Best Practices for Push Notifications in Retail

Posted by Lauren Hand on Mar 11, 2015 10:20:00 AM
Lauren Hand

The value of push notifications for retailers is tremendous. With all the noise from email and paid ads in people’s digital experiences today, push notifications offer an easy, short and sweet way to interact with consumers and drive traffic directly to the app.


The greatest risk is that push notifications become a part of that noise and alienate app users. With a few best practices in a retailer’s back pocket, push notifications can become one of the most rewarding channels to build brand relationships.

As the millennial generation tackles privacy concerns, it is important to give consumers an easy way to opt-in and opt-out. One of the most common places this can happen is when a user installs an app for the first time. This can be very successful, with an average opt-in rate of 67%. Just as important is being transparent about how to opt-out. This can deter uninstalls and provide another way to build trust with consumers.

By nature, push notifications are concise and less formal than other digital channels. Give users a call-to-action, be a little more playful in language and direct them to the appropriate screen on open. For example, if the promotion is a sale: “25% off dresses online” is generic and does not convey any urgency to take action. Being more playful and specific, with something like “Pssst! 25% off dresses online today!” will give consumers a reason to click into the app right now. Even better is using user segments to target users. For example, a sports retailers that contacts anyone that has indicated an interest in football will likely benefit from targeting that segment for a sale on cleats than their entire user base. This can also deter uninstalls, by sending information that is relevant to users and not contributing to the digital noise.

Speaking of digital noise, don’t be annoying. Be strategic about the times that push notifications are going out. Retailers need to consider push notifications as part of all other messaging they are sending to consumers. One push notification at midnight before a flash sale can be more effective than multiple messages leading up to it. By being considerate, this gives retailers another opportunity to build trust and strengthen consumer relationships with a brand.  

Learn more about the Ten Must-Have Mobile App Features for generating in-store engagement.

Topics: Mobile Retail Apps, Retail Industry Research, Omnichannel Retail

About GPShopper

GPShopper is a mobile commerce platform and app developer for retailers, using technology to transform the total retail experience.  GPShopper is a Synchrony solution. 
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