6 Unique Push Notification Use-cases For E-commerce Apps

6 Unique Push Notification Use-cases For E-commerce Apps

Table of Contents:

1. Weather based offer
2. Price drop update
3. Geofencing
4. Reminder to inactive users
5. Based on browsing history
6. Have fun

For e-commerce apps, push messaging has very reasonably assumed the role of session-magnet. The occasional and impulsive buying nature of users have made push messages the only resort to e-commerce apps to increase app sessions. This is evident by the very fact that e-commerce apps using push notification, to drive app opens, had 278% more launches than the ones who didn’t use it.

Push notification gave bewildering conversions to publishers at its initial stage. But later on, it went on to become such a fad that an average user was getting 60 push messages on his phone per day. This naturally programmed users to adopt a cherry picking attitude and swipe-right them all that doesn’t entice them. It also implied that marketers now have the bigger challenge to not just send the message but also make it promising.

This essentially means creating a personalized messaging for an individual or segment of users  that gives them some value and not just some crappy promotional text. In this post, we are going to highlight some of the unique use-cases of push notification that you can implement or seek inspiration from for your future campaigns.  

10 Ultimate Use Cases Of In-App Messages For E-commerce Apps

1. Weather based offer

When to show (Trigger)- A particular geo-location has experienced an increase in rainfall by 10 mm

A weather targeting capability could be added to the marketing automation platform by integrating a weather targeting API.  

Whom to show (Segment)- All users in the targeted geo-location


weather based triggers for push notification

Weather based targeting is not new and brands have adopted incredible ways to exploit the weather changes to their advantage. For instance, French Fashion retailer La Redoute set up a dynamic billboard campaign wherein the clothing of the model on the billboard changed according to the weather.

weather based triggers for fashion industry

The underlying strategy could be replicated just as well for a push notification too as displayed in the above use case.

We could innovate more such unique segments and triggers, pertaining to weather change, to create a compelling push notification. For instance,

a. Sending offer on summer wears to all users of a particular geo-location- which has experienced a sudden surge in temperature.

b. An automobile tire e-tailer could send a push to it users in Ohio in Dec warning them about the impending heavy snowfall and nudge them buy their snow tires.

2. Price drop update

When to show – When the price of SKU in the wish list has reduced

Whom to show – All users who have added item in wishlist and not completed the transaction


wishlist based push notification

The e-commerce apps rush to bombard the user’s inbox and notification tray with mindless promotional messages the moment they have an offer (that they think is exciting) or price drop in any of their categories. Take the instance of following push from Amazon.

deal of the day push notifications

Honestly, I cannot imagine anyone else falling for it except for the dude who designed it.

No doubt it is imperative to exploit the price drop by notifying users about it but we have to incorporate personalization by linking it to an action-based event.

In the above use-case, we are notifying the specific users about the price drop in one of their wish list item, which would intrigue them to act on it. We could further come up more compelling use-cases by creating segments based on user actions. For instance, sending push to corresponding users when

a. Price drop of the items in the cart.

b. Price drop in the category which user has transacted in for more than 5 times

3. Geofencing

When to show- When the user enters a particular geofence 

Geofence is a virtual boundary of a real-world geographic location, which in this case is women’s apparel showroom.

Whom to show- All users who are female or who have done transaction more than 5 times in the female apparels category


geofencing push notifications

This is the latest innovation in the mobile technology that you would have used by now or planning on using it. Geofencing makes way for marketers to send push to their users as soon as they enter or exit a specific geolocation.  

This gives the incredible capability to even bricks and mortar stores to entice users as they pass by their preferred location.

But just as other messaging channels, geofencing marketing too has become the victim of marketer’s obsession to over exploit anything that benefits them. For instance

Here again, contextualization, more than the fancy technology behind it, is the key.

4. Reminder to inactive users

Average apps have miserable retention rates. A recent survey by Forrester suggests that a user spends 80% of his time on five apps. In fact, this essay by Andrew Chen details why losing 80% of mobile users is simply normal.

