Online retail purchase is a pastime most people indulge in at some point of time or the other, albeit more often to browse through available products and prices than to make an actual purchase. While users are on the retailer site, they check out the various offers to see if they fit their own product requirements and budget. However, once they are done browsing and leave the site, it becomes the responsibility of the online retailer to get these users back to their website.
Reminding such users of their abandoned cart, or letting them know of any new product launches or price alerts that the site offers for a limited period is an effective solution. But how can this be done? As a marketing manager, it is natural that you remain perplexed as to which digital mode may be more successful in winning and retaining more customers. Emails? SMS?
All fine means of communication, but what if your message is too time-sensitive and needs an immediate call to action? Browser push notification(BPN) is the answer to this problem. In a market full of choices, BPN is an effectual and instant communication tool between the website and the customer.
Until a couple of years back, emails, social media channels, offline advertisements, and SMSs used to rank high among many marketing channels. Studies prove that BPNs result in 50 times higher conversion rates and 2017 might actually see them dominate other marketing channels. Read on to know why.
BPNs vs Emails – BPNs provide timely product updates to existing and potential customers, which is required especially for flash sales or limited-period offers. The website keeps a track of visitor data and their browsing history, which lets you send personalized notifications to users. Imagine yourself scanning through a range of Samsung smartphones on Amazon and leaving the website without making a purchase. As long as your browser is open, Amazon will make it a point to send you a BPN informing you of their best prices and inviting you to revisit their website.
In the case of email marketing, mass emails are sent to customers, which, despite having a wide reach, may not be read by the recipients on time to avail or even know of a particular offer or product. Per research, the average taken by an email recipient to check a mail is almost 6.5 hours; so, sharing any time-sensitive information through an email may not be prudent. Further, the lack of personalization on emails often results in the receiver treating the mail as a spam. Though a particular mail may talk about 70% discount offers, the reader may just leave it unread, assuming it to be one of the many promotional mass mailers from different websites.In addition, emails are sent to the user’s inbox irrespective of his/her interest in those mails.Although the mails come with an “Unsubscribe” option at the footer, seldom does an individual take the effort to go through the exit process.
On the other hand, BPNs definitely earn a brownie point as they respect the users’ decision and ask them if they want to receive product-related notifications from the website. In addition, from the perspective of coupon redemption, discount coupons are redeemed by only 1% of customers when given in email, against a whopping 30% redemption through BPNs.
BPNs vs social media marketing – Social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, do witness several customer engagements, and compared to emails, these have a better response rate, especially when it comes to time-bound offers. This is mainly because people spend substantial time on their social media pages. However, when it comes to actual action, most social media page visitors go through the products, gather information, but do not make a consequent purchase. Making the users reach a particular website’s social media page, and thereafter read the offers, is a Herculean task. They may be more interested in networking with their friends or posting images of their recent trip than checking out website pages.
On the contrary, BPNs are gentle pop-ups on your screen, where you can opt to receive future notifications. There is no way you can miss out on a BPN, whether you are using a laptop or are busy on your smartphone. This is because BPNs appear the same way on mobile web browsers as they appear on desktop browsers. The additional advantage they hold is that you need not be on the website page to get a notification. Just have your browser open and receive or block a notification as per your choice.
BPN vs SMS – Studies reveal that 90% of SMSs are checked by respective phone users within the first three minutes of receiving the message. This is indeed an impressive number, but think again! Most of these messages that are promptly checked are related to one-time passwords (OTPs), confidential bank account information, cab booking status, and online product delivery status. Do you really bother to open or have the time to go through each promotional SMS that you receive daily? The answer, in most cases, is a “No”. Also, if you would like one of the deals to be sent to you as an SMS and plan to act on it within the next week, searching that one message becomes extremely difficult.
Now switch to BPN. The open rate of BPNs also touches 90%, although not in the first three minutes. This mode of marketing is barely interfering as it doesn’t interrupt the ongoing activity of the user. In addition, the costs associated in sending push notifications are very business-friendly as every notification need not be paid for individually (SMSs are highly expensive!!!). To top it all, BPNs can be customized for the users who opt for them, in terms of when and how they want to receive the notifications.
BPNs vs display advertising – One of the effective marketing channels today is display advertising. This option is availed of only by companies who have a large marketing budget. They look for a site with high traffic and with a customer base, which is similar to their target market. After paying a sum to that company, they put up their banner on the other site. However, this kind of an investment is not a feasible option for a start-up. That’s where BPNs come in handy. One push message can be customized and sent to the entire user base.
A BPN is not only cost-effective, but it also ensures a low spam rate for the users since they are already aware of the brand and have themselves opted to receive alerts. Moreover, users are not bound to download apps to receive such notifications, which again makes BPN more customer-centric.
Although the above analysis makes it clear that BPN is the way forward for online marketing, there are obvious rules and practices to follow. The main thing to remember is to not go overboard with it as excess of nothing is good. So, while you analyze and comprehend your users’ habits and tastes, avoid bombarding them with BPNs. After all, blocking notifications is just a click away.
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