Love it or hate it, push notification marketing has slowly emerged as a key tool for e-commerce brands to connect with both website and app users. While there has been speculation about marketing as we know it, i.e. push marketing with advertising, PR, branding, and corporate communications is dead, but the reality is that you need both push and pull marketing today to connect with your customers.
The only thing that’s currently dead is spam marketing and on the other hand, push notifications have emerged as a direct means of communication with the user. Unless you really mess it up at your end, it’s really tough to not benefit from browser, email, app, and SMS push notifications. So, we are going to focus mainly on browser push notifications and how this channel can help your e-commerce store grow sales and ROI.
What you need to know about Browser Notifications
For starters, let’s begin with the most important things you need to know about browser notifications. Most notifications are typically rectangular cards that show up on your device — be it a smartphone, a desktop, a laptop, or a tablet.
The purpose of these notifications is to remind the recipient about something important – for example, reminding you of a meeting, or informing you about an upcoming sale, and such. When you click/ tap on them, they redirect you to the product, event, or search page, or might even launch a relevant app.
Such notifications by and large fit two categories:
- Browser notifications: These are delivered only when you have a browser tab open for a particular website. In the event you use Gmail and/ or Google Calendar, the notifications will be synced with your other device(s) if you happen to have left your tabs for that particular website open. But, as you can guess, the inherent challenge faced by these notifications is that they are great for delivering a message to your target customers only when they are in the zone. In other words, browser notifications become completely useless the moment shoppers leave your e-commerce website.
- Browser push notifications: Browser push notifications work more or less the same way as push notifications by mobile apps. They are delivered at any given point of time regardless of whether or not the recipient was visiting your site. The only catch is that they have to opt in to receive browser push notifications from you. The ability of these notifications to remain in contact and engage with your target audience even when they are not actively following up with the content of your website makes it a really handy tool for marketers.
However, the million-dollar question here is, how exactly do browser push notifications help an e-commerce site increase its sales and ROI.
The answer is simple!
While you might be extremely familiar with the push notifications that you receive on your smartphone from the installed apps, the challenge with app notifications for e-commerce companies is that you can only push those messages to the people who have already installed the app.
Browser push notifications do not have this limitation and you can engage with your customers, even after they left the website.
You can use browser push notifications to inform people about several things such as new products and sales on your e-commerce website. So, it’s a practical and cost-effective way to give your customers valuable personalized information that can go a long way in boosting your sales numbers as well as brand loyalty.
Don’t get too carried away, though! Always keep this in mind that useful as they are, push notifications in any form can be intrusive. If you send too many unwanted and spammy push messages, it will not be long before users decide to opt-out from the push notifications.
Also, make it a point to personalize your messages to individual shoppers instead of just blasting off generic messages for everyone.
5 proven ways you can use browser push notifications to drive e-commerce sales
- Send push notifications based on context and relevance
A big problem almost every online retailer reading this will agree with is that if notifications are not personalized and contextualized for each user, it is likely to be ignored. Luckily retailers have access to a large set of data about the user behavior and activities such as their web clickstream, buying pattern, preferences, etc.
Additionally, they can test assumptions and deliver highly targeted promotions to have a better insight into what works and what doesn’t. For example, if one of your customers is visiting the same product multiple times, odds are high that she has a high-intent to buy that product.
This is the perfect time to try out a range of different promotional campaigns based on the brand, product, or product category. Doing so will help you learn which type of promotion usually tends to seal a deal with the maximum ROI possible.
- Announce the arrival of new and relevant products
Most retailers — especially those still new to the scene — are usually clueless with regard to the best practices of letting customers know about new products.
Considering the fact that nobody really wants to hear about all the products you are offering — just the ones that might appeal to them — it’s absolutely important for you to tailor your future campaigns so that the product a customer is looking for doesn’t skip their eyes amidst a plethora of other products of little or no value to them.
Based on shoppers’ recent behavior, alongside the rules you put in place internally, it is possible to push notifications to your existing and potential customers to direct them to a highly personalized list of new, relevant products.
- Allow subscription to price change notifications
For the vast majority of shoppers out there, price is one key determining factor that has the highest amount of influence on their purchase habits. So, it is only natural for a shopper to want to know about any change in price on the products in their wishlist.
Browser notifications allow you to do just that by automatically notifying a person about the change in the price of a product they recently saw or tagged. That subtle nudge might be just enough for most consumers to come back to your store and seal the deal.
- Get shoppers back to complete the transaction on their abandoned carts
It’s common for retailers to see shoppers visiting their online stores, adding products to the cart, and then backing off at the last moment just before confirming the order. They do it for multiple reasons.
Sometimes they decide to postpone the purchase or might get distracted. With browser push notification at your disposal, you have the ability to re-engage those shoppers and remind them of their abandoned carts. Try alternative messaging/ options to convince them into completing the transaction.
- Engage frequently by sending useful information
Most emerging retailers usually tend to struggle big time when it comes to delivering push notifications that are not promotional in nature, but an interesting read.
If you can manage to break out of that limitations using browser push notifications, there are ample opportunities for you to benefit from providing users relevant and useful information about the products in your store that they are interested in. Again, the key here is to send highly personalized messages instead of the one-size-fits-all approach.
For example, if a shopper was interested in winterwear and never completed the purchase, an interesting blog article about ‘5 winter wears ideas for this winter’ might make for an interesting push notification.
And finally, remember that these ideas are just a few among a myriad of other ways that you can use to drive e-commerce sales and a higher ROI using browser push notifications. As you begin incorporating it within your overall marketing strategy, you will have to delve deeper into each of those avenues to see which works the best for you.
Shiju Mathew is the VP of Mobile Products at Vizury, a company that provides a robust platform for mobile marketing automation and push notifications. He has over 13 years of rich experience in Product Management and Strategic Marketing in the digital world and has worked with companies such as Honeywell, Syncapse, Bosch prior to Vizury. He is passionate about trends in Internet technology and is a mobile marketing enthusiast.