Using push notifications to connect with customers

October 19, 2017

The nature of business has undergone significant changes in recent years, particularly in how customer interactions are done. New forms of media have come to the forefront, particularly video, changing the way in which brands and businesses communicate with their customers.

Among these innovations and changes were push notifications – first launched by Apple in 2009 (known as Apple Push Notification Service, or APNs at the time), mobile app push notifications have come a long way since then, and are now a part of most major mobile operating systems, from Android to Windows.

In an increasingly mobile-focused market, push notifications have gone from a vanity feature to a necessary one. But what are they exactly, and how can you use them?

What are push notifications?

In the most basic terms, a push notification is simply a message that pops up on the screen of your mobile device, sent by the app publisher. Think of it as a combination between an SMS and a Tweet – they’re usually short and straight to the point, and their greatest strength is their mobility.

You don’t need to have an app currently open to receive a notification – in fact, they are even displayed on your lock screen without you having to unlock it.

As you’re reading this, examples of push notifications, which you have received in the recent past, are probably coming to mind. From weather alerts to updates on sports, these notifications are now a constant part of the average user’s day-to-day life.

However, what about sales and business?

Push notifications let businesses speak directly to customers

In an age with no lack of means of communication, businesses have adopted various ways of approaching their existing customers in order to keep them interested.

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Gone are the days when businesses could only turn to telemarketing agencies in order for their products to reach customers. Emails were the first major new form of communication to change the landscape of customer interaction in recent times, but with the advent of mobile devices and their continuous, seemingly unstoppable growth, not only have emails grown in importance, they have also been complemented with SMS and push notifications.

Think of push notifications as a way of adding value to your customer. Don’t just use them as a form of spam – this could easily cause a detrimental effect and turn customers away from your products for a long time.

Instead, the key is to send push notifications that the customers want to receive. Do you have a flash sale going on? Are you giving away discount coupons? Has a highly demanded product come back in stock? Is there a special discount for your restaurant on that day only? Has a new coffee become available in your shop? The possibilities are endless.

By using push notifications as inviting reminders for opportunities that might interest your customers, you’re providing value to them. These notifications can also allow for a bit more informality, giving a sense of proximity between your brand and the customers.

Drive footfall into your store, or boost sales and conversions on your website. Push notifications are multifaceted and can bring significant improvements to both traditional and online services.

As a bonus, push notifications can also help your business better understand what customers are interested in and what notifications they are choosing to open, with the help of analytics.

This will allow you to measure the performance of your messages and tailor your plans accordingly, maybe even taking the results of your push notifications into consideration when planning for your marketing and advertising strategies in general.

Create your own mobile app and start sending push notifications

With Beezer, we have aimed to make mobile app creation as accessible as possible, and this extends to all the components that go into an app. You don’t need any developer or technical skills in order to create an awesome app that suits your creative vision.

So, keeping true to this aim, adding a push notification component to your Progressive Web App is as easy as it gets – and sending these notifications out to users is equally simple. We’ll show you how to do it in a few steps.

Start by logging in to your Beezer progressive web app builder account. Within the platform, click the Build section, then Pages. Now click the + sign on top to add a new Page to your App – let’s call it Notifications.

create a free app
Create New Page

You can now click the Notifications page you just created, and press the + sign on the right.

Push notification

This will open a list of components and integrations available for Beezer apps, from which you will select the Notification component.

Adding notifications to web
Add Notifications

Don’t forget that you can move the position of your Pages by simply dragging and dropping them on the menu.

Notification pages

Your mobile app now supports push notifications, meaning that all that’s left is for you to start sending them to users. To do that, go to the Engage section on the left, and simply type in a title for the notification, and a message to go underneath.

Create a push notification

Click the Send button, and voilà – you have just sent a push notification to users who have installed your Beezer app and accepted notifications on their mobile devices!

Push notifications and Beezer apps

Push notifications are one of the features available to the Accelerate and Expert plans. They are also included in our 30-day fully featured free trial, so if you haven’t already, simply click here to sign up.

Feel free to experiment with your trial and make the most of push notifications. We will continue to work to improve this and other components on our platform, so follow this blog and our various social media channels in order to keep up to date on the latest developments.  Note: Notifications are seen in-app on iOS and Push Notifications can be sent to Android devices and supported Desktop browsers.

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