated: Customers simply aren’t fans of pop-ups. There’s a reason ad and pop-up blockers are popular browser add-ons.
Even with your best intentions, pop-ups interrupt the shopping experience. If a customer came to your ecommerce website looking for a particular product or just to browse, their first choice is not to have that experience intruded upon by a pop-up.
G2 conducted a poll and found that an overwhelming 82% of customers said they “hate” pop-ups asking with an email capture. In particular, 45.6% said they dislike how pop-ups seem to be “everywhere” and 28.6% disliked how they appear right away.
While 72% said there was nothing that makes pop-ups better, 11.9% said a discount offer helps reduce their displeasure.
Pop-ups can harm load speed
Adding pop-ups to your ecommerce site usually means adding additional apps or other tech, which can impact how quickly your site loads. Each additional pop-up can mean a slower load speed and higher bounce rate.
Load speed is a vital part of your ecommerce website. Data from Portent shows that conversion rates are highest at a 1-second load time and drop from there. Ecommerce retailers should aim for a load time of between 1 and 4 seconds, more than that seriously hurts conversion.
Plus, according to Unbounce, 45.4% of shoppers are less likely to make a purchase if the site loads slowly, and 36.8% are less likely to return to that ecommerce store.
Pop-ups can hurt your SEO strategy
Customers aren’t too fond of pop-ups, and neither is Google.
Since at least 2016, Google has been penalizing the most intrusive types of pop-ups, especially for users on mobile. In particular, Google doesn’t like pop-ups that appear right away and fill the whole screen and need to be closed before the website can be accessed.
That doesn’t mean pop-ups are a complete no-go. You can appease Google by:
- Disabling pop-ups on mobile
- Having a delay before pop-ups appear
- Keep pop-ups small an unobtrusive
- Disable pop-ups for customers coming in through Google search results
📚 Recommended reading: Our guide to Shopify search engine optimization (SEO).
Pop-ups can overlap
If a single pop-up can turn off a potential customer, several overlapping pop-ups is much worse.
In addition to the load time issues, competing pop-ups is just a bad user experience. There are more pop-ups than ever now when you consider prompts to accept cookies or other privacy provisions and browser pop-ups like requests to allow notifications.
This is compounded when a customer is on mobile, because there’s even less space and a higher likelihood of overlap.
Be mindful of what pop-ups are showing up by default and time pop-ups so only one is appearing at any one time.
Ecommerce pop-up best practices checklist
At the most basic level, a pop-up provides a call-to-action that entices potential customers. The right type of pop-up can increase your ecommerce store’s conversion rate, but this is only possible if you check off all six items on the checklist below.
1) Entice buyers with a value add
The offer you present in your pop-up should be useful to your target buyers. But the only way for you to create the right offer is to truly get to know who your buyers are and what interests them.
Say you create a pop-up to collect email addresses from web visitors. If the pop-up doesn’t have an incentive, there’s no “what’s in it for me?” for the target buyer.
We’d recommend modifying pop-up to present the buyer with a chance to win something. Providing a clearer incentive for customers is a much better way to improve the conversion rate of your pop-up.
2) Keep pop-ups short and sweet (like these pop-up examples)
The wording of your pop-up copy depends on both your offer and the type of pop-up you‘re using (exit pop-up, sales pop-up, discount pop-up, etc.). Regardless of the type of pop-up you use, it should follow what we call the SIP rule: short, impactful, and precise.
Here’s a fun example from United By Blue, a Shopify store that sells clothing and accessories. The pop-up is a wheel you can spin to get a special offer.
We received a 15% off offer after spinning the wheel, but take a closer look at the wording on this pop-up.
The headline makes the offer clear:
- The website visitor can then choose men’s clothing, women’s clothing, or both. Giving website visitors this choice helps with audience segmentation so that future offers are relevant to the user.
- There’s a prompt to input an email address which is followed by a clear CTA that once again reminds the website visitor of the precise offer.
Here’s another example from BLK & Bold, a Shopify store that sells specialty coffee.
- The headline clearly states the value of the offer — a 15% discount on the buyer’s first order.
- The short text that follows further explains the value of signing up for their email list — the buyer will receive exclusive offers via email.
Short. Impactful. Precise.
Note: Your pop-ups should always provide a clear option for people to opt in to receive newsletters and promotional emails from your brand. Otherwise, you run the risk of breaching data protection laws such as the GDPR.
3) Create a compelling image
The team at Drip analyzed over 1 billion pop-ups and discovered that pop-ups with images convert better than pop-ups without images by 83.57%. Images used for online store pop-ups should either showcase the brand’s products in an interesting way or paint a picture of what the website visitor wants to achieve after using the product.
Let’s look at an example from Fresh Heritage, a Shopify store that sells grooming products and supplements.
The image used here features a man with a well-groomed beard — something Fresh Heritage's customers would want to achieve for themselves.
Here’s another example of creative use of imagery:
Here, Mavi uses a pop-up bar with a visual that stands out and provides depth.
The bottom line is that relevant images make your pop-ups stand out more and entice potential buyers to sign up for your offer.
