Have you been thinking about adding popups to your online store? Maybe you’ve read about how popups can boost clicks, conversions and sales. Maybe you’ve heard from merchants who’ve added them and seen their email captures and social followings surge. Maybe you’ve even clicked some compelling ones yourself and thought, “Hey, that wasn’t so bad!”

Since launching our new Shopify app, Pixelpop, we’ve seen tons of examples of beautiful, on-brand popups and banners. We’ve seen merchants use them to highlight new collections and content, incentivize conversions, build up their newsletter lists, and a whole lot more. It’s still early days for Pixelpop, but it’s been awesome to see how people are using it.

Today we’re sharing some of the best popups we’ve seen, with hopes of inspiring the creator in you. If you still think “popup” is synonymous with “annoying internet ad,” strap in and prepare for a mind-bending ride across the interwebs…

Capturing email addresses

The purpose of a popup is to get visitors to take action. In ecommerce, that action might be something like answering a survey question or clicking to a new collection. More often than not, that action is entering your email address to join a mailing list.

Why? Because for online merchants, the email address is marketing gold. It offers a second (and third and fourth) chance to engage and convert a shopper in the event that they don’t buy from you on their first visit. Plus, as we’ve pointed out before, email marketing is extremely effective—and cheap.

Email sign up popups for Bridge Market

Rather than let their email sign-up forms collect dust in some never-noticed sidebar, merchants like Bridge Market and The Yarn Barn opt to put them front and centre using a colourful popup and strong call-to-action. We especially like how The Yarn Barn features a compelling, benefit-driven offer to their popup, incentivizing shoppers with a 25% discount before they’ve even entered the store.

Increasing social following

In the age of social commerce, it pays to have friends. An engaged social following is invaluable when it comes to creating community, increasing retention, and boosting conversions for your online store—but building one from the ground up isn’t easy. Most businesses spend months tweeting into the void before they see anything “go viral,” and the plethora of deserted Twitter pages testifies to the many that give up long before that.

Increase social following popup on WANT skincare's website

Fortunately, there are ways to fast-track your social media success. One of these is using popups to invite visitors to follow you on social media. Both W.ANT and Stronger Than Your Average do a great job of this—W.ANT with an attention-grabbing pink modal, and STYA with a sticky bar that remains visible no matter where you are on the page.

It’s up to you how many networks you want to display, but remember that, for consumers, less is often more. According to Wishpond, “Having too many options can demotivate people from liking or following your business.” Instead of cramming in links to all your social networks, pick just one or two where you’re most active.

Advertising special offers

As an online merchant in an increasingly crowded industry, you know it takes more than a humdrum “subscribe-and-save” offer to move visitors to the checkout. Consumers are savvy, choice is abundant, and you’ve got to get creative if you want to get ahead.

So you gather your team, put on your thinking caps, craft a crazy-good offer… and then what? Maybe you write an email, maybe you compose a tweet, and maybe a few repeat customers take you up on it. But what about the people visiting your site for the first time? How do you communicate your incredibly unique, powerfully persuasive offer to them?

Free sample and limited time offer popups on Folk Child and Leiani websites

You guessed it—with a popup. We love how Folk Child uses a simple card to create urgency with a time-sensitive offer for a one-cent necklace. Leiani Naturals takes things a step further, offering a free sample—something that’s been proven to do wonders for everything from brand awareness to referral traffic to consumer confidence. 

Promoting collections & content

Solid site navigation and dynamic homepage content go a long way in directing traffic—but sometimes people need an extra nudge. To effectively drive shoppers to specific pages on your site, you can present them with a popup that clearly explains where you want them to go and offers to take them there.

Popup announcement on ecommerce homepages

This is precisely what Madotta does with their “Just added” card popup. While the first thing shoppers typically look for is a sale section, Madotta presents an alternative. No doubt this will increase clicks and conversions on non-discounted products, plus it makes their store seem dynamic and worth returning to. 

Similarly, ArtSnacks uses a bright, eye-catching popup to direct traffic to a soon-to-be-released limited-edition collection. They’re raising awareness about the collection, building anticipation, and creating a sense of exclusivity—all in under a dozen words!

Offering coupons & discount codes

While it can be tough to direct traffic to specific pages on your site, it’s even tougher to convert that traffic. One very popular—and effective—way of boosting conversions is to offer a coupon or discount code in the form of a popup.

According to Practical Ecommerce, a good discount code should be easy to remember, easy to calculate, and easy to apply. In other words, you should use actual words (for example, “BLACKFRIDAY”), nice, round numbers (20 percent instead of 17), and impose minimal restrictions when it comes to things like date and product type.

Discount code popups on ecommerce websites

The Pokestop nails all three of these points in their on-brand “Catch ‘em all!” popup. The code itself is memorable, the 99-cent price is clear, and you know exactly what you’re getting—the Limited Edition Pokemon Aim Assist (assuming you know what that is). The Edge Clothes also does a good job of making the discount and application clear, but their code isn’t exactly easy to memorize (and okay, five percent is a little stingy). 

Summing up

Hopefully by now you’ve realized that popups can do more than annoy and disorient. Done well, they have the power to increase site traffic, improve customer engagement, and boost your bottom line. (And, as the stores in this post prove, they can look pretty fly doing it!)

If you’re feeling inspired and want to try your hand at creating some popups, head over to the Shopify App Store and grab a 14-day unlimited free trial of Pixelpop. Create some popups, see how they perform, and let us know what you think!

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