The Power of Push: Retail
More than 77% of people in the United States owns or has access to a smartphone, up from 35% in 2011 (2016 Pew Research Centre). This has created a vast interconnectivity for human relationships that has never existed before, being constantly connected and always online. At this point in time, while this new relationship with our phones become the norm, it’s to no surprise that retailers have started to make connections with their customers through mobile engagement strategies. The two major engagement strategies used up to date have been Social Media and Email. While there is certainly value in this, many of us have found ourselves ignoring Instagram and Facebook posts by just swiping up and simply deleting Emails or unsubscribing.
The use of the Mobile Wallet Pass is the new player in the game and quickly gaining ground. It provides a direct communication channel with customers, without bombarding them. In the retail industry, the use of Mobile Wallet Passes allow customers to receive personalized offers, find stores according to location, and redeem mobile coupons in-store. Retailers are taking full advantage of these capabilities, including the versatile and powerful push notification.
What is a Push Notification?
A push notification is a message that appears on a mobile device. They can be sent from an App or Mobile Wallet Pass without users having to be using the App or in their wallets to receive them. Push notifications look like a SMS text message and mobile alerts, appearing on the mobile device’s screen or status bar. These notifications are used to relay information, promote products or services, offer discounts, or to prompt users to interact or take action with an app. Notifications are triggered at the sole discretion of the business, allowing full control of the content and timing of the message.
Can Push Notifications Add Value to Retail Marketing Campaigns?
Push notifications offer an opportunity for retailers to communicate with their customers in a new way – making it an indispensable asset for marketing purposes. This powerful tool provides a reliable way to meaningfully connect with customers that patronize their stores – offering an opportunity to target those customers who best respond to certain products. A recent study found that a substantial amount of customers enable push notifications to specifically receive coupons and special offers, where 70% of them found them valuable for order updates and location-based messages.
It’s important to note, that when sending push notifications, it is crucial to segment your audience since irrelevant messages and offers can be an irritant to customers. With segmentation, retailers can offer personalized, relevant information that fuels customers to engage and make purchases at stores. The use of geofencing is an example of segmentation, where push notifications are triggered only when a mobile device enters a certain location. For example, only when a customer is close to a store or retail outlet, they will receive a message on the promotions or discount that are being offered that day. This eliminates the need for those customers out of range to receive these messages when it is not useful for them.
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The flexibility that Mobile Wallet Passes offer with the use of analytics and push notifications, retailers can now have a clear picture on customer response. This allows businesses to see how well their customers are responding to special offers and whether coupons are being used. Since push notifications are fully customizable, data can be used to determine what special offers and messages customers respond best to.
Surprisingly, retailers have been under-utilizing the power of push notifications and the use of Mobile Wallet Passes. This is a big opportunity loss, especially among young consumers (18-35), where 76% of them have enabled push-notifications on their mobile devices. This shows that consumers are willing to engage with retailers. A strategic, personalized and well-timed campaign using push notifications could build a retailer’s customer base and boost their sales and profits.