Web push notification or email marketing? How to overcome ecommerce cart abandonment

About seven out of every ten online shoppers abandon their online shopping carts making shopping cart abandonment an enormously frustrating and expensive challenge for ecommerce merchants. It is personally draining to spend time, effort and monetary resources to attract and provide users with a lucrative offering only for them to leave at the last moment. This forces ecommerce websites to explore techniques to convert cart abandonment and remain competitive.

Before highlighting and analyzing the most effective solution for cart abandonment, we must ask the question; what is the underlying reason for this nagging problem?Regardless of product quality or deals offered, a typical user is prone to explore alternate options before making a purchase – you cannot entirely eliminate cart abandonment. Other factors that significantly affect the purchase decision include shipping options, payment facilities, mobile optimization, website experience and simply the short attention span that plagues much of society these days.

Although there are numerous ways to identify the root cause of your ecommerce checkout problem and convert prospects into buyers, two digital strategies stand out:

  • Web push notifications: This is an engaging notification that is sent to a user’s mobile, tablet or desktop screen as long as the browser is open. It is an increasingly popular technique for customer engagement, retargeting and acquisition through customized, non-intrusive and timely content.
  • Email marketing: Since Gary Thuerk (Father of Spam) sent the first mass marketing email fourdecades ago, this powerful channel is still applicable today. It involves sending commercial emails to customersand prospects.

Web Push Notifications or Email Marketing?

As an ecommerce practitioner, you are faced with a wide range of technologies and tactics that promise to make your store ‘stand out’ from the digital jungle. But as with all important decisions, due diligence is compulsory. In the context of converting cart abandonment, ask yourself: which digital strategy is more efficient and cost-effective? Here are five metrics to analyze in order to make an informed decision:

1.Delivery Count

How many web push notifications or emails are successfully delivered to the prospect or customer? This should be your starting point. To gain a subscriber to your web push notification, the user only needs to provide consent through a prompt in their browser. They do not need to enter any personal information which in turn increases subscription confirmation. After the opt-in process, a throughput has been opened between the sending servers and that subscriber’s browser to receive all web push notifications as long as the browser is open. This translates to a 100% delivery rate.

On the contrary, email marketers must convince the prospect to provide and confirm their email address before adding them to the mailing list. This reduces the willingness of the potential subscriber to continue through the opt-in process. Once someone subscribes, messages that are sent must first be checked by the ISP (Internet service provider) to determine if the email is categorized as ‘spam’. As Return Path describes in their 2017 Deliverability Benchmark Report, 77% of all US email does not make it to the inbox and 70% of that 77% never even makes it to the spam folder, it is simply blocked at the gateway.

2.Open/Read Rates

Web push has a 100% open rate because all messages arrive in an openstate. On the other hand, recent reports from Constant Contact and MailChimp show that the average email open rate across all industries is 16.19% and 20.81% respectively. To re-phrase, the open rate of web push notifications is up to 617% higher than email. Moreover, email marketers need to focus on creative subject lines just to get people to open and then read the body copy. Since every web push notification arrives in an open state, no subject line creativity is necessary. While email marketing is also an effective strategy owing to the massive daily traffic (average of 235 billion in 2018), they are not instant, and the customers may take hours or even days before they open a promotional email. A recent study shows that sending a cart recovery message within the first hour attracts a conversion rate of 20.3%. Therefore, if you want to reach customers in a strategically timed manner, the best option is instant web push notifications.

3.Engagement Rate

The engagement rate is an essential metric when it comes to converting cart abandonment. How you communicate and engage with users determines their willingness to complete their purchase. Statistics show that the engagement rate of web push notifications has been steadily increasing, achieving a 30% growth between 2017 and 2018. Digital marketers employ advanced methods such as dynamic content and geo-push to deliver personalized notifications to mobile and desktop users. According to Retail Drive, web push notifications increase engagement by 75% and purchase uplift by 384%. And since modern consumers do not expect promotional emails to be personally relevant, they are likely to skim over the title without giving a second thought. Additionally, users must acknowledge web push notifications, regardless of their quality. Bador irrelevant emails are deleted immediately or remain unread forever;hence the low industry average a 1.14% click through rate (CTR).

4.Click through Rate (CTR)

The CTR, in a nutshell, is the number of clicks you receive on either your web push notification or emails compared to the number of opens or emails sent. The CTR for push notification is higher for push notifications due to the reduced steps/actions required. According to Constant Contact, the average CTR on emails across all industries is 7.06% measured against a 16.19% open rate which equates to a 1.14% CTR when measured against the total number of emails sent. Compared this to an average of 18% on web push notifications. What does this mean? You will get a better response or conversion rate to abandoned cart if you use push notifications.

5.Conversation Rate

The delivery, open, engagement and CTR are merely symptoms of your success – what really matters is the conversion rate. Have you achieved your ecommerce business goal? Specifically, have you realized your targeted cart abandonment conversion? How many carts have you recovered? Have you solved the underlying checkout hindrances?

Combine Web Push and Email to Make a Killing in Ecommerce

While web push notification appears to be the favorite contender to lure customers back to their abandoned carts, you can achieve better results by combining multiple channels. Depending on consumer demographic and resources, you can leverage the capabilities of SMS, web push and email marketing to great effect. Did you know that 77% of marketers agree that a multichannel marketing strategy increases engagement and revenue by up to 24% and 15% respectively? As you seek to convert abandoned carts, consider using web push notifications and subtle email retargeting campaigns to re-engage and re-ignite your customers’ interests.