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Last updated Tue Jul 02 2024

How to Use Onsite Marketing for the Entire Customer Journey

For many years, online businesses have been relying on traffic acquisition to drive growth.

Although this strategy led only to a website conversion rate of about 2.5% on average, it was okay.

But no more.

marketing personalization statistics

A major reason why customers aren’t happy with their shopping experiences on websites is that they are mostly the same for everyone

Brands focus most of their communication (and personalization) on offsite channels like emails, ads, and SMS. 

Take email for example:

Based on different sources, an average person can receive even up to 120 emails per day. In most cases, many of those emails are ignored.

Our take on all of this:

Ecommerce brands should shift their focus from offsite strategies to enhancing onsite efforts. Every visitor is unique and at a different stage in their journey with the brand, and needs to be engaged accordingly.

Ecommerce brands should prioritize onsite marketing, as all sales happen on websites, not in email inboxes.

intention to buy

Yet onsite, while being a natural part of digital marketing, hasn't been given proper attention by many, as the vast majority of traditional ecommerce marketing strategies focus only on driving traffic. This is a missed opportunity because a website is the most important part of your business. 

A website is the place where:

  • your customers buy your products or services

  • you can build trust and positive customer relationships

  • you can capitalize on offsite marketing efforts

  • you have the best chance to convince them that you’re better than your competitors

Onsite marketing is an important piece in the overall marketing strategy puzzle that many businesses have been missing. 

Onsite marketing is the way for online businesses to:

  • Convert more visitors into paying customers

  • Increase customer retention

  • Deliver personalization at scale

  • Improve average order size

  • Increase return on advertising

The next section will explain how all of this can be accomplished.

How we define onsite marketing

Onsite marketing is a strategy to create positive and personalized shopping experiences on websites with contextual campaigns based on data such as visitor source, purchase and browsing history, and cart content. The campaigns are made with onsite tools like popups, live chat, personalized copy, onsite notifications, embedded forms, bars, and landing pages.

A standout feature of onsite marketing is that it adds actionable levers to the typical website conversion funnel to influence visitor behavior:

  • Onsite audience: segmenting visitors and website behavior to understand their needs better

  • Onsite reach: create campaigns and present them to visitors using different channels (live chat, onsite notifications, popups, etc.)

  • Onsite engagement: engage them with personalized recommendations and marketing messages

  • Onsite conversion: continuously learn and choose the most effective promotions and offers to enhance shopping experience and increase sales

  • Loyalty: integrate onsite and offsite campaigns to create cohesive customer journeys that lead to a better customer retention and loyalty

onsite marketing in business growth strategies

How is onsite marketing different from traditional marketing on websites?

Traditional strategiesOnsite marketing strategies
Display all marketing messages immediately after visitors land on the website to maximize the reach and effectivenessShow messages based on contextual targeting to relevant to each customer and their journey stage
Show the same popups, chatbot, and banner messages to every visitorHave multiple automated campaigns with personalized messages for different group of visitors
Use all the onsite tools (chatbots, live chat, popups, etc.) at the same timeChoose specific onsite tools for marketing campaigns to create personalized onsite experiences
Get inspiration for onsite campaigns from competitorsUse analytics in onsite marketing apps and own customer data to find engagement and sales opportunities
Rely on the basic formats to try to convert visitors (like first-order discount on every page)Use contextually relevant and engaging campaigns based on browsing history, shopping history, and other customer data

How you can cover every touchpoint in your customer journey with onsite marketing campaigns

onsite marketing for customer journey

Stage I: Awareness

The awareness stage is where potential customers first discover your brand. Effective onsite marketing at this stage is crucial for capturing attention and generating interest.

Let’s see some examples of onsite campaigns for this stage.

First, and perhaps the most common is a welcome discount. About 56% of ecommerce stores use popups to share them, according to our data.

Like Nkuku, a homeware retailer, which gives a discount and a chance to win a voucher:

example campaign wisepops

Onsite marketing techniques to make welcome discounts more personalized:

  • Show the welcome offer after a two-page delay to let them browse around first

  • Give a special discount to those browsing a specific product category (say, https://www.example.com/collections/jeans)

  • Consider giving different offers to customer segments: paid/direct/organic; new/returning visitors

Next campaign example:

Product giveaways.

