14 Unconventional Online Shopping Features to Boost Conversions

With more ecommerce businesses coming online each day, it helps to have a few tricks up your sleeve to connect with your audience. Even stores that operate in small niches are seeing new competitors, large and small.

To keep your business moving forward, we’ve gathered a set of 14 unconventional features that online stores use to grab the attention of their audience, and ultimately, make more sales.

Call them unconventional, call them quirky, call them crazy…call them what you will, but they work!

1. A gallery of ‘Antiques’ – Show your archived products

Here’s a quirky twist on ecommerce. Stores are calling this a “Museum” category. You feature archived, or no longer available products in a special category on your site.

The items aren’t available for sale, but they provide a great source of social media interaction for your audience to share. Plus, for stores that carry a limited selection, it gives shoppers a chance to get a greater feel for your brand.

Archived products

2. Show your confident in your products - List your competitors on your site!

File this one under “crazy”. Show that you’re confident in your products by listing your competitors, including a link to their site! Let’s be honest, a savvy shopper will find your competitors anyway.

You can get ahead of the competition and keep your shoppers on your site by showing that you’re certain your products are better.


3. Let your customers be your voice! Part 1 – Include a Featured reviews section

You can take a tip from big commerce by featuring reviews right on the main page of your site and throughout your site. Featured reviews are a smart twist on typical testimonials because they show the person leaving the review actually bought the product!

When your customers speak for you, new shoppers will really hear you!


4. Let your customers be your voice! Part 2 - Testimonials on category pages

Many shop owners keep testimonials in a sidebar or only show them on the main page. Create a section on your category and shop pages to include your testimonials right out in front!

When your customers are your voice, new shoppers build trust quickly and more confident to make a purchase.


5. Give your customers more ways than one to checkout – Put a mini-cart in the footer

When your site has a lot of products or a big catalog, sometimes a shopper can get lost. Here’s a unique spin on making sure your shoppers get to the checkout – put a mini cart with a Checkout button in the footer.

You might say, who would checkout from the footer? Install a mini-cart and find out! You’ll be surprised. Any new opportunity to checkout will be used by your shoppers…you just have to give them a chance!

Of course, too many checkout links can be confusing, so be careful when implementing this unconventional conversion method.


6. Go Big! Turn your cart icon into an entire cart view with a sticky shopping cart

Nearly every ecommerce site has a cart icon, some even show the total of the cart in the header/ Then there’s one step further, the mini-cart, depending on the site, you can get the total number of items, and a summary of the first few items in your cart.

Here’s an unconventional approach to the mini-cart: Go Big! Turn your mini-cart into a sticky cart with a full view of the cart, or as much information as you can provide.

After all, when someone shops at a supermarket, they take their cart with them to every aisle!

The Hungarian Wine Society uses a sticky shopping cart on each page.


7. Create a How-to for Returns

You might also file this one under “crazy”. Why would you want to show your customers exactly how to return your products? Like putting a list of competitors on your site, showing customers how to complete a successful return shows you are confident in your product.

It also shows that you are providing another level of support. Every store can be there when everything goes right, shoppers feel more confident to make a purchase when they know a store will be there for them when things go wrong.

Zappos return video


8. Install an automated ‘Greeter’

One unconventional method you can use with our OptiMonk onsite retargeting service is an automated ‘greeter’. Just like people who greet you at some retail establishments when you walk in the door, you can setup an automated ‘greeter’ on your website.

When someone goes to your site a popup appears a few seconds after they arrive. You can request feedback on first impressions, or offer a link to a guide for beginners.

Depending on your site, the message may be different here. Be careful to test your implementation and timing with this unconventional tip. The right timing makes all the difference. With OptiMonk you can set the timing exactly right so it boosts your conversions without putting off new shoppers.



9. Show shoppers what other people are looking for – Put popular search terms below the search box

People like to know what other people think. Put common search terms and phrases below the search bar. Often these lead to your hottest selling products, so it’s a win-win. Your customers see what other people are buying, and you get to sell more.



10. “110% Price Protection” instead of 100%

Go above and beyond to show that you know you’ve got the best prices. Offering someone their money back plus an extra bonus.

Like listing competitors and showing a detailed how-to for returns, offering a 110% price guarantee helps your customers build trust quickly and helps you build more sales.



11. Tell me when it goes on sale! – Create Sale Alerts for Shoppers to Save

Some shoppers are waiting for that perfect deal, when the price is right they’ll jump, but only then. For these shoppers, it helps to have a Sale Alert feature.

Customers can save an item in their ’Sale Alerts’ and when that item goes on sale, they’ll receive a message. Of course, when you see that a lot of people have signed up for a sale alert on a item, that might be a good time to put the item on sale!

You can also use this method to see whether you need to adjust your pricing. If too many people are putting an item in for a ’Sale Alert’ but no one is actually buying it, it might be time to lower your price on the item or look for another supplier.



12. Find your solution wizard

We’ve all see custom build-your-own options. You can take advantage of this feature in an unconventional way by making it an interview process. Guide your customers step by step through a series of questions to their product choice.

Your customers feel like they are getting a tailored solution, and you get some free market research on what your audience is thinking, plus some more sales too!



13. Send to a friend 2.0 – upgraded version

Like the cart button, most sites these days have a Share button for sharing the page or products to their social media. Upgrade your share features to 2.0 with a custom ’Send a Friend’ dialog.

You can highlight your brand while helping someone express something to a friend or loved one. When positive emotions are involved, positive sales usually follow!

Burberry has a viral marketing feature



14. Let Your Customers Set the Price! – Offer Negotiable Pricing

Here’s another tip from big commerce, use a negotiation tool for pricing. This may sound crazy, but it shows you are willing to work with your customers to make them happy.

One word of advice, if you haven’t been at the negotiation table lately, be sure to set some lower limits. And remember there will always be low-ball offers, don’t get upset, often people simply want to see how low you will go. By setting reasonable limits, you can make more sales, and have fun in the process!

Modnique: You have a possibility to make an offer to an item.


Use these unconventional features of online shopping to connect with your audience

Call them goofy, call them crazy, or downright silly, but these unconventional methods for conversion really work. With competition increasing online, it helps to have a unique approach to your audience.

Using one of these unconventional methods is also a great way to show the personality of your store. For instance, listing your competitors shows that you are really proud of your products. The same goes for the archived or “museum” category of items.

You can also use these unconventional methods to highlight more features of your products or store. For instance, in the how-to return video, you can speak about how your store was founded and why top service, for instance, a smooth return process, is an important part of what you do.

(Note: Have you heard of OptiMonk? It’s a powerful onsite messaging solution that helps you convert up to 15% of abandoning visitors to sales and leads. Give it a try – click here to create a free OptiMonk account now.)

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So which quirky, crazy, or unconventional method will you use?