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How to Best Use Push Notifications for your Retail App

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Push notifications are one of the most valuable tools of a mobile app, but it’s essential to use them properly. For businesses that offer their own apps, push notifications are a vital feature. They give business owners the ability to communicate with customers at any time, even if they aren’t currently using the app. Beyond that, they can be tailored and segmented to certain target audiences, maximizing their marketing potential. 

Online commerce businesses have multiple ways to communicate with their customers, including email marketing, search engine and other online ads, in-app chat, and more. But push notifications are a powerful tool that is available to mobile apps. Notifications can also be used on websites using browser notifications, but they are more limited since sites often need to get permission from each visitor. Mobile push notifications are hard to miss and can be sent to every user of the app if it’s installed. They are shown with the same high priority as missed calls and text messages so phone users will be sure to see them.

Getting customers to download an app for your eCommerce brand is a challenge. 46% of US customers said in 2019 that they don’t download new retail apps because they have too many apps already. But once they do install an app, retailers can market directly to them through push notifications. 

Avoiding Overuse

Retailers need to be careful with push notifications; overuse can lead to customers disabling them or uninstalling the app. Push notifications for purely marketing purposes can feel intrusive. However, the majority of customers currently don’t feel overwhelmed by push notifications from retail apps. A 2019 survey from Yes Marketing found that 57% of respondents thought that retailers used push notifications ‘just right’, while 34% said they were used too much. Comparatively, 36% of the surveyed customers said they received email marketing too much and 29% said SMS messages were used too often, showing that push notifications are not disliked more than other kinds of direct communications from retail brands.

Finding the Right Uses


Using push notifications the right way avoids bothering customers while also ensuring that your call to action is as effective as possible, leading to high conversion rates and better results.

There are several key use cases for push notifications that customers will respond well to, utilizing business intelligence push notification technology to send them to targeted segments of the app’s users. 

  • Abandoned carts

Customers often browse stores without completing their transactions. An analysis of multiple abandoned cart studies found an average rate of 67.8 percent. Customers abandon carts for various reasons, but sometimes a reminder can get customers to complete their checkout. Push notifications can be sent to customers with abandoned carts only to remind them, boosting the conversion rate. In addition, a friendly reminder like this based on the user’s activity on the app is unlikely to be seen as intrusive marketing. 

  • Location-based messages

Another important use is to send messages based on location. If a sale is going on in a certain physical store, or for eCommerce sales in a certain delivery range, the app can send push notifications only to devices within range. This can help make customers aware of the brand’s local location and special deals they can receive in that area.

Read also: Emojis in Push Notification Can Make Your Customers Feel Special

  • Personalized marketing messages

With mobile app sales, it’s possible to track the purchase and browsing history of individual customers to segment them for marketing purposes. Push notifications can be sent to buyers of a certain product or category to announce discounts and deals only to those who will be receptive to those deals. Notifications can also target those who have purchased recently. Or, they can do the reverse, and target those who have the app but haven’t shopped in a while to remind them of the brand and offer special discounts for returning customers. 

Push notifications are a powerful tool to communicate with users of mobile devices to expand your marketing reach. Every mobile app should have the ability to send push notifications to segmented groups of customers to market their brand more intelligently. 

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