Shopper Discounts Explained

Retailers give discounts to shoppers to nudge them to buy. On the face of it, one would assume discounts are the best way to improve conversation rates. But, it’s being done so much shoppers have become desensitized by discounts.

When buyers see that an item has been discounted $50 they disregard the discount amount and just look at the final price. So, whether the markdown is $2 or $50, it’s not taken into consideration, it’s ignored.

The solution? Grab the user’s attention by explaining why the discount is being given.

When you offer the shopper an explanation for why something has been discounted, it not only gets read, it improves conversion rates.

Check out the example we threw together for you below (we added the text why we’re discounting $36):


When “Why we’re discounting $36” is clicked we’ll show this popup message:


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Signup NOW

Within 0.01 seconds of landing on this popup appears:


Like, the page hasn’t even fully loaded and the popup is in my face.  Is that the best tactic?  What do you do when you get startled?  I know what I do: I get out of the way (in this case I click the [x]).  In a world where we can A/B test just about anything why not test the timing of this popup?  I mean, it’s a good offer and I would likely have wanted to signup for a 10% savings.  But give me a second to catch my breath.

What would have happened if the popup appeared once I engaged with the page (defined as time on site or pages seen)?  Would the signup have worked better?  Even if the absolute signup rate might be lower I bet you’d get better quality signups (i.e. people likely to buy your product).  In the end, isn’t that what really matters?

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Full Screen Popup

These days most sites show an email signup popup when the user is about to exit the site. does something slightly different.  They show a full screen overlay for the newsletter popup.  It actually looks pretty good and was different enough for me to take notice and write about it–


Do you know of any sites that have interesting popups?  Do share.

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Fuzzy Ad

Saw this advertisement on right hand margin of my Gmail inbox—


Notice how Software King icon is blurry? Not sure if this was deliberate or a mistake, but if it was deliberate these guys are marketing geniuses. Here’s why— blurry images immediately capture our attention because we’re expecting to see clear images. What makes this ad so effective is that while the logo is blurry the message 15% off on Office 2010 and all software when you enter code AdWords. Buy Now and Save Big! is super clear. In a way, the blurry image makes the ad copy stand out. Bottom line— they get my attention with the blurry image and get me to click based on relevance of sales copy. You should test this. I know I will.

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Entertaining Email Popup Concept has an entertaining email signup strategy.  When you land on their homepage a popup appears that allows you to virtually scratch off a card; revealing a hidden discount for signing up to their email list.  Here is the popup in action (watch video in 720p HD mode)–

[First saw popup on]


Like this post?  New conversion idea posted every Monday morning.  Click “Follow” (screenshot below) in bottom right corner of your browser–


Enter email address and latest posts will be beamed right to your inbox (once a week).  Unsubscribe at any time.  Alternatively, if you prefer Twitter, you can follow the same conversion ideas here

Have a great Monday.

Rishi Rawat

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Cart Page Popup

When new visitors to add an item to their cart they see this popup on cart page–


At first glance this feels like a bad idea (don’t shoppers hate popups?), but it could be a good tactic.

Popup offer is vague (receive a special discount) and according to Jakob Nielsen shoppers search in a hub and spoke format, so new visitors to are simultaneously looking at competing sites.  Shoppers that see the popup will want to find out what kind of discount they’re going to get.  They’re going to wait till sends them an email.  That  breaks their search pattern.  It might seem like a small detail but this popup might have the opposite effect of what we experts think, it might just drive up conversions.


Like this post?  New conversion idea posted every Monday morning.  Click “Follow” (screenshot below) in bottom right corner of your browser–


Enter email address and latest posts will be beamed right to your inbox (once a week).  Unsubscribe at any time.  Alternatively, if you prefer Twitter, you can follow the same conversion ideas here

Have a great day.

Rishi Rawat

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What’s Worth Showing, and What Isn’t shows their 94% customer satisfaction seal right on their homepage–


Is that a good or bad thing? Does 94% satisfaction make prospects more likely to buy (“wow, 94% of people love this brand, they must be good shirts”)? Or less likely to buy (“I’m finicky about fit and feel; wonder if the 6% who didn’t like their purchase had fit and feel issues?”)?

I’d A/B test this.

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Social Proof on Steroids blog has an excellent example of how social proof can be a conversion catalyst.  Am sharing their post snippet–

There’s a flash flood warning for all of Chicago today. Unfortunately there’s water in my basement (like other Chicago home owners)…

The flood fixing company U.S. Waterproofing has a cool feature on their website. Look at who we’ve helped in your neighborhood–


Back to my post …

See U.S. Waterproofing interface live–

Now, U.S. Waterproofing is a Chicago based company so they are using their Google Map mashup to attract Chicago customers.  But you could do the same for your ecommerce business.  You could export a list of addresses shipped to in the last X years and create a Google Map mashup that places a pin over each shipped destination.  Then, shoppers could zoom in to see different locations in their state where other shoppers have bought your products.

Don’t think it’ll work?  A/B test it.  Don’t know how to A/B test?  Post a comment and I’ll help you out.

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Above the Fold Layout

The standard product page template lists product content below product image (blue arrows in screenshot below)–


Template above is used by 96% of ecommerce sites.  Wisdom of crowds philosophy suggests the widespread adoption of this template is because it’s the most efficient way to display product information. has decided to challenge this view.  Their product content can be accessed from first line of page (blue arrows in screenshot below)–


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