The most popular website eye-scanning pattern, F-shaped pattern, highlights that the primary optical area of a website where users first read is across the top of the web page — the header.
This suggests that every online store owner must leverage on their website’s header. Important information or messages should be placed on top of your page where users generally read them.
But, how? Smart header bars, commonly known as notification bars, are a great strategy to utilize the most visible space of your website. If this feels pretty foreign to you, header bars are used to display short but essential messages.
Usually, header bars are used by eCommerce stores to relay new, important or urgent information, such as the launching of new products, an announcement of sales, etc. They float or stick at the top of your page which attracts the attention of website visitors without interfering with the main content of the page.
Why should you be using a header bar on your store’s website?
Setting up a header bar is pretty easy and there multiple ways and examples on how to add one to your online store. But, before you decide to jump into implementing it on your eCommerce store, you should know first the following reasons why using a header bar is right for you and understand the benefits of using a header bar:
- Highly Visible: Header bars have an eye-catching nature because they sit on top of the most noticeable part of your web page and can remain visible as your visitors scroll down your page.
- Less Intrusive: A great alternative to using a pop-up form which can interfere shopper, header bars don’t disrupt a visitor’s flow which makes them far less disturbing or annoying.
- Highly Versatile: Their use is more than just for marketing. They can perform a number of functions too, such as announcements to a new content, recruitment of email subscribers, etc.
- Less Obstructive: They do not obstruct or hijack the shopper’s screen. This allows you to display any type of important message without distracting shoppers from reading your main content or engaging with other elements on your site.
- Highly Converting: Because header bars can be used to display call-to-actions and can support any goal, they’re exceptionally great for driving shoppers’ conversions.
Tips to create an effective header bar based on your goals
Here are real-life tips and best practices to create and implement your header bars effectively:
- Stay aligned with your objective or goal: Whether you want to grow your email list or promote your new products, always keep your goal or objective in mind when crafting your header bar. Keep it simple and avoid crowding it too many objectives all at once.
- Avoid complicated and lengthy words: Your header bar messages shouldn’t just be short and sweet, but they have to be easy to comprehend and enticing enough to deliver your message effectively.
Match your message with the appropriate design: Your design should be responsive and flexible to your messaging. Do not use the same design for all of your notifications. Pick the right icon, image or color to further evoke the emotion of your message.
- Point shoppers to the right direction: Tell your visitors exactly what you want them to do. Use a call-to-action button to lead them directly to the right direction.
- Test and measure effectiveness: Before executing a full-blown header bar campaign, use A/B testing to try different variations of color, size button or copy, and then make adjustments accordingly. Use analytics to uncover which design elements are disruptive or which copy is performing better.
Creative Smart Header Bar examples to boost your conversions
Explore the following different types of smart header bars and examples on how other online stores creatively use them:
Display Shipping Information
Free shipping is still the No. 1 incentive when shoppers were asked what would make them shop online more often. Because of this, consumers have grown to expect free shipping as a standard offering from every eCommerce store.
This is why a header bar is a good placement for free shipping qualifications and other shipping details such as shipping cost, shipping delivery time, etc. By making shipping information available, you’re taking advantage of this top driver for purchasing decision.
Grow Email Subscribers or Social Followers
If visitors are new to your site and they want to hear from you again, they must be able to quickly see your email subscription form or follow your social media pages. Building an email list and growing social followers are eCommerce must-haves because they give you time to convert your visitors into customers.
The most common types of email or social opt-ins are made via pop-up types. However, they can be disruptive especially for first-time visitors. An email opt-in or social following header bar is a great alternative to get more visitors to subscribe on your email list or follow you on social media.
Bring in a Sense of Urgency
Sometimes, shoppers are only researching and not in a hurry to purchase immediately. But, if you allow them to take more time to think, you might lose them from your competitors. Plus, it will be more difficult for you to entice them back to your site again.
So, if your shoppers are not in a hurry, bring in a sense of urgency when they’re still on your site by using time-related and scarcity triggers to convert them instantly. Use header bars to present your visitors with an offer that’s made available for a short period of time or for a limited-quantity.
Use headings like “Gone forever” as scarcity message or add a countdown timer to your header bar to increase shopper’s urgency to purchase.
LSTN adds a countdown timer to its header bar to increase shopper’s urgency to buy.
Share News and Non-Commercial Announcements
Sharing a site-wide announcement or news is one of the common usages of header bars. They are usually non-commercial in nature but requires the message to be cascaded to all website visitors.
Site-wide announcements can be a data privacy-related notifications, an unveiling of a newly redesigned website or an advisory regarding your new policies or updates on processes like new return policies, changes on delivery schedules, etc.
Uniqlo announces its new return policy with a header bar.
Promote Sales and Discounts
Most of the sales promotions and discounts are offered through entry popups which means that a pop-up offer is displayed the moment a visitor enters your website. However, there are chances that they’ll just close this to continue navigating your site first before they can even use the promo or discount codes.
This is why it’s a good idea to display your promotions and other deals in a header bar. This way, even though shoppers close a pop-up offer, they still have easy access and visibility to your promos and discounts on top of your page.
Hello Canvas promotes its discount code on top of its page.
Drive Traffic to New Contents
Content marketing is an effective way for brand awareness, traffic generation, and conversion. You can create and distribute contents such as blog posts, tutorials, DIY guides, lookbooks, and other contents that match your brand and your marketing objectives.
To drive traffic to your contents, make sure to always promote your new contents in your header bar. Contents are incredibly good lead magnet offers too. So you can use them as free offers, say, for example, a cooking recipe in exchange for the shopper’s email subscription.
Crafter’s Companion effectively promotes its contents such as downloadables, videos, and product guides on its header bar.
How to add a header bar to your website
There are different plugins you can use to set up your very own header bar on your website. But, if you want a fresh solution, SiteKit was born for you, whose primary purpose is for lead generation and one of its customer conversion features is the Smart Bar.
Smart Bar is a free SiteKit tool exclusively designed for creating attractive and responsive header bars for online stores. With the help of Smart Bar, you can display important messages on top of your website without disrupting your customers from the page contents.
Its ease of use, attractive designs, and flexible functionalities will help you create personalized interactions to target the right visitors at the right time with the right message enabling you to smartly convert your visitors into customers.
Head to a Smarter Conversion
An online store’s website header is mostly what visitors first notice and read. This has a great potential to make or break the entire shopping experience and especially your chance to convert your visitors. Turn your website header into a powerful customer conversion opportunity by displaying header bars with relevant messages, enticing offers, and impactful designs using Smart Bar.