A Complete Guide To Using Web Push Notifications To Increase Online Sales

Sep 25, 2019

With more than 820,000 active stores on Shopify alone, it is safe to say that the competition for online businesses is increasing by the day.

While it’s getting easier for brands to set up an online store, it is becoming tougher for them to cut through the noise and reach their customers.

That’s where web push notifications come in.

What are web push notifications? 

Web push notifications are messages that can be sent to the desktop or mobile web to reach an internet user.

These messages simply slide in either at the top or bottom of the desktop screen, depending on its operating system, and appear similar to app notifications on mobile devices. 

Here’s what they look like on the desktop:

Web Push Notifications - Plug in Useful

And here’s how they appear on mobile devices:

Web Push Notification on Mobile

These push messages are gaining popularity for two reasons – they are easy to subscribe to for the shopper, and the business can send them even when the shopper is not on the site. Win-win for everyone!

Why do you need web push notifications? 

You’re using social media, emails, advertisements and other channels to reach your target consumers already.

But how many times do you feel your promotional campaign doesn’t get the reach it deserves? 

Considering that every Shopify store out there is using the same channels to reach online shoppers, it’s hard to not get lost in the volume.

Moreover, because of these endless promotions, online shoppers are becoming more skeptical about sharing their contact information with brands. 

Web push notifications address both these challenges. 

1) It makes subscribing more shopper-friendly

Online shoppers love discounts and deals. But to subscribe to a newsletter that chokes their inbox every week is not something they want to do. 

But for web push notifications, they need not share their email address. All they need to do is ‘allow’ the Shopify store to send them push messages – similar to how it works for mobile apps. 

Therefore, the subscriber growth is faster too when you’re using web push notifications. 

2) It lets you reach shoppers where they are and in real-time

Web push notifications are delivered straight to the shopper’s screen.

Whether they’re on the desktop or their mobile screen, your message gets delivered to them in real-time. Even when they’re not on your Shopify store. 

Reaching shoppers where they are at the right time, ensures better engagement on campaigns. 

3) It ensures your message is consumed immediately 

Nature, look and feel of web push notifications make them hard to miss.

As they get delivered straight to the screen of a device, the crisp promotional message remains visible even if the shopper doesn’t click on the notification. 

Simply put, you’re getting your message across immediately and don’t have to wait for them to open the message, unlike in emails. 

4. It is easier to get started with 

With Shopify apps like PushOwl, web push notifications are really easy to get started with. 

All you need to do is sign up your store, select the campaign you want to run, set up the copy and discounts you want to promote and automate it all. 

For instance, you could run a cart recovery campaign in minutes. 

5. It boosts shopper engagement and accelerates conversions 

There are some products that always go out of stock. Don’t let shoppers who couldn’t purchase them, be disappointed. Go with a trustworthy Shopify app, like Back in Stock.

The crisp and clear call to actions in the push message accelerates conversions by leading the shopper to the store almost ‘instantly’.

This increases your sales and in many cases also the average order value. 

How do web push notifications stand out from other promotions? 

Mobile apps are sending push notifications. Other online stores are sending push notifications too.

So how does yours stand out? 

Web push notifications give you the ability to customize the look and feel of the messages to resonate with your brand. 

You can change the logo/ icon, add an attention-grabbing hero image, include up to two call-to-actions and write copy that makes the shopper want to make a purchase right away!  

How do web push notifications stand out?

The more creative you get, the more you stand out. And if you create a sense of urgency in your campaign message, the more conversions you get. 

How can you use web push notifications? 

Web push notifications are a smart way to reach your shoppers in real-time and hook them to get them back to your Shopify store. 

There are a number of campaigns you can run with web push notifications. But here are some that top-grossing stores absolutely swear by: 

1) Welcome 

One of the very first campaigns that you can set up on web push notifications is a welcome message. When a shopper subscribes to your notifications, they present a certain amount of trust in your brand. 

To further make this bond stronger, send them a quick notification with a first purchase discount. Let them feel welcomed into a community! 

Welcome Web Push Notifications

2) Cart recovery 

Another web push notifications campaign that has driven more conversions and sales for Shopify stores, is cart recovery. 

Send shoppers a quick message to remind them of what they’ve left behind, offer an additional discount or set up a drip campaign of up to three push messages to create a sense of urgency. 

Cart recovery web push notification

3) Flash sales 

Flash sales are the time when your store can get the maximum number of sales. But only if your shoppers know when it’s running. 

Send web push notifications about your flash sale, letting them know some of the best time-bound offers are up. Take, for instance, during the Black Friday Cyber Monday sale! 

