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Last updated Tue Jun 06 2023

State of Visitor Engagement on Shopify Stores

There are about 25 million ecommerce websites out there.

In this busy ecosystem, ecommerce store owners have to fight hard to survive and thrive. Even the best Shopify stores are no exception to that rule. To increase their conversion rates and grow faster, more and more stores are relying on engagement tools.

In this study, we look at the most popular tools used by Shopify stores.

Let’s look at the results!

Main study findings

  • 66% of the stores we reviewed use at least one visitor engagement tool.

  • Website popups are the most popular tool, with 50% of the Shopify stores in our sample displaying at least one popup.

  • Live chats come second, with 25% of the websites viewed offering live chat; social proof notifications come third.

analysis of shopify stores

Detailed results

Shopify Popups

Popups are the most popular engagement tool. We found popups on 50% of the stores we analyzed.

A vast majority of the websites display the popup as soon as the user lands on their website (76% of the sample). 14% display them when the user demonstrates exit intent.

Expert tip:

Popups have undoubtedly become a standard on Shopify stores. It doesn’t come as a surprise, given their conversion powers. But smart popups have not – yet. Most store owners display their popup on landing. Our data shows that, on average,  exit popups or popups displayed after a few seconds perform better than popups displayed on landing. Stores could vastly improve their results and their user experience by switching away from landing popups. We also observed that most stores we visited had only one popup. We recommend creating multiple campaigns to take into account the different buyer personas.

Greg d’Aboville

My tips:

  • Make sure your design is appealing and in line with your brand image

  • Bait subscribers with exclusive content, deals or a coupon

  • Test your popup placement and targeting until you’ve found your sweet spot

Shopify customer support

One-quarter of the sample uses a live chat to provide support and engage visitors.

The top websites have a larger proportion of live chat adoption (32%) than the smaller websites (24% and 20%).

Expert comment: Olek Potrykus, Head of Customer Service at Tidio

A customer service benchmark of 2000 consumers found that live chat boasts the highest rates of customer satisfaction. Customers love the live chat so much, in fact, that 33% of them expect some kind of live chat option to be available when browsing sites online.

Most store owners use live chat only for customer support purposes. But an American Marketing Association study revealed that B2B businesses that used a paid live chat service to operate a sales chat saw a 305% return on investment!

My tips:

  • First impressions are really important, and not just in person. It’s a good practice to respond as soon as possible, ideally within 2 minutes max.

  • Use automated messages to better engage your visitors. For example, set a warm greeting message for first-time visitors to your store.

  • Integrate your live chat with email and Messenger to simplify the support logistics for you and your team by having everything in one place.

Social Proof Notifications

Fomo, the company that pioneered recent sales notifications, was founded in 2016.

Yet, already 11% are using this kind of notification to boost engagement. Quite an impressive evolution.

Expert comment: Clay Griffith, Head of Growth at Fomo

Social Proof notifications –as a category– has really grown in the past few years. We’ve seen a steady increase in interest around the platform and tens of thousands of websites are now using Social Proof notifications to build trust, share offerings, and drive up conversion rates.
Leveraging real-time Social Proof has proven to be an effective way to build excitement around brands. We track conversions through our notifications, and the numbers prove the effectiveness.  
In a recent one-month case study of 10 clients, we saw a 3% to 14% lift in conversion rates plus a typical increase in total cart volume as well (industry specific, 11% increase for fashion & style brands). By showing recent actions to other visitors, Social Proof helps static online shops feel more like busy storefronts.

My tips:

  • Design your notifications to fit your site’s brand. The best use of notifications is when they don’t feel invasive, but part of your own website. Play with themes and customize.

  • Combine different notification types. Social Proof is best when you show recent purchases, recent reviews, and more. Choose a few integrations and tell a better story.

Browser Notifications

10% of our sample displayed push notification prompts.

Only 8% of the smaller stores we visited used this technology.  Again, quite an impressive evolution for a technology that only started to mature around 2016.

Expert comment: Tom Kacevicius, CEO at Firepush

Browser notifications are becoming an increasingly popular way of engaging online buyers. No wonder why: they’re one of the easiest and cheapest ways to send personalized messages at scale on all types of devices, even when your customers have left your website.

My tips:

  • Use Abandoned Cart pushes to recover lost sales (up to 20% recovery rate).

  • Build trust by sending automated delivery updates.

  • Increase sales by sending cross-selling messages.


To perform this study, we analyzed 300 websites hosted and powered by Shopify. The sample was built using the following method.

We started with MYIP.MS’ list of Shopify websites.

We then selected randomly:

  • 100 websites with an Alexa rank between 1 and 10,000

  • 100 websites with an Alexa rank between 10,000 and 50,000

  • 100 websites with an Alexa rank between 100,000 and 500,000

Next, we accessed these websites with an American IP address from a desktop computer.

For each website, we:

1) waited for the page to load completely
2) waited for 10 additional seconds
3) loaded a second page
4) exited the website

shopify stores statistics marketing
Greg D'Aboville

Greg D'Aboville

Greg is a former Head of Growth at Wisepops. He has a degree from the ESSEC Business School and has been working in digital marketing since 2014.