Getting Started with Web Push Notifications on Shopify

A definitive guide to using web push notifications for Shopify stores

The number of Shopify stores are increasing by the day. The one challenge everyone faces – big or small, is communicating with online shoppers frequently and keeping them engaged to drive more sales. In this guide, we’re talking about what web push notifications are and how your Shopify store can make the most of them.

What are web push notifications?

Web push notifications are push messages that can be sent to an internet user via desktop web and mobile web. These are messages slide in at the top or bottom right-hand corner on a desktop screen, depending on the operating system they are being viewed on, and on mobile devices identical to a push notification that is delivered by apps.

Web push messages are delivered to a user’s desktop or mobile screen, irrespective of whether or not they are on your website.

Learn more about web push notifications for Shopify stores, here.

Here’s how they typically appear to a desktop user:

desktop web push notifications

And here’s how you would see web push notifications on mobile devices:

mobile web push notifications

Why does your Shopify store need web push notifications?

1. Makes it easier for shoppers to opt-in

Online shoppers subscribe to push notifications and emails to get access to ongoing deals, special discounts, keep track of their orders and more. But when it comes to subscribing to newsletters, a shopper is expected to first share their contact information, allow the store to send notifications by confirming their email and then start receiving the promotions.

With web push notifications, it only takes one click for them to optin to receive alerts from the Shopify store.

2. Reach your web visitors in real-time

Unlike other communication tools like social media and emails, web push notifications can reach your audience even when they’re not on your website. They help engage them instantly with the real-time updates, no matter where they are and what device they are on.

Since the subscriber doesn’t need to open a notification to read the message, you know for sure that it is being consumed by the subscriber. Unlike how you need to wait for a subscriber to open an email newsletter to get to the message you want to promote.

3. Easier and faster subscriber growth

Not every online shopper on your Shopify store intends on making a purchase on their first visit. But that doesn’t mean you can’t turn these one-time visitors into shoppers.

Since web push notifications don’t require a shopper to share their email address with you and offer a one-click opt-in functionality on both desktop web and mobile web, the number of people willing to subscribe to them are comparatively higher.

one click optin web push notifications

Given the recent data breaches across social media and email, push notifications have become an attractive option to your visitors, as it allows them to get updates from your store without needing to divulge any personal details.

Getting started with web push notifications couldn’t get easier. Let’s create your first campaign together!

4. Launching web push campaigns is easier

Web push notifications are short and sweet. They focus on capturing the subscriber’s attention and conveying the message in seconds. But when it comes to channels like emails and social media, you need to think through multiple things – take for instance the subject lines or the captions that need to go along with the promotion.

TLDR; web push notifications help you get the message across faster.

5. Accelerated conversion actions

Web push notifications are delivered in real-time and at a lightning fast speed. With targeted and personalized web push messages using segmentation, you can accelerate the conversion actions you need a subscriber to complete. For instance, offering a special discount to a subscriber who hasn’t made a purchase yet is bound to engage them and drive them towards conversion.

6. Hard to miss

We tend to spend the majority of our time on laptops or on mobile devices. Irrespective of where the push notifications are coming from, websites or chat apps like Skype and Slack, they are just hard to miss and tend to instantly capture our attention. The same holds true for Shopify web push notifications – you only need to focus on crafting really good messages.

7. Getting started is easier

To be able to promote your Shopify store products on social media, you need to set up various accounts, populate the pages, and then set up ads to draw in attention. Emails take a similar amount of time and effort.

But getting started with web push notifications is simpler. All you need to do is sign up on a web push notifications app, install code onto your site, and you’re ready to go.

In fact, with Shopify apps like PushOwl, you don’t even need to get into coding. You just have to install the app and the setup is automatically done. So all that you have to take care of, is uploading your logo and enabling the automations you want to use. See it for yourself!

