Web push is still a relatively new channel, and unfortunately most marketers today are giving it a bad rap. The vast majority of marketers who are using web push are leveraging the channel incorrectly and ineffectively: they’re still sending the same batch-and-blast messages to all shoppers with no personalization, they’re ignoring moments of peak engagement when a web push message would be most effective, and they’re not tailoring their messages based on real-time customer behaviors. In fact, a decent percentage of marketers will use web push exclusively as a re-engagement tool for at-risk customers – but even that’s only a good strategy if it’s being leveraged alongside more regular use.
Web push isn’t like email – it’s more invasive, thanks to it’s “real real-time nature,” and marketers need to be more conscious of how and when they use it. If marketers are only using web push during moments when customers are disengaged or not demonstrating active interest, yet are failing to leverage web push during moments when it would actually be useful to a shopper, they’re doing little to add value to their customer experience and are going to have a tough time convincing shoppers who’ve already opted-in to not change their minds.
The problem is that marketers still aren’t thinking about web push in terms of how it can improve the customer experience – which is a pity, because highlighting the unique value it can deliver is the most effective way to get shoppers to opt-in.
So what’s the solution? The best moments to use web push are during moments when customers need information, need to bypass a real-time point of friction, or need some kind of help from your brand – in short, web push should be used to improve the customer experience.
Consider, for example, two specific opportunities to reach out with a web push message:
1. When customers are looking at specific products but may need more information
A customer who is looking at your products is demonstrating active interest in your brand, and may be moments away from making a purchase. Using web push to jump in and offer up additional information on the items they were looking at – especially if they close out of their browsing session or abandon the items in a shopping cart without purchasing – is a great way to leverage web push. Web push marketers have a unique opportunity to provide reviews from other customers, related products, up-front shipping costs, and other pieces of information that your customers may not easily be able to find on their own.
2. When customers are at checkout and want information on the status of their order
This is a particularly unique opportunity to distinguish yourself from other retailers, by offering customers the option to receive real-time updates on their order after they’ve made their first purchase. Even with the use of other channels, few vendors today are able to offer relevant and timely updates to customers on their order’s processing/shipping status – you be one of the first to not just do so, but do so in the most up-to-the-minute way by using web push. It goes without saying that if you can find a creative way to jump in and help your customers at exactly the right moment, you’ll be demonstrating customer-centricity in its truest form.
The reason web push today isn’t as effective as it could be is because today’s marketers simply don’t understand how to leverage it correctly. Marketers are still sending the same messages to all shoppers, and they still have a siloed view of customer data that’s preventing them from informing their web push messages with actions taken on other devices. Especially considering the fact that web push is much more invasive a channel than email or even mobile, marketers need to take extra care to make sure the messages they’re sending are going to be useful to each individual shopper. But when you think about how to use the channel in a way that not only capitalizes on its “real real-time” characteristics, but that actively improves and streamlines your customer’s shopping experience, you can take steps towards sending the kinds of web push messages that actually meet your shoppers’ needs. The key is starting with understanding what your customers want from their experience with your brand, then using web push to make sure that happens.