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What are Web Push Notifications? 11 Ways to increase eCommerce Conversions

What are web push notifications?

You can call them to push notifications, push messages or push alerts. Today, the short messages that pop up on your smartphone have become an inseparable part of internet marketing and many other business spheres. From marketing communications to a simple news flash, you can witness them everywhere. Experts believe this new technology supports many increased benefits that former channels failed to provide. As a result, they are outperforming the traditional marketing channels in numerous ways.

What exactly are push notifications, and how have they become massively popular among the marketers?

What are push notifications?

Depending on the Operating System, push notifications are the alerts that you see as pop-ups or banners on your device. The sender does not need a contact number or email address to broadcast these direct messages. They can show up on your smartphone or computer even when you are not actively using a particular app.

Conditions and constraints of pushing:

  1. Any publisher willing to send a push message must explicitly ask for the receiver’s permissions. We call this ‘allowing’ or ‘blocking’ the push notifications from a particular publisher.
  2. Based on device type, there are two types of notifications. The messages popping-out on a web browser are web push notifications while the ones that show up on your smartphone are the mobile push notifications.
  3. A push message can only be sent to a user who either has installed your mobile app or has opted into your notifications from a web browser.
  4. Android smartphone users are automatically subscribed to the app alerts when they install your mobile app.
  5. iOS smartphone users need to manually opt-in to app alerts after installing your mobile app.

Examples of types of push notifications based on device

  • App push notifications:

App push notifications

These alerts are sent on a smartphone from an app publisher.

These messages are sent by a website on a web browser (Mobile or desktop), only after the user opts into the notifications. The user can either ‘Allow’ or ‘Block’ the notifications.

Website push notifications

This is how a web-push notification through a desktop web browser looks-

Web push notifications

This is how a web-push notification through a mobile web browser looks-

Browser push notifications

Examples of types of push notifications based on content

  • Update notifications

Push notifications updates

  • Reminder notifications

Push notifications reminder

  • Real-time alerts

Push notifications in real-time

  • Promotional notifications

Promotional push notifications

  • Order push notifications

eCommerce marketing ideas

Comparison of Web & Mobile Push Notifications

The web and Mobile notifications are similar in numerous grounds. However, each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages. We will list out all of them with a brief explanation for your better understanding.

Grounds of comparisonMobile Push NotificationsWeb Push Notifications
DefinitionAny push notification that you receive on a mobile phone is mobile push notification. Any push notification triggered through a website is a web push notification.
Types/classificationsWeb-based mobile push notifications:
• A website or web-server triggers a web-based mobile push notification on the mobile web browsers.

• The users on a mobile browser need to opt-in to the notifications to receive these alerts.

App-based mobile push notifications
• Alerts triggered by an app to its users.

• Android smartphone users automatically opt-in to the in-app push alerts as soon as they install an app.

• The iOS smartphones users must manually turn on the push alerts after installing the specific app.
Website push notifications:
• The websites or the web-servers trigger web-push notifications to the opted-in users.

• A user can receive a website push notification even when he/she is not actively using the web browser.

Browser push notifications:
• Websites send these alerts to their visitors on a web browser only.
• Unlike website push notifications, you cannot trigger a browser-push alert to users who are not using the particular web browser.
• Google Chrome notification is an example of browser push notification.
Advantages• Opt-in/Opt-out feature:
Users retain the absolute control over what they want to receive. They can instantly opt-in and opt-out of the alerts.

• Increase App traffic:
Mobile notifications receive a huge click-through than emails. They can bring a huge app traffic that emails fail to achieve.

• Get insight on customer behavior:
Push notifications tools provide a better look into the user’s behavior by tracking different analytics. The data can help the app publishers to plan better marketing strategies.

• Foster Real-time engagement:
As these alerts come in real-time, the app publisher can create diverse real-time messages to engage the mobile users. Communications like latest offers, flash sale alert, score update, delivery package tracking, new episode, etc. represent excellent examples of notifications that engage users instantly.

• Easy to use:
Mobile notifications are highly targeted and provide the users with flexible opt-in and opt-out options. Moreover, the latest advancements in Android and iOS devices have made customization quite easy these days.
• Easy subscription:
Subscribing to browser push notifications requires only one simple click to that ‘Allow’ button.

• Privacy protection
The web push notifications eliminate need for contact information to reach your audience.

