It is important for any business to continuously grow their traffic and connect with both new and existing users. This is usually achieved through several communication channels like email, sms, social media, push notifications etc.
Push notifications are by far one of the most effective ways of marketing – especially for the ecommerce sites.
They empower the e commerce players to reach out to their audiences wherever they are, and lure them to back to their websites or apps – through their offers and deals. The messages are short and crisp and are delivered in real time to increase the user engagement and retention.
Push Notification Guide For E-commerce
They also have some obvious advantages over other channels as well. Let’s see how –
Push Notifications Over Other Channels?
Email has always been one of the best modes to communicate. They can be curated for product suggestions or reviews, discounts or offers, tracking order or delivery status etc. and stays in the Inbox – where it can be accessed whenever the user wants.
However, the very fact that emails are opened ‘whenever the user wants’, make them incapable of delivering time-sensitive information. Since users on an average take about 4-5 hours to check their inboxes, they tend to lose out on such time-bound messaging.
The character restrictions in case of SMS make them suitable for important but short messages (like – Your order is arriving today! or Your cab is waiting!). They are unsuitable for information that needs to be accessed later (like receipts or bills) as they are harder to find from hundreds of other SMSes in the mobile.
Social media, even though provides a huge platform for user engagement, the actual user interaction rate is extremely low. It is more apt for spreading brand awareness and building relationships.
Push notifications on the other hand, are sent in real time that appear on the device screen for instant viewing.
The opt-in /opt-out feature enables the users to have a greater control over the kind of messages they want to receive, thus generating a higher response rate as compared to other channels.
Push notifications can be sent either through mobile apps or web browsers –
Mobile App Push
Push notifications on mobile apps are ways for the app-publishers to speak directly to a customer OR a segment of customers as and when they please, without the fear of getting caught up in the spam or lost in the inbox (as is the case with email messaging)!
They are automatically enabled and stored in the notification tray whenever the app is downloaded and installed on a mobile or tablet, and are intended to provide convenience and value to the APP users.
The notifications can be sent and viewed irrespective of whether the app is open or not, and they act as great reminders for the users to use the app.
Web or Browser Push
Web Push notifications too are clickable messages, but are sent to the subscriber’s browsers and appear right next to the task bar.
Although they do not require any login credentials, they can be sent only if the user permits.
A small pop up prompts the users to click on either ‘Allow’ or ‘Deny’ receiving the push notifications from a website.
The best part of Web push messages is that they are ‘browser’ based, which means they are accessible across all platforms and devices.
Whether the users are connected through mobiles, tablets or desktops, web push notifications can easily reach their devices in real time. The users don’t even have to be on that particular site when the messages are sent.
This feature is extremely useful for ecommerce industries as it gives them a wider scope of marketing.
Points To Consider While Drafting A Push Notification
Push notifications should provide value to the end-users that can lure them to CLICK on it. However, copywriting can get a little difficult especially when you have to fit your messaging in limited characters, while maintaining the subtlety in context and relevance.
The following points can help you draft for better results –
Be Clear – Most people are impatient and have no time to read vague messages.
If you want higher click rates, ensure to draft clear and to-the-point messages that highlights your most important value proposition.
Be Concise – Typically the character limits of push messages ranges between 40-120 across all platforms. This means, that you have to be very concise with what you write.
If you exceed the certain character limit, your messages will get truncated when read across different devices and the users will be unable to understand or act on it.
Frequency Matters – Push notifications are meant to engage your subscribers, and not to overwhelm them. Sending messages too frequently may irritate your subscribers and will make them unsubscribe from your website or uninstall your app; while sending messages too rarely may not be enough to remember you.
You can always monitor the statistics of your push notifications, such as click rates, bounce rates, opt-outs etc. and then decide the most suitable frequency you can maintain.
Time To Send – Don’t expect a user to react to your irresistible offer in the middle of the night! Understanding the time-zones and locations of your global subscribers can help you schedule your messages to be sent at appropriate times – to get the maximum response.
Equally essential is to know what kind of messaging will work at what times.
Ideally, promotional alerts yield better results when the users are more relaxed and mentally prepared to react, maybe during mid-mornings or evening hours. Witty messages work best during the afternoons when most people are bored and need something to pep them up.
Benefits Of Push Notifications In The eCommerce Industry
We know that user-engagement is one of the major aspects of ecommerce. It is required not only to increase your site traffic but also to build relationships, that will continue to increase your bank balance in the longer run.
Push notifications are created primarily to engage the users and drive them to take an action. They are difficult to ignore (once the user opts-in), delivered at the intended time and the messages can be segmented for personalization.
Some of the best uses of push alerts are –
Send time-bound offers and deals – Push messages can be used to create an urgency factor while announcing a sale, prompting the users to act immediately.
Validate all your unknown users – You can get all the anonymous visitors to subscribe to you by incentivising the signup process. The login details will later help you to track the user behaviour across all devices.
Send personalised offers – Audience segmentation based on the user’s online activities and past purchase history can help you send personalised notifications for boosting up your conversion rates.
Recover abandoned carts – If a user adds items to his/her cart but exits without checkout (for whatever reasons), push notifications can be used to remind them of their abandoned carts and encourage them to complete the sale.
Offer Freebies/ Downloads – You can also get creative with your messaging and lure the users to avail your free trials or downloads.
But this is not all. The scope of enhancing the customer experience is huge and a lot depends upon what exactly you want to deliver.
The benefit of higher engagement offered by both mobile and web push notifications, can be accessed by various other industries like Blogging, Food, Travel, Logistics, Airlines, Non profits and more. As for E Commerce, they just cannot afford to ignore push notification!