Ring in more holiday sales with mobile push notifications

By Becky Lawlor

| Retail

Each recent holiday season has come with increased mobile opportunities and successes, but this year’s big winner may be mobile push notifications.

Shoppers are downloading 20 percent more retail apps in 2017 than 2016, according to research by App Annie cited in Mobile Commerce News. Additionally, shoppers spend an estimated 12 million hours using leading smartphone commerce apps from Black Friday through Cyber Monday. The effect is widespread among consumers, with 85 percent saying they will “probably” or “definitely” use a mobile app for their holiday shopping this year, according to a YouAppi study cited in Retail Dive.

For retail enterprises, the growth in mobile app use presents a real opportunity to better engage shoppers and promote holiday deals with mobile push notifications. Retailers need to ensure that their notifications are valuable and timely to the customer, as too much of a good thing — or even worse, too much of the wrong thing — can turn shoppers away.

Make it personal

In today’s digital era, customers expect more than generic messaging. Push notifications should include special offers that directly reflect the customer’s preferences. To inform this outreach, retailers need to use customer relationship management (CRM) data and customer behavior data, including current and historical locations.

While deep personalization may still be out of reach for some retail enterprises, basic targeting by business rules or audience segmentation are a must in order to stay competitive and engage shoppers in a way that meets their expectations. Personalizing further, as your capabilities allow, will further engage customers, building loyalty and driving increased sales.

Be relevant

Mobile operates in real-time more than any other channel. With users keeping their mobile devices within reach at almost all times, customers have come to expect mobile push notifications to be highly relevant and time-sensitive in order to be worthy of the interruption to their day.

In-store push notifications that offer coupons to shoppers in the moment leverage the urgency of mobile devices. Of course, the more personalized the offer, the better. The YouAppi study also revealed that 60 percent of mobile users appreciate special offers on apps. Forty percent like coupons, 22 percent enjoy exclusive personalized offers and 16 percent prefer holiday-focused rewards or incentive programs.

Keep up the good work

Many retail enterprises end their special promotions and holiday offers once December passes, but this practice should be reconsidered. App downloads actually increase just after the holidays as people who received new phones as gifts download their favorite apps. According to Digital Commerce 360, the week after Christmas is an even busier time for app downloads than Black Friday or Cyber Monday. New Year’s and post-holiday clearance sales drive high shopping activity into early January, which means retailers should continue to use push notifications to keep shoppers engaged and drive sales.

The holiday season represents the biggest revenue opportunity of the year for retailers; every marketing tool needs to be on the table to help drive more sales. Given the recent growth in app usage, mobile push notifications may prove to be one of the most important tools retailers have at their disposal this year.

Written By

Becky Lawlor

Technology Writer

Becky Lawlor is a freelance technology writer specializing in mobility, cloud computing, unified communications and collaboration solutions. She develops and writes content that helps technology buyers understand and evaluate technology solutions, modernize their IT infrastructure…

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