• Time efficient
It takes a while to write compelling email contents. Unlike emails, web push communications are short straightforward and communicate a clear message.

• Instant delivery
Push notifications create an instant communication channel between businesses and their prospects. While emails expect their delivery after going through the spam filters, push communications make it to the interested audience instantly.

• Genuine interest
Web push notifications offer an informed choice to the users, whether they want to allow or decline the alerts. This means, only the users genuinely interested in your communications would subscribe to the same.
Disadvantages• As the name suggests, the user must install the app to see and interact with mobile push messages. Because of this dependency, the mobile pushing can potentially retain a more limited audience than channels like Web push notification and email.

• Mobile push messaging is comparatively a less effective way for re-engaging users who have not installed the app or have already uninstalled it.

• Moreover, the accessibility of the mobile pushing swings both ways: following irrelevant messages every time, users can just mute the alerts or even delete your app after seeking an alternative
• Although some marketers see email as inadequate, it remains a powerful channel for direct communication with your users. Web push messages are not as effective as emails to provide a comprehensive information about sign-ups, sales, offers, and weekly newsletters.

• Though push messages receive instant delivery, the timing of your interaction can exhibit a considerable influence on your push campaign. You cannot send web push alerts to a user who has switched off the desktop.

• One cannot depend purely on web pushes for issuing time sensitive alerts. As they are delivered only when the device is switched on, the user will not receive the self-expiring messages even after switching on the device latter.

As compared to the first year’s shopping, an average online shopper spends 67 percent more during his 3rd year as a customer on your eCommerce site. Additionally, 60 percent of your previous customers possess a chance of buying from you again, while only 20 percent of the new visitors would possess this possibility. Why should you prefer push notifications for eCommerce business?

These stats clearly explain why you should care more on customer retention than acquiring a new customer. This is where push messaging can come handy and provide an active channel for retaining your customers and improving your conversion rate at the same time. Out of numerous ways for customer retention, businesses consider push notifications as the most effective option. How is it so?

We will comprehend that once we go through a quick comparison of push marketing with other marketing tools in the current scenario. This comparison is further supported by eleven effective ways to grow your eCommerce business with the push notifications.

Comparing Push Notifications with SMS & Email Marketing channels

Marketing professionals have used SMS and Email communications for a long time now. In 2018, we did not depend on these traditional modes for competing with the growing marketing needs. The trend is shifting towards the push notifications now.

Let us consider a brief comparison on different grounds to find out the user engagement metrics for three major marketing tools these days: Push Notifications Vs Email Vs SMS.

  • Ease of Subscription:

The process of opting into the push notifications is eminently feasible as compared to that of SMS and Email marketing. To connect with your prospects using SMS and Email, you will need to possess their contact numbers and Email addresses. Whereas, with push marketing, users can opt into to your notifications with just a single click on the ‘Allow’ button of the pop-up.

turn on push notifications

Moreover, most of the SMS and Emails fall prey to the spam filters and do not even make it to the prospects’ inbox. In contrast to this, there are no Spam filters in push marketing, and your messages receive a 100 percent delivery rate.

  • Click Through Rate

As there are no spam filters in push messaging, you get a 100 percent message delivery rate. Stats say that almost 50 percent of the prospects willingly opt-in to the push notifications. As a result, those 50 percent of click-through are almost certain, giving push alerts quite an impressive click-through of over 97 percent in total. Surprisingly, the average click-through rate of marketing emails is not more than 27 percent.

  • Cross-Platform Delivery

Be it a Breaking News, Sales announcement, or a live match score, push notifications to deliver the content across all of their supported platforms: Mobile, Tablet and Desktop. For example, a user who is opted-in to Google Chrome notifications on a mobile phone will also receive the same on his desktop’s Chrome browser, provided he has logged into the two platforms with same Google account. The user need not even be on your website to receive the notifications. Whereas a user can see your SMS only when he/she opens the inbox.

  • Ease of Message Creation

It is quite easy to create and send Push Notifications. Some push notification tools provide built-in features for creating highly engaging push alerts. The character limit ensures that your messages are not overlong. Contrastingly, Emails are longer and they require comprehensive content to deliver the sense. In SMS, though you do not require long texts, one can still add no images and links to make them sensible. Whereas in a push notification, the user lands on your landing page just by clicking on it.

