Last Updated on
July 18, 2024

The Ultimate Guide to Push Notifications for eCommerce (Examples & Best Practices)

Key takeaways:

Capturing and retaining customer attention is more challenging than ever. eCommerce businesses are constantly seeking effective ways to engage with their audience, and one of the most powerful tools at their disposal is mobile push notifications. 

These short, timely messages sent directly to a user's mobile device have revolutionized how brands communicate with their customers, offering a direct line to their attention and engagement.

In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about push notifications for eCommerce. We’ll help you understand what push notifications are, the different types of push notifications, and why push is the best communication channel for eCommerce businesses, before sharing some best practices and real-world examples of push notifications for eCommerce.

MobiLoud, our platform that converts websites into mobile apps, lets you leverage push notifications to boost customer loyalty and retention. Mobile push notifications ensure that your messages will reach customers at the right time, leading to increased interaction and sales.

Get in touch with us to discuss how push notifications can help you grow your business.

Introduction to Push Notifications for eCommerce

A well-executed push notification strategy can transform an eCommerce business. By providing timely updates, personalized offers, and engaging content, push notifications keep customers coming back.

The effectiveness of push notifications lies in their ability to deliver relevant content directly to users in real-time. Whether it's alerting customers about a flash sale, reminding them of items left in their cart, or announcing the arrival of new products, push notifications can drive immediate action. 

Push is particularly effective in creating a sense of urgency, prompting users to act quickly to take advantage of time-sensitive offers.

Push notifications are also extremely cost-effective. They require minimal resources to deploy compared to email or SMS. With the ability to segment audiences and personalize messages, brands can ensure that their notifications are relevant to each recipient, thereby maximizing their impact.

Long story short, push notifications are an essential tool for eCommerce brands aiming to boost customer engagement, retention, and conversions.

What Are Mobile Push Notifications?

When we’re talking about push notifications, it’s important to note the distinction between web and mobile push notifications.

Web push notifications are sent using the browser. They have a limited scope, and aren’t supported by all browsers and operating systems.

We use the term mobile push notifications to refer to push notifications sent from a mobile app, directly to a user's device. These notifications are designed to pop up on the screen of a smartphone or tablet, ensuring they capture the user's attention immediately.

Unlike emails or in-app messages, push notifications reach users even when they are not actively using the app, making them an incredibly effective tool for real-time communication.

Push notifications can include a variety of content types:

  • Text: Simple messages, such as "50% off on all items today only!"
  • Images: Visual elements that enhance the message, like product images or promotional banners.
  • Videos: Short clips that can showcase new products or highlight features.
  • Audio: Sounds or voice messages that can be particularly engaging for specific campaigns.

These notifications are sent via a push notification service, such as Apple's APNs (Apple Push Notification service) for iOS devices or Google's FCM (Firebase Cloud Messaging) for Android devices. 

The app server will send the message to the push notification service, which then delivers it to the user's device.

This means, as long as the user has given you permission to reach them with push notifications, you can reach them in a direct, timely and personal manner, far better than any other digital communication channel.

“The power of push notifications is so strong. In a world where people open email less and less each day, everyone is jumping into SMS which is crazy expensive, and people are starting to tune these out too, being able to do push notifications is the reason you do an app.”

- David Cost, Rainbow Shops

Benefits of Mobile Push Notifications for eCommerce

Mobile push notifications offer a myriad of benefits for eCommerce businesses, improving customer engagement, retention, and conversions. 

This powerful communication tool allows eCommerce brands to create a direct and personal connection with their customers.

Here are the key benefits:

Customer Engagement

Push notifications have significantly higher open rates compared to emails. Since they appear directly on a user's mobile screen, they are more likely to be seen and opened. This immediacy helps brands capture attention quickly and effectively.

Users often perceive push notifications as useful because they deliver timely and relevant information. Whether it's a flash sale, a new product launch, or an order update, these notifications provide value, encouraging users to engage with the app.

Customer Retention

Studies have shown that users who receive push notifications are more likely to return to an app. 

A study by Localytics found that nearly 50% of app users will use an app 11 times or more after receiving push notifications.

