Best Practices for Improving Customer Engagement with Web Push Notifications

By: Charles Costa | August 13, 2018 | Push Notifications

Push notifications. If you’re like most, you probably get dozens of them each day, especially if you have marketplace apps on your phone. Marketplaces use them a lot because they’re an effective way to catch the attention of both buyers and sellers alike.

While mobile push notifications are widespread, many marketplaces are actually leaving money on the table by neglecting another type of notification—web push.

Web push notifications are the desktop equivalent of mobile push notifications. Both make it possible to keep buyers and sellers informed about marketplace activities. For example, platform operators can alert sellers when there’s increased interest in relevant product categories. Similarly, buyers can be alerted to last-minute deals on goods and services that are of interest to them.

Before going on, it’s important to note the differences between “web notifications” and “web push notifications.” From a technical standpoint, web notifications require the user’s browser to be open for them to work. On the other hand, web push notifications function even when the browser is closed. The main benefit of web push notifications is that they eliminate the need for marketplace developers to develop applications for different operating systems.

Marketplace operators also benefit from having assured message delivery. Unlike email, web push notifications don’t risk ending up in the spam folder, they can’t be blocked by ad-blockers, and the notifications work on desktop and mobile devices.

Although push notifications are a great way to capture user attention, it’s easy to go overboard and frustrate your buyers and sellers with too many pings. In order to help you get the most from web push notifications, the Kahuna team has put together this list of best practices so that you can effectively engage with your buyers and sellers without frustrating them.

1. Ask permission, the right way

One of the biggest mistakes marketplace operators make when using web push notifications is blindly asking buyers and sellers to opt in without any context. For example, they’ll send opt-in requests regardless of whether or not a user has made a purchase.

Rather than blindly pushing requests to buyers and sellers, it’s better to place a call-to-action button on your platform that triggers a permission request box upon a click. From there, you can use this dialogue box to inform users about the value of accepting notifications.

For example, you can offer to provide sellers with real-time alerts about when demand for their products are at peak levels. Buyers can benefit from receiving product recommendations that are tailored to their browsing and purchase history.

As soon as someone subscribes to your push notifications, it’s important to send a welcome message immediately after an opt-in. This shows the buyer/seller what to expect when an alert is sent. It also has the added benefit of facilitating their onboarding.

2. Time messages properly

As mentioned earlier, it’s essential to intelligently time your messages to minimize buyer/seller frustration and confusion. Buyers and sellers want to be treated as the individuals they are. Some marketplace users prefer receiving notifications in the early morning, while others prefer midday alerts. Regardless of the case, it’s up to the marketplace operator to recognize those preferences and time communications accordingly.

Modern customer engagement platforms enable marketplace operators to develop personalized profiles of their buyers and sellers, enabling them to send messages when the user is most likely to engage with them. By leveraging artificial intelligence marketing software, these preferences can be updated in real time, so that the platform operator minimizes missed opportunities to drive revenue.

With all that in mind, it goes without saying that you want to ensure that web push notifications aren’t being sent to users who already have mobile push notifications enabled. This will result in duplicate notifications, which leads to frustrated users and increased uninstall rates.

3. Leverage cross channel communications

Although web push notifications are powerful in and of themselves, they’re just one way to engage with buyers and sellers. As consumers often switch between desktop and mobile devices to complete the same task, marketplace operators need to develop individual profiles of each user. This requires marketplace operators to have an understanding of cross-channel communications and how it ties into their business.

Failing to collect information across different channels puts you at risk of sending an unwanted or irrelevant message to a buyer or seller. In today’s competitive landscape, one improperly timed or irrelevant message can cause a buyer/seller to abandon your platform and move on to the competition. By developing comprehensive profiles on your buyers and sellers, you’ll improve the quality of every customer engagement and retain more users as a result.
To learn more about how the marketplace business model can help improve your profitability, check out The Kahuna Blog. Simply click the button below!

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Author: Charles Costa

Charles Costa is a content marketing manager who specializes in helping companies grow, one word at a time. Prior to Kahuna, Charles worked with brands such as Airbnb, Iron Mountain, and IBM on their content marketing efforts.

Charles' work has been featured in the Huffington Post, and he also was a contributor to the developer publication, Sitepoint.

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