How to Boost Your Customer Retention (Web Push Notifications)

Raúl Galera
Raúl Galera
July 1, 2019
2 min read
How to Boost Your Customer Retention (Web Push Notifications)

In this article

There’s no denying the fact that a business spends five times more on attracting new customers than on retaining existing ones. This is despite the fact that increasing customer retention rates by 5% can result in a profit increase anywhere between 25% to 95%. Moreover, studies suggest that people who stick to your brand bring in 67% more revenue than new customers. All these stats and findings make it loud and clear that customer retention keeps businesses alive.

No, we aren’t, in any way, saying that acquiring new customers isn’t important. What we want to say is that ignoring your existing wealth can stale your bottom line.

We aren’t the only ones recommending this. The Shopify State of Commerce report states the same - brand loyalty is winning over individual purchases. As per the report, over 50% of stores witness buyers who shop more than twice from them. If the buyer has a great customer experience while shopping and you’re able to keep them engaged in a relevant manner, they are more likely to come back for more.

But with most shoppers always on the go and with too many other things to focus on, how do you boost customer retention?

Improving retention - Focusing on the right channel

Online merchants need to create a winning engagement strategy to keep their customers equally invested in their existing users. Not doing so, would only mean letting the user softly slip away to the competition.

Because attention spans are altering and decreasing by the day, you need to keep reminding the ‘spoilt for choice’ shoppers about what your brand has to offer. This is akin to the daily reminder that your Fitbit gives you to walk more!

Picking the right channel becomes crucial to successfully retain customers. While email has been widely used for business, from customer interaction to marketing, there are certain challenges with the good old email. One of the challenges, for instance, is ensuring the message is read by the shopper at the right time. Take a look at your inbox and tell us if we’re wrong!

That’s where channels like web push notifications are a breakthrough!

Quite new, yet extremely popular, web push notifications promise increased real-time engagement - something that emails have been struggling to do. Due to the inherent nature of web push notifications, online stores are increasingly using it to engage with existing customers successfully.

Compelling web push notifications campaigns don’t just result in better engagement, but they also boost customer retention rates.

Web push for customer retention - Campaigns that engage

One of the primary reasons why web push notifications are increasingly being used for customer engagement and retention is because of their capability to reach customers even when they’re not on the store. This is similar to how an app’s push notification immediately reminds you of how you haven’t been using it lately.

One such instance is Headphone Zone. This Shopify store uses web push notifications to keep its shoppers engaged and has seen 13.9% click rate on campaigns, driving 126X ROI.

Using discounts is a great way to attract more shoppers and pull customers back to the store, but we have a few other tried and tested ideas for your web push notification campaigns.

Price drop alerts

Price drops have always worked. Be it in the case of in-store or online purchases. Stores can run price drops on their best selling products to further increase their sales, or look at user-specific interests and run a price drop on items that receive more shopper visits. Whatever the strategy, push notifications work well when it comes to alerting shoppers about a price drop on a product they have shown interest in!

price drop - web push notifications

Pro tip: You can make price drop campaigns more personal by, setting up a price drop automation to run these campaigns specifically for each visitor. Make sure your messaging creates a sense of urgency around availing the new price.

Rewarding loyalty

Shoppers who’ve made multiple purchases from your store over a period of time and show signs of revisiting need to be kept close. These repeat customers promise more sales, especially if they end up becoming your loyal customers and advocates. How can you make these customers feel special?

Use push notifications to send out a warm note of gratitude, offering a discount coupon on their favorite items. You can easily figure out the products of their liking by revisiting their purchase history.

loyalty - web push notifications

Pro tip: Curated products have great appeal. When running web push notification campaigns to reward loyalty, send out discounts on ‘handpicked’ items for your loyal customers. Making them feel special is the trick to driving repeat sales.


You order your favorite Italian food online and immediately after, you see a ‘you may also like’ message on your mobile from the restaurant. These are recommendations based on your food interest, intended to raise the average value of your order. The next time you are on the food app, you’ll be shown these recommendations again, and this time, it will be intended at bringing you back to buy from the same restaurant.

Web push notifications allow you to send such messages. To re-engage shoppers, merchants can send out ‘recommendation’ alerts that have a high chance of catching a shopper’s interest, like recommending similar products or those complementing their previous purchases.

recommendations - web push notifications

Pro tip: If you aren’t running a time-sensitive campaign, send out recommendations both through web push notifications and emails. This will increase the chances of shoppers seeing the message just in time.

Reviews, ratings and testimonials

Trust sells. As per Invespcro, consumers spend 31% more on businesses with ‘excellent’ reviews and ratings. Moreover, 86% of people hesitate to buy from stores or businesses that have negative reviews. This is why strategically promoting products that have been given high ratings and reviews by your customers is a smart move.

testimonials - web push notifications

You can highlight product ratings in your web push alerts in any of the campaigns that you are running to re-engage users.

For example, if you are running a price drop alert, you can show a ‘four-star rating’ in your message to let your shoppers clearly know that even though there’s a price slash on the product, it doesn’t mean that it’s not a quality product. A four-star plus rating in your notification will remove any doubt in the customer’s mind who is considering whether to buy or not.

Shopify apps like Loox allow you to embed ratings and reviews in your web push notifications easily.

Pro tip: You could use the ‘star’ or ‘thumbs up’ emojis to showcase the product rating. This will crunch up the copy yet convey the message clearly. Let them know how popular the product is!

Referral campaigns

The crux of referral marketing is simple - whenever a shopper is asked to refer a friend, he or she gets bonus points or cash back at the time their friend takes the desired action - download app, buy, further refer friends, etc. As a result, not only does your business get more new customers, but also successfully gets the old ones to transact over and over again (using bonus or cash back as the bait).

Web push notifications can be effectively used to send out referral offers, coupon codes, discounts, and cash back alerts in referral marketing campaigns. Shopify users can make use of ReferralCandy, a Shopify referral program, to reap complete advantage from their referral marketing campaigns.

referral web push notifications

Pro tip: Why send cash back or discounts just to one party? Reward both the referring customer and the shopper who has successfully completed the desired action. Happy and loyal customers go a long way!

Wrapping it up

There’s a sea of campaigns that you can run with web push notifications for re-engagement and retention. What you must focus on, though, is getting your segmentation and personalization right for the best results. That’s why Shopify stores should use smart apps like PushOwl to fuel their push campaigns.

With data-driven automations and real-time analytics, it enables the online stores to reach their customers at the right time with the right message. But, more importantly, the app helps to optimize these campaigns for better results on-the-go.

While web push notifications are the new way to reach your millennial customers where they are active the most, what other channels have you explored to re-engage their interest effectively?

About the author

Vanhishikha Bhargava is the Content Marketer at PushOwl, which is an app that enables online stores to set up and send web push notification campaigns to their customers. When not looking for growth strategies, you can find her either brainstorming with marketers on Twitter or sleeping.

Raúl Galera
Raúl Galera

Raúl is ReferralCandy's partner manager.

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