It’s a good way to gamify email acquisition, which can also convert up to 10% of visitors on average. Cabaia, for example, promotes their giveaway to new visitors like this:

promotion of a giveaway on website

And Faguo does it like this:

Next onsite marketing campaign idea for the awareness stage—

Driving visitors to product quizzes.

In many cases, customers need help choosing the right products—that’s why so many online stores have product quizzes now. Onsite engagement channels can help drive visitors to them, in a contextual, helpful way.

Syos, a French maker of 3D printed saxophone and clarinet mouthpieces (definitely a product customers need help with choosing), encourages customers to take the quiz with popup messages appearing only after a new visitor views a couple of products:

product quiz promotion

There’s also another campaign with the same goal.

This time, it’s personalized for a specific product type (tenor mouthpieces).

Here’s me at a page with a tenor saxophone mouthpiece. While on that page, I got an onsite notification, which invited me to take the quiz. What’s different about this campaign is the copy (“Looking for a tenor MP?”)—it’s tailored to the product type I was viewing. A small detail, yes, but also really relevant:

quiz promotion on a product page

Next example:

Encouraging new visitors to discover new products and collections from the homepage with onsite notifications.

Sounds simple enough, but here’s the trick—

What if your homepage needs to stay clean (i.e. it has only one, large image)? In this case, adding more sections would make it cluttered and unappealing.

That was the case with Rouje, Black Ember, and many other ecommerce stores we’re working with:

logo

“Our first priority is to provide our community with a positive, engaging, and easy-to-use UX. We have found Wisepops to perfectly complement the design and functionality of our website.”

Black Ember

Using onsite notifications in this case is a perfect solution since you can pack the feed with multiple messages in one place, which visitors discover by themselves.

Here’s Rouje’s homepage with an opened notification feed (note that their gorgeous homepage stays clean thanks to this):

homepage promotions

Stage 2: Interest

Once a potential customer is aware of your brand, the interest stage is where you can continue to engage and nurture their interest.

Product recommendations are one of the most effective ways to motivate visitors to add something to the cart. But in most cases, visitors can access them only on product pages.

To make product recommendations easily accessible, OddBalls used AI Wishlist. 

Thanks to this feature, visitors can access the recommendations from any page, in just one click (see the image below). What's more, AI Wishlist shows the recommendations based on the visited products and arranges them in order starting with the item that’s most likely to be bought by that specific customer:

opening the feed

To further improve the chance of getting a sale, AI Wishlist allows to choose item sizes (if applicable) and add them to the cart from the feed:

ai wishlist feed

Next example: recommending a popular seasonal product.

Blume, a Canadian self-care brand, for example, promoted the Sunburst Mineral SPF 50 with this gorgeous-looking message below. That’s a great way to drive shoppers to that particular item at the time when they’re likely to be interested in buying it:

wisepops campaign example 3

Another example is promoting a new collection to those browsing similar products.

Le Creuset, a French cookware brand, used a popup message on their product pages to advertise a collection. This is a great way to pique the interest of those already browsing similar products and convince them to check out the new arrivals:

product exploration popup

Stage 3: Consideration

In the consideration stage, visitors evaluate their options and decide whether your product or service meets their needs. 

To support this decision-making process, ecommerce businesses can use strategies based on these numbers:

  • 96% of online shoppers are more likely to buy if they can watch a product video (source)

  • Nearly 70% of customers read between one and six customer reviews before a purchase (source)

  • Slightly over 40% of customers will input their email in a product quiz after they click the start button (source)

You can focus on these three areas and engage customers in many ways with onsite marketing. 

Let’s take product videos as an example.

Black Ember invites new and returning visitors to a dedicated page where they can watch videos of their products being used (the “Watch products in action” notification):

promo of a video with products

Or—

You can make a video popup to make an intro to new arrivals or best-sellers like Flaus does here:

video in a popup on a homepage

Next up, customer reviews.

To promote them on your website, you can contextually place onsite messages in onsite notifications, popups, live chat, and other tools.

