How to Send Push Notifications from a Shopify Store
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eCommerce is all about reaching the right people, with the right offer, at the right moment.
Push notifications are a powerful way to do this, allowing you to push your products, offers and messages to that most valuable piece of digital real estate - your customers’ lock screens.
In this article we’re going to show you how you can set up push notifications with the king of eCommerce CMSes, Shopify. We’ll go through the core information you need to know, the best tools to use, and then get into some advanced tactics.
Let’s start off by getting really clear on the why.
Why Send Push Notifications From Your Shopify Store?
You have a ton of channels to reach customers these days. Every one works (to an extent) but each has its drawbacks.
- PPC burns through cash and just doesn’t make sense for a lot of offers
- Emails get buried deep in cluttered inboxes
- Organic posts get lost in algorithmic hell
- SMS often gets ignored by the younger generation
Push notifications are the best because they’re the most direct.
They land in the one place it's difficult to ignore, because people look at it every time they open their phone (150 times per day btw).
Push notifications are also incredibly flexible.
You can set up sophisticated notification flows that trigger for any and all user actions - sending notifications with attention-grabbing images, CTAs, and more.
That’s why push outperforms all other channels in key metrics like open, click through and conversion rates.
That’s also why eCommerce businesses have started to use them like crazy - they work and they’ll make you money.
Let’s see a few examples.
Shopify Stores that Successfully Leveraged Push
eCommerce businesses are adopting push notifications in a big way.
Black Friday 2023 saw 12.7 million eCommerce push notifications sent. That’s a 91.3% increase from last year, driving a 61% increase in orders from push.
This is part of a broader trend in eCommerce of shifting to more direct, immediate and personalized marketing channels.
Of course Shopify stores are at the forefront of this adoption. Here are a few Shopify brands that are killing it with push.
Pura Vida Bracelets Made $1.4 million with Push
Pura Vida is a Shopify store specializing in ethically sourced bracelets. They leveraged push to achieve:
- $1.4m+ of revenue
- ~300k subscribers
- 34k+ orders
- 106x ROI
Their abandoned cart sequence was particularly successful with a CTR of 8.99% and conversion rate of 21.9%.
ELO drove 33k+ orders through push
ELO, a large eCommerce brand from Pakistan achieved phenomenal results through Shopify push notifications, like:
- 126,434 subscribers
- 33,227 total orders through push worth ~$400k
- 8x ROI
Their strategy focused on bold promotional campaigns, abandoned cart automations, and welcome sequences.
Inked Shop outperformed PPC significantly
Inked Shop is another Shopify Store that uses a smart combo of Push and SMS notifications. They were able to:
- Generate $616,214 through Push + SMS
- Drive 11,036 total orders
- Significantly outperform PPC
There’s 3 examples to show you what’s possible. Shopify stores right now are driving millions of dollars in sales through push.
You can too. Let’s look at how.
The 2 Main Types of Shopify Push Notifications
There are 2 different kinds of push notification - Web and Native App.
They are very similar, kind of like non-identical Twins - but there are important differences.
Web notifications are sent, unsurprisingly, over the web.
They involve an interplay between the customer’s device, their browser, a push provider, and other handy pieces of infrastructure.
Once you have them set up, you have to ask site visitors specifically for permission to send them notifications.
When they (hopefully) give you permission, you can send them notifications at will.
Native app notifications are even better. When a customer installs your iOS or Android eCommerce mobile app, they’re showing that they’re a loyal and high value customer.
Native push lets you then reach them directly with targeted, personalized notifications. You can set them up to trigger from various in-app actions, sending:
- Abandoned cart
Sequences……. And much more!
Should you Use Web or Native App Push Notifications?
You should send both.
The ideal set-up is to have web push notifications to catch more casual site visitors, engage desktop users, and drive traffic back to your landing pages - and native app notifications to engage your most loyal, high-value customers.
Leveraging the strengths of both strategically will be your eCommerce secret weapon.
That said, native app notifications are the most important because:
- They have higher opt-in and engagement rates
- They're better for reaching valuable iOS users
- They have richer functionality and personalisation
The issue with web notifications is that people generally don't (on mobile) give permission for them, often seeing them as spam. Giving permission for an app you just downloaded is much more natural, and fits better in the overall UX.
Web notifications are good for desktop and a "scattergun" approach for the mobile web - but first let's look at the more important native push notifications.
Sending Shopify Push Notifications from a Native App
This may sound redundant, but: to send native app push notifications you need a native app.
How can you get one?
