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How Ecommerce Stores Can Use Push Notifications To Increase Sales & Reach More Customers

A young woman smiling, holding a tablet computer for ecommerce push notifications.

The rapidly evolving realm of online shopping can take time and effort to keep pace with. It often introduces fresh marketing trends, techniques, or changes that alter your marketing strategy.

If you're in charge of an internet store, you know how crucial it is to drive more sales and reach more customers every month. 

Every market segment is marked by intense rivalry nowadays. Therefore, you must use all the established marketing strategies to guarantee that your brand becomes the preferred choice. And that’s where mobile push notifications come in handy. 

Communication and Consumers 

Communication with customers is a crucial element in web-based advertising. And for a good reason. It matters how you interact with your clients. The buyer journey in online shopping differs from that in physical stores. Your customers are seeking a personalized experience that's tailored to them individually. They engage in online shopping to spend time and money and receive top-notch assistance and expertise.

How do you ensure the delivery of this service? Customization plays a significant role in meeting your customers' expectations. We'll delve deeper into personalized notes and correspondences later on, but the central theme of this piece revolves around push alerts.

We aim to explore what push notifications entail and their relevance to your e-com store. Also, we'll look at the arguments opposing the use of push notifications and how to arrange and design custom messages. So, let's kick-off. What exactly are push notifications?

Understanding Push Notifications

Push notifications are alerts sent by brands to customers for various reasons. It's as straightforward as that. Why have push alerts gained such significance? The answer is clear: the surge in mobile device usage. The widespread presence of smartphones today would have been hard to imagine even two decades ago.

According to data from Statista, there will be over 6 billion smartphone users globally by the end of 2023 — accounting for nearly half of the world's population. These handy and adaptable gadgets surpass PCs and laptops as the most popular mobile tools for online shopping. 

Push notifications are relayed to smartphones through SMS — Short Message Services — or other text-based messaging platforms. 

Consequently, e-commerce shop owners can connect with numerous customers regardless of location, even if the person has ceased using the company's mobile application — we will delve deeper into the advantages of this extensive reach shortly.

Alright, let's break it down. Push notifications are notes from your store to a customer, intended to be viewed on a handheld smartphone. 

Before we explore the different kinds of push notification messages, think about this — these kinds of text or SMS messages boast an open rate of around 50% higher than email. That’s huge! 

Moreover, approximately 61% of users who received a push notification about a new app launch opened the app within a month. In comparison, only 28% did so in the same timeframe without receiving the push notification. 

So, this way of communication is straightforward, efficient, and reaches a broad audience. Now, what types of messages are these push notifications used for?

Varieties of Push Alerts

Push notifications serve as a means to reach a consumer with a message. This might encompass diverse forms of interaction. So, let's look at a few methods to use this communication tool to engage with your clientele.

1. Pushing Out Offers

Push notifications can inform shoppers about fresh bargains or promotions available at your online store. This is an efficient strategy for ensuring your customers remain well-informed and can aid in transforming intrigued potential buyers into new clientele.

2. Keeping You Posted on Orders

Thanks to automated setups, push notifications are commonly employed for relaying order updates. A message confirming the order's status could be followed by another indicating its shipment and an approximate arrival time. In cases where specific applications are used for this function, there's even the possibility of incorporating a tracking link.

3. Keeping Up with Content

Keeping your content fresh in e-commerce marketing is crucial; this technique can signal those updates. An intriguing fact is that 64% of consumers want brands to reach out more frequently with pertinent content details. The keyword here is ‘pertinent,' we'll delve into this further later.

4. Web Alerts

Web push notifications send messages to users via the desktop or mobile web. These usually pop up on the screen when users are online.

5. In-Browser Prompts

Browser push notifications are in-app messages targeting active website visitors.

6. Mobile App Signals

Like desktop alerts, mobile app push notifications are activated by downloaded apps on your device.

Optimizing Push Alerts

While push notifications boast simplicity in usage and implementation, strategic consideration regarding the message's timing is required. Content holds significance, a topic we'll delve into shortly, yet timing could arguably reign supreme as the most pivotal factor.

