Back in December 2015, web browser behemoths Safari, Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera (a combined 77% of web browsers market share) introduced ‘Service Worker API’. Along with various functionalities, came a specific one that has tremendous benefits for any e-commerce looking to keep customer engagement high: Website Push Notifications.

Website Push Notifications are short messages (125 characters) targeting visitors that have preemptively allowed to be alerted, via an opt-in popup button. The script works on both desktop (which still accounts for 42% of the worldwide web traffic & 75% of online sales) tablets and mobile browser. Subscribers can be reached instantly even when they are off your website. Upon clicking on the notification, customers are redirected to the URL embedded within the message.

website push notifications

Web pushes offer a great alternative to money and time-consuming marketing emails, social media ads or dedicated mobile apps that can saturate easily and produce unsatisfactory results over a long period of time. They are simple to implement and monitor, as well as driving positive ROI in terms of customers clicks rates, time spent on pages and sales conversion. It is a comprehensive tool to help you achieve your re-engagement goals and improve the overall customer experience. Browser pushes is a privileged direct channel between your business and your customers.

Nonetheless, permission to send push notifications is easily revocable and one should not flood their subscribers with unnecessary messages. So take educated notes, because here are 6 ways to successfully integrate website push notifications to your e-commerce.

Your first impression is critical

Personalizing your opt-in prompt can be determinant in whenever an anonymous visitor will allow you to send him browser notifications. By giving out incentives, like 10% off their first order for example, you can encourage them to do so. The first impression you make on a visitor is critical in giving you a lead. Because once dismissed, the “show notifications” popup is a hassle for your potential customer to re-set up and agree with. After their subscription, you will have an easier time tracking down users’ activity history, which will be of the outmost importance in the following steps.

Most browser push notifications solutions like OneSignal or Pushcrew will allow you to personalize your prompt-in with your image and text on top of natively record stats from subscribers. Data gathered can be as broad as on-site behavior, pages visited and recurrence, items added to cart, geolocation, devices used, first and last connection to the website, pages they bounced off from, etc.

Get to know your audience

The next step towards achieving a relevant web push notification strategy is to generate insight. After subscribing to your notifications, users’ information pile up and produce patterns, also known as actionable insight. After proper analysis, this relevant knowledge will help you build specific segment of users, to which a personalized push notification can be sent out. Timing will be your best ally, as it is critical to send them at the right time. You can set up short messages to be triggered by subscribers’ specific actions.

For example, you could choose to send browser notifications to past customers after adding a similar product to the one they bought on your website. Or, if you think that you struggle selling a specific one, send out personalized messages about a price drop for a limited amount of time (creating an urgency feeling) to any potential customer having previously visited the product page. Rewarding a part of your audience for past actions with the right incentives can also be a successful strategy.

Tailored marketing messages have become a necessity in today’s day and age. Customers are reluctant to open marketing emails that spams their mail boxes, and react negatively to ads imposed without their consent. Web pushes have the advantage of being enabled by the customer himself, and produce open rates ranging from 40% up to 80% (below 20% for marketing emails).

Recover abandoned carts

More than 75% of carts never see the ‘thank you page’ of your e-commerce business. As tough as it is to conceive, it represents more than $4 trillion worth of merchandise worldwide each year. But why do 2 out of 3 carts never get to be completed? Well, it’s not rocket science. People are smarter, and tend to compare products prices across multiple platforms. That or they just get frightened right before engaging the payment process while sometimes leaving their carts comes from outside distractions.

Website Push Notifications can give you that extra help to drive successful sales. The simple fact of adding an item to cart shows intent of buying.  Sending out web pushes to recover abandoned carts after X amount of time can help you convert with consistency otherwise ‘lost sales’.

For instance, a nudge as low as 5% off or offering free shipping could weigh heavily in a customer’s buying process that has bounced off the website. Then again, try to play on that urgency feeling to convert with more regularity. It’s even more important as you are limited in terms of characters. Using clear, action oriented messages is a requirement to achieve satisfactory results.

website push notifications

Inform customers of order dispatch and delivery

Formally reserved to e-commerce giants equipped with mobile apps, instant feedback notifying customers that their orders have been shipped and will be delivered in the next few days is easily achievable via web push notifications. Updating a customer’s order status in real time has a lot of re-engagement benefits.

Web pushes have the advantage of being instantaneous compared to emails and will help improve tremendously your overall customer relationship management. The fastest you are prompt to inform your customer, the more he will value your business and be likely to repurchase from your platform.

Finally, it will reinforce the link you’ve been building with your customer and foster that one-on-one feeling of personalization and decrease the number of opt-outs.

Retarget after no recent visits

By banking on insights you previously built, coupled with the scheduling powers of web pushes notifications automation, you will be able to send motivational messages to drive back once “lost customers” to your website.

For instance, you could automate and schedule push notifications for past visitors that didn’t visit your website over the last week. After refining that specific segment, you’ll be able to send an automated push message. Once an individual clicks on the notification, they will be removed from that segment list. Otherwise, they will receive it again on the next set of push notifications.

It allows you to keep contact with visitors that may have lost sight of your e-commerce. Because they still subscribe to your web notifications it is important to keep a contact as they would have otherwise opt-out a long time ago. Web pushes automation gives you cheap, non-intrusive and effective way to retarget past customers that could drive future sales. Keep in mind that your notifications subscriber list is of high quality, with customer willing to hear from you and your business.

Keep an eye on your metrics

Lastly, tracking results of your push notifications is a priority. Most solutions will offer integrated A/B testing to help you choose which notifications has the most effect on your subscribers upon experimenting different sets of pushes.

Click-through rate will give you insight into tracking your most effective messages, and allow you to establish strategies built around your business goals and website actions you want to foster. To that extent, make sure that the URL you embedded you website notification pushes with are fully traceably, and with the proper UTM parameters to be used in your favorite analytics tool.

Website Push Notifications may not the providential solution for every business types but is a new and exciting direct channel for marketing purposes. Its implementation should result from a matured choice, as to which service provider you will choose from as well as the type of push messages that are relevant to your audience. As of right now, there are plenty of web push notifications solutions available.  OneSignal has the merit of being free and pretty easy to handle. AimTell, PushCrew and Pushify are also strong competitors.

Ultimately, your choice will revolve around the type of e-commerce you run and the goals you want to achieve. Integration may require expertise from a web developer, but most solutions provide integrated plug-ins, compatible with every popular CMS.

What are your thoughts on push notifications- too pushy or just right? Tell us below or Tweet us!