October 22, 2018
Kahuna Presents Video Series – Sharetribe – Empowering Anyone to Build a Marketplace
Push notifications. If you’re like most mobile users, you’ve probably gotten dozens of them today alone. They’re popular with mobile app developers and marketplace operators for a variety of reasons, namely versatility and their ability to capture user attention. As marketplaces and mobile app developers embrace mobile push, however, users are being bombarded with messages, often leading them to disable notifications all together.
When it comes to leveraging push notifications within your marketplace, there’s a fine line between adding value and over messaging your users. Without the right information, finding the right balance is extremely difficult. In fact, keeping your users from disabling your notifications all together is one of the biggest challenges you can face as a marketer.
There’s an art to sending the perfect push notification. More than writing the text and choosing images, you also need to consider timing and the medium the message is going through.
Here at Kahuna, we’ve processed hundreds of billions of push requests from mobile apps and marketplaces alike. The following best practices are developed based on strategies perfected by our Customer Success team.
When users first try your mobile application, they might browse or check around, but not sign up or make a purchase. You might think that the users aren’t interested in your app, but that’s not always true. The reason for user drop-off could be due to distractions beyond your control, or maybe the download timing was off. Regardless of the reason, user drop off adds to the churn of your marketplace.
Through our experience working with marketplaces such as Carousell, Mudah, Restorando, and FastJobs, we’ve found that one of the most common mistakes of marketplace operators is sending push notifications after a uniform period of time regardless of the use case.
For example, platform operators might send push notifications to new buyers/sellers after 24 hours, even if it takes the consumer 3 days or so to evaluate products and make a purchasing decision. In other cases, the opposite is true—a platform operator needs to send notifications after short periods of time, but they’re hesitant to do so because they’re afraid of frustrating their users.
When you’re developing your onboarding flow, you need to identify an end goal and the steps it will take to reach it. For example, are you trying to get a user to list an item on your marketplace, are you trying to drive a purchase, or are you trying to build brand awareness? Each of these goals is going to have a significantly different path from the others which is why you need to put thought into your campaign planning before configuring push notifications.
As every mobile user is different, you shouldn’t try setting push notification timing manually. There are just too many variables. Instead, you should use an artificial intelligence-based engagement solution to configure message timing at a one-to-one level. Doing so enables you to ensure messages are sent when users are most likely to engage with them.
Once buyers/sellers are successfully onboarded and they make a purchase or have a successful transaction, it’s important to continue the relationship-building process. AI-based engagement platforms enable marketplace operators to track buyer/seller behavior in real-time and then send mobile push notifications based on consumer actions.
For example, a platform operator can alert buyers to sales on products they might find valuable, based on their purchase and browsing history. On the other hand, sellers can be sent alerts when items in their preferred categories are in high demand.
Going back to the previously mentioned tips about onboarding users, those still apply to this stage of the purchasing process. Successful marketplace transactions often have multiple steps—often involving buyer/seller communication—which is why it’s important to identify key phases and then create push notifications with content tailored to those instances.
By properly using mobile push notifications, marketplace operators are able to show that they fully understand the needs of their buyers/sellers. This understanding is a significant competitive advantage, even though it doesn’t require users to enhance the product itself. In essence, your app as a whole might have similar functionality to the competition, but push notifications are a low-hanging fruit to delivering an exceptional experience.
Even when you have high levels of engagement within your marketplace, you’ll always have a segment of buyers/sellers who go dormant. Maybe they went to a competing marketplace, or perhaps they simply got sidetracked and forgot about your platform. Regardless of the reason, you’ll have higher levels of churn which means you’re leaving money on the table.
Many marketplace operators try reducing churn by re-engaging with their buyers/sellers though sending out coupons and promo codes, but that’s only a short-term solution to driving transactions. Going back to engagement platforms, you can remind buyers/sellers about the relationship they have with your marketplace, while also showcasing new functionality added since they went dormant.
Rather than focusing on the actions a user took, you could instead send messages based on actions the user didn’t take. For example, a seller might not have listed a product/service during peak periods of demand. Buyers on the other hand might have missed out on exclusive offerings that they wouldn’t find anywhere else.
Once you recapture buyer/seller attention, push could then be used as a channel for buyers/sellers to spread the word, and encourage word of mouth growth. This reduces acquisition spend and contributes to viral growth.
Push notifications are almost like a double-edged sword. When used properly, they add value to the user experience, and you’ll be able to significantly reduce churn. Used improperly, you’ll end up having your messages blocked altogether. Finding the balance between the two isn’t something you can do on your own. This is where artificial intelligence-powered engagement platforms come into play.
When you choose the right engagement platform for your business, you won’t have to constantly ask yourself “Are my messages timed correctly?” You’ll also have the peace of mind that you’re tailoring content at a one-to-one level, therefore enhancing the user experience and improving overall satisfaction.
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