There are three facets that marketers need to improve: the message's content, its delivery timing, and message frequency. Nailing these elements can lead to a surge in your customer base. 

However, a misstep in any one – or even just a single element – can lead to missed opportunities. Now, let's discuss the ideal timing for message delivery and when it's best to abstain.

The Significance of Timing

Imagine being in the shoes of a consumer once more. It's 3 in the morning, and a notification buzzes on your mobile device. Given the hour, it must be crucial! You pick up your phone, only to see a push alert flashing, presenting information about a fresh item. But 3 AM isn't when you're likely to react positively.

This scenario occurs with alarming frequency. Studies have indicated that up to 63% of marketers miss the mark regarding timing — several factors contribute to this, including:

  • Neglecting analysis of the user's past application engagement.
  • Disregard for time zone disparities and variations in timing.
  • Misalignment in messaging and responsiveness.

Each of them now contains a variety of aspects. Could you say, for instance, that your target market is people in North America? In all of North America, there are six different time zones. Only 1/6th of the recipients will get your push notifications if you send them to everyone simultaneously. You are so, knowing the time difference between you and your customer matters.

You must fully use the data related to a user's prior app engagement. It makes no sense to deliver a message at another period of the day to a customer who typically opens it between 6 and 8 p.m. It would be best if you reached them whenever they're most inclined to open it.

There are other circumstances when customers are more unlikely to open their messages — for instance — during business hours and Sundays. It is illegal to mail marketing materials on Sundays in France. 

By carefully evaluating your data using demographic and geographic methods, you can see when and where communications are more positively received.

Send communications when they can be viewed rather than when they would be squandered to save time. This is being done to maximize both your and the customer's time. 

I'd like to talk briefly now about how often communications are sent.

How Should I Write My Push Notification?

The key idea here is a term we've previously discussed: customization. Regardless of the message's purpose, it must be tailored to suit the recipient. 

Naturally, the beauty of such a system lies in its ability to generate personalized push notifications en masse. You don't need to craft numerous individual messages. 

Instead, you can tap into your customer database, drawing from their previous interactions, purchases, and timing, to compose a collective message for a specific group. Personalized alerts form a fundamental aspect of your tailored marketing approach.

Let's take a quick refresher on the types of push notification messages we touched upon earlier and pinpoint their essential components.

Product offer notifications must be a brief and straightforward enticement to seize an offer or bargain. 

Keep it brief and amiable, maintaining an approach that's simple enough. Incorporate a link that, upon clicking, directs them to the product's page and activates the timer. This proves to be the optimal approach for fully engaging with a customer.

The order status update alert is a fundamental notification that informs the customer about their order's progress — whether it's been received, processed, or dispatched. 

In the case of the latter, it could provide a link for tracking, sharing details about its estimated arrival time. Just to let you know, such a message works to reassure the customer about their significance to you.

Next on our list are content refresh notifications — the third category we discussed. These messages should encompass details that hold significance for the customer. 

Consider new products that pique their interest, leveraging insights from their past interactions or buying patterns. Alternatively, you could tailor the message based on their location, age, or gender. Once again, personalization takes center stage here.

Let's also briefly revisit the issue of abandoned shopping carts. A message about cart abandonment should ask how you can help, ensuring the customer feels valued. 

Moreover, consider presenting an incentive that might encourage them to finalize the purchase. 

This one is paramount to all the messages, demanding a timely and persuasive delivery and tone.

Wrap-Up

This article has shed light on the significance of push notification messaging in the marketing strategy of any online store or service. 

The widespread shift towards smartphones as the preferred communication tool benefits consumers in terms of convenience and empowers retailers with a direct link to their audience.

By creating push notification campaigns encompassing all the mentioned facets of an eCommerce venture, you can effortlessly streamline lead generation, customer retention, and other brand-building aspects without needing hefty expenses or intricate software. 

Undoubtedly, push notifications are surpassing email as the favored marketing communication channel. If you still need to embrace them, now is the opportunity to get ahead of the competition.

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