Conversion Rate Optimization

How to use exit-intent for eCommerce websites

Converting leads into customers seems to be a top-of-mind matter for today marketers. As Hubspot Inbound Report shows, lead conversion represents an undeniable priority for 74% of the companies in 2016, as only 22% of businesses are satisfied with their conversion rates. (Econsultancy, 2016)

The shift in decision-making behavior – from rational thinking to pure emotions, has become a game-changer in all industries. In other words, purchasing processes are at the customer’s subconscious mercy, rational thinking playing just a justification role for the buying choices triggered by emotions.

In the digital era where converting leads into customers is crucial for a flawless business growth, innovative optimization strategies must fill up the gap and guide your efforts towards a new approach that would make your business stand out the crowd.

In his session at the International Ecommerce Day, Valentin Radu – Founder & CEO at Omniconvert, shares valuable insights on how exit-intent interactions can help you increase conversion rate and grow your business.

The Psychology behind exit-intent

Without doubt, we live in a world crowded with information. According to Digital Marketing experts, Americans are exposed to 4000 – 10000 messages per day. Moreover, technology helped human become multi-taskers, but pushed down their attention span from 12 seconds back in 2000, to 8 seconds in 2013. (Biotech, 2013) Basically, the human attention became shorter than the one of a goldfish.

So, what happens when you might have the words but not the time?


The main challenge as an eCommerce marketer is to persuade visitors to buy in a few seconds. To be more specific, you have to deliver value in less than 10 seconds in order that your visitors continue their virtual journey on your site and engage with your products. A well known fact is that 30% of the visits on eCommerce sites are below 9 seconds.

However, time is not the only enemy here. When in eCommerce industry, space itself is a significant factor to take into consideration.


Highly relevant, especially when it comes to webdesign, space plays an important role in the online user experience. Less is more –  as minimalist architecture promotes, the invasion of content and visual elements might act as real distractors. Human sight cannot focus on more than 1° based on the foveal area, which is the only part of the retina that permits 100% visual acuity.

In other words, only an area of around 150px x 200px of your web page can be perceived clearly by your visitors.



Closely related to attention, focus could be translated as a powerful magnetic force that keeps you ‘stuck’ on certain activities or products.

What visitor finds most compelling is pain.

What makes us focus without turning back are emotions. According to Talia Wolf, all customer buying decisions are based on emotion. These can be both, positive and negative, as it follows: 

  • Pleasure, Reward, Attention and Reinforcement
  • Pain and Fear

Valentin Radu @Omniconvert emphasizes the powerful role of emotion:

Valentin Radu

“Make it all about your visitors.
Remember that what is delivering emotion to your users, it makes them take action. Fulfilling pains and gains through valuable content, tangible rewards and efficient solutions is a must-do.”

Furthermore, the real focus is triggered when the pain and desire intersect. By delivering a personalized experience, you can trigger intense emotions and create an unique space for your online visitor.


User Web Experience

It’s highly important to address your web visitors at a human level.

Grow your company by learning about your customers and empower them with valuable content.

Conversion Rate Optimization should be a learning-through-process instrument in getting knowledge about customers and addressing their touch points by fulfilling gains and pains, in order to deliver a better user web experiences.

Bryan Eisebnerg @ClickZ 2001 emphasizes the powerful role of CRO:


“Conversion Rate is a measure of your ability to persuade visitors to take the action you want them to take. It’s a reflection of your effectiveness and customer satisfaction. For you to achieve your goals, visitors must achieve theirs.”


You have 3 seconds to convince a customer to buy your product. So your pitch better not be about how successful is your company, or how cool the new features of your brand-new product are, but make it all about how good your customers’ life would be with you in it.

According to Aaron Walter in Designing for Emotion (2011), websites should create an user experience that makes visitors feel like there’s a person, not a machine at the end of the wire.

As Valentin Radu stated at International Ecommerce Day, in order to deliver a valuable web experience to the users and make them act on your website, it is highly important to choose wisely the triggers – they should deliver a promise, a reward or solve a pain.

Typically, an usual web experience can be outlined like this:


At first, a trigger can generate high enough hormone load for visitors to take action, whether it’s a banner, CTA button or a Youtube video.

If there is a trigger matching visitors’ wants and needs, they will click and go to landing page.

While scanning throughout the funnel, a lot of decisions are to be made. Without an obvious benefit-oriented trigger, the visitors will navigate away from your website. The so-called zero moment is the moment when visitors decide if they will continue to stay or navigate away from your website.

Based on these, a different approach should be taken in order to eliminate the barriers and stop visitors from abandoning your site.

Exit Direction icon. Vector style is bicolor flat iconic symbol with rounded angles, intensive red and black colors, white background.

Exit-intent interactions – What are they good for?

Exit-intent interactions ‘activate’ as soon as visitors try to abandon the website. These proved successful in the case of many eCommerce businesses, increasing their conversion rates.

Here are some tips and tricks on the good use of exit-intent, shared by Valentin Radu:

1. Build Email Lists

The most accessible use of exit-intent interactions is to build email lists.