The anatomy of high-converting web push notifications

anatomy of web push notifications

Read more

Web push notifications typically include the following elements:

  • Browser icon: This is displayed based on which browser the subscriber is making use of.
  • Logo/icon: This is where brands add their logo to make it easier for their subscribers to recognize their web push messages.
  • Hero image: This is the element that makes your web push notification look interesting. Add rich media like product images of what you intend on promoting – make them as engaging as possible!
  • Notification title: This is the text that will make or break the success of your campaign. You need to capture the subscriber’s attention in less than 5 words here!
  • Notification content: This is where you tell them a little more about what you’re offering in the web push notification.
  • Action button: Each web push notification should lead to an end goal. Your action button should clearly define the next steps that you expect the subscriber to take on your Shopify store.

How are web push notifications different from app push notifications?

As online shopping goes mobile, it has become imperative for brands to find means to enable their shoppers to purchase on-the-go from their Shopify stores, and also stay in touch with them with in-the-moment communications. That’s where push notifications come in.

Unlike app push notifications, web push notifications don’t need your Shopify store to create an app. You simply need a website with a script installed, and you’re all set to reach out to online shoppers on the desktop and mobile devices.

Simply put, you’re leveraging the power of push notifications without having to create an app for your Shopify store.

Web push notifications best practices

1. Make opting in to web push notifications simpler

The first step to sending web push notifications is having a list of subscribers. The default way to subscribe to web push notifications is through the browser prompt. However, due to recent browser changes, browser prompts are less likely to be shown to website visitors.

Ensure you are maximising your opportunity to turn store visitors into subscribers by setting up a custom opt-in. A custom opt-in shows up at the top of your webpage a few seconds after the visitor lands on your store. You can customise the copy within your opt-in, letting visitors know what they can gain from subscribing.

Read these 11 tips on how you can increase web push subscribers.

2. Segment and personalize web push messages

Dig deeper into your customer personas, site analytics, and subscriber data. Divide your base into defined groups based on their behavior, device type or anonymity. This helps you craft web push messages that are tailored to engage that specific group of subscribers and are more likely to drive them to conversion.

For instance, you can segment your subscribers into the following:

  • All subscribers – This is a group that consists of all your subscribers and can be used to send web push notifications that are common to all. For instance, an end of season sale on the entire store!
  • Anonymous subscribers – There are some subscribers who haven’t made a purchase from your store yet, and you don’t have details of. You can target this anonymous group with web push notifications that nudge actions like wishlisting their favorite products.
  • Android subscribers – This is a group of subscribers that opted in from Android mobile devices.
  • Windows subscribers – Subscribers that opted in from devices using the Windows OS get segmented together.
  • Mac subscribers – This is the group of subscribers that opted in from devices using the Mac OS.
  • New subscribers – Subscribers who have opted in, in the last 30 days, are segmented into ‘new subscribers’. They could be targeted with web push messages that offer a first-time purchase offer.
  • Identified subscribers – Subscribers who have made a purchase from your store, have already shared their personal details with you. Use this data to create push notification campaigns to keep this identified segment engaged.

3. Craft a compelling message

The idea of using web push notifications as a communication channel is to be able to grab the subscriber’s attention and drive them towards the desired conversion almost instantly. This is why how you craft the message is important.

  • Notification title – Keep it crisp, simple and intriguing at the same time. But make sure the message screams an urgency to be checked out. Use emojis to stand out!
  • Notification message – This is where you get to convey your message in detail. Explain the value you’re offering in the title, in brief here. Just make sure the text is not getting truncated.
  • Logo/icon – Always use an icon or your brand’s logo while sending web push notifications. It improves brand stickiness.
  • Hero image – Images make push notifications more appealing. Be it a specific product you’re promoting, or one that depicts what you’re offering, they could get you higher click-throughs!
  • Call to action – Once the subscriber has read your notification, what is the very next thing you expect them to do? Your call to action needs to clearly define the next steps – it could be a simple ‘buy now’ or ‘check out this collection’, based on who your push message.