4) Time your pop-up so that it isn’t intrusive
The same Drip study referenced above finds that pop-ups that display after eight seconds convert better than those that display before or after. However, remember that the timing of the pop-up itself won’t necessarily boost conversions for your ecommerce store — that largely depends on how well you can check off the boxes on this list.
There are also pop-ups that appear based on scroll triggers. The Drip study reveals that using 35% of a page as a scroll trigger works best for increasing conversion rates.
You can use the suggestions that the Drip study provides as your baseline, but conversion rates depend heavily on the nuances of your brand and the customers you serve. It’s best to do A/B testing so that you can optimize your pop-ups based on what works for your business.
5) Make sure your pop-up works well on mobile
Pop-ups convert better on mobile devices than they do on desktop devices. In a study conducted by OptiMonk, the average conversion rate for desktop pop-ups was 9.69% while the average conversion rate for mobile pop-ups was 11.07%. But there’s a catch: Mobile pop-ups only convert well when they’re optimized for use on those devices.
Here are some tips to optimize your pop-ups for mobile devices:
- Ensure the pop-up doesn’t cover more than 30% of the page.
- Use only one or two pop-up form fields.
- Use the best types of pop-ups for mobile devices. Three of the best options are the floating pop-up, slidebox pop-up, and featured pop-up.
- Make it easy for the website visitor to close the pop-up.
- Ensure the CTA button and exit button are easy to click.
- Limit image sizes to less than 100KB (or don’t use images at all).
Here’s an example of a mobile-friendly pop-up from Romwe that incorporates these principles:
6) Create different pop-ups for different actions and events
Don’t limit yourself to one type of pop-up. It’s best to strategically use pop-ups throughout your website so that you can better capture your website visitors’ data. A typical shopping experience includes multiple opportunities to display pop-ups. Here are a few examples:
- Display a simple email bar on the homepage.
- Create a specific exit-intent pop-up for visitors exiting a product page that offers a discount.
- Create a pop-up that appears only on out-of-stock items to encourage your visitors to subscribe to your restock alerts.
- Create a cart abandonment pop-up on the cart page.
Here’s an example of this strategy in action on the Christy Dawn website. Notice that the website displays an email bar on the first page a visitor views.
original And if this visitor doesn’t subscribe, the store displays this complementary pop-up (you’ll notice the different wording) on out-of-stock product pages.
Note: Be sure not to display pop-ups on every page of your website. This creates an intrusive experience for website visitors — and that‘s something that search engines will penalize you for.
The 7 best Shopify pop-up apps
The pop-up checklist described above is only as good as the app used to create the pop-ups. Here are our picks for some of the best pop-up builder apps on the market to add to your ecommerce tech stack — all available in the Shopify app store.
1) SmartPopup: Promotion Popup
SmartPopup is a user-friendly pop-up builder designed to help ecommerce store owners connect with website visitors, contribute to lead generation, and increase sales. The tool has a great collection of prebuilt pop-up templates that make the setup process easy: newsletters, videos, coupon codes, product-specific, countdown timers, and automatic discounts.
- Offers a truly free plan with basic features
- Fast setup
- Customizable for those familiar with code
- Some reports of problems with the tool’s mobile version
- Free plan features are limited
- Reported issues with late or unhelpful responses from support
2) Pixelpop Popups & Banners
Pixelpop is a tool built by Orbit. Like other email pop-up tools, Pixelpop helps brands collect email addresses from leads so they can be nurtured through your brand’s email marketing campaigns.
- Pixel Union offers premium customer support
- Easy-to-use promotional bar
- Intuitive and customizable
- Some reports of slow responses from customer support
- Overly complicated for some users; support needed to use custom themes
- Klaviyo integration doesn’t work for some users
3) Quick Announcement Bar
Quick Announcement Bar is a message bar app that Shopify store owners can use to quickly post announcements on their websites — no coding required. Broadcast a free shipping bar, or a bar that displays important information and special offers.
- Bars can be set to display only on certain pages, or only to users from specific countries
- Multiple bar rotation allows multiple bars to display every few seconds
- Animated CTA button to grab visitor’s attention
- Multiple language translations available
- Only one pop-up option (the announcement bar)
- Placement limitations
4) Pop! Sales & Live Activity Pop
Pop! Sales & Live Activity Pop creates automatic sales notification pop-up windows that make your store look busy without obstructing the customer experience. It’s great for building trust with prospects who are on the fence about purchasing a product — seeing that someone else recently purchased something triggers a fear of missing out (FOMO).
- Shows real-time purchases to help boost conversion rates and social proof
- Customizable designs and advanced CSS in paid plans for easy, consistent branding
- Quick, smooth setup process
- Not great for new sellers with low traffic (you will be charged if you go over 100 web visitors a month, whether it’s real people or bots)
- Multiple reports of unauthorized charges
- Slow responses from customer support
Promolayer doesn’t only offer basic pop-up templates — there’s a full suite of exciting options that will help your website stand out such as banners, spin-to-wins, full screen welcome mats, exit offers, and slide-ins.