Regular communication through notifications keeps the brand top-of-mind, fostering loyalty and encouraging repeat visits.

Conversions

Push notifications can drive immediate action, leading to increased sales. For instance, a notification about a limited-time discount can prompt users to make a purchase on the spot.

Compared to other marketing channels, push notifications typically have higher click-through rates. This increased engagement translates to more traffic to the app and, ultimately, more conversions.

Writing Effective Push Notifications

Push notifications alone are not going to drive sales. You need to craft effective messages, designed for the medium, geared towards your audience.

Effective push notifications are personalized, timely, and relevant, all qualities which help to capture attention and drive action. 

Here are some tips for crafting effective push notifications:

Personalization

Personalized push notifications can increase open rates by nearly 10%, according to CleverTap.

Personalization is crucial for making push notifications feel relevant and engaging. By leveraging customer data, businesses can tailor messages to individual preferences and behaviors. 

Examples include using the customer’s name, recommending products based on past purchases, or highlighting items left in their cart.

A notification like “Hi [Name], we thought you’d love these new arrivals!” or “Don’t miss out on the items in your cart. Complete your purchase now and enjoy a 10% discount!” can create a more personalized experience that encourages interaction.

Timeliness

Sending notifications at the right time can significantly impact their effectiveness. Think about the user’s time zone, daily routine, and engagement patterns to determine the best times for sending notifications.

Order updates, such as “Your order has shipped!” or “Your delivery is out for delivery,” keep customers informed and excited, while real-time alerts for flash sales or limited-time offers, like “Flash Sale! 50% off for the next 2 hours,” can drive immediate action.

Relevance

Notifications should provide value and be directly relevant to the user’s interests and needs. Irrelevant or generic messages can lead to user disengagement or even opt-outs.

Ensure that notifications are used for urgent or important updates. For instance, “Only a few items left in stock! Hurry and order now,” or “Exclusive early access to our new collection, just for you.”

MobiLoud helps eCommerce businesses integrate push notifications into their mobile apps, enabling them to send personalized, timely, and relevant messages to their customers. 

For example, a fashion eCommerce app built with MobiLoud can send notifications about new product drops tailored to the user’s browsing history, or time-sensitive promotions during peak shopping hours to maximize conversions.

Learn more about MobiLoud’s push notifications, and get a free preview of your app, with a free consultation call.

Types of Push Notifications for eCommerce

Push notifications are a fantastic tool that can be used for various purposes in eCommerce. Each type serves a unique role in engaging customers and driving conversions. 

Below, we’ll expand on each type, explaining their benefits, providing tips for crafting effective messages, as well as showcasing real examples from different eCommerce brands.

1. Promotions and Deals

Promotional messages are a powerful way to drive immediate sales and increase revenue. 

You can create urgency and encourage quick action by alerting users to current discounts and special offers.

Tips for Writing:

  • Use action-oriented language to prompt immediate responses.
  • Highlight the urgency by including phrases like "limited time" or "today only."
  • Be clear and concise, focusing on the main benefit to the user.

Examples:

  1. Rainbow Shops: "FROM $4.99. Nothing short of fabulous!"
  2. TRUE CLASSIC: "Make This Your Hottest Summer Ever With 40% Off Sitewide Using Code: HOT."
  3. H&M: "Summer sale starts NOW. Up to 50% off in stores and online."

2. Abandoned Cart Recovery

Abandoned cart notifications remind users about the items they left behind, encouraging them to complete their purchase. 

This type of notification can significantly reduce cart abandonment rates and recover potential lost sales, both of which directly increases revenue from your existing traffic.

We built cart abandonment push notification sequences into the MobiLoud platform. Every time a customer activates abandoned cart notifications for their app, they see a near-immediate ROI, and literally tens of thousands of dollars generated in days, simply by reminding people about the items that they left in their cart. 

It's so powerful that we offer it for free for the first two months, just to prove to customers how much revenue it can generate.

