How to Turbo-Charge Sales with Web Push Notifications

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On average, only 2.86 percent of ecommerce website visits convert into a purchase.

Ouch. Why is it so low?

Well, one reason is that a massive 69 percent of shopping carts are abandoned – that’s a lot of potential sales.

So how can store owners prevent so many sales from falling through the cracks?

One effective way is to use push notifications – don’t be fooled, these little messages have enormous power.

In fact, for notifications sent to less than 5,000 subscribers, the average click-through rate (CTR) is a whopping 10.85 percent. This is huge when you consider that the average click-through rate for emails is 2-4 percent.

But what exactly are push notifications and how can you use them to grow your business?

In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know to get started with push notifications today.

What Are Push Notifications?

Push notifications are pop-up messages delivered to a user’s computer or mobile device.

First, a business must gain a user’s permission to send them push notifications. The business can then send the subscriber pop-up messages at any time.

Cool, right?

To clarify, here’s an example showing what push notifications typically look like on computers and mobile devices:

Push Notifications on Mobile and Desktop

The Difference Between App and Web Push Notifications

Broadly speaking, push notifications fall into one of two camps.

App push notifications are sent from apps installed on users’ devices. Obviously, this means users must first download and install an app before granting permission to receive push notifications.

Then there are web push notifications.

Also known as “browser push notifications,” these messages are sent to subscribers from web browsers. They can be sent to both computers and mobile devices.

Internet Browsers

In this article, we’re going to focus on web push notifications.


Simply, because you don’t need to develop an app to get started. So every online business can start using web push notifications to boost their sales today.

Web push notifications are also easy to set up.

You just need to install web push code on your website – or better yet, use a Shopify app or WordPress plugin.

Push Notification Shopify Apps

3 Types of Push Notification

Here is a quick summary of three main types of push notifications and what they’re typically used for:

1. Trigger-Based Push Notifications

This type of push notification is sent based on a specific action that users perform on your site, such as visiting a certain page or abandoning their cart.

2. Alert-Based Push Notifications

These notifications are used whenever you’d like to contact your subscribers to notify them of something in particular, such as an exclusive offer or flash sale.

3. Segment-Based Push Notifications

Many web push notification services allow you to segment your subscribers by criteria such as age, gender, location, and interests. That way, you can send personalized web push notifications to specific groups of subscribers.

For example, if you sell clothes, you might want to send push notifications about your new line of bikinis to your female subscribers only.

5 Reasons to Start Using Web Push Notifications Today

Push notifications can help you to grow your business in many ways. Here are five of them:

1. Reach Website Visitors When They’re Not on Your Site

Once you’ve gained permission from a user to send them push notifications, you can message them at any time – even when they’re not on your website.

The only caveat is that subscribers must be online and have their browsers running on their device.

In other words, web push notifications provide you with a way to develop and maintain customer relationships with website visitors after they leave your website.

2. Display Your Marketing Messages Where They’ll Be Seen

It can be extremely difficult to get a website visitor to give you their email address or to follow you on social media.

And even when you do manage it, it can still be difficult to get them to notice your content.

The average person is bombarded with emails. Plus, you have to get past social media platform algorithms and even then, you’re competing with all of the other accounts that a person follows.

On the other hand, it’s hard to miss web push notifications.

Web Push Notification

Many people spend their days glued to their smartphones or computers. And push notifications pop-up on a subscriber’s screens, regardless of what they’re using their device for.

Plus, many users also have notification sounds enabled.

All in all, web push notifications pretty much guarantee you an audience.

3. Get Your Foot in the Door with Potential Customers

Many casual website visitors will be reluctant to give you their email address straight out of the gate.

But to many people, web push notifications aren’t such a big commitment.

When prompted, they only have to click once to subscribe. This makes it far easier to secure an ongoing channel of communication that you can use to nurture potential customers.

4. Improve Your Website Conversion Rates

First things first: What is a conversion rate?

The conversion rate is the number of sales divided by the number of website visitors, and then multiplied by 100 to get a percentage.

Conversion Rate Explained

Now, remember how only 2.86 percent of ecommerce website visits convert into a purchase?

Well, web notifications are a powerful way to improve this.

Specifically, you can use web push notifications to provide highly targeted and personalized offers and incentives.

For example, as soon as subscribers add something to their cart, you could send a web push notification that offers free shipping if they checkout within a limited time-frame.

5. Take Advantage of a Quick and Inexpensive Marketing Channel

Web push notifications are inexpensive compared to many marketing channels, such as Facebook advertising. In fact, many push notification services offer free plans to get started. For this reason, web push notifications can deliver a high return on investment (ROI).

Plus, web push notifications allow you to remarket to existing customers and website visitors.

This is awesome.

Why? Because repeat customers spend 67 percent more than new customers, and an increase in customer retention can dramatically improve company profits.

Plus, once you have web push notifications up and running on your website, they require little maintenance.

These messages are short and sweet, so creating and managing them doesn’t take too long compared to other forms of marketing, such as content marketing.

4 Push Notification Examples Every Ecommerce Store Should Steal

There are countless ways that you can use push notifications to develop customer relationships and increase sales.

Here are four push notification examples to start using straight away.

1. Abandoned Cart Notifications

Remember, a whopping 69 percent of ecommerce shopping carts are abandoned. This push notification will help you to salvage some of those sales.