The usual options are:
- Spend half a million dollars or more developing them natively
- Use a template / block based app builder that syncs with Shopify’s APIs
The first option is out of the budget of all but the largest brands. You’d need to hire several developers and PMs, or outsource it to an agency. Both options are extremely expensive, a massive hassle, and will take many months to ship.
Not ideal, and as we’ll see shortly, not even necessary for 99% of businesses.
The second option - template/block based app builders - is a more realistic option for many.
With app builders, you’ll typically drag-and-drop their blocks, widgets, and UI components to build the front end of your app. There will be some minor customization options and possibly some pre-built integrations with (some) major Shopify apps.
The end result will hook up to Shopify via API to sync to your existing back-end and product catalog.
App builders will often provide some push notification features too!
There’s a major problem with them though.
Shopify app builders are extremely restrictive…..
Because they rely on templates, and whatever data can be pulled via API, app builder platforms will put your app UX in a straightjacket.
You’ll always be limited by the template. Although you’ll be able to send push notifications, you’ll never be able to truly recreate the complexity or functionality of your web store.
The apps will be generic boxes with your logo slapped on and your product catalog imported. 90% of what you use on the web will not translate into the apps, leaving them as weak imitations of your brand on the web.
Don’t worry though, there’s a better option which we'll cover shortly.
Shopify Web Push Notifications
Shopify doesn’t have any native push notification features.
Thankfully we can lean on Shopify’s amazing ecosystem of third-party apps to get the job done.
Shopify has dozens of push notification apps, all of them are low-code and relatively simple to set up.
All you need to do is choose one, add some code to your site, tweak the setup, and you can be ready to roll in under a day.
Here are our top picks……
Best Apps for Sending Push Notifications from Shopify
Here are three of the best Shopify web notification apps. Any one of them will be a solid choice and help you get set up fast.
OneSignal is the best push platform on the market, for Shopify and beyond.
With OneSignal, you can create personalized campaigns, tailor messages to user behavior, and track everything!
- Wide set of integrations and automations
- Personalisation and segmentation features
- Powerful Analytics
Firepush is a full-fledged marketing automation platform, known particularly for push notifications.
It’s known as an intuitive, full-featured tool.
- Deep integration with Shopify stores
- Slick UI
- Advanced personalization and targeting
- Automated abandoned cart and product recommendation campaigns
PushEngage is another well known and sophisticated Shopify push notification app.
- Customization features
- Automations and triggers
- Rich analytics
Any of the three above will cover you for web notifications, so let’s move on to the even more important native apps.
Send Push Notifications with a MobiLoud App
There's a way to build native apps from a Shopify store, and get all the push notification features you need to succeed.
MobiLoud is an app builder for ecommerce brands. We don't use templates or blocks though, we convert your existing web store into iOS and Android apps.
We're a complete service, handling everything for you including building, publishing, and maintaining the apps.
And the apps themselves?
MobiLoud is the only practical way to recreate your web store entirely in iOS and Android apps.
The apps mirror your Shopify store completely, recreating all its features and functionalities. They sync in real time with your store, so there’s nothing new to add to your team’s plate!
When it comes to push notifications MobiLoud has everything you need. For a start we integrate fully with the best native push provider on the market - OneSignal.
You’ll be able to set up OneSignal notifications however you like, send an unlimited number of them to your app users.
Even better, we’ve built a specific feature for abandoned cart notifications.
This leverages local notifications to trigger a series of powerful messages when we detect items left in a customer’s cart. We use punchy copy and CRO best practices to nudge your customers to complete their checkouts - boosting your revenue for you on autopilot.
MobiLoud apps sync entirely with Shopify, so the possibilities for setting up push sequences are limitless!
Start Sending Push Notifications from Shopify Today
So to recap:
- Push notifications are amazing for Shopify businesses
- You can send them on the web with FirePush, PushOwl, or another platform
- You can send them from native apps with MobiLoud
It is a practical certainty that setting up push notifications will give a massive ROI, and we’ve shown you exactly how to do it.
Now here are the next steps for your to-do list:
- Get set up with web push on FirePush, PushOwl, or PushEngage
- Build eCommerce apps with MobiLoud and start sending native push notifications
That’s it. That’s the foundation. From there you can experiment, tweak and optimize until your own brand becomes a push success story.
You can get both done in just a few weeks.
MobiLoud is used by thousands of brands, including multibillion-dollar retailers.
You can read all about brands that use MobiLoud here.
Even better, let’s chat on the phone.
Speak to one of our app experts today.