Tips for Writing:

  • Offer an incentive, like a discount code, to encourage completion.
  • Create a sense of urgency to prompt quick action.
  • Don’t stop at the first message, we find a sequence of 3 is ideal.

Examples:

  1. Chubbies Shorts: "So you're just gonna leave this cart unattended? Use code BACK15 to get 15% off the world’s best weekend-wear."
  2. Hobbiesville: "You left something in your cart! Tap here to start your checkout."

3. Product Announcements

Product announcement notifications keep customers informed about new arrivals, restocked items, and trending products. This helps maintain interest and excitement around your brand’s offerings.

Over time you're training your customer to expect exclusive product drops and opportunities coming just by keeping the app active and push notifications active, which has a huge impact on long-term engagement and retention rates.

Tips for Writing:

  • Highlight the exclusivity or novelty of the product.
  • Use engaging visuals if possible to showcase the product.
  • Include a call-to-action to drive users to the app or website to view the product.

Examples:

  1. KITH: "Hey, promise to keep a secret? You're getting a super exclusive first look at our new arrivals way before the rest of the public."
  2. H&M: "NEW ARRIVALS. Summer resort style in focus."

4. Seasonal and Holiday Campaigns

Seasonal and holiday campaigns capitalize on peak shopping times to boost sales. These notifications remind users of special deals and promotions tied to holidays and seasonal events.

Tips for Writing:

  • Align your message with the holiday or season to make it relevant.
  • Use festive language and visuals to capture the holiday spirit.
  • Include specific dates and times to create urgency.

Examples:

  1. TRUE CLASSIC: "Happy Father's Day from True Classic! Here’s to every shoelace tied, every set of training wheels retired, and every little league game reffed. Dads, we couldn't do it without you."
  2. TRUE CLASSIC: "Order TONIGHT to get your gifts in time for Father's Day!"
  3. Rainbow Shops: "It's a Summer Sale! Get it online and in-store."

Learn more about running push notification campaigns for the holiday season in this guide.

5. Special Events

Special event notifications drive traffic and sales during limited-time events like flash sales, clearance events, and end-of-season sales. 

These notifications create a sense of urgency and exclusivity, which are great tools for boosting conversion rates.

Tips for Writing:

  • Clearly state the event and its benefits.
  • Use countdowns or time-limited language to emphasize urgency.
  • Encourage immediate action with phrases like "shop now" or "don’t miss out."

Examples:

  1. KITH: "End of Season Event. Shop our selection of apparel, footwear, and lifestyle products—now at exclusive prices."
  2. Farfetch: "Trending pieces in sale. Tap to shop the most-wanted pieces from our global network of brands in the sale, now with up to 60% off selected styles."

6. Personalized Recommendations

Personalized recommendations enhance the shopping experience by suggesting products based on the user’s preferences and past behavior.

Personalization in push notifications can deliver far better results than sending broad and generic push notifications, with some studies finding as much as 4x higher open rates from personalized notifications.

Tips for Writing:

  • Use the user's name to make the message feel personal.
  • Recommend products that align with the user’s browsing or purchase history.
  • Provide a direct link to the recommended products.

Examples:

  1. Rainbow Shops: "HEY GRILL MASTER, Take a little shopping break to cool off. 25% off Mens Styles."
  2. Chubbies Shorts: "The fellas on the golf course won't know what hit 'em. Turn heads with our summer golf collection."

7. Loyalty and Rewards

Loyalty and rewards notifications keep customers informed about their points and rewards status, encouraging them to continue engaging with your brand. 

These notifications help boost customer retention and loyalty, and work to build long-term relationships with customers and nurture loyal brand advocates.

Tips for Writing:

  • Clearly communicate the user’s current points or rewards status.
  • Encourage further engagement by highlighting the benefits of accumulating more points.
  • Offer exclusive rewards or early access to sales for loyalty members.

Examples:

  1. TRUE CLASSIC: "You've earned 500 points! Redeem them on your next purchase."
  2. Farfetch: "Welcome Reward +50 Points. Completing Your Shopping Preferences +50 Points."
  3. KITH: "Achievement Completed. Welcome Reward +50 Points."