  • User Engagement

One can find a number of built-in features in push messaging tools to offer customization and personalization options. The strong calls to action and images go hand in hand, offering delightful personalization to your standard push alerts. As they show as pop-ups, push notifications do not interrupt users’ activity. Whereas, emails and SMS lay unattended for a long time in the inbox or spam filter. You cannot rely on SMS or Emails to deliver alerts.

  • Relevancy and User Segmentation

The biggest reason for Emails and SMS receiving the poor click-through is their irrelevancy. Marketing Emails and SMS are poorly targeted as compared to the push notifications. Businesses collect email addresses and contact numbers from various leads generating sources that are not even relevant. Whereas a push message is always delivered to a user who has either installed your app or is opted-in to receive them. Therefore, there is always a very high chance of the message being relevant to the user.

Moreover, push notification tools with built-in user segmentation make your messages more relevant to the users. You can perform easy segmentations on grounds like time zone, location, browsing history, browser type, device type and send notifications accordingly.

How have major eCommerce companies benefited from push marketing?

Research has proven that the eCommerce industry is the largest consumer of push marketing. Almost 3% of the eCommerce marketing is done through  Limited Time Notifications that passes time-bound offers to the prospects. By alerting for limited time offers like flash sale such push messages receive a significant click through. You can refer to the data below that shows eCommerce is the largest sector utilizing push messages for marketing-

web push notification service

  • Amazon:

Here is an example of a valuable push message sent by Amazon to one of its users:

push notification ideas

Below is a screenshot from Amazon’s Ad banner that applies users to opt-in for their push notifications to receive valuable alerts like shipment tracking.

chrome popup notifications

It is just an example of how a pushing even the smallest information has helped the company build a strong relationship through trust and loyalty with its consumers. Amazon expertise in creating personalized, highly-segmented and in-app notifications for its businesses. Its push notifications have helped it to convert 33% of its customers who had abandoned it’s shopping carts.

  • Awok:

Awok is a leading eCommerce company in the UAE. To improve its site on-site conversions and customer engagement rates, it adopted Push marketing by addressing the main problem in eCommerce industry- shopping cart abandonment.

Worked on reducing the shopping cart abandonment rate-

By using different analytics tools they identified users and the products which were being added to the cart but not cross the checkout page. To such users, they started sending highly personalized notifications with and without additional offers. Awok was able to achieve a CTR of 13% in just one month by using push strategy. With personalized push notifications, they could recover up to 19% of their abandoned carts.

  • Jabong

Jabong was looking to shape a marketing gradient that could perform consistently with a highly scaled business. As marketing emails were constantly failing to get desired open rates, the company was looking for a key to ensure a greater reach to the consumers and effectively increasing the conversion rates. With Push marketing, Jabong did not only solved the issue of poor click-through rates but also experienced a whooping upsurge of 80% in the conversion rates.

Jabong offer with push notifications Push notifications for discount coupon

It was better than what they had ever attained with the paid campaigns. Utilizing notifications, they targeted each segment of users very well to increase the overall engagement

11 Ways to increase your ROI with Push Notifications

Conduct marketing communications

Over here are few ideas where you can use push notifications for communicating some highly productive notifications to your customers:

  1. You can attract new users

If you own an eCommerce store and seeking new customers, sending push notifications in worth a try. You can create engaging copies and set triggers to ask for opt-in. Setup push notifications to entice new customers at certain touchpoints. Some real-time updates and reminders can do a great job of regularly engaging your visitors even if they are not aware of your site.

  1. You can promote a new product:

Provided, they have had a pleasant shopping experience, you can get your previous customers to shop again from you. By promoting new product arrivals on your store, you can re-engage the customers and obtain decent conversions if they find these products useful and relevant. Cautiously, you need to be being relevant to your products selection and customer demographics. For example, previous customers will be more interested in the new products than new visitors will.

  1. You can send price drop alerts:

Every so often users abandon your site when they note higher prices of their desired products. Some of them might prefer waiting for the price drop, while other would just look out for an alternative website. You can send price drop alerts to the former category of users and get them back to the site. As they were already interested, there is a higher chance of you not facing a hard time in convincing them or getting a click-through.

  1. You can send a back-in-stock alert

According to IBM, retailers lose $93 billion of possible annual sales due to finished stocks of the products. You can deploy push alerts to communicate the ‘back in stock’ notifications to the bounced users once you replenish the corresponding products in the stock. Sending a well-crafted stock alert can offer an instant improvement in your conversion rates. You can effectively utilize Google Analytics Enhanced Ecommerce reports to know about the products they have been looking for.