For example, Black Ember shows this notification with a review of a best-selling backpack to encourage visitors to learn more:

product review marketing

As for product quizzes—

You can either take the approach of Memo Paris and place the link to the quiz in the notification feed so the visitors discover it as they browse:

promoting to visitors offers

Or—

Add that link to an automated chatbot message like on Manduka:

chatbot with quiz

Or—

Let those browsing the product menu that a quiz is available to help them choose:

promotion of product quiz on product menu

Stage 4: Intent

In the intent stage, potential customers have shown a clear interest in your products and are considering making a purchase. This stage is crucial, as it is where you need to provide that final nudge to help them complete their purchase.

Let’s see some successful onsite strategies for this stage.

One way to encourage visitors to add a product to the cart is to add embedded forms (embeds) with special limited-time to product pages. Kookai, a fashion brand, uses embeds with coupon code applicator to allow shoppers to easily get discounts:

special offer on product page

But what if a visitor adds a product to the cart but then checks out other products, indicating potential hesitation?

In this case, you can set up a campaign to appear if a visitor spends, 40 seconds on a page without doing anything. Such a campaign could deliver some extra motivation or simply remind of a first-time discount, for example.

Dock & Bay, for instance, display this message reminding customers about free shipping for the first order and social social proof:

encouraging visitors to finish purchase

Next-up—

An onsite cart recovery campaign.

Delightly reminds customers about an abandoned cart with this exit popup below. But it’s not only a reminder—there’s also a small discount to enjoy:

cart abandonment popup

Ferro & Company also gives a 10% discount for those who leave the checkout page and visit other products. 

They do so with an onsite notification:

cart recovery onsite notification

Next—

Black Ember goes even further with onsite notifications.

When a visitor adds a product to the cart, they get a notification about the free shipping threshold. This way, the brand encourages customers to buy more:

Stage 5: Retention

Retaining customers is as critical as acquiring new ones, and onsite marketing offers numerous strategies to foster ongoing loyalty. Since you have some data about customers now, you can use it to make custom offers.

Here are some effective examples and methods to retain customers:

Personalized product recommendations.

Keep the items the customers have visited in the notification feed, so they can access them again when they return to your website:

ai wishlist on dusk

Next—

When a customer makes a purchase, you can engage them the next time they visit your store with a thank-you notification like this:

loyalty discount

Also—

You can offer to sign up for your customer loyalty program to get exclusive deals:

promoting a loyalty program onsite

And—

If your business has a referral program, you can promote it to customers who subscribed to the loyalty program:

Also—

Suggest offers based on previous purchases to increase repeat purchases like this:

onsite notifications on nikura

Or—

like this:

Time limited offer increase aov

Also—

You can share various promotions like flash sales, product upsell, and others, based on previous purchases, geolocation, and loyalty status, like this…

flash sale discount

Or like this:

personalized offer seasonal

Or—

Make special birthday offers to those with incomplete customer profiles like this:

personalized offer for increasing aov

How onsite works together with offsite: one campaign in focus

Goal: Boost sales with a 48-hour Easter weekend flash sale

Website: Soi Paris

Offsite channels used: emails and social media

Onsite channels used: website banners, onsite notifications and popups

To engage their customers during the Easter weekend in a creative way, Soi Paris decided to host an egg hunt. That’s right, they hid three “eggs,” (egg-shaped popups) with special discounts on three product pages for visitors to find. 

The campaign began with both the onsite and the offsite parts: on the one hand, the brand sent a few email campaigns to raise awareness of the offer. On the other hand, a website announcement was also published.

On the Easter weekend, the visitors on Soi Paris saw this message that announced the hunt:

soi paris popup campaign welcome

And—

Those were the three “eggs,” which essentially were popups with images of eggs as backgrounds. Visitors could find them in the lower corners of the website on product pages:

Here’s one example:

When clicked, the “egg” showed this message:

soi paris popup campaign

The results of this engaging campaign were impressive:

In 48 hours, Soi Paris’s visitors redeemed 223 discount codes. 

Elodie new

“We are really satisfied with the results of this campaign, it exceeded our expectations. In three days, it helped generate 42% of our revenue (month to date) with a nice average order value. We also received a lot of positive feedback from our customers. They really enjoyed our egg hunt!”