8. Order and Shipping Updates

Order and shipping updates keep customers informed about the status of their orders, providing peace of mind and reducing anxiety about their purchases.

Tips for Writing:

  • Be clear and concise about the order status.
  • Include tracking information or expected delivery dates.
  • Reassure customers with friendly and professional language.

Examples:

  1. "Your order has shipped! Track it now."
  2. “Your order is out for delivery today."

9. Engagement Messages

Engagement messages encourage users to explore new collections, highlight popular categories, and participate in interactive content like polls or surveys. 

These notifications keep users active and engaged with your app, and helps keep your brand top-of-mind.

Tips for Writing:

  • Use engaging language to capture the user’s interest.
  • Highlight the benefits of exploring new content or participating in interactive activities.
  • Provide clear calls-to-action to drive engagement.

Examples:

  1. KITH: "Check out our best-sellers, new arrivals & more."
  2. MANGO: "Shop the most-wanted items now!"
  3. H&M: "Top jeans picks for summer. These jeans go with everything."

10. Urgency and Scarcity

Notifications can create a sense of urgency by highlighting limited stock or time-limited offers. This drives immediate action and helps conversions.

Tips for Writing:

  • Use time-sensitive language to emphasize urgency.
  • Highlight the limited availability of products.
  • Encourage immediate action with clear calls-to-action.

Examples:

  1. Fashion Nova: "LAST CHANCE Styles at $3, $5, $7 and $9! Shop These Major Deals B4 They're GONE!."
  2. MANGO: "An extra 15% off on your faves for a short time more. Online code: EXTRA15."
  3. TRUE CLASSIC: "LAST CALL. $40 ALL BOTTOMS expires in JUST A FEW HOURS! Shop now or forever hold your peace."

11. App-Specific Promotions

App-specific promotions encourage users to download and engage with your app by offering exclusive deals and discounts only available through the app.

Tips for Writing:

  • Clearly state the benefits of using the app.
  • Offer exclusive discounts or perks for app users.
  • Encourage app downloads with compelling calls-to-action.

Examples:

  1. Sephora: "Download our app and get a free gift with your first order."
  2. Farfetch: "Enjoy 15% off you first app order. Shop the new season on the FARFETCH app."

12. Event Reminders

Event reminders notify users about upcoming sales events, encouraging them to participate and take advantage of the deals. This can drive significant traffic and sales during the event.

Tips for Writing:

  • Provide clear information about the event and its benefits.
  • Use engaging language to build excitement.
  • Include specific dates and times to ensure users don’t miss out.

Examples:

  1. KITH: "End of Season Event. Shop our selection of apparel, footwear, and lifestyle products - now at exclusive prices."
  2. Sephora: "Beauty Pass Sale Coming Soon! Get up to 15% off from 9pm, 26 Jun."

13. Feedback Requests

Feedback requests allow businesses to gather valuable insights from customers about their shopping experience, helping to improve products and services. These notifications can also build customer loyalty by showing that their opinions are valued.

Tips for Writing:

  • Be direct and courteous in your request.
  • Highlight the importance of their feedback.
  • Offer incentives for completing surveys or leaving reviews.

Examples:

  1. TRUE CLASSIC: "Love your new shirts? Leave a review and let us know what you think!"
  2. Sephora: "Help us improve! Take our quick survey and get a chance to win a $50 gift card."

14. Re-engagement

Re-engagement notifications are designed to bring inactive users back to the app. By offering incentives or highlighting new features, these notifications can rekindle interest and drive renewed interaction with your brand.

Tips for Writing:

  • Personalize the message to make it more compelling.
  • Offer exclusive incentives to encourage return visits.
  • Highlight what’s new or improved to spark interest.

Examples:

  1. MANGO: "We miss you! Come back and enjoy 20% off your next purchase."
  2. Rainbow Shops: "It's been a while! Check out our new arrivals and get an exclusive 10% discount."
  3. Sephora: "Caught you browsing! Continue your journey and add this item to your cart."

With these types of push notifications, your eCommerce business can create a comprehensive strategy that addresses every stage of the customer journey. 

