Popups are double-edged. On the one hand, they attract attention and motivate visitors to act. Popups have been proven to work very well. Toyota, for example, has found that a popup triggered on the booking page increases sales by 50%. This is an impressive figure that clearly shows the potential of a well-designed popup. But on the other hand, popups can be unpleasant, detracting from the user experience. A study found that 50% of those questioned classified popup windows as “very annoying” or “extremely annoying”.

This is not ideal when you want to build a relationship of trust with visitors and get them through the sales channel. After all, you don’t want to create friction or do anything that might discourage potential buyers.

So, what to do? How do you create the right balance by responsibly using popups to increase engagement and conversions without irritating customers? Let’s go !

1. Choose the right timing

One of the first things to consider when adding popups is when to show them to visitors. Do you want them to appear the second a person arrives at your e-commerce site? Do you want to wait until they scroll past a certain point on your site? Or do you want to wait a bit and use a timed pop-up window to give them time to navigate your site? Here are some key questions you will need to ask yourself as timing is crucial. What is the best strategy to use? There is no “perfect” answer. Many CRO experts warn against instantly popping up visitors with popups as soon as they arrive on your site. Visitors usually need a little time to get their bearings and get a feel for your site. Using this technique can give the impression that you are a little too intrusive. However, there are exceptions. Suppose you have a limited time promotion that is ending soon and want to share it so that visitors can take advantage of your offer.

In this case, an instant popup may make sense. Otherwise, we generally recommend using scrolling popups that do not appear until a visitor has passed a certain point. In a split test experience, a scrolling-based trigger outperformed a time-based trigger by 61.83%.

Scrolling allows visitors to have enough time to find their way around and to be interested enough in your online store to be interested in what you offer. As for timed popups, these can be a bit tricky. You don’t want to scare visitors too early, but you don’t want to wait so long that they have already left your site. If you decide to go this route, most experts recommend waiting 10 to 20 seconds. But to perfect it, it would be good to look at your analytical data to see the average duration of a visit and to base your timing on that. The recipe service, Blue Apron uses the timed popup well.

2. Make Popups Easy To Close

People don’t like popups too much because they can’t close them instantly. For example, the “X” icon may be in an inconspicuous area or have minimal contrast with the contextual background, making it difficult to spot. If a person has no interest in what you are offering in your popup and cannot quickly find an exit, they will probably leave your site and never return. Not only do you lose a potential customer, but you also create friction that could impact your brand’s reputation. But you can avoid a lot of problems and create a smooth user experience by making popups easy to close.

In this example, the popup takes up almost the whole page. But, the visitor can very easily close this window thanks to a cross placed at the top right and very visible. This does not therefore disrupt the browsing of the user.

3. Encourage action

Let’s face it. Popups can be intrusive. The first second, a visitor browses your ecommerce site looking for products, and the next second, they receive a popup. But not only can you quell any anger, but you can also really excite visitors by adding a call to action. This popup from the sports gift company Fanchest is a good example.


Visitors can get $ 5 off their first order by subscribing to the Fanchest newsletter. So the situation for a visitor could be this: “Oh no, not another popup”, at “Wow, I can save $ 5 on my order”. This popup is interesting because it also encourages visitors to make their first purchase. If a person was interested but not really willing to complete their order, a saving of $ 5 could possibly convince them to carry it out. The bottom line here is that you can alleviate a sense of anger and even excite your visitors by encouraging action.

4. Don’t overwhelm your visitors with popups

Simplicity is essential to improve the user experience. The last thing you want to do is to overload visitors with too much information, or, by giving them too many choices when displaying a popup. This goes back to the 2004 book by Barry Schwartz titled The Paradox of Choice. TechTarget explains: “The paradox of choice is an observation that one choice among many options, rather than making people happy and making sure they get what they want, can be stressful and problematic. decision making. ”Here’s the popup on the Old Navy website.

The 20% reduction is particularly pleasant to see. But it’s a bit of a pain to offer four different deals with so much to digest, and it’s likely that many other people are feeling the same way. In this particular situation, some of their visitors may be disturbed and this could create anxiety or confusion as to the best solution. A better approach is to keep it extremely simple. Moo, an online printing and design company, is a great example with its simple, instant popup.

Simply enter your email address to receive free delivery. It’s that simple.

5. Personalize your popups

Personalization is in fashion at the moment. Customers need personalization and are more likely to engage with brands that meet that desire. In fact, “78% of Internet users in the United States said that personalized brand content increased their buying intention. So it’s good to personalize as much as possible throughout the customer journey, including popups, if possible.


Personalization is something that Sarenza does well. When they offer a reduction coupon of 10 euros for their subscription to the newsletter, they offer prospects the possibility of choosing whether they are women or men in order to better personalize the visit of the Internet user.

6. Do not use a popup on each page of the site

One of the quickest ways to disrupt the user experience is by submitting a popup to your visitors on each of the pages they visit. Suppose, for example, that they land on your home page and see a popup appear, but are not interested and leave. Then they move to another page of your site for further exploration and see the same popup. It’s a very boring tactic that can create resentment among many visitors. Most of them will go elsewhere. To avoid unpleasant surprises, it is better to display popups on the page that the visitor sees first. Once he has closed the popup and moved to another page, he should be free to navigate without being bothered by any other popup. Zalando follows this approach and ensures that their popups do not harass visitors on multiple pages.

Once we click on the men’s shoes section, we can navigate freely without having to face additional popups.

7. Be smart about displaying popups for returning visitors

Another problem that many people have is seeing the same popup after returning to a site soon after. Suppose someone checks your ecommerce store in the morning. They see a pop-up, are not interested, go out and spend time browsing your site. They’re not ready to buy at the time, but come back a few hours later to take another look. They would probably find it irritating if they were touched by the same message when they made it clear that they were not interested earlier in the day. At best, this will create friction. At worst, it will cost you a sale. So be careful when displaying popups when a visitor returns to your site.

Luxury fashion brand Mansur Gavriel has a good label with their popups.

The first time you get to their home page, we see this one:

Then, a few minutes later, during another visit, there is no popup:


Now the question is, how long does it take before a visitor sees a popup again? The answer is subjective, of course, but we suggest that you do not return a popup within seven days. A week-long interval between when you see a popup window should generally suffice and avoid any major irritation to visitors.

8. Don’t be condescending

A type of popup that is annoying: “No thanks. I don’t like good deals “or” No, thank you. I would rather pay the full price ‘just below the CTA.

To use an opt-out is to tap into the fear of missing out (FOMO) psychology. But the way it is presented seems a little patronizing and could potentially hit some visitors. And it certainly won’t help the user experience.


There is no denying the impact that popups can have. Many studies have shown that they can significantly increase engagement and conversions. And in many cases, they direct visitors to interesting offers they didn’t know before. It is therefore easy to understand why so many e-commerce sites use them. But it should never be at the expense of the user experience. By following the tips above, you will use popups responsibly so as not to create conflict between your brand and your potential customers. Are there any particular popup tactics that you find annoying?

For further

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