Push notifications are one of the most powerful communication channels we have today. If you’re running a store on WooCommerce, push notifications have to be a part of your marketing arsenal.
In this article we’re going to show you how you can set up and utilize push notifications for your WooCommerce site, including the best tools for the job. We’ll also share a few best practices that will help maximize how well push notifications work for you.
Keep reading to learn how to boost your revenue with WooCommerce push notifications.
Understanding Push Notifications
Push notifications are bite-sized messages delivered directly to a user's device, such as a smartphone or computer. They’re one of the most effective ways for businesses - especially ecommerce stores - to communicate with their customers, due to their direct, personal nature and affordability.
The value proposition of push notifications lies in their ability to deliver timely and personalized updates, offers, and reminders, driving higher customer engagement, sales, and retention.
If you’re not using push notifications, you’re missing out on one of the best ways to engage and build relationships with your customers. In the competitive landscape of e-commerce, where attention spans are short and competition is fierce, push notifications offer a direct line of communication that cuts through the noise.
The power of push notifications for ecommerce is the reason why it is the #1 industry for push notification usage, with ecommerce making up more than 1 in 5 senders of push notifications.
Web vs Mobile Push Notifications
Push notifications come in two main forms: web push notifications and mobile push notifications.
Web push notifications are delivered through a user's web browser, whether they’re actively browsing that website or not. They work with Edge, Safari, Opera, Firefox and Chrome, on both desktop and mobile, but with one important caveat. Web push notifications do not work on iOS.
We say mobile push notifications to refer to push notifications sent from mobile apps. Where web push notifications are sent using the browser, mobile push comes directly from the app.
There are some differences in how web and mobile push notifications work, in terms of how users give permission to receive notifications, and the flexibility you have to work with. These differences - particularly the fact that web push notifications can’t reach iPhone users - make mobile push notifications a lot more effective.
How to Set Up Push Notifications with WooCommerce
Unfortunately, push notifications don’t come standard with WooCommerce. If you want to use push notifications for your store, you’ll need to use a plugin or a push notification service.
Push notifications can be set up using custom code, but for most store owners, this will be much too complex. If you’re running an ecommerce store, it’s unlikely you have the expertise, time and/or budget to write code and run push notifications 100% manually.
It’s far better to use a tool to do it, such as a plugin or software tool that’s set up specifically to help website owners send push notifications without writing code.
The Best Plugins and Services for WooCommerce Push Notifications
There are many tools and services out there that enable website owners to send push notifications. We’ve used our experience in the space to narrow down the choices and give you the following plugins and services to choose from.
OneSignal is the industry leader today in push notification services. They help you set up and send both web and mobile push notifications (along with in-app messages, email and SMS).
OneSignal is intuitive and makes it easy to install, set up and run push notifications to your customers and website visitors. There’s a lot you can do in terms of customization, such as personalizing your notifications and scheduling notifications to push at the right time.
All this lets you send professional-looking push notifications that make your brand look and feel like an authority, while driving up engagement and retention for your store.
If you want full use of mobile push notifications (and you should), MobiLoud will help you do it.
MobiLoud isn’t a push notification provider - it’s a tool to convert your WooCommerce site into a mobile app.
Along with a number of other huge benefits that come with launching your own app, you’ll be able to send unlimited push notifications to app users (on Android and iOS).
If you only have a website, you won’t be able to reach iOS users with push notifications, as you’ve already learned.
MobiLoud integrates with OneSignal (our top choice as a push notification service, as mentioned above) to enable push notifications, and lets you send notifications directly from your WordPress dashboard.
The good news is that, if you’ve got a mobile-optimized website, you’re 90% of the way to being able to launch your own app. You just need MobiLoud to convert your website into the native code needed to run on mobile devices.
PushEngage, like OneSignal, is a SaaS tool designed to help website owners set up and send push notifications.
It’s easy to set up, provides deep segmentation and customization features, and has everything you need to do push notifications for an ecommerce store (e.g. automatic cart abandonment notifications).
PushEngage is a little more affordable than OneSignal, though it comes with the downside of only doing web push, not mobile push and other channels like you get with OneSignal.
