10 mistakes to avoid with popups

(By Nielsen Norman Group – source)

1. Showing a popup before the page content loads
This is especially bad on mobile, as Google penalizes sites with interruptive popups. Give visitors some value first, and trigger the popup only when it’s relevant for the user. The exceptions to this are for popups to accept cookies or verify the user’s age.


2. Showing a popup right after the user logs into their account
If a user logs in, it’s because they want to do something after logging in. Don’t interrupt their task, as they will likely ignore the popup at that point in time. Gmail shows unobstrusive popups to recommend features, but those popups appear after users already started interacting with their inbox, not right after they log in.


3. Asking for an email address before users interact with your content
People get annoyed by popups appearing too soon, and assume that the store will spam them. They don’t know yet whether they want to be an email subscriber or not. Show the popup later, for example when they’re browsing a category which has a promotion currently.


4. Asking for feedback before the user has done anything meaningful
Wait to ask for feedback until they’ve accomplished a key task in their journey which warrants feedback.


5. Interrupting a key task to ask for feedback
Wait until they’ve completed their critical task. Alternatively to a modal, you can give a static non-intrusive way for them to give feedback, such as a tab on the side or a link in the footer.


6. Showing multiple popups in a row
Show them one at a time, or even better yet, embed the information in a page instead of putting it in a popup.


7. Showing a modal to warn the user about navigating to a subdomain or external site
Minimize the transition, and retain Back navigation. Another way to retain the history of where they were (the main site) is to open the link in a new tab.


8. Showing a modal dialog right after access a piece of content
Replace the popup with a thin bar in the header.


9. Showing a modal overlay for GDPR and cookie notifications
If you can, put instead a small unobstrusive overlay panel at the bottom of the page.


10. Encouraging a transition to another channel (e.g. mobile app) without a clear benefit
Opt instead for a thin unobstrusive and easy-to-close nonmodal overlay at the bottom or top of the screen. 



Monetate’s personalization

Here’s a great example on Monetate. I opened a blog post about homepage personalization, and it showed a relevant popup about personalization.


So on your store, you could for example popup an offer relating to one of your categories when they open that category.