Contributor Post – Written by Anna Snyder
In the year 2020, our mobile devices are crucial to communication, entertainment, and going about our daily lives. With many people working and shopping from home, smartphones are in many ways our primary interface with the outside world. eCommerce especially has proved to be a thriving marketplace, with online sales increasing 43% to $60.4 million in 2020 in the United States alone.
Mobile commerce is likewise poised to make up 72.9% of the eCommerce market by 2021. And for any eCommerce mobile app, a robust push notification strategy is imperative to optimize user engagement and boost your rate of purchase conversions.
Use Push Notifications for Personalized Complementary Purchase Suggestions
Push notifications get a bad reputation among device users, but this is only when developers use them inconsiderately or irresponsibly. For example, if a user purchases a pair of hiking boots from your shopping app, and that purchase triggers a notification suggesting they buy another pair of hiking boots, that could be taken as invasive and poorly personalized. It’s unlikely a person needs more than one pair of hiking boots at a time, and if they feel like your app is spamming them, they may uninstall it.
The more savvy mobile marketer will tailor their push campaign using device-side data metrics, to get contextual information from the user’s digital behaviors and past purchases. For example, say your user has bought hiking boots and a plane ticket to Peru, and has been searching for information on Machu Picchu. A travel guide on backpacking trails in the Andes mountains, or a beginner’s Spanish travel book, would be far more likely to pique your user’s interest.
Cut Down on Abandoned Shopping Carts
There are plenty of reasons behind abandoned shopping carts. Customers might get distracted by something and never return to complete the purchase. They may get cold feet once they see shipping fees. If your app’s checkout flow isn’t easy and intuitive, customers may just leave out of frustration. But whatever the reason is, they’re losing your eCommerce app money. According to 99 Firms, 81% of mobile shopping carts are abandoned, and every year a total of $4.6 trillion in merchandise is missed out on.
The good news is that mobile push notifications are one of the most versatile tools for reminding users to pick up abandoned shopping carts and following through with their purchase. Push notifications can be sent out at opportune moments, when your user is most likely to have a spare moment to go back into your app. For example, if it’s a Friday afternoon, you could send the following message:
“Happy Friday, Emily! You deserve a treat… don’t forget about your items waiting at checkout!”
It’s important to never be pushy. Users will return to their shopping cart to experience the positive emotions of completing a purchase – and a few gentle nudges can be enough to do the trick. Send them at increasing intervals – for example, at 1, 6, and 12 hours after cart abandonment.
Raise Awareness About Limited-Time Sales and Discounts
This obviously goes for retail and eCommerce apps, but can also be used for other types of mobiles apps and mobile games. Anything with an in-app shop can benefit from the user being invited to open the app page and browse periodically. Push notifications are the perfect way to inform users about an upcoming sale. It gets the information directly to their device. If they’re interested, they can click on the notification to learn more. If not, they can swipe it away and it disappears automatically. It’s efficient and effective, and unlike marketing emails won’t get filtered out by spam folders, nor will it clog up users’ inboxes like email marketing.
In addition to acting as an alert, mobile push notifications can also work as a conveyance for a limited-time discount code. When the user clicks on the notification, it automatically takes them to the sale page in the app’s store. Innovations in push notification software have made their delivery highly reliable, which means you don’t have to worry about time lag that might delay getting your message out. You can communicate with your customers on a moment-to-moment basis, and forge a connection that can change and evolve as information updates.
When used correctly, notifications are the perfect, real-time marketing tool to get your message right to the user’s pocket. Mobile devices are the primary interface between brands and users, and push notifications are your key to getting their attention.
Anna Snyder is a tech writer and editor who can be found writing about mobile marketing, cryptocurrency, smartphones, and fintech. In the past, she has contributed to the blogs for OpenBack and Invest in Blockchain.