Push notifications are both a blessing and a curse for mobile marketers. On the one hand, they're a gentle nudge for consumers that may have forgotten about your latest promotion or sale. On the other, they're a nagging parrot on the shoulder, reminding consumers of events that have little relevance. As more brands rely on mobile as a purchase platform, how can marketers utilize what technology offers without being a bugaboo?
One thing is for sure: consumers are on their phones more often than not, and they're shopping on mobile. Marketing Week reports that 15 percent of consumers are buying more on mobile devices now compared to a year ago. The shocking news though, is that a number of these consumers are opting to buy via mobile web rather than through a brand's mobile application.
Part of this has to do with the fact that consumers don't want to be bothered by that nagging push notification parrot. While consumers acknowledged that notifications are useful, they were also hesitant to reveal too much personal information for fear of disruption or intrusion, according to The 2014 Mobile Behavior Report.
One way for brands to stay relevant without nagging customers is to remain searchable on mobile web. Google reports that 30 percent of mobile searches result in a positive business outcome, while 50 percent of purchase-related conversions happened within an hour of mobile searches. Mobile sites, as such, must provide an integrated experience for the consumer. For example, L'Oreal launched a mobile "look book" for users to access its mobile site, making it more engaging, user-friendly, and easy to complete purchases. The company also added more mobile ads, raising searches 23 percent.
It's important for brands to adopt a cohesive experience between web and app, ensuring it's not an either-or situation for the consumer. They should have the option and ease to switch from app to web and vice versa. The 2014 Mobile Behavior report found that 68 percent of consumers think it’s important for mobile brands to be a technology leader.
Part of this technological leadership that consumers expect from brands includes knowledge of when and how to engage with the customer. Messaging should inform when necessary — specifically with a coupon on money-saving option that the consumer can use when in-store or near a location. Content should be relevant to consumers and not merely be self-serving to a brand.
“A push notification timed just right with a relevant message that delivers true value to the consumer, can truly be a home run for a brand,” Kevin Jennings, vice president of strategy at mobile app and website development company Fuzz Productions told Mobile Marketer. "Consumers are humans. They can immediately recognize when a push notification is self-serving to the brand and delivers no value to them, and they won’t be forgiving.”
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