OpenBack Whitepaper - Reliability in Push Notifications (Delivery & Metrics)

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Last update: November 2019

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Optimize Your eCommerce App for Black Friday With Push Notifications

It’s retail worker’s most dreaded time of year: Black Friday! Most of us are still digesting the turkey and pumpkin pie from Thanksgiving, but already stores are kicking off the holiday season with killer sales. Every year you hear horror stories about people camping out overnight in front of stores, of stampedes and all-out brawls as shoppers try to get their hands on that last Tickle-Me Elmo. (Or whatever the kids are playing with these days… Google tells me one of the top 10 toys of 2019 is something called Artie 3000 the Coding Robot. How the times have changed.)

Of course, if you run an eCommerce mobile app, you have the best of both worlds. You get to take advantage of the holiday shopping season, but you don’t need to set your customers at each other’s throats to do so. Plenty of people are in favor of this approach: in 2016, according to Adobe Data, eCommerce purchases raked in $3.34 billion worth of purchases. Nearly a third of those purchases were made via mobile devices. By sending out a few carefully timed push notifications, your mobile app can entice users with the sales they’re most likely to be interested in.

Here are our top tips for sending Black Friday push notifications that will get your customers in the spirit of the season!

black friday sale

1. Start the Day Before, With a “Happy Thanksgiving” Notification

The two holidays are inextricably linked. And, as wiser people than I have said, it doesn’t cost anything to be nice. Of course, depending on your app, it is likely you are also doing business on Thanksgiving as well as the day after. (Especially if you sell anything in the range of online groceries or football paraphernalia.)

So if you want to nudge your user towards buying a frozen turkey, or a giant foam finger for the Super Bowl, by all means do so. If not, a simple “Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones!” or “Here at [insert name of mobile app here] we’re counting our blessings. What are you thankful for?”

2. Offer Users Early Information About Black Friday Sales

Here’s another one you’ll have to follow through with a week in advance. But if the results from the campaign Steve Madden ran back in 2017 prove anything, it’s worth the pre-planning. (Granted, theirs was an email campaign, but you could very easily tweak it to be compatible with push notifications.)

Start off by sending users of your app a notification asking them if they’d like to receive early-bird notifications and access to Black Friday sales. Your customers will feel like they’re getting behind-the-scenes treatment, and will be able to space out their shopping all week. You will have increased engagement with your app. Everybody wins.

3. Upsell and Cross-Sell

It’s great when a customer makes a purchase. But with everyone in the buying spirit, Black Friday can be a good time to suggest complementary purchases. For example, if someone buys a dress for a holiday party, send a notification offering a sale on matching shoes or jewelry. If someone buys weights, send a notification for whey protein in bulk. Offer discounts to win over the hesitant customer!

Alternately, you can take the opportunity to bump a customer up a notch to a higher-quality product. Are they buying 10-karat gold earrings? Before they make it to checkout, try selling them on the 14-karat gold earrings. Open with a fun conversation starter: “Did you know 14-karat gold is the most popular for making jewelry, because of its color and durability? Treat yourself with our 14-karat Black Friday sale!” Then seal the deal with a deep link to a list of possible contenders.

4. Switch Up Your Deals Every Hour

For those shoppers who just love a sale, no matter what or how much, keep them engaged through to Cyber Monday. Offer a new flash sale every hour, and ping them to let them know about it. A word of warning, it’s inadvisable to swamp your user with notifications every time the sale changes. This may lead to your notifications being disabled! Instead, send them a reminder in the morning, and perhaps direct them to a page in your app that has a list of what’s on sale, and when.

Or, by using OpenBack’s dynamic notifications feature, you can send the notification and continue to update even after it’s been sent.

5. Create a Gift Guide for Indecisive Shoppers

Not everybody’s a fan of holiday shopping. Some people view it as a chore, and wait until the last minute before they buy gifts for friends and family. Give these users the greatest gift of all: a gift guide that chooses what they should get their loved ones, so they don’t have to.

Any good marketer knows how to categorize different products so they target different subsets of customers. For example, “Gifts for a Cat-Lover,” “Gifts for Your Hipster Boyfriend,” “Gifts for Your Outdoorsy Friend Who’s Into Hiking,” etc. A quick push notification can direct that user to the list in-app. It’s not exactly the most personalized of touches, but curating a list of gift ideas can be the spark of inspiration someone needs to get out there and do their shopping.

OpenBack Mobile Engagement Platform Can Boost App Engagement

Whatever your game plan is for Black Friday, push notifications are an indispensable part of any marketing campaign. With OpenBack’s on-device, edge computing SDK, you can build on top of local notifications to give users a relevant, personalized experience that’s convenient and valuable for them. Tailor your push notifications according to time/interest/location/etc. on a user-by-user basis.

By sending your user only notifications that will be beneficial to them, you are increasing the value they get from your app. In return, you are also increasing the value they bring back to your app, in terms of conversion rate. Happy shopping!

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