App uninstall not just hurt the acquisition cost alone, it also hurt your ASO (App Store Optimization) as the app store penalizes app for downgrades in metrics such as ratings, retention, install rate etc. Since search makes for the majority of app installs,  losing on ASO implies losing on future revenue.  

Inactive users can be broadly classified into two:

a. Inactive immediately after install

b. Inactive after the goal/s completion and x days

The first set of users are the ones who log just one app session post install and go inactive. The latter is the users who have desirably engaged with app post install but then became dormant and are on the verge of uninstalling. Naturally, both the user categories need to be engaged differently.

  • Inactive immediately after install

When to show- When the time since app install is greater than 10 hours + user has not completed any activity goals

Whom to show- All users who have logged only once since app install


reactivation push notification

It is supremely important to engage inactive users between D1 and D3 as, on an average, apps lose 77% of their DAUs within 3 days post install.

Again, the nudge should be compelling. In the above use-case, we are

  • Inactive after the goal/s completion and x days  

When to show- When the user had last logged in app more than 7 days ago

Whom to show- All male users + users who have completed more than 5 sessions


This kind of inactive users are the ones who have completed a pre-defined goal like onboarding or a purchase or x number of sessions and have been inactive for x days since the last app launch.

To nail this, we have to determine the reason that might have led the user to become inactive only then we would be able to decide on the best reengagement bait. We could pick nuggets from anything right from past service ratings to browsing history to user attributes etc.

Holachef gives a compelling reason to such inactive users through email. (not sure if they employ push notification too)

triggered email campaign for inactive users

In the above use-case, we have replicated the same on push.

5. Based on browsing history

When to show- The price of particular SKU has reduced

Whom to show- Users who searched for SKU + the timing of user’s search is less than 7 days ago


price drop push notifications

Amazon nails this brilliantly, both on their website and on the marketing side. I haven’t come across anybody else who tracks website activity of user and acts on it as brilliantly as Amazon. Nearly 70% of the Amazon’s site’s real estate is covered with recommendations and when you are off their website, it would send you a next-level personalized email on the basis of your last browsing history.

For instance, this is what I got in my inbox after I searched for a speaker on Amazon:

abandoned cart triggered email campaign

We have built our use-case on the same lines.

Similar use-cases wherein we can do segmentation on the basis of user’s browsing history are:

a. Sending recommendations to the user if he has browsed a particular category for more than 5 times in the span of x days.

b. Upselling relevant accessories to a user who has purchased an apparel x days ago

6. Have fun

There are no set of fundamental principles that you need to comply to while creating the push message. So it essentially implies that you could exercise the same level of creativity with push messaging that you do with you other marketing campaigns.

The following example would illustrate what I am alluding to.  happy hour push notifications

So, in all the use-cases that we have discussed so far we could incorporate some fun to make it sound like that it’s coming from a human and not a robot. People are already tired and sick of being treated like a robot by your competitors and other brands, use this opportunity to create a refreshingly human experience for another human.


Push notification service was first launched by Apple in 2009 and later adopted by Google in 2010. Since then it has become such a mobile marketing phenomenon that an entire industry (WebEngage being one) to facilitate the growth that it has slated to achieve. The exponential penetration of mobile devices has super amplified its importance as a communication channel to target mobile users.

The purpose of the blog is that you are either able to leverage the use-cases mentioned here directly or leave with enough food for thought that you look at push messaging with a thicker prism of micro-segmentation and contextualization.

P.S. You may experiment with above use-cases on WebEngage dashboard.

Targeted Push Notifications Can Help In Achieving Conversions As High As 50%

A marketer's guide to mobile push notifications

  • Created: 25 Jul 2016
  • Last Updated: 12 Jan 2022



Ajit Singh Content Marketer, Webengage

Ajit is a Marketing Manager at WebEngage. He is a power user who writes about marketing automation and everything about the customer engagement sphere. He previosuly worked as a Digital Marketing Executive at Zepo.in

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