7 min read

eCommerce pop-ups: Types and best practices

Care to share?

The purpose of eCommerce pop-ups is to capture the attention of a website’s visitors and prompt them to interact with the brand. Over the years, they have earned themselves a bad reputation. Many people find them annoying and feel that they get in the way of their user experience. This is not the best news for an eCommerce business owner, however, there is a light on the horizon. 

They can be a powerful tool and are excellent for encouraging customers to do what you want them to do. On top of that, they have also proven to be valuable in achieving a better-than-standard conversion rate of between 3% and 11%. However, you do need to learn how to use them correctly. 

There are no hard and fast rules for creating and utilizing eCommerce pop-ups. That being said, your strategy will be more effective if you follow some tried and tested best practices. It also helps to understand your options when it comes to the different types because you’ll be able to make a more informed decision when it comes to using them for your eCommerce business.

What are the most common types of eCommerce pop-ups?

From the early days of being an aggressive annoyance for consumers, they have come on in leaps and bounds. The different pop-up types you can use in your marketing strategy are now far more subtle than ever before. They have also become invaluable sales and marketing tools.

Time to take a quick look at some of the more popular types.  

Sign-up form pop-ups

This type can be beneficial in several instances, depending on your goals. For example, use one to invite website visitors to sign up for a newsletter, receive an exclusive discount, or register for an event. 

With a sign-up form pop-up, you can also collect valuable information from customers, including their email addresses and phone numbers. This information can then be used for marketing efforts. 

However, be aware that if you use this type of pop-up, you may also have to include the following line to comply with email marketing laws: “By signing up you agree to receive email marketing.”

Special offers and discounts

You can use pop-ups very effectively to promote time-sensitive deals, seasonal offers, and flash sales, and to drive more traffic and sales during specific times of the year. It’s possible to tailor them to your customer needs or to anything your eCommerce brand wants to promote. If you want to attract even more interest, consider turning it into a game.

A fun way to interact with customers is with a spin-the-wheel pop-up that allows customers to spin to unlock their discount percentage. Another way to use this type is to offer a post-purchase discount in exchange for a customer review on social media.  

Discount pop-ups

With this type, you get the opportunity to present users with a discount code or special promotion. This might happen when they first visit your eCommerce site or during the checkout process. It’s an incentive that encourages users to overcome any doubts they might have and complete the purchase.

It’s not uncommon for these to be turned into multi-step forms to smooth out the customer experience. Typically, you can also use them to feature one-time or multiple seasonal offers.  

Upsell pop-ups

This type of pop-up appears when a user adds an item to their shopping cart or during the checkout process. It’s a way of suggesting additional products that might suit the buyer. 

The products suggested will be related to the ones already selected. Of course, the ultimate aim is to increase the value of the customer’s order by providing them with an opportunity to try out something different. 

Social proof pop-ups

Social proof is a way of building customer trust. Consumers become more interested in a product or service when other people are enthusiastic.

Using social proof pop-ups is a way of guaranteeing that eCommerce visitors see the comments your brand has been getting. Carefully pick the testimonials to feature, and use those that are enthusiastic and resonate with people. 

You can also display social proof using side messages. That way you’re not interrupting their browsing. 

Chat pop-ups

Chat pop-ups are less intrusive than many other types because they generally appear at the bottom of a user's screen. Rather than being a hard sell, they offer help and can be set up to reach out to customers at key moments during their journey. 

You use them to prompt users and invite them to ask questions or get professional guidance. By using them this way, they can be a valuable customer service tool.

Scroll-based pop-ups

This type is designed to appear on a scroll trigger. They will be displayed when a user reaches a certain depth on a page of your website. 

A Drip study revealed that using 35% of a page as a scroll trigger works extremely well in certain circumstances. For example, they are best for increasing conversion rates. A user who sees one of these is more likely to interact with any offer you’re highlighting because they’ve already tasted the value you provide. 

New product pop-ups

If you're planning to launch a new product, take a look at product website examples for effective strategies for drawing attention to it through a pop-up. This type of pop-up is particularly crucial for engaging returning and loyal visitors by presenting them with something exciting and new.

A pop-up like this would highlight any new products. They’ll also include a button that allows customers to see other new releases or start shopping.

Exit intent pop-ups

These are triggered whenever a user’s mouse cursor shows signs of leaving your website, such as moving toward the back button or the browser’s close button. They aim to keep the customer’s attention and stop them from leaving.