Understanding the Push Notification Opt-in Process

Users must actively opt-in to receive push notifications. Obviously, this is a critical part of leveraging push notifications effectively, because if you don’t get permission to contact your users you won’t be able to reach them with push notifications in the first place.

According to Business of Apps, the average push notification opt-in rate is 60%. This varies greatly, however, depending on the vertical, the operating system (51% medium opt-in rate for iOS, versus 81% for Android), and simply by how well the brand does at capturing push consent from their users.

Here are some tips to help maximize your push notification opt-in rate:

Educate Users Early

When users first open your app, it is essential you clearly communicate the benefits of opting in to receive notifications. 

Highlight how notifications can enhance their experience, such as by providing timely updates on orders, exclusive deals, or important news. 

Use a welcome message or onboarding tutorial to explain the types of notifications users will receive and how they can manage their preferences.

Time Your Opt-in Prompt

Instead of asking for notification permissions immediately upon app launch, wait until users have engaged with the app and experienced its value. 

Contextual prompts can be more effective, such as prompting users to opt-in after they have completed a purchase or added items to their cart. 

Consider personalizing the timing of the opt-in prompt based on user behavior and interactions within the app.

Incentivize Opt-in

Incentivizing opt-in can also be highly effective. When users install the app, inform them that they will receive exclusive offers and promotions by enabling push notifications. 

This can include early access to sales, special discounts, or updates on new product drops. Offering a direct incentive for opting in, such as a discount code, can also encourage users to enable notifications. 

For example, "Enable push notifications and get 10% off your first order!" Even before users download the app, set the expectation that they will receive valuable notifications. This can be communicated through app store descriptions, landing pages, and marketing materials.

Provide Control and Customization

Creating a preference center within your app allows users to easily manage their notification settings.

Provide options for users to choose the types of notifications they want to receive, such as promotions, order updates, or product recommendations. 

Offering granular options for customization, such as muting notifications during certain hours or receiving notifications only for specific events or product categories, can also enhance the user experience and ensure more users remain opted in to push.

Re-engage Users Who Opt-Out

For users who initially opt-out of notifications, consider sending periodic reminders through other channels (such as email, in-app messages, or other marketing materials), highlighting the benefits of opting in. 

Ensure these reminders are non-intrusive and spaced out appropriately. Offering incentives, such as exclusive discounts or early access to sales, can also encourage users to opt-in for notifications.

Analyze and Optimize

Regularly analyzing your opt-in rates and identifying any patterns or trends can help you understand which prompts and strategies are most effective in encouraging users to opt-in. 

Do A/B testing to determine the best timing, messaging, and design for your opt-in prompts. This will provide valuable insights and help you continuously refine your approach based on data and user feedback.

Best Practices for Your Push Notification Strategy

A robust push notification strategy is crucial for maximizing engagement, driving conversions, and enhancing the overall user experience. 

Let’s run through some best practices to help you create effective push notifications for your eCommerce business.

Keep Messages Short and Sweet

Brevity is key with push notifications. 

There’s limited space for your copy, and users typically scan notifications quickly, so it's important to convey your message concisely. Aim to grab their attention with a clear, compelling call-to-action. 

For example, instead of saying, "Check out our new summer collection available now in stores and online," you could say, "New summer collection! Shop now."

Personalize Notifications

Personalization significantly increases the effectiveness of push notifications. 

Use customer data to tailor messages to individual preferences and behaviors. Addressing users by their name, suggesting products based on their browsing history, or reminding them of items left in their cart can create a more personalized experience that encourages interaction. 

For example, something like "Hi [Name], don’t forget the items in your cart! Complete your purchase now and enjoy a 10% discount" is an easy way to inject a bit of personalization, which will go a long way to delivering better results from your push notifications.

Segment Your Audience

Segmenting your audience allows you to send more relevant notifications to different user groups. 

Data from Localytics shows that dynamic and segmented push notifications have a 2.75x higher engagement level than generic broadcast notifications.

Use data to create segments based on criteria such as location, demographics, interests, and past purchases. This ensures that each user receives messages that are most relevant to them, which can improve engagement and conversion rates. 