  1. You can announce a flash sale or lightning deals

Push notifications remain an excellent medium for announcing deals and attracting traffic to the eCommerce sales campaigns. The real-time attention to push messages can trigger an instant engagement to your surprise sales, discount coupons, exclusive deals & all the time-sensitive campaigns. You can further optimize your alerts by applying interesting taglines that convey a personalized feeling to the customers. For e.g. addressing users with their names would do a great job.

  1. You can upsell your best products

A perfect application of push notifications in eCommerce would be for and cross-selling of your products. You can trigger push alerts to promote trending products on your store. Moreover, by informing customers about related products you can upsell some additional products, ultimately increasing the cart value. Please note that you still have to be relevant to your recommendations while up selling. You should not upsell a completely unrelated product. A classic example of upselling would be to sell a compatible mobile case to a customer who has already purchased a mobile phone from you.

Improve customer engagement: The whole business structure of online selling revolves around the concept of user engagement. Prospects will buy only when they are interested in the products. To trigger that interest, you can deploy push notifications and engage your prospects in the following prescribed manner:

  1. Re-engage the inactive users:

The inactive prospects are the customers who have purchased from you at some point in time but have not come back for a while now. As they are already your customers, you can utilize push notifications to trigger their interest back in your business. You can achieve that by creating some personalized alerts with monetary benefits like discount coupons, vouchers & exclusive deals. Depending on your marketing policies, you can push anything constructive that can induce an interest

  1. Call abandoned customers back:

Visitors come to your site, browse products, add them to their carts and just leave without completing the checkout process. Why they do so? It is shopping cart abandonment. Even the experts believe that it is impossible to get a complete rid of it. In 2016, 59.8% of shoppers abandoned their carts on different eCommerce sites. This number reached 69.23% in 2017.

High product price, missing payment method, high shipping cost or hidden taxes, anything can trigger a shopping cart abandonment. There could be only the contingency plans minimize the losses, and sending abandoned cart push alerts is one of them. By following up such customers, you can efficiently receive a comeback through various methods. For example, if a user leaves the site right after landing on the product price, there is an extreme chance that higher product price triggered the same.

You can send a customized notification to this customer with an encouraging factor such as a discount coupon. Something like this alert will surely do the job:

“We just got you an excellent deal!”

“Grab this 20 % discount coupon for a flat OFF on the products you have been looking for!”

  1. Reward your loyal customers

Loyal customers are hard to get, and once you get them, it is not wise to lose them too. By engaging your recurrent customers, you can generate unprecedented sales from them. The most efficient way would be to reward them for being loyal. As an eCommerce store owner, you can power up your customer loyalty program by pushing push exclusive rewards to them. You can utilize the joyful events to send personalized alerts such as birthday special discounts.

You can trigger something like –

“Many Happy returns of the day, John! There is a gift for you!”

“Use ‘BIRTHDAYJOHN’ to get a flat 30% OFF on any item today”

  1. Provide shipping alerts:

Once ordered, the only thing that itches to the customers is waiting for the product delivery. It is a momentous experience for them, and one of the best feelings they enjoy during the whole buying process. To make this event more joyful, you can start sending delivery tracking alerts, communicating the current location of the package. However, it is not very crucial, but doing so will let them know that you care about your customers and their feelings.

  1. Customer feedback on products and shipping

Customers in 2018 will rarely buy from a site that does not show customer reviews on the product pages. These feedbacks ensure transparency by improving the trust factor among your customers. You cannot find a more effective way than feedbacks to retain your customers over an extensive period. Sending push notifications and asking feedbacks on delivery and products would implement a better way to excel your consumer retention. It will also let them know you care about their responses and willing to improve on things.


From this article, it is clear that your push notification strategy should be customer focused. Keeping the interests of your consumers in mind, you have to execute your push campaign accordingly. Some of the key points you can note are being consistent with your notifications, offering relevant notifications by segmenting the users on different grounds and keeping a considerable gap between consequent push alerts.

Moreover, it is also important to note that marketing is not all about directly promoting your products; it is also about brand and product education. So, in addition to your direct marketing goals, maintain a subtle blend of information and branding in your communications. In the eCommerce industry, you can consider half the job done if you are able to get the customers on-board. If applied carefully, push notifications strategies mentioned in the article can entice your users to engage with your brand like never before.

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