4. Aim for an ideal length

Browser updates on the desktop and mobile devices affect your web push notifications – especially the length of your message. More often than not, Shopify stores end up sending notifications that truncated and are not able to convey the value they have to offer.

push notification best practices length 2019

Here’s the 2019 update that will help you craft web push notifications that never get cut short! (Read the complete guide here)

5. Perfect your brand voice

Every brand has a distinct personality and a voice on the digital landscape. Then why send web push notifications that are robotic?

Using the same tone of voice as your website, social media channels and other places where your target market interacts with you, in your web push notifications, improves brand recognition.

For instance, Lush is known for its empathetic and reassuring tone of voice. They make it a point to sound kind, nurturing and compassionate on all channels. Be it their website or their Instagram posts, you’ll never see them wavering.

push notifications voice 1.1

The brand uses the same tone in their web push notifications as well. This makes it easy for their subscribers to recall what the brand has to offer and why they opted in to receive web push messages from them.

push notifications voice 1

But like we said before, every brand has a different tone of voice and you need to identify which one is yours. This is why we created a comprehensive guide on the tones of voice that most brands follow and how you can implement them in your web push notifications – Read it here.

6. Get the timing right

You chose the right push type. You got the message right and have something really valuable to offer to your mobile shoppers. But if you send this message at the wrong time, it has all been a wasted effort so far.

One of the web push notifications best practices recommended by top-grossing Shopify stores and experts is to keep the timing in mind always. For instance, you don’t want to be sending out an important alert when they’re too busy to check what that is or asleep. And then the shopper’s agitation on having missed the important message just because you didn’t send it at the right time, only gets you more negative points.

The best time to send a notification is actually when a subscriber is more likely to engage with it. If they’re more active in the morning, they should be receiving your messages then. If they tend to interact more towards the evening, your campaigns should reach them around the same time.

Sounds overwhelming or next to impossible?  

With Smart Delivery, you can easily optimize the send time for your push notifications campaigns for each subscriber individually. (Read more about Smart Delivery)

7. Test the frequency

Just like the timing, there is no ideal frequency that works of Shopify push notifications that will get your store more sales. It entirely depends on what campaign you’re running and which target market you’re addressing.

For instance, if you’re promoting a time-sensitive offer, it is important for you to send across more than one web push notification in a day to nudge the subscriber to act on it.

But if you’re promoting a product launch that is lined up for two weeks from now, sending a web push notification a couple of times a week is more than enough. To find the best frequency for your online store, check out our guide.

8. Leverage automation

Keep your subscribers and customers engaged right from the point they opt-in or make their first purchase. With automation, you can set up a welcome web push notification campaign to be sent out 1 day after subscribing, to promote a special discount on the first purchase.

Similarly, you can use automated web push notifications to help your customers keep track of their orders. Right from their shipping information to their order status, web push notifications are a great way to keep customers engaged and excited about their purchase.

9. Schedule web push notifications

Most eCommerce web push notifications don’t work because the marketers rely on sending them manually ‘as and when’ they need to promote something. But amidst everything else that the marketer needs to do to promote a certain discount, there is a high chance of missing the slot where your mobile shoppers are the most responsive to push messages. That’s why you should stay prepared well in advance.

Based on your product launches, upcoming deals, and marketing strategies keep your campaigns scheduled. For instance, you know when Black Friday is. So why not keep your campaign prepared instead of waiting for the last minute?

10. Monitor and optimize consistently

Crafting the web push notification campaign is just the first step towards success. To actually make the channel for your Shopify store and get you more sales, you need to understand which notifications worked better for you and which were a total failure.

Your performance should be mapped by tracking impressions, clicks and attributed revenue for your notifications. You can do this by monitoring the numbers on the web push Shopify app dashboard for each campaign.

web push notification analytics

Or you integrate your web push notifications app with Google Analytics to dig deeper.

Using the data you collate, optimize your future push notifications campaigns to drive better engagement, conversions, sales, and more revenue!

Now that you know what web push notifications are, how they work, why they are so important and push notification best practices, it is time to create your first campaign.