VWO Engage (previously PushCrew) is a deep, multi-faceted tool, which includes the ability to send custom, automated notifications.
It includes extensive trigger options based on behavior, segmentation and additional conditions. All can be used to form custom journeys for each individual subscriber.
Though it can do a lot, some will find VWO Engage too complex and pricey, in which case it’s better to go for a service like OneSignal or PushEngage.
Push Notifications for WooCommerce
For a simpler and more affordable option, you can check out the Push Notifications for WooCommerce plugin by KoalaApps.
As a WordPress plugin, this is extremely easy to install, set up and use. You can do everything from the familiar environment of your WordPress dashboard, and it’s designed specifically for WooCommerce sites.
Of course, for the simplicity and affordability ($49 per year), you will sacrifice functionality compared to the push notification services above. But it can be worth checking out if you’re a small store just dipping your toes into push notifications for the first time.
YITH Live Push Notifications for WooCommerce
YITH Live Push Notifications for WooCommerce is another plugin designed specifically for WooCommerce stores.
The plus of WooCommmerce-specific tools is that they're optimized for the kind of notifications ecommerce businesses are going to want to use, such as automated abandoned cart notifications and shipment notifications.
Compared to the plugin above, it’s slightly more expensive (€79,99 per year). However it comes with more custom functionality, though still not the same level as with a tool like OneSignal or PushEngage.
Push Notifications for WordPress
The paid option also claims to work with native and hybrid apps, and has APIs to let you customize it further if you have developers on your team.
The downside is that it’s not specifically for WooCommerce, as with the two plugins above, so if you’re looking for a simple, zero-code WooCommerce notification plugin, you might want to go with one of those options instead.
How to Use WooCommerce Push Notifications the Right Way
When used strategically and thoughtfully, push notifications can turn one-time shoppers into repeat buyers and transform passive shoppers into engaged, loyal customers.
If you’re new to the push notification game, here are some tips to use them the right way and grow your WooCommerce store as a result.
Send the Right Amount of Notifications
Most ecommerce businesses don’t utilize push notifications enough. Either they don’t use them at all, or they do so very sparingly.
You want to regularly message your subscribers. Order updates and abandoned cart notifications are great, but you can also send notifications for new product drops, promotions, or for helpful guides and content.
That being said, don’t over-send. If your push notifications start to annoy your customers, they’re going to disable them and you’ll lose the ability to communicate with these customers. Find the “goldilocks” zone of just the right amount of notifications - not too many, not too few.
Optimize Your Copy for Push
Effective copywriting gets harder the less space you have to work with. And with push notifications, that’s not much at all.
You’ll need to get good at short, snappy copy that fits into a push notification and entices the user to click and learn more.
Personalization massively increases your chances of generating engagement from push notifications. This is true with all forms of marketing. But with push notifications, you generally have a lot of important information (subscriber’s name, purchase history, interests) that allow you to send hyper-personalized, custom notifications to each customer.
Analyze & Iterate Your Push Strategy
Your push notifications won’t be perfect straight away. It will take time to get your engagement and conversion rates to optimal levels.
For that, you’ll want to analyze your results by looking at key metrics for each message/campaign, and constantly tweak things (copy, timing, creative) to improve your push strategy and get better results.
Maximize Your Mobile Push Capability with an App
As mentioned already, if you want to reach as wide an audience as possible with push notifications, you need an app.
Though Android has over 70% of the mobile OS market share worldwide, iPhones are more popular in the US, holding 57% of the US market share.
That’s 57% of your mobile audience who are unreachable if you don’t have an app. Getting access to these users is reason enough to turn your WooCommerce site into an app, even before you get to all the other ways an app helps you grow your business.
“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 Apparel
Push notifications are the best communication channel available to ecommerce businesses. They offer an amazing way to engage new customers, re-engage past customers, and build deeper relationships that drive up your customer lifetime value.
It’s unwise to ignore push notifications when there are numerous options, as introduced in this post, to help with implementing push notifications for your WooCommerce store.
You can try most of these tools for free, so there’s no reason not to set this up and start learning the ropes.
Once you’ve started integrating push notifications into your marketing strategy, convert your site into an app and harness their full power for your store.