This post highlights a simple, useful feature that’s crept onto most of the UK’s largest e-commerce sites over the last couple of years, with no real coverage. 

“The promo strip” is not new, but has slowly caught on to the point it’s almost standard for high street retailers, yet still fairly rare on smaller sites. 

promo strip

It’s a very useful addition from both the customer perspective (quickly informative without being overbearing) and from the brand perspective (conversion orientated without being overbearing!). 

There are 12 examples below, including variations on the central idea.

The Promo Strip

Here’s an example of the most basic version, from Play.com:

promo strip

That’s it. A simple strip of key information that appears under the top navigation of a site, performing a roughly similar function as a direct mail Johnson Box.

Sometimes these promote key selling points of the site or the brand itself, other times they highlight current promotions, though really they’re a nice way to display info that you want *every* visitor to the site to see.

The benefits of placing these under the top navigation are:

  1. They appear on every page, so no matter where someone lands on the site they see it.
  2. Even if visitors are on a low screen resolution, they still see it immediately.
  3. The top navigation is where visitors are looking, so – whether they register it consciously or not – almost everyone sees it. 

11 More Examples

Below are 11 more examples of the trend. In each screengrab, the promo strip is highlighted in green. 

John Lewis

John Lewis - Promo Strip

There’s a theme among the biggest retailers to use the strip for delivery messaging. 

John Lewis promote their ‘free delivery’ threshold, their ‘click to collect’ & ‘international delivery’ info, along with their famous ‘Never Knowingly Undersold’.

Evans

Evans Promostrip

Evans follow the trend with Delivery & Returns information, but also include a call to action to sign up to their email list. 

Topshop

Topshop - Promostrip

Again, Topshop opt for the ‘Free UK Delivery’ & an ‘international delivery’ promo.

House of Fraser

House of Fraser Strip

House of Fraser copycat John Lewis (or maybe it was the other way round) with ‘store collection’, ‘free delivery’, and ‘international delivery’ all promoted prominently here.

Debenhams

Debenhams - Promo Strip

And again, Debenhams follows along with Free Delivery, store collection, and international delivery.

Interesting variations on the theme:

Other than the standard ‘free delivery over £XX, pick up in store’, here are a few variations from retailers who’ve gone a little further.

Marks & Spencer

 Marks & Spencer - Promo Strip

M&S step things up nicely from their competitors, showing international and UK delivery info, but also highlighting current promotions in an area every site visitor will see.

M&S almost always has sales on some areas of the site, and this allows the retailer to flag these to everyone who lands on the site.

Boux Avenue:

Boux Avenue - Promo Strip

Another retailer showing their delivery and returns info, but Boux Avenue is worth a mention as – whereas other retailers have lumped the promo strip on top of their existing design – Boux have folded it very neatly in with the overall look/theme of the site. 

Naked Wines

Naked Wines - Promo Strip

Naked‘s version differs slightly from others. Firstly, it’s above the navigation. Secondly, it introduces some urgency and a deadline with their ‘Order in the next XX minutes for next day delivery’ call to action.

Penhaligon’s

 Penhaligons - Promo Strip

Penhaligon’s fill this area of dead space in its layout with ‘free delivery’ info, but also – very usefully for a heavily gifted brand – promotes its free gift wrapping service here.

Pen Heaven

Pen Heaven - Promo Strip

As with Naked Wines, Pen Heaven again focuses on urgency, offering same day engraving for orders before a particular time. It also features customer reviews heavily here; great for a smaller brand that visitors may not have heard of. 

Kiddicare

Kiddicare is probably the UK’s leading baby product website. it also leads the way here with its promo strip.

First, it beats out all of the standard ‘delivery’ promos, with next day delivery in ‘1 hour slots’. Second, it shows off the 365 day return policy. Third, Kiddicare offers a price match promise:

Taking it far further, the retailer has added these strips down either side of the main content:

Kiddicare - Side Strips 

These strips are hidden if you’re on a smaller resolution (eg 1024×768). For anyone on a larger monitor, they reinforce the price match & fast despatch, but also show off their many awards, and promote their 119,000 product reviews.

Summary

As you can see, these have popped up all over the place. They’re a very simple addition to highlight features or info you want to show off to all of your visitors.

If you run an e-commerce site, and haven’t already tried this, it’s worth testing. If you’re already running this with the bog standard ‘free delivery over £xx’, it’s worth trialing some other ideas to see the impact they have. There are some nice extensions to this too: personalising them to include discount codes depending on traffic source, etc.

If you’re willing to A/B test it, it’s probably worth paying more attention to the impact it has on ‘new visitors’ or first time buyers, rather than your overall conversion rate.

Do leave a comment if you’ve seen any other interesting examples of this, or had any experience yourself around results.