Not sure where to begin? Here are 13 types of campaigns with push notification examples that every Shopify store must ace!

Web push notification examples

1. Flash Sale

One of the campaigns that all eCommerce stores swear by to increase sales, is the Flash Sale promotion. With push notifications, instantly reach out to mobile shoppers to notify them of the ongoing, time-bound sale you’re running.

limited time sale

2. Product Launch

When you’re launching a new product, you want to make sure you reach out to your target market on every possible channel. Use push notifications for Shopify to send promotional messages that talk about your new range.

product launch web push notifications

3. Product Promotion

Similar to how you promote products on social media and email, use push notifications for the same. Send across your popular or featured products, highlighting what is so special about them to peak the subscriber’s interest in them and nudge them to make a purchase.

4. Cart recovery

For every $10,000 you make, you’re also losing $23,000 worth of sales in the cart abandoned on your Shopify store. Use Shopify push notifications to remind the shoppers of the products they have left behind or offer an exclusive deal that nudges them to complete the purchase.

abandoned cart recovery 2

Also read: 5 FREE push notification templates to ace abandoned cart reminders

5. Engaging Non-Purchasers

Remember how Amazon sends you a special deal or some in-app wallet balance when you don’t use the app for too long?

A lot of shoppers who subscribe to your store updates are one-time visitors. Since they have never purchased from your store, you can push notifications to encourage them to. Send promotions that are specific to this audience, and makes them feel special.

6. Engaging Customers

When customer retention has become the real hack of business growth, why not use Shopify push notifications to boost exactly that? Be it recommending new products based on previous purchases, simply thanking them for it or asking for feedback, keep your customers engaged with interactive push notifications.

7. Event or Holiday Focused

Nothing screams ‘more sales’ than the festive season or the holidays. But you’re the only Shopify store promoting special deals during that period. To be able to engage your target market at the right time, send mobile push notifications related to special discounts that you would be offering or to promote a separate product range relevant to the event.

Also, read:

8. Back in Stock

Did a shopper end up liking a product that just went out of stock? Well, use Shopify push notifications to send them an alert as soon as it is available next. Don’t wait for them to come back and check!

back in stock notification

9. Price Alerts

Not every shopper will make a purchase on their first visit. They might like or wishlist a few products but wait for a better deal on them. But the truth is, they never come back to check if there is a deal on them – even 2 days after. Using mobile push notifications, you can send price alerts from your Shopify store, and to better your campaign, add a time-sensitive element to your message.

price drop

10. Special/ Limited Edition

Ever felt the fear of missing out on owning something absolutely unique or exclusive to you? Promote your special range of products with a limited edition campaign that triggers FOMO and drives shoppers to your store instantly.

limited edition web push notifications

11. Buy more, Save more

Your shoppers are always looking for better deals, so why not use Shopify push notifications to offer them exactly that, while also increasing your average order value? A ‘buy more, save more’ campaign is the best to promote more sales.

12. Product Help

In many cases, cart abandonment occurs when a shopper is confused about the purchase and is not able to make an informed decision. Using push notifications to offer help or simply promote tips on how to use a product they previously showed interest in, can engage the shopper instantly and drive them towards conversion.

product information web push notification

13. Customer Testimonials

Online shoppers trust recommendations from friends, family and those similar to them more than your advertisements. So use push notifications as a channel to prove your credibility by sharing customer testimonials, reviews or ratings. The idea is to show the subscriber how loved your products are!

14. Social Media Engagement

Social media tends to be the biggest driver of traffic for most eCommerce stores. Use push notifications to increase the engagement on social media by sharing some of your best posts as push messages.

To learn more about web push notifications and how you can make them work for your Shopify store, check out these resources:

No matter how big or small your Shopify store is, keeping your site visitors and customers engaged continually is the real hack to driving more sales. Web push notifications enable you to establish a 1:1 channel for real-time communication with your shoppers, and getting started is a breeze.

All you need to do is add the PushOwl App to your Shopify store, and you’re ready to rock and roll.