Flash Sales Web Push Notifications

4) Price drop 

Let your shoppers know about price drops on special and popular products with web push notifications. You can set up an automated campaign to ensure the messages go out in a timely manner. 

Everyone loves to bag a discounted price on their favorite products! 

Price Drop Web Push Notifications

5) Back in stock 

There are some products that always go out of stock. Don’t let shoppers who couldn’t purchase them, be disappointed. 

Set up an automated campaign and send shoppers quick web push notifications when you restock. It’s a great way to tell the shopper you care about their interests.

Back in stock Web Push Notifications

6) Product promotion

Just like emails, use web push notifications to draw attention to products. Be it a new range, a featured collection or limited edition products. 

Use the notification to give the shopper a glimpse of the product. Share the highlight of the product in the copy and see them come back to your store to know more! 

Product Promotion Web Push Notifications

7) Product hacks 

The best marketing strategy always focuses on adding value to the customer. It’s important to make sure that your shoppers are able to make the most out of the purchase they’ve made. 

Use web push notifications to reach out to them with product hacks and advice. Share benefits or tips on how they can best use your products. 

Product hacks web push notifications

Web push notifications best practices to increase sales 

The above web push notification campaigns are a sure shot hit amongst online shoppers. But for them to work, you need a strategy. 

And more importantly, you need to follow a few best practices – after all, you don’t want to be annoying shoppers with your messages! 

1) Personalize web push notifications with smart segmentation 

Dig deeper into your subscriber data. Create customer personas, identify their activity patterns, the devices they’re using and personalize your campaigns. 

The closer you are to understanding shoppers, the better are the conversions from your campaign. Read more about segmentation here.

2) Craft a message that adds value and is compelling 

Your web push notification is going to nudge an action only if it adds value to the shopper. 

Keep your notification title simple and intriguing, explain what the shopper gets, add an attractive hero image, and include a clear call-to-action.   

3) Focus on the length of the web push notification

A truncated message is never compelling enough to click on. 

So make sure those browser updates on the desktop and mobile devices are not effective your web push notifications. 

Keep your messages crisp, clear and to an optimal length. 

Web Push Notifications Optimal Length

4) Incorporate your brand voice for better recall 

Every brand has a personality. So why let your web push notifications feel all too bland? 

Incorporate your brand voice in your message to boost recall and hook the shopper’s interest immediately. 

There are different tones of voice that you can experiment with:

  • empathetic and reassuring,
  • unexpected and witty,
  • energetic and fun,
  • simple and straightforward,
  • charming and flirty,
  • loving and trustable,
  • suspense and click-bait. 

5) Send the push notifications out at the right time 

You don’t want to send web push notifications when they’re going to be ignored. For instance, when shoppers are more likely to be at the office. 

But how do you make sure your message reaches them at the right time? With Smart Delivery, you can optimize the time of your push messages for each subscriber individually. 

6) Test the frequency of web push notification campaigns 

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to frequency. The number of web push notifications you send depends on the campaign and who your shoppers are. So keep testing! 

For instance, if it is a time-sensitive offer, you might want to keep a higher frequency. This ensures your message is reaching the shopper. 

7) Leverage automation for timely campaigns 

Keep shoppers and customers engaged right from the time they subscribe to notifications. 

Use automation to send out welcome web push notifications, price drop alerts, cart recovery campaigns and more. Stay in touch with shoppers and bring them back to the store more often. 

8) Keep your web push notifications scheduled 

Take into account product launches, upcoming deals and keep your web push notification campaigns scheduled. 

Don’t wait for the last minute to set up campaigns to avoid missing out on a chance to bag a deal! 

9) Monitor performance and optimize campaigns consistently 

No matter what campaign you’re running, always measure its performance. Track impressions, clicks and the attributed revenue. 

You can do this easily by monitoring numbers on the web push Shopify app dashboard.  

Web Push Notifications Performance Dashboard

Increasing your sales with web push notifications 

Just like other marketing channels, web push notifications are effective when you continually optimize them. 

There’s no one campaign that performs the best. There is no one strategy that gets the most sales. 

Web push notifications offer you a direct channel to communicate with your shoppers. So put your shopper data to use and vary your approach every time! 


This is a guest contribution by Vanhishikha Bhargava. 

Vanhishikha Bhargava is the Content Marketer at PushOwl, a Shopify app that enables stores to send web push notifications. She’s always on the lookout for growth strategies to help online stores get more sales. You can connect with her on LinkedIn and follow her posts here.

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