- Easy to customize
- Ability to run A/B tests without affecting Google Optimize data
- Built-in spellchecker to ensure your pop-ups are well represented
- Reports of some minor glitches, but the main pop-ups work well
6) Email Pop Ups & Exit Popups
Email Pop Ups & Exit Popups by OptiMonk is a pop-up app that focuses on helping Shopify store owners grow and meet their goals. With this app, you can build intuitive and attractive pop-ups for web and mobile that help you convert more visitors and collect quality feedback along the way.
- Quick and professional customer service
- Over 30 intelligent targeting and triggering options
- A/B testing
- Free version available
- Hard to customize without a developer, support, or coding experience
- No customization options on spin-the-wheel function
- Somewhat confusing setup process
- Free: Free
- Essential: $29/month
- Growth: $79/month
- Premium: $199/month
Privy is an ecommerce marketing platform that helps ecommerce store owners manage their marketing with ease. One of the best features of this platform is that it incorporates both SMS and email marketing.
- Simple to setup and track SMS marketing
- Easily build automation triggers based on website visitor behavior
- Great for sending messages to customers for abandoned cart recovery
- Complaints of limited reporting capabilities
- Have to export data to assess how email campaigns are performing
- More complicated than some alternatives; users report a bit of a learning curve
- Not many options for post-purchase emailing
📚 Read more: Our list of the best apps for Shopify merchants.
Chat campaigns: A less intrusive conversion tool
If a pop-up is a perfume counter employee suddenly spraying you with the latest scent, a chat campaign is a clerk tactfully approaching to see if you need any assistance.
Gorgias’ pop-up chat campaigns are a softer way to interact with customers that don’t feel intrusive the way a full-screen pop-up does. With Gorgias’ chat campaigns , you can reach out to customers to proactively ask for support: “What can I help you with?”
Chat campaigns are a non-intrusive pop-up that appear at the bottom corner of the screen and offer help, rather than a hard sell. Gorgias customers report they can lift revenue by 13% and conversion rates by 25 to 30%.
You can set up chat campaigns that reach out to customers at key moments. For example, if a customer lingers on a product page, you can send them a discount code. If they linger with items in their cart, your chat could remind them that you have free shipping.
How ecommerce chat campaigns work
Chat campaigns can be set to active when a customer visits a particular product page, or when a certain amount of time has lapsed, or both.
When activated, the chat pops up with a message of your choosing, whether that’s an announcement, a discount, or an offer of support. When a customer replies, that’s sent directly to your customer support team in Gorgias’ helpdesk.
Chat campaigns are easy to set up in Gorgias by navigating to Settings, then Integrations, and clicking Chat. Adding a new campaign allows you to customize when the chat is fired and what message customers will see.
In addition, the chat button can be programmed so when a customer clicks, they get automated self-serve options such as tracking their order, canceling an order, or filing a ticket.
Examples of chat campaigns
There are several ways to implement chat campaigns so we’ll go over some examples of chat pop-ups in action.
Spark conversion around specific products
The chat campaign can be used to give specific products a boost or offer help. For example, if your core product is shoes, the chat campaign could pop up with advice on sizing.
Think of it as another space for frequently asked questions. Using the pop-up, you can satisfy those questions without the customer having to go looking for answers themselves, or file a ticket.
Here’s an example from Franklin, a French pet food brand. They programmed chat campaigns to appear on product pages for specialized foods, so shoppers can ask questions and make sure they’re buying the right product.
Share limited-time offers and product-specific discounts
Traditional pop-ups are one way to announce an offer or sale, but a chat campaign can do this as well, in a more friendly way.
A chat campaign message with a special offer feels more exclusive than a flashy pop-up and can be customized for individual products, for example offering a percentage off your best-selling item.
Capture high-value customers
Let’s go back to Jaxxon for an example of how to get the attention of customers browsing your best-selling products.
When a customer clicks to view Jaxxon’s Cuban Link Chain, their top gold chain under $100, the chat campaign pops up to help. The campaign offers a list of styles under $100 and a style quiz.
Neither of these are hard sells but ways to engage the customer and help them find just the right product. From here, customers can click the links to type to reply and speak to customer support.
Why chat campaigns are better
Pop-ups are risky business. Although they can lead to conversions, pop-ups that are intrusive can turn customers away. A chat campaign is a solution that combines all the useful parts of pop-ups with excellent customer service and a gentler approach.
- Are small, unobtrusive, and take up less screen space
- Less invasive with a time delay
- Employ a less aggressive sales approach
- Are fully customizable to target particular products
- Provide a direct path to human interaction
- Have a wide variety of use cases
- Are SEO-friendly
Boost your conversions with Gorgias chat campaigns
There’s a lot of ways to improve your ecommerce store’s conversion rate and chat campaigns are a proven method to do just that.
Chat campaigns are fully integrated into the Gorgias helpdesk, with your live chat and campaign options all available in one place. Plus, with the ability to bring in a customer’s unique information and order history, you can provide a truly custom customer experience.
Learn more about how Gorgias can help you provide amazing customer experiences.