Elodie Trebuchet, Director of Digital Marketing, Soi Paris

Success factors

  • Gamification

  • Easy-to-use discount code

  • Time-limited offer to drive urgency

  • Custom campaign matching Soi Paris website's design

  • Use of multiple offsite and onsite channels (social media, emails, onsite notifications)

The anatomy of a successful onsite marketing campaign

Personalization

One of the key elements of a successful onsite marketing campaign is personalization. By tailoring messages and offers to each visitor, businesses can increase their chances of conversion and retention.

Personalization opportunities on a campaign level include:

  • Text. Each campaign needs to have a unique message, written for the target audience

  • Offer. Different incentives, discount size, etc. should be considered, based on the customer's purchase history, loyalty status, or browsing history

  • Contextual targeting. That includes adapting your offer for visitor source, number of visits, cart content, products viewed, previously bought products, etc.

creating a custom offers for shopify visitors

Custom design

Every onsite marketing campaign has to look like a natural part of the website. That means using your brand’s colors and design guidelines as well as other appearance-related effects to enhance the overall look, be it something simple like a popup or more complex, like a landing page.

custom popup flaus

Strategic use with other onsite/offsite campaigns

Integrating your onsite marketing campaigns with other existing onsite and/offsite campaigns amplifies their overall impact.

Some possible combinations include:

CampaignOffsiteOnsite
Flash saleEmail, social mediaWebsite bars, banners, discount popups
New product launchEmail teasers, social media, influencer marketingLanding pages, banners, onsite notifications, popups
Seasonal sale promotionSocial media ads, social media content, email campaignsSticky bars, banners, exit popups
Customer loyalty promotionEmail seriesLanding pages, onsite notifications, bars
Abandoned cart recoveryEmail seriesExit popups, cart abandonment popups
Giveaway or customer-generated content campaignSocial media content, influencer content, emailLanding page, popups, banners

Performance analytics 

Effective onsite marketing heavily relies on detailed tracking and analytics to understand visitor behavior and campaign performance.

Depending on the campaign, here are some examples of performance indicators to track:

  • Displays

  • Opens

  • Clicks

  • Emails collected

  • Answers collected

  • Orders made

  • Campaign reach

analytics dashboard for onsite campaigns

Goal and revenue tracking

Onsite marketing is all about increasing customer retention, which also means profits. That’s why tracking goals and revenue is also an important part of this strategy.

Setting goal and revenue tracking is simple and requires no major technical knowledge. For example, you can easily do that in a few minutes in Wisepops—watch the video below for details.

A/B testing

A/B testing is an essential onsite marketing tactic. With so many opportunities for campaign personalization available, trying different options is key to finding the most effective combination for your target audience.

Let’s take popups for instance. 

Many ecommerce stores use a welcome popup offering the same discount for extended periods. However, there are numerous opportunities to experiment with even a standard campaign like that:

  • Copy. Headlines, call to action texts

  • Design. Different images/no images, colors, countdowns, layouts, number of signup fields

  • Timing. Immediately after landing, on exit, on the third page, after 10 seconds of browsing, etc.

  • Audience. Paid, organic, first-time, returning, registered, from a certain country or city, etc.

  • Incentive. Different discount sizes, extra perks like free shipping or gifts

  • Social proof. Customer reviews, video reviews

Many successful onsite marketing campaigns, for example, are second or third variants of the original. Asphalte, for example, increased the CTR of their lead generation popup campaigns from 15% to 25% thanks to testing.

Onsite marketing: A must-do in 2024 and beyond

Onsite marketing is the future of ecommerce. By implementing strategic, targeted and personalized campaigns on websites, businesses can increase their conversion rates and customer retention. 

In the current economic climate, onsite marketing is becoming a must-have strategy for business growth. It can become one of your best retention levers, just as important as emails and paid ads.

Pawel Lawrowski

Pawel is the Head of Growth at Wisepops and an expert in lead generation, popups, ecommerce, and onsite marketing.

With over a decade of experience in digital marketing and ecommerce, he has both build marketing teams from scratch and led strategic business growth projects.

Pawel has worked with countless online businesses on marketing strategies and is now sharing his knowledge. Previously, he was an head of growth at Tidio, where his responsibilities ranged from creating marketing materials to building acquisition channels.

Education

West Pomeranian University of Technology

Certifications

  • Marketing Strategy (course)

  • Advanced Growth Strategy (course)

  • Retention & Engagement (course)

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