customer engagement
customer engagement
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 min read
March 1, 2023

Deliver Product Recommendations Using Push Notifications to Maximize Engagement

Harini Thiagarajan from Glood.AI

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Excerpt: Enhance sales and make users re-engage with your e-commerce business through personalized push notifications. Understand the various approaches and the common errors to avoid.

Push notifications have become a popular way for businesses to communicate with their customers in real-time. These notifications encourage users to take action and return to the app. One effective use of push notifications is to deliver product recommendations that are tailored to the user's preferences and behavior. Such notifications lead the user directly to the product page and enhances the odds of a sale. While these are highly efficient marketing tools, they remain misconstrued among marketers.

The misconception surrounding push notifications

Before you jump into the real scoop, it's necessary to clear the air about push notifications. Many brands are yet to understand their full potential. They think that push notifications are intrusive and uncalled for and could annoy the user or even distract the users and untimed notifications make users use the app less frequently.

However, these statements are assumptions, and the data about push notifications says otherwise.

According to substantial research:

  • A push notification can help enhance the retention of users by three to ten times, based on the industry of the application.
  • Especially for new app users, push notifications can boost their app activity by 71% when used accurately in the first two months. While the average open rate of a promotional email is between 2% and 5% — app notifications have a 12% open rate.
  • Apps get up to 16% click rate for re-engagement on cart abandonment.
  • E-commerce notifications also hold the maximum utility globally, accounting for 22% of all push notifications. Some businesses have claimed a 3500% ROI with these notifications alone.
  • Push notifications can give a 30% better click-through rate when employed with personalization and highly targeted segmentation.

How does personalization work for push notifications?

When we discuss personalization, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. A random, generic, or irrelevant notification will amount to spam. It will encourage users to turn off their push app notifications and eventually shut the gate on this avenue.

The notification time, language, and design must vary based on user segmentation. Also, with e-commerce companies, factors like age, demographics, and past shopping history play a key role.

Push notifications are of many types. Some promote offers and others sell content, while some are used to provide tailor-made product recommendations.

Here, we will focus on the delivery of product recommendations using push notifications.

Types of push notifications for product suggestions

Here are some ways in which push notifications can be used to recommend products:

1. Based on user behavior

Users are discouraged by notifications that lack optimization and personalization. Meaningless notifications are both annoying and distracting.

User behavior-based app notifications rely on users' previous shopping history. A user is more likely to purchase products under a similar category based on their last visit to the website.

This is true across segments. For example, a user purchasing crime novels is more likely to purchase other books by the same author or genre, which allows for a more targeted call to action.

Similarly, tailor-made recommendations based on the general purchasing patterns of the product are also helpful. Such an approach is seen in Amazon's "Customers also purchased this" section.

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2. Based on demographics

Some app notifications work based on location, gender, age group, and purchasing capacity.

For instance, if you have an app that sells fitness goods, a push notification about women's running shoes will bear very little results when sent to a man.

Similarly, a product recommendation for summer workout clothes will not work in a cold or mountainous location.

3. Based on time

Research indicates that push notification opening rate can be improved by using industry-specific send times by 40%. The perfect day and time for sending push notifications vary from industry to industry. Typically, eCommerce will get the best responses between 3 to 4 pm on Wednesdays. 

Depending on the app's use case and genre, the campaign send time varies. For instance, most evenings after work will see the most activity on a music app. Hence, the evening alerts will have a high rate of delivery. Similar to this, stores may want to send push notifications between 10 and 11 PM. Maximizing the delivery rate requires choosing a time based on the app's genre.

4. To reduce cart abandonment

This might come as a surprise to some, but cart abandonment rates globally are at an average of 97%. This means that more and more users keep adding products to their cart without actually purchasing the products.

Various reasons such as high shipping costs or loss of interest after adding items trigger this abandonment.

Both email and push notifications can do a wonderful job of re-engaging customers. When timed correctly and composed accurately, the odds of customer engagement are likely to be around 50% higher with these notifications.

For example, companies offer monthly or seasonal discounts on their stores. This reduced price can be used to entice users back to their abandoned carts using a notification.

5. To re-engage offline users

Data indicates that running highly targeted push notification campaigns sees a click rate as high as 30%. A tailor-made campaign will help draw inactive customers back to your application. Additionally, around 52% of people look for relevant offers and discounts when they receive push notifications. While the discounts are already applicable, these notifications are merely diverting the suitable user base to them.

A few common errors to avoid

Now that you know what needs to be done, here are a few common errors to avoid with your push notification campaigns for product recommendations.

1. Don't use an incorrect/irrelevant CTA

Use words in your CTA that get to the point. Keep it brief and attractive.

People look at it for a few seconds, which means you have very little attention to play with.

Use words that draw attention, like "BEST" or "OFFER." The action mentioned on the notification should also remain the same as your redirect page.

2. Don't be dull

Static and bland notifications are easy to miss. If you need to make a point; it has to be done attractively.

A MoEngage study shows that using emojis in your notification can enhance your click-through rate by 20%, which is 25% higher when rich fonts come into play.

Using photos of the product, colorful banners, and other graphics can also help enhance the CTR by 35%.

3. Don't overdo it

Bombarding your users with notifications is the worst. They are less likely to buy the products if you appear to spam them.

4. Lack of testing

Sending large-scale notifications without accurate testing could lose your business time and money. This is where A/B testing plays a significant role.

Start by setting a hypothesis for your test. These hypotheses are typically the result you wish to achieve from your campaign. For example, a hypothesis for an online clothing store could be "Users who shopped for sweaters will also buy gloves."

Next, roll out this hypothesis to a dedicated, small audience pool. Gather data from this testing and slightly alter your theory for different results. Document these results to achieve the best success metrics.

Once you have sufficient data, take these push notifications live to a larger audience.

Examples of push notifications done right!

Here are a couple of examples for some inspiration.


Ticketmaster is one of the world's leading marketplaces for live events and ticketing. Their app notifications are some of the most actionable among others in their domain.

They utilize location-based targeting to their advantage. Users are most likely to buy tickets to events closer to their homes or work, and this location data helps them accurately target notifications.

Additionally, past user behavior plays a massive role. For example, users who buy concert tickets are less likely to visit another music show in the future, ideally of the same genre.


Netflix, the online streaming platform, is a master with push notifications. Each movie or web series on this app is a product they wish to sell. Therefore, re-engaging offline users with push notifications will help improve their retention.

Netflix typically relies on user behavior for its app notifications. For example, at the launch of a new season of an existing web series, the app will notify users who have previously watched the previous season of the series.


We would be remiss to ignore Amazon while discussing e-commerce. Amazon push notifications are famous for their innovations in fixing cart abandonment through well-crafted messages.

The Amazon product recommendation engine works in tandem with push notifications to bring users back to the app more often.

In Closing

Push notifications are an incredible tool for engaging customers and drawing attention to offers and discounts.

When timed accurately and personalized to the best results, these can result in a massive increase in revenues.

Glood.AI uses the latest AI/ML technologies to provide customers with the best possible recommendation to boost conversions and increase AOV. Get started today!

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