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10 Most Common Questions about Web Push Notifications

10-most-common-questions-about-web-push-notifications

As a new marketing channel, web push notifications are an underutilized but highly effective way to generate more revenue. One store that started using web push notifications made $2,691 in the first 7 push campaigns.

If you’re just starting to use web push, you may have a few common questions about the marketing channel. Here are 10 common questions about web push notifications which we’ve answered to make it easier for you to start using web push.

1. What are Web Push Notifications?

Also known as browser push notifications, web push notifications are short and crisp marketing messages that are delivered straight to the subscriber’s screen.

examples of good push notifications

2. Why are my web push subscribers anonymous?

Subscribing to web push does not require an email address or phone number. Due to this, they are anonymous. 

The only detail stored are the subscriber’s ID, their web browser, the city/country they subscribed from, and when they subscribed. 

3. Can I send push notifications without a mobile app?

YES. Web push notifications are sent by the browser (mobile and desktop) and don’t require a mobile app at all.

Instead, permission to send web push notifications to your subscriber is controlled by the browser through which the site visitor subscribed.

web push notifications

4. How long should the text on a web push notification be?

The character length of a web push notification varies between 34 to 128 characters, depending on the browser and the device.

Read more about the ideal character length for web push notifications on different devices and browsers. 

Ideally, keep your notification text length at around 34 characters. Otherwise, the text of your notification will get cut off. 

web push notifications

5. How do I get push subscribers?

Store visitors consciously subscribe via the native browser prompt.

This prompt is shown by the browser. It is a mandatory opt-in when store visitors are subscribing and cannot be customized.

You can funnel your store visitors towards the browser prompt. There are 3 ways to do this:

  1. Custom Prompt: This can be customized to fit your preferences for the opt-in’s copy, colors, and timing. Read about the Custom Prompt and how to write its copy.

  1. Widgets: Show an opt-in message on your store’s pages. It is shown as a bell icon that can be expanded.

  1. Buttons: Shoppers can subscribe to web push messages for specific messages like Back in Stock and Price Drop Alerts using a custom button.

6. Can I import my subscribers?

  • Importing non-push subscribers

Every web push subscriber should consciously opt-in to your notifications via the browser. Therefore, importing non-push subscribers (email address, phone number) is not possible.

  • Import and export of web push subscribers

Export and import of “web push IDs” is technically challenging and limited in functionalities.

  • Re-syncing subscribers

If a store visitor ever allowed push notifications for your domain via any push notification tool, solutions like PushOwl will automatically re-sync. These subscribers don’t have to interact with the browser prompt again!

7. How does web push help my eCommerce store?

  • Grab store visitors as subscribers with a low commitment.

This allows you to win a subscriber base from an earlier untapped audience (who are engaged, but not yet willing to provide personal information).

  • Send promotions to subscribers to turn them into customers.

Send promotions about sales, product launches, and collections to subscribers to bring them back to your store and increase purchases.

  • Set up automations like Abandoned Cart Reminders to recover carts.

Recover carts with minimal effort. A subscriber that adds an item to the cart can easily be brought back to your store with a highly relevant message.

8. What does a web push notification look like?

Web push notifications look different on different devices, browsers, and operating systems. 

However, web push notifications look different on different devices and browsers. 

9. How does web push notification work?

Step 1: Store visitor subscribes to web push

Your website visitors consciously opts-in to receive notifications from your website.

Step 2: You send a web push campaign

When you “push” a notification, the subscriber’s browser is informed to show the notification and when to expire it. 

Step 3: Subscriber receives the notification on their device screen

The browser needs to be active (background activity is sufficient) and connected to the Internet to receive the notification. They can then read the message and click on the notification to be taken back to your store.

10. How do I unsubscribe from web push notifications?

There are 3 ways to unsubscribe:

  1. Domain-based unsubscribe

    You can unsubscribe from web push notifications via the domain directly by clicking on the lock icon in the browser’s URL bar.

web push notifications unsubscribe

  1. Browser settings-based unsubscribe

    You can unsubscribe through your browser settings.

web push notifications unsubscribe

  1. “Notification preference” within PushOwl

    You can allow your subscribers to access their data, delete it, or unsubscribe through your store.

web push notifications unsubscribe

BONUS: Where can I learn more about web push?

Learn about web push notifications and how to use the channel to grow your business through this detailed course that we created in partnership with Shopify.

Avail the course for free

We hope this helped you get a primer on what web push notifications are and how you can set it up and leverage web push as a revenue-generating channel.

This article originally appeared in the PushOwl blog and has been published here with permission.

About the author

Steve Hutt

Steve has entrepreneurship in his DNA. In the early days of online commerce, he achieved Power Seller status at eBay, which then propelled him to become a founding partner of VisionPros.com, a contact lens, and eyewear retailer. After a successful exit from his startup, he embarked on his next journey into agency work in e-commerce and digital strategy.

Currently, Steve is part of the Merchant Success Team at Shopify Plus, where he is a Strategic Advisor helping brands continue to grow and scale with the Shopify Commerce Platform.

To maintain a competitive edge and life of learning mantra, Steve also hosts and produces a top-rated weekly podcast show, eCommerce Fastlane, where he interviews Shopify partners and subject matter experts who share the latest marketing strategy, tactics, platforms, and must-have apps, to help Shopify brands build and scale lifetime customer loyalty.