E.g.: “Oops! You left items in your cart. Click here to finish checking out!”

Abandoned Cart Push Notification2. Welcome Push Notifications

When a new visitor comes to your website, make the first move to deepen their relationship with your brand.

E.g.: “Our Welcome Gift to You – 15% OFF! Click here to redeem your discount.”   

Welcome Push Notification3. Recommendation Push Notifications

Deliver personalized recommendations based on visitor behavior to make your messages more relevant and compelling to visitors.

E.g.: “Summer is coming – are you ready? Check out these 5 stunning swimsuits!”

Recommendation Push Notification

4. Upsell and Cross-Sell Push Notifications

In short, an example of upselling is “Would you like to supersize your order?” and an example of cross-selling is “Would you like fries with that?”

Upselling and cross-selling are highly effective ways to boost sales.

E.g.: “Spend $40 and get FREE shipping! Click here to keep shopping.”

Upsell Push Notification

5 Best Practices When Using Web Push Notifications

If you want to use web push notifications effectively, it pays to follow some tried and tested best practices. Here are five to bear in mind.

1. Timing is Everything

Push notifications are a permission-based marketing channel. This means that users must opt-in before you can send them push notifications.

When a visitors lands on your website, you can set up a notification to prompt them to opt in. Here’s an example from Death Wish Coffee in the Google Chrome browser:

Web Push Notification Requesting Permission

Some brands decide to wait until a user has visited a set number of pages on their site before displaying the prompt. Others, like Death Wish Coffee, display the opt-in prompt as soon as you land on their site.

Ultimately, it’s best to test out what works best for your brand.

However, according to a study by Push Crew, most industries prefer to send push notifications between 2 pm to 7 pm on weekdays. Their research also suggests that Wednesday is the best day to send a Push Notification if you want a higher click rate.

Thankfully, it’s relatively easy to decide on timings for trigger-based push notifications.

For example, take abandoned cart notifications. If they’re sent within 30 minutes, they’re far more likely to be effective than if they’re sent five days later when the shopper might have completely forgotten about the near-purchase.

2. Write Snappy and Compelling Calls to Action

Web push notifications and call to actions go hand-in-hand.

Remember, the idea is to get subscribers to take some sort of action, such as making a purchase or signing up to your mailing list.

Obviously, web push notifications don’t provide a lot of space. So your call to actions must be short, simple, and compelling.

For example, you won’t have space to write:

Looking for Spring jackets? Shop our new Spring line of stylish Menswear and receive 15% OFF your entire order if you complete your purchase within the next 24 hours!”

Instead, you’ll need to keep it snappy:

“24-hr Flash Sale! 15% OFF Spring Menswear Today Only!”

Push Notification Calls to Action

In summary, cut the filler and get to the point.

3. Create Urgency

If people don’t click on your push notification as soon as they see it, it’s unlikely they’ll come back to it later. So you need to give them a reason to click on it now.

One of the best ways to do this is to create urgency with a time-sensitive offer.

For example, which do you find more compelling? “15% OFF Spring Menswear!” or “15% OFF Spring Menswear today only!”

In other words, create FOMO (fear of missing out).

FOMO is closely related to a psychological phenomenon called “loss aversion.” According to psychologist and Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman, we typically fear loss twice as much as we enjoy success.

Loss Aversion Explained

To experience this firsthand, think about how it feels to lose $10 compared to how it feels to win $10. Typically, a prospective loss is always far more compelling than a prospective gain.

Use this persuasion technique when you create your web push notifications.

4. Get Personal

Segment-based push notifications allow you to personalize your messages to increase their effectiveness.

Subscribers appreciate it, too.

In fact, Push Crew found that 39.8 percent of subscribers wanted more relevant and personalized notifications.

So when you create your abandoned cart push notification, mention the exact items that the visitor left in their cart. And if a customer has visited pages on your website showing shoes, set up a push notification providing a special shoe discount.

5. Don’t Overdo It

People are bombarded with messages, emails, texts, phone calls, and other notifications all day every day.

So although you want to capture their attention, you don’t want to become an annoyance. Sending push notifications to your subscribers multiple times a day is a great way to convince them to opt-out.

You need to keep it reasonable.

Think about it like texting an old friend you haven’t seen in a while. You can’t just text them randomly throughout the week. It helps to have a specific reason why you’re getting in touch.

So set up push notifications for special events, offers, or triggers.

These can include a new product line, a special sale, or trigger-based notifications like abandoned carts.

On the other hand, don’t fall off the map entirely.

Start by sending a push notification once or twice a week. Carefully monitor your Google analytics and work to nurture customer relationships over time.

Also, make sure to mix things up and keep your notifications fresh.


Push notifications are a fantastic marketing opportunity.

These little messages are relatively inexpensive and simple to use. Plus, they can cut through the noise to capture attention and improve your conversion rates.

What’s more, you don’t need to build an app to get in on the action – any business can start using web push notifications today.

Start by creating a few basic web push notifications to welcome new visitors, recover abandoned carts, provide personalized recommendations, upsell, and cross-sell.

Try to create urgency with time-sensitive offers and make sure you don’t bombard subscribers with too many notifications.

Bottom line, your notifications should always provide value to subscribers.

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