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I'm working on an eCommerce site. The customer can use a (proprietary) eVoucher to pay for goods. A business constraint is that eVouchers have a life span - ie - they will expire.

There's an advantage to telling site visiting customers about this.
1./ It might save them accidentally letting the opportunity to spend them go to waste 2./ From a business perspective, less complaints about point 1 to the contact centre and secondly, it might stimulate sale, increase basket size, etc. etc.

So - I've got number of places where I can inform / alert the customer; such as the My Account pages, the site header (there's a thin strip at the top where we call out the eVoucher in the users account) and somewhere around the basket.

The question is though - what should I message?

Say the value of the voucher is £10 and it expires 1st December;

-examples

the /!\ could be some kind of alert icon

  • Your eVouchers: £10. /!\ Expiring in 14 days (more info)
  • /!\Hurry your £10 eVouchers expire midnight December the 1st
  • You've got £10 in eVouchers expiring midnight December the 1st

Any thoughts on how best to message an expiring eVoucher?

  • Does it expire all at once, or gradually? Those of which I've had any experience lose their value gradually – MMacD Nov 17 '16 at 21:40
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My favorite of the options you list is the first one, for these reasons:

  1. The normal place to look for the value of your eVouchers doesn't change, it just has more text to the right (or below), that is colored and has an icon to draw your attention to the fact that an action is required.
  2. It immediately gives a sense of how much time the user has to take care of that action (namely, spending the vouchers).
  3. It gives a link with more info (hopefully, this link would lead to information about how frequently in general eVouchers expire, as well as perhaps give the ability to customize these notifications or the emails I mention below) which allows the initial notification to be more terse.

There are two downsides to this approach, however, that you need to also consider:

  1. If there are 20 pounds of eVouchers, but only 10 pounds are about to expire, would you say some are expiring, and then require them to go to the more info link to find out how much exactly is about to expire?
  2. I know if I was using this site, I would prefer to get an email when they expire just in case I happen to not be using the site for the week or two that the warning bar is active (this is also good from a business perspective because it brings the inactive users back to your site).
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A progress (or in this case, regress) bar would be good. If you want to impart a greater sense of urgency/reality, show an image of currency, either separate notes or a fan of them, according to whether they'll vanish piecemeal or all in one go. Couple it with a countdown timer to show the remaining time till the total loss/next decrement.

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