[Push notifications] What they are and how to use them to recover abandoned carts for your e-commerce shop

There’s nothing worse for an e-commerce than an abandoned cart.
The client keeps adding items to the cart but when it comes down to it, they leave without making the purchase. One less sale.
Did you know there was a solution for that?
Push notifications send your visitors a message and give them a little nudge so they finish that purchase they didn’t quite complete.
In today’s article, we’ll tell you what exactly these notifications are and show you how to design them so your clients go back to their abandoned carts and finish the purchase.
Let’s get to it.

What push notifications are and why they’re useful for e-commerce

We’ve already told you about the two main strategies to communicate with your customers:

  • Pull Marketing: You offer high-quality content tailored to your ideal client’s needs and interests in order to get them to willingly visit your shop. 
  • Push Marketing: You “push” your products towards the client even if they’re not looking for them. Examples of this are ads on social media, banners on your own website or others’, and remarketing. 

As you may have guessed by the name, these notifications fall into the push marketing strategy.
But let’s start off with a definition:

Push notifications are instant messages sent to users who have allowed website notifications or who have an app installed on their phone.

Therefore, you can send push notifications to a user’s cellphone or computer even if he or she isn’t visiting your online shop at that moment.
Right, so what’s the point?

The point is that it allows you to get in touch with your clients directly so they’re aware of your offers and promotions. It also lets you ask them why they’ve abandoned the cart (and give them a reason to finish the purchase).

Now that you know what they are and what they’re for, let’s take a look at the advantages of using push notifications for your e-commerce shop.

Advantages of using push notifications for your online shop

Push notifications are the perfect tool to increase e-commerce sales and foster client loyalty since they allow you to establish a personal communication channel in a quick, simple, and inexpensive way.
Let’s dig deeper into the advantages.

✅ 1. They increase qualified traffic to your e-commerce

According to some studies, push notifications’ open rate is 50% higher than email marketing campaigns because they facilitate interaction with users.

  • The notification is sent even if the user isn’t visiting your e-commerce at that particular moment.
  • Clients don’t need to open their email app to see the content – they just need to click on the link you’ve sent them.
  • You can categorize your subscribers to send them only those notifications they may find interesting and click-worthy.

The simpler you make it for your clients, the more likely they are to make a purchase in your online shop.

✅ 2. One visit to your e-commerce is enough

You can start sending notifications as long as the client has visited your website once (even if they haven’t purchased anything yet) and has allowed notifications.
I bet you’ve come across a message like this one by Light in the Box when visiting an e-commerce site:

When users click “allow”, they’re giving you permission to send them push notifications.
They automatically become subscribers with one simple click:

  • Without having to fill out anything (which takes time).
  • Without giving any personal details (which may be suspicious).

In other words, you avoid two of the main obstacles to users becoming subscribers.

✅ 3. It’s a simple low-cost tool

Implementing a notification system is much cheaper than creating an app to send notifications.
Here’s a tip: We recommend hiring a professional to activate push notifications on your website.
But if you’d rather go the DIY route, some browsers include tutorials to learn how to activate them step by step, like this one by Chrome and this other one by Mozilla Firefox.
You can also try some online tools to configure push notifications in your e-commerce. We recommend:

  • VWO Engage: The trial version allows you to have up to 2,000 subscribers.
  • PushUp Notifications: Specific to WordPress, it also has a trial version.
  • 360NRS: It lets you customize the look of your notifications.

And here’s a trick: You can give one of the trial versions a shot and optimize it once you’ve seen that it works to make sure you get better results.

The biggest drawback of push notifications (and how to avoid it)

We’ve already explained the perks of push notifications, but we shouldn’t ignore their main drawback:

You need the user’s permission to send them.

That is, you’re 100% dependent on the user’s decision.
According to one study, 60% of users refuse to receive push notifications.
But worry not – this also has a positive side because:

  • 40% DO agree to receive notifications, which is a significant number of people.
  • You can increase this figure by optimizing the message in your notifications.

We’ll elaborate on this second point because it’s rather essential.

✅ How to get users to accept your e-commerce’s push notifications.

We gave you the example of Light in The Box earlier.
Its pop-up message is the most basic one possible and it’s the one used by most websites using push notifications actively.
What can you do so your “request” has a higher acceptance? Stand out from the rest:
Tailor your message to the needs and wishes of your buyer persona.
For example, try “Do you want to get a 5% discount on your next purchase?” instead of “www.myonlineshop.com wants to show you notifications”.
You’ll see that the acceptance rate shoots up, directing traffic to your e-commerce (and, in turn, increasing sales).
Mind you: There’s usually a limit of about 100 characters, so don’t get carried away because the point of push notifications is to give a clear and direct message.
It’ll work even better if, on top of modifying the text, you also change the look of the notification.
Visually different notifications are usually more appealing than the default “model” and, therefore, less likely to be ignored by customers.

How to design push notifications to recover abandoned carts (with examples)

Abandoned carts are a big problem for every e-commerce. According to a study by E-commerce Nation, 3 out of 4 users leave the purchase process unfinished.
You may already be sending emails to recover abandoned carts, so you may also be wondering if it’s worth doing this too.
Well, it is.

An email doesn’t have the same immediate effect as a push notification.

Imagine you own an e-commerce devoted to home decorations.

  • You get a visitor searching for paintings for his living room.
  • After checking some on your site, they add one to their cart.
  • Then, they search for the same painting elsewhere to compare prices and shipping terms.
  • It’s not urgent, so they have no need to “remember you”.
  • After visiting different websites, they end up forgetting about you.
  • But after a few minutes, they receive a notification on their desktop reminding them about the painting and offering them a discount for the next 24 hours.

They get the message right away and can immediately go back to your e-commerce to finish the order.
On the other hand, they only would have seen the abandoned cart recovery email if they happened to check their email.
Now can you see the big advantage to push notifications?
As long as that’s clear to you, let’s see how we can design the perfect push notification to recover carts and finalize those purchases.

✅ Keys to designing the perfect push notification

Consider all these factors when designing your notifications:

1. Be concise

You have to build a clear value proposition for your customers to understand it straightaway.

2. And be brief

Don’t forget about the character limit – the shorter, the better. 
que es una notificacion push

3. Add a CTA

Make it easy for your customers to finish the purchase by adding a direct link to the payment page.

4. Transmit a sense of urgency

Time and stock-bound offers trigger faster responses than those without a deadline.

5. Make an irresistible offer

Hook your clients’ attention to make them finish the purchase right then and there.

6. Trigger emotions

They’re they key to impulse buying.

7. Personalize your message

The more engagement you generate with your users, the more likely they’ll become clients.

8. Remind them about “abandoned” items

If you can add a picture, it’ll be even more effective (as in the examples we’ve shown you).

9. Figure out the perfect time

The last step to create the perfect notification is to figure out the perfect time to send the notification once a user has abandoned their cart.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer, so you should try different times until you figure out which one works best with your shop.
We don’t recommend sending the user a message right after they’ve abandoned the cart – but don’t wait too long either since they may forget about the purchase altogether

What’s stopping you from trying push notifications in your e-commerce shop?

Now you know the perks of push notifications and how useful they are for recovering abandoned carts and increasing sales.
Dig in and start using this simple and effective tool and you’ll soon see your abandoned carts rate decrease.