According to Hubspot Inbound Report, traffic and lead generation represents a challenge for 65% of the companies in 2016 and the most important organizational goal for 85% of the B2B businesses, conform Content Marketing Institute (2015). Thus, exit-intent interactions can be an effective solution in the lead generation process.

XeroShoes is a good example of eCommerce business using exit-intent in order to generate leads. The company is delivering value: “learn about the benefits of going barefoot” and “feel the freedom”.


2. Find out why your visitors are not buying

Discovering the pains of your customers can help you direct your actions and ‘give the right pills’ to make your visitors feel better and take action – it’s simple like that!

As Talia Wolf states, if you know what you’re looking for, it’s easy to optimize.

The use of exit-intent surveys and logic branching can guide your actions in real-time, based on your visitors’ responses. Omniconvert developed such an exit-intent interaction for the fashion eCommerce site – Stella Carakasi.

In this manner, the fashion eCommece website could learn not only the reasons why visitors were abandoning the site without buying, but also they could treat the objections in real-time.


3. Treat Objections

For example, if the visitors were being price sensitive, an exit-intent interaction would activate and provide them with a product selection on sale, based on their previous search, history or style preferences.


4. Offer Incentives

You can replicate the user experience from physical stores via web by offering incentives or by communicating on a personal level, asking direct questions, such as: “What size do you wear?”, “ Do you think that this is too expensive?”.

For example, Audible offers a 4.95$ discount on your favorite audiobook, as soon as you want to exit their website. This incentive can trigger positive emotions, as it provides a persuasive content, delivering a tangible reward.

Nevertheless, it is highly important to run A/B testing experiments on different content overlayers in order to maximize exit-intent potential.

5. Create Scarcity

5 people are looking at this flight

Your heart starts beating faster. You don’t want to miss out this good deal.

Do you?

In order to increase conversion rate, you can make use of the psychological phenomenon, called the Fear of Missing Out aka FoMO. This phenomenon outlines that when people think they might miss out something, they will act immediately.

Secondly, scarcity can act as a social proof indicator. Moreover, when limited range of products, the visitors’ product quality perception can be affected positively.

For example, in an experiment performed in 1975, people were asked to rate cookies placed in two different jars. The first one contained 10 cookies, whereas the second one had only 2 cookies. The cookies from the two-cookie jar received higher ratings, even though there were the same cookies as in the first jar.

So how can you implement scarcity on your eCommerce site?

Using Omniconvert, you can implement interactive on-exit overlayers, aimed to provide not only offers, but also triggering visitors’ fear of missing out, using parameters, such as:

  • Product Stock
  • Number of people viewing a particular product
  • Number of people buying a product in real-time

Iberia Airlines is making use of scarcity for their flight booking section:


6. Do real-time web personalization

Use the existent variables around a cookie/IP in order to deliver products, relevant for your visitors.

One such personalization feature is weather condition. A good example of eCommerce website making use of the Omniconvert’s weather segmentation engine is Covera for their product category on trees. The Omniconvert treatment included triggering on-exit a selection of trees ready to be planted, based on the outside temperature of the visitor’s location in real-time.

The exit-intent overlayer brought 60.4% more conversions for Covera’s product category.


7. Recommend products

Place exit-intent overlays based on the style, viewed products or history, in order to provide visitors with products relevant for them. This is another cool way of using exit-intent throughout the conversion optimization process.


8. Reduce Choices

According to Valentin Radu, reducing choices is the most important principle for the eCommerce websites.

So why is choice reduction so important?

Based on an experiment in supermarket in the UK on 6 gem flavours versus 24 gem flavours, the results showed that the conversion rate was 10 times bigger for the limited set of product choices, as 30% more consumers converted when exposed to limited choices of gem.


Several reasons are to be outlined:

The more information you have to process, the lesser you are likely to react.

The more options you’re dealing with, the less good and bad feelings you’re experiencing, according to Barry Schwartz’s Paradox of Choice.

The net feelings are decreasing, as the number of choices are increasing.

Barry Schwartz about the importance of choice reduction:

“Choices have two negative effects on people. One effect is that it produces paralysis, rather than liberation. With so many options to choose from, people find it very difficult to choose at all. (…)

Even though we manage to overcome paralysis and we make a choice, we end up less satisfied with the choice than if we’ve had fewer options to choose from.”

A good example of eCommerce website which reduced the choices on the footwear category using Omniconvert tools is Bfashion.

By A/B testing several overlayers on exit-intent, Bfashion succeeded increasing their cart rate by 18.60%, conversion rate by 14.2% and the statistical significance for all the experiments was 100%.

Bfashion made use of filters based on visitors’ footsize, in order to deliver the suitable products with 1-click away.


Wrapping up

Exit-intent interactions prove powerful in increasing conversion rate for your eCommerce website by building email lists, learning about your customers’ pains and desires, treating visitors’ objections in real time, offering incentives, creating scarcity, doing web personalization, recommending products and reducing choices.

Omniconvert is the first democratic CRO platform that helps you convert visitors to customers through effective features, such as: Surveys, A/B Testing, Personalization and Segmentation.

If you want to see how exit-intent interaction can be implemented in your eCommerce website – Start your free trial!







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