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Why the Push Notification is Taking E-commerce by Storm

Push notifications preview by the brand Steve Madden

Notifications are everywhere nowadays, on our phones, computers, and even watches. They allow us to stay up-to-date on the latest news, messages from friends, and more. But did you know that you can also send push notifications from your e-commerce store to customers from your website and mobile app? Push notifications allow you to send messages directly to your website visitors’ browsers, even after they’ve left your site. And with a mobile app, your information will appear instantly on their phones. This blog post will discuss what push notifications are, how to set them up, and some best practices for increasing sales and retaining customers.

Why should I utilize push notifications in my marketing mix?

The truth about e-commerce is customer acquisition is expensive. It’s at an all-time high. The way we’ve operated in web2, giving ownership of audiences to 3rd party platforms, has led to brands not having a direct relationship with their audiences. Because of this, they end up paying FAANG (or, I’m sorry,  MAANG) rent to get their message in front of customers. And with the flip of a switch, these channels can change their algorithm to make it even harder and more expensive to connect.

That’s why there’s been such a resurgence in email marketing. Until a few years ago,  it was one of the few channels that e-commerce brands could control. Email, though a cheap marketing tool, still only gets to the eyes of 10% of your list. And that’s if you’re perfect.

SMS has also become a popular tool for e-commerce brands because it’s a type of push notification. It doesn’t live in anyone’s inbox and has an open rate of 98%, But SMS can be costly, and hard to get customers to opt-in to receive messages.

Push Notifications go where email & SMS can’t, for a fraction of the cost.

But now there’s a new tool on the block, push notifications, and it’s quickly become one of the most powerful (and cheapest) ways to reach your customers.

Push notifications are the happy medium between email and SMS. You get all the benefits of push without having to pay per message. The truly eye-opening statistic is that mobile commerce apps have an 82% opt-in rate for push notifications, which are free to send to customers 24/7. Here are some push notification statistics:

  • 78% of people would receive information about sales and discounts from a push notification rather than an email.
  • 52% of opt-ins say they’re more likely to shop with a brand again if they offer push notifications. 
  • Brands that use push notifications gain an average of 29% more sales to their store than those who use SMS and email.
  • 90% of customers who download apps allow push notifications. That’s 4x the signup rate of email and SMS combined, making mobile apps the easiest way to nurture one-time buyers into loyal customers.

Web Push Notifications VS App Push Notifications

There are two types of push notifications, web push notifications and app push notifications. Though both work the same way functionally, some differences significantly impact.

Web push notifications are messages that come from a website. They appear on the top or bottom-right corner of your screen, depending on your browser, even if you’re not on that site. You’ve probably seen them before and maybe even accidentally clicked one. If you’re using Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Microsoft Edge, you can receive web push notifications from websites you’ve subscribed to.

App push notifications are messages from an app you have installed on your phone. They appear on your phone, even if you’re not using the app. 

The big difference between the two is that web push notifications can be received by anyone, even if they don’t have your app installed. App push notifications can only be obtained by people who have your app installed on their phone or have clicked on a deep link that takes customers to a product on your app from their mobile phone. This is where app push notifications shine. If a customer clicks on a deep link, merchants can continue sending messages directly to customers’ phones for the next couple of hours.  

Even though the idea of getting customers to download your mobile app can seem daunting, there a mobile commerce experts, like Plobal Apps, that have developed app download strategies that produce incredible results:

  • Fashion and apparel company elo drove 10,000,000 app sessions in their first year. Learn how here.
  • Children’s apparel brand Bailey’s Blossoms drove 162K app downloads in 2022 with organic, unpaid strategies.

How do I set up push notifications?

So now that you understand why you need a push notification plan for your eCommerce brand let’s get into how to set them up.

There are two ways you can set up push notifications. You can do it yourself with a web-based platform, like Firebase Cloud Messaging from Google or Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS) from Amazon Web Services. Or you can use a mobile app developer like Plobal Apps

If you’re using a web-based platform, the process is pretty simple. You need to create an account, add your website URL, and then copy and paste some code into your website’s header.

To create app push notifications, you first need to develop your eCommerce app. Plobal Apps can build you a custom mobile app for little to no upfront costs in under a month. Spending $100K on a mobile app is a thing of the past now that Shopify has developed mobile integrations, and certified partners like Plobal Apps can access it.

Why push notifications from mobile apps are the most effective tool today.

The eCommerce world is constantly changing, and it can be hard to keep up. But if there’s one thing you need to know, push notifications from mobile apps are the most effective way to reach your customers today.

Mobile app users are more engaged and likely to convert than customers who receive SMS and email messages. Here are some staggering statistics to prove this:

  • 70% of all sales are made via native mobile apps.
  • Shopify’s 2021 BFCM sales amounted to $6.3 Billion, of which 72% of sales were made on a mobile device.
  • Mobile commerce controls a 73% share of the global e-commerce market of $13 Trillion, which is expected to reach $55.6 Trillion by 2027
  • Customers who use mobile apps for their first-time purchase are 20% more likely to return, increasing LTV and reducing CAC. 
  • Mobile commerce apps have a 10x higher conversion than the mobile web with abandoned cart messages. 
Comparing different statistics from Mobile Web and Mobile App especially within the context of push notifications.

The five most important push notification campaigns for your e-commerce brand

We’ve talked to the experts at Plobal Apps, and here are the ‘non-negotiable’ push notification campaigns they create for all their Shopify merchants: 

  1. Post download welcome series. 

This can be automated within your app and uses buying logic to determine what messaging hits each customer based on their behaviors.

2. Abandoned cart.

You’ve already done the hard work of getting a customer to put your item in their cart. So why start all over with someone new? A series of push notifications reminding them to complete checkout is a must-have.

Checkout push notifications.

3. Product drop and back in stock. 

When you drop a new product or get that popular item back in stock, nothing helps you sell out faster than a push notification explicitly directed to customers who have shown interest or have purchased similar items.

4. Discount incentives.

There’s nothing a successful e-commerce merchant doesn’t know about incentivized purchases. With push notifications, you can get your discount in front of customers faster and for free.

End-of-season sale push notification.

5. Community-building content. 

Levi’s and Nike have perfected the community-building aspect of customer loyalty. They share their latest blogs, videos, events, and more through push notifications from their website and mobile app.

Start sending push notifications now.

Push notifications are one of the most, if not the most, powerful tools in e-commerce today. And we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of their capabilities. If you want to learn more about the power of push notifications and how they can help you scale your mobile commerce business, set up a 15-minute chat with one of Plobal Apps’ mobile commerce experts today.

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