For example, you might send a notification about a local in-store event only to users in that specific geographic area.

Send Timely Notifications

Timing is vital with push notifications. Consider the user’s time zone and daily routine to determine the optimal times for sending notifications. 

Notifications sent at the right time can significantly improve open rates and user engagement, such as sending a notification about a lunch deal around noon or a reminder about a sale in the evening when users are likely to be free to shop.

Use Rich Media

Incorporating rich media such as images, GIFs, or videos can make your push notifications more engaging and visually appealing. 

Visual content can quickly convey your message and grab the user's attention more effectively than text alone. An image of a new product, for example, will generally be more compelling than a text description.

Test and Optimize

Regularly test different aspects of your push notifications to determine what works best. A/B testing can help you identify the most effective messaging, timing, and design for your notifications. 

Continuously analyze the performance of your notifications and make adjustments based on data and user feedback. This iterative process ensures that your push notification strategy remains effective and responsive to user preferences.

Avoid Overloading Users

While push notifications can be a powerful tool, it’s important not to overwhelm users with too many messages. 

Overloading users with notifications will annoy them, and increase the likelihood of them opting out of notifications altogether. Be mindful of the frequency of your notifications and ensure that each message provides value to the user.

Align with Overall Marketing Strategy

Integrate push notifications into your overall marketing strategy to create a seamless customer experience. 

Ensure that your notifications complement other marketing channels such as email, SMS, and in-store promotions. This integrated approach can enhance brand consistency and reinforce your messaging across different touchpoints.

Try Different Content

Don't be afraid to experiment with the content of your notifications. Beyond promotional messages, you could try sending something funny or even a joke to see how it performs. 

Staying on brand and speaking with your brand’s voice is key, but trying different approaches can reveal what resonates best with your audience. A humorous message or a playful notification could stand out and engage users in a unique way.

Repurpose Content from Other Channels

Repurpose the work you are already doing with your SMS, email marketing, and social media strategies to come up with good messaging for push notifications, and save time and ensure consistency across your marketing efforts.

Look for the best hooks that have worked well on social media or your highest-performing SMS messages for indications about what people want to receive from you and what will work as a push message as well.

How to Get Started with Mobile Apps and Push Notifications

Though you can send push notifications from a website, the real power of push notifications comes from being able to send native push notifications, directly to a user’s mobile device.

For this, you need a mobile app.

If:

  • You still don't have a mobile app,
  • The solutions you’re considering to build it seem to be too limited,
  • You're thinking that you have to spend hundreds of thousands to build your mobile app,

MobiLoud is the answer to your needs.

MobiLoud offers a straightforward, fast, and affordable way to convert your website into a high-quality mobile app.

High-revenue eCommerce apps built with MobiLoud

Our full-service approach handles all the tricky parts, from customization to submission and publishing on the App Stores, as well as ongoing updates and maintenance.

You can keep all the features from your website, including any themes, plugins, custom checkouts, and custom code, seamlessly transferred to your mobile app.

There are no arbitrary limits on integrations with other tools—if they work on your site, they'll work in the app too.

MobiLoud seamlessly converts your website to a native app

MobiLoud works with any platform or tech stack, whether it's WordPress, Shopify, or custom-built websites.

Our solution includes native features like a tab menu, navigation UI, and push notifications. You fully own your app, your developer accounts, your code, and your branding. There's minimal overhead because you don't need to duplicate efforts each time you make a change or add a new feature. Just update your website, and your apps update automatically, allowing you to manage only one codebase.

Push notifications are a key feature that unlocks the full value of a mobile app. They provide a powerful and direct communication channel to your customers, helping you increase engagement, boost retention, and drive more sales.

With MobiLoud, you can leverage push notifications without the high costs and complexities of custom app development.

So, if you're looking for an efficient and cost-effective way to bring your eCommerce business to mobile, MobiLoud is the best approach. Let us help you unlock the full potential of push notifications and transform your website into a thriving mobile app.

Get in touch now and book a free demo to learn more.

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