What’s the Best Use of Exit Intent Popups in Ecommerce?

What’s the Best Use of Exit Intent Popups in Ecommerce?

EXIT INTENT CAN REALLY SUCK SOMETIMES

Question: What is exit intent technology and how can I best leverage it.

Blake: so, exit intent technology is…

John Max: say that 5 times, fast.

Blake: yeah it’s tough, it’s when you’re browsing an ecommerce site and you move your mouse up into the left, like you’re going to leave and close that tab out and something pops up in your face and says ‘hey, before you leave don’t you want X. Percent off’, that kind of thing and this is getting wildly popular, and it’s kind of obtrusive and I think it’s borderline annoying, I think it’s only done well when you do it right, so, maybe use it as a retargeting method, that somebody already familiar with the brand and maybe they start to get a personalized message when they start to leave that page, or even just a reminder like ‘hey, before you go, we want to show you this cool blog post or this cool video’. If it’s the ‘just about to close a tab and offer a coupon thing’, that’s, that’s not going to work anymore.

John Max: yeah, yeah, I think it has to be ridiculous offer for it to work in that context. Pop-ups, in general, I mean you need them, I mean it’s…the data shows that you’re going to have a higher conversion rate when you have pop-ups. That being said it is worth having the internal conversation amongst you, your staff, whoever that is, what the effect for the people who are leaving that site, because there’s a clip of Gary V. famously saying that he will never buy another Samsung product because of pop up ads.

Blake: I would go to ESPN.com, every single time that I did, a big, fat banner popped up for Samsung, I called my wife the 8th time and I said Lizzie, you listen to me, this family, until I’m dead, will never buy a fucking Samsung item again.

John Max: what is the…what is the checks and balances of the extra bump in conversion versus the people that you do lose who are never going to visit your brand again, it’s a conversation we’re having.

Blake: Yeah and I think another thing to consider too is there’s no exit intent on mobile, like you can just tell when the user is about to close the tab there, this is a desktop-only feature so if most of your traffic is mobile, don’t spend the time and effort if it’s going to take you a while to get an exit intent loaded up on your site.

Written by
John James, M.D. is the CEO of Engine, a modern cloud-hosted ecommerce platform. I paid for medical school with an ecommerce business I founded in my dorm room over twenty years ago, and eventually raised over $100 million in venture capital running Acumen Brands. Email me -- john at enginecommerce dot com.