If you’ve ever been wondering why catchy and concise announcement bars on Shopify are becoming more prominent, it is because of their ability to catch the user’s eye the second they visit the site. There’s no doubt that customers’ attention is one of the most important aspects of a successful sales generation strategy. With only 8 seconds to grab the user’s attention, online stores need to be engaging, but more importantly efficient. An announcement bar is one way to do that
What is an announcement bar?
An announcement bar, also called a “Free shipping bar”, “Header bar”, “Top bar” is an unobtrusive bar that contains a one or two-sentence message. It also may include a button or a link (Call to Action) and a dismiss button, so that customers can easily hide the message. It is usually located at the very top of the page, hence it’s one of the first things that the customer sees. Generally, they are a great improvement of pop-ups that were quite obtrusive.
Announcement bar use cases
You should use an announcement bar on your online store, because you will be gaining a lot, while sacrificing little to nothing on your site. First of all, an announcement bar is one of the first things that customers see. Furthermore, they’re quick to update and they are unobtrusive. Here are a couple of ways you can use them –
1. Create a sense of urgency
Many people haven’t heard of the term “Fear of missing out” (FOMO), but have definitely experienced it at some point. Defined by a 2013 study it’s “a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent.”
Announcement bars are a perfect way to leverage this marketing strategy by introducing a deadline for a deal, product, or even free shipping. Some great example messages that will most definitely drive your sales include –
“Buy until 6pm for free delivery”
“Save 35% this week only”
“Sign up today for 15% off your purchase + get exclusive offers”
2. Discount codes and deals
Announcement bars are also a great place to provide discount codes for customers to enter at the checkout or announce bundle deals like “Buy 3 and get one free”. Just make sure that you deliver on the promise and your store correctly handles this.
3. Provide important information to the customer
You can also provide information in the announcement bar that affects specific customer demographics. It can be anything ranging from the currencies that you accept, to countries you deliver to. There is, however, one specific piece of information that has the potential to dramatically increase your sales. “Nine out of ten consumers say free shipping is the top-most incentive to shop online more, and orders with free shipping average around 30 percent higher in value,” said Invesp. Therefore, if you provide free shipping, it should definitely go in a place where customers can immediately see it.
4. Promote a new product or service
If you’ve just released a new product or a service, why not promote it on the announcement bar. In fact, it will almost definitely drive more users to the new item and help generate buzz. Just be sure to update it over time, when it’s not “new” anymore.
5. Drive awareness to a special event
When we’re talking about special sale events, the two most notable events that come to mind are Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Be sure to combine tactics mentioned in the previous use cases to maximise your sales during the time when customers are the most active worldwide.
There are, of course, many more use cases for announcement bars, so don’t just limit yourself to this list. Make the announcement bar suit your and your store’s specific needs.
Some pitfalls to avoid
As with any great tool to increase your sales, there are things you need to keep in mind and be careful about. In other words, don’t turn a great opportunity into a disaster by –
Not updating the announcement bars
If you don’t update the announcements on your store and customers keep seeing the same old message, they may start to not notice the announcement, or think that you’re not updating the store’s content. Try to keep it fresh.
Not allowing the user to close the announcement bar
One of the reasons why announcement bars are so unobtrusive, is because they allow the user to easily dismiss the bar and it’s gone. Some users might get annoyed if they’re denied that privilege.
Using redundant messages
Announcement bars are a space for important information that grabs the user’s attention. Don’t just grab it to say “Hi”.
Overcomplicating the message
Stick to simple announcements that are easy to comprehend and don’t take up too much space. You can use links to drive for more information.
How do I add an announcement bar on Shopify?
This section will provide you two options that require no financial investment to get your announcement bar up and running on your store.
Firstly, Libautech has released a free app called “Add Announcement bar”, which can help you achieve any of the use cases mentioned before, as well as avoid the common announcement bar pitfalls. It has amassed over 60 installs in the first three days, with the user base growing daily.
Features that are included in the app:
- 30+ Texture, Gradient and Plain templates to match the style of merchants theme
- Target specific countries and devices
- Geographical analysis of each announcement bar
- Schedule your announcement bars to show at specific times and dates
- Rotate multiple announcement bars in a slideshow
However, if you’re familiar with a bit of code and aren’t scared to play around with the theme files on Shopify, you can check out this article by Leighton. It provides easy to follow, detailed instructions on how to add the announcement bar on Shopify manually.
Some other great candidates Shopify apps include –
Still not convinced or you would like some help setting up an announcement on Shopify? Drop us a message
Libautech is a one-stop agency for developing web apps and eCommerce tools to grow your business and support your client base.