Web push notifications are messages that come from a website. You get them on your desktop or device even when the concerned web page is not open in your browser. They are a brand new/ nascent marketing channel to re engage your visitors without knowing their email or other contact details.
Web push notifications are used by marketers to build user engagement and retention. Businesses across categories are increasingly relying on web push notifications as a communication channel. Especially retailers, media publishers now heavily use web push notifications as a communication channel to generate traffic consistently. The primary reason for this adoption is plummeting performance of email, SMS and display ads.
Why use Web Push notifications on your eCommerce?
The use of web push notifications allows the direct contact between your e-commerce and your clients, without needing to create an app! They work not only to send news on your website, but also to increase your eCommerce sales, through different ways of engaging with the clients.
Web Push notifications can be used to inform your clients of new products, new promotions or discounts happening on your website. Not only that, but you can also segment the users based on their interests and their behaviour on your website. Thus, users won’t be bothered with notifications about products they’re not interested in.
Let us take a brief look at each of these channels and try to understand where they prove useful.
Email is most commonly used to deliver curated product suggestions, advertise upcoming sales and discount offers, ask for product reviews, recover abandoned carts, deliver transactional information such as order confirmation, tracking details etc.
The main advantage of email marketing is that it has a wide reach – a study by The Radicati Group reveals that there are currently 2.6 billion email users, which means that more than 1 out of 3 people have an email account. Another very important advantage is that an email stays in the inbox, accessible anytime, unlike social media messages and notifications, which are harder to access later (or even impossible). This is particularly useful for delivering important information like order and tracking details.
Social Media Marketing
Social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram) work better than email marketing when it comes to delivering short-time offers and discounts since people spend more time on social media websites than on any other online activity. So, what’s the problem? It’s the problem of engagement – only 0.07% of your Facebook audience interacts with your posts and the figure is 0.03% for Twitter. What this means is that social media is not very effective for messages designed to achieve a specific purpose in a specific time, since so few of your audience will actually react to that message. Instead, social media is better employed as a means to establish your brand and build a relationship with your audience.
SMS is effective if you want your user to read your message very quickly – 90% of SMS messages are read within the first 3 minutes. This makes it useful for communicating important business-information like “Your cab is arriving” or “Your item will be delivered today”.
SMS should not be used for information that the user will need to access later, such as receipts. SMS messages are difficult to search later on. Another disadvantage of SMS messages is that they can only contain a maximum of 160 characters, which drastically limits the kind of communications you can have through SMS.
Push Notifications (Mobile apps)
Push notifications is the default way by which mobile apps communicate. It scores over email for promotional content in that it delivers messages in real-time and it has also reported higher response rates compared to email. Open rates for push notifications are 50 percent higher than for email, and click rates are up to twice as high.
It is tempting to think of app push notifications and SMS as the same but they have crucial differences – the opt-in/opt-out options in app push notifications give the user greater control over what kind of messages he/she wants to receive. SMS on the other hand, often comes unsolicited and it is harder for the user to disable. Because of this, SMS is often perceived to be a lower messaging medium.
Where does Website Push Notifications fit into the picture?
Website push notifications fit into a very unique spot in this entire spectrum. It differs from mobile app push notifications in that while app push notifications are limited to mobile devices and tablets, website push notifications also covers desktops. Desktop usage still accounts for 42% of total internet time. Web push notifications deliver the power of real-time push notifications to this 42% of internet users.
Another point which makes website push notifications very important for E-commerce is the cost factor. Building a quality app is an expensive affair and sometimes the ROI can be difficult to justify. In fact, for small and medium sized companies, mobile websites may reach more people than mobile apps do. This makes website push notifications more critical since it gives businesses the ability to send push notifications without investing in an app.
All in all, it can be seen that website push notifications is an important channel for E-commerce since it gives websites the power of instant communication via websites and that too on all devices, be it desktop mobile or tablet.
How does Website Push Notifications Work?
By default, whenever you install a mobile app, you give the app the permission to send you push notifications on your device. Websites, however, have to explicitly take permission from their users to send them push messages. This is how website push notifications work:
The first step is getting opt-in from visitors. As soon as someone arrives on a website, an opt-in box is triggered. If the visitor clicks on “Allow”, he/she is added to your subscriber list.
As soon as a ‘visitor’ becomes a ‘subscriber’, you can send them push notifications from your website. The title message and the text message are customizable within certain character limits and a URL has to be specified. These notifications will arrive in real-time even if the browser is not open at that point of time. Clicking on the notification will take the subscriber to the URL specified.
There are three actors involved with delivering a push notification, along with a fourth, optional, component for advanced functionality.
Push Notification Service: Each browser, including Chrome, Safari and Firefox have their own notification delivery service. Chrome uses Google Cloud Messaging ( and now Firebase Cloud Messaging ), Safari uses Apple Push Notification Service ( APNS ) and Firefox uses MDN servers.
Service Worker Registration: Developer must register the service worker on the browser. This is only for Chrome and Firefox. Safari does not support service workers.
User’s Subscription ID: Subscriber ID is generated when a user opts in to receive notifications from a specific website.
Additionally an SDK (OS client library Software Development Kit) can be added to a web app for extended segmentation and analytics capabilities.
Strategies to Increase Sales with Web Push Notifications
With web push notifications you can increase your e-commerce sales a lot, especially if you are able to make and combine your strategies. With web push notifications you can:
1. Customize your communication
Segmenting plays a major role in personalizing your push notifications. This helps you to send the right message to the right person at the right time. Only then your push notifications proves to be effective.
2. Seasonal sales
There is no better way to start a new season than starting it with seasonal sale. People eagerly waits for such sales. It is the perfect timing for sending those exciting Sale Push Notifications.
3. New Collection Notification
The most awaited items are the “New Collection”, be it any category. This is the best way to gain traffic at your website. Be sure to send push notifications on such occasions.
4. Flash Sales
The only way to get immediate response to flash sales is sending push notification before the sales get started.
If your website is giving offers or introducing any exciting items, push notification is the best way to promote it.
In this hectic life it is not possible to remember every single notification or event related to e-commerce. You need to send push notifications reminding them of the on-going events or the offers that are going to expire soon so that they don’t loose the opportunity. This will keep them visiting your website time-to-time.
There are many such events where the consumers does not get their desired items. Re-targeting them on the availability should be your aim.
When to Send Push Notifications?
Push Notification are highly effective regarding communication with your subscribers. But you have to very careful as to when you are sending them. If you send a notification during the sleeping hours of your subscriber, you will unnecessarily make your user upset which may lead him to discontinue to follow you. Moreover, if the notification you have sent is not time appropriate it shows that you are not sensitive towards your subscribers. Hence, it will bring a bad name to your business.
How Frequently to Send Push Notifications?
Last but not the least, How frequently you need to send the notifications. It is obvious that if you send twenty to thirty notifications to a single subscriber in a single day, that person will get frustrated will never visit your website again. So, it is advised that you need to send one notification per information.