Let's say you’re waiting for the subway (or bus, or Uber), and realize that you haven’t seen the the new Star Wars movie. And it won’t be running in theaters soon. You open a movie app on your phone and find a time for that evening, but you need to know if your girlfriend wants to go with you so you send her a quick text. Why? Because texting is quick, easy and you know you’ll get an immediate reaction.
And that’s the key. Consumers desire the same thing: an immediate reaction. So how do you reach your customers? Get them on where they look over 150 times per day, the smartphone display. Push notifications and text messages are nothing new as an advertising medium, but the real secret is in the design of these messages. Sending an email or mass text message to every potential customer is never as successful as targeting specific groups and creating custom content based on their preferences. Shopping applications can realize the benefits of this new channel if they find ways to cleverly exploit it. This is the new normal in 2016 and below, Shopgate founder Andrea Anderheggen weighs in on why merchants cannot avoid it:
“Push messages are here as the tool of the online merchant and they only work if merchants focus their attention on a customer’s situation and location. Timing, relevance, and emotion are the keywords that matter in terms of push strategy. If these are used properly, user engagement, brand awareness and sales can significantly increase. There are some impressive numbers to back this statement up: push messages tailored to the customer increased the opening rate by almost 300%, and in some sectors even by 500%. (Study Urban Airship).”
The Shopgate solution
"Because of this development, we will significantly expand the push opportunities for our online retailers - especially in terms of segmentation. Soon it will be possible to distinguish users, by gender, activity level, device type, etc. Interesting opportunities also arise as a result of limiting sending to a previously determined region. Here, mobile shopping and buying in an existing store can be connected in a skillful fashion. The art is in making the correct offer for the customer at the right time.
The prerequisite for segmentation comes down to data. Who are my customers? Which groups do I segment? Which push messages generated conversions, and which did not? This is the knowledge that in the future we will put at the reseller’s disposal.
In addition to targeted segmentation there will also be automated stretching. There are a number of typical shopping situations which suggest the need for automated personal messages like abandoned shopping carts, regularly purchased consumer goods, price adjustments or changes in the product availability. In these and many other cases, a smart push message can increase the likelihood of a sale."
Andrea’s Practice Tips
"The direct and almost intimate customer communication which comes with push messages in turn requires a metered approach in regards to the frequency in which a retailer is sending messages. Even though you may be sending relevant messages, they may be perceived as annoying if they come too often. Online merchants should always make sure that their customers receive no more than one or two push messages per week. There is one caveat to this rule- sending messages when communicating the delivery status of a product. Good service is one thing that will keep a customer coming back.
Regarding content, a merchant must consider the relevance and the respective customer groups they are trying to target. They need to ask the questions, “what does the customer need” and “what are their requirements” at the moment they decide to send a push notification. Take the example of an auto parts dealer in Boston. Say it suddenly starts snowing on a mid-October day, catching everyone by surprise. A quick push notification from the auto dealer to customers about winter tires is bound to attract some attention. This example shows the benefit that only push messages can offer: the ability for merchants to respond to incidents or news within minutes and use it for their benefit.”
"Recent data from Localytics show that users who have push notifications enabled on an app, use that app on average 14.7 times a month, while users who did not enable push notifications used it only 5.4 times - a difference of 171% without service. That statistic alone makes it worthwhile to use push notifications and personalize each individual message that you send.”