You might choose to keep their attention by offering a last-minute deal or special offer. They are not at all intrusive as they appear only after a specific amount of time. Being less intrusive also means there’s a higher chance that the user will be interested in what you’re offering. 

eCommerce pop-up best practices

eCommerce pop-up best practices

Source: visme.co

In the dynamic world of eCommerce, the success of your business hinges on adopting smart strategies and executing them impeccably. In the next section of this post, we’ll explore some of the best practices for transforming your online store. 

Make pop-ups valuable

If you want to boost conversion rates without negatively impacting the user experience, any pop-up you use must add value for the visitor. The value can take a variety of forms, including free shipping, quality content, discounts, quick access to sales pages, or a loyalty program invite. 

Keep pop-ups short, and have a proper goal

Engaging copy will make a huge difference for any pop-up campaign, and the good news is that you don’t need to be a great copywriter to create it. Good practices include being concise and clear, focusing on the benefits for the customer, and writing in simple, conversational language. 

You also need to have a proper goal that is based on the needs of your business. It should also help you evaluate the performance of your campaign. Common goals include increasing sales, driving traffic to a specific website page, recovering abandoned shopping carts, or converting returning customers. 

Create a compelling image

You’ve all heard the adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” but that’s only true if it's a compelling image. Use visuals to enhance the effectiveness of your message, but rather than stock images, use original visuals to make your brand more authentic and unique. 

The timing of the pop-up

Timing is an important element to consider. Generally, the more invested a visitor is in your site, the more likely they are to sign up for your newsletter or take advantage of your offer. Because of this, the later your pop-up appears, the more likely you are to get a conversion. 

A good guide to use is the average time a user spends on your site, which you can find using web analytics. Trigger your pop-ups shortly before that time, and you might find yourself grabbing potential customers right before they leave. 

Create user-friendly pop-ups

This best practice is all about showing them at the right time to the right people. An element of understanding your customers’ needs is essential. Targeting options also come into play.

Using user-friendly pop-ups is the perfect opportunity for unleashing the power of personalization. Consider targeting visitors from a certain country, region, or city. Create a pop-up if a visitor has less than a certain value in their cart. Alternatively, create a pop-up that recognizes if a visitor is returning and display a campaign to them.   

Pop-ups work well on mobile

Pop-ups work well on mobile

Source: seotactica.com

A campaign that looks great on mobile devices will help you convert this segment of your visitors. Mobile-friendly pop-ups are easy to create using software that’s available online. 

Use urgency to encourage action

A counter, either date-based or time-based, will increase the sense of urgency for your campaign. A study by Wisepops suggests that this best practice can result in a 41% increase in conversions. 

Alert visitors when products are back in stock

When a visitor visits an out-of-stock item, offer to send them a notification when the item is back in stock again. 

Allow visitors to close pop-ups easily

Pop-ups that get in the way will be very annoying for your customers, so make sure the close button is visible in any campaign you introduce. Additionally, place the pop-up on a contrasting background, and consider different placements to ensure visibility. 

Benefits of eCommerce pop-ups

Pop-ups are a popular tool for eCommerce websites because they are effective for engaging customers and increasing conversions. You can also use them to invite visitors to sign up for a newsletter, register for an event, or receive an exclusive discount. At the same time, you can collect valuable customer information. 

A well-thought-out pop-up campaign can initiate a customer’s purchase journey. By doing so, they can encourage customers to make a purchase, lead to an increase in instant sales, and reduce cart abandonment rates.   

Risks of using pop-ups in eCommerce

Many benefits come with introducing pop-ups into your eCommerce business. However, using them too much is risky because overuse without a purpose can damage your brand image, repeat business and loyalty, and site performance.

Even if you use them with the best intentions, they interrupt the shopping experience, which can be annoying for customers. In addition, Google is not that fond of them either, so it may harm your SEO strategy.  


If you want to achieve pop-up nirvana, make sure you use ones that provide value for your visitors without hurting their browsing experience and that you follow best practices. In this post, we hope we’ve been able to show you that pop-ups aren’t all bad. 

When you use them correctly, they’ll add value to your eCommerce business by helping shoppers make better purchasing decisions. Don’t just use them to drive short-term sales. Use them to improve their shopping experience so they want to return.

Published January 9, 2024