Android has been on the forefront of path breaking web technologies including PWA and web push notification alerts ever since their inception. Apple on the other hand has been skittish to add support and has blocked other companies including Google to implement web push and other PWA features on iOS.
Over the last few years, considerable voice has been raised to get Safari to allow these quick alerts on iOS devices and with them other browsers like Chrome and Firefox as well.
iOS 16 to add expanded Web Push Support in 2023
Although we came to know that Apple will be extending support for Web Push Notifications on iOS with the release of an early beta build of iOS 16. The Cupertino giant finally confirmed at its annual Worldwide Developer Conference 2022, that mobile web notifications will be coming to Safari in early 2023.
This is great news for web-first companies who have been slaving to build a uniform experience across devices and platforms. With these innovative alerts, they will find a new way to engage with customers, build their own audience and increase conversions.
The Mobile-first vs Web-first Debate
This debate has long been fought without any significant result. For web-first companies, getting engagement on mobile has been difficult. It is a constant challenge to bring users back to their site after a user has left. Companies with their own mobile apps can easily send a push notification and re-engage with their customers in a timely manner, while web-first companies had to rely on email, SMS and other primitive channels.
With PWAs, websites have come very close to the functionality of apps including cached content, instant load times and a unified experience across the board. The only missing link was push notifications on iOS (iPhone and iPad).
Why Mobile Web Push Notifications on iOS are important?
Here are some statistics which give an insight into why engagement with push notifications on mobile Safari on iOS are the next big thing:
- iOS currently has more than 50% share of the entire US market.
- Safari currently has about 20% global marketshare.
- Web Push notifications are likely to have 30X higher conversion rate.
- Users are far more likely to subscribe to web push notifications alerts compared to email or SMS (10x subscription rate compared to email as of October 2022).
- iPhone users on average earn more than US$50,000 compared to about US$37,000 for Android users.
- iPhone users spend more compared to Android users on technology and new products.
Some use cases for web push notifications on iOS
Keep your subscribers engaged with new content. Send breaking news alerts in real-time along with new articles. Send subscription abandonment alerts, content recommendations.
You may own a brick and mortar store which also has a web presence. It doesn’t make sense to develop apps for all ecosystems, instead web push notifications can help engage your mobile web customers with updates on inventory, new items for sale and offers.
Web push notifications are extensively used in the eCommerce space for sending out timely offers, flash sale notifications, along with order updates. They are also used to boost conversions by engaging users with personalized drip campaigns, abandoned cart alerts, back-in-stock and price drop notifications.
Keep your customers updated about their appointments, reporting and other details. Telehealth companies can direct customers to access their online portal to communicate with them about their health-related alerts, remind them of their checkups, and information about due or pending reports. Building an app around the functionality and expecting every customer to install it can be an uphill task, when this can be simply and effectively handled on a mobile website.
Keep users informed about their policies, changes as well as renewals. Alerts can also be sent about new products in the insurance space, along with the opportunity to cross sell between life, auto, home and other general insurance products.
Send real-time alerts about transactions, OTP for authorization of new transactions along with other notifications about changes to a customer’s account. You can also upsell new debit/credit cards, loan offerings to customers with personalized notifications based on their finance profiles and credit scores.
If you own a web trading platform, which deals with coin or stock exchanges. You can easily leverage your web presence on mobile by sending real-time alerts on volatility in the market, valuation of customer’s assets, stocks/coins to invest in or divest from, along with other security and privacy alerts. This will further boost engagement on the platform and help build a loyal customer base.
There are a lot of verticals with travel and tourism, from finding a location to booking a flight, hotel, sightseeing and tours. Web push notifications can help engage users with each of these steps. From sending price drop alerts on hotels based on the location the customer was searching to cheap flights along with local sightseeing packages. You can use push notifications to help guide users to prepare a plan with your website.
Build a user-base for your ed-tech business with push notifications. These users can be re-engaged anytime when a new course in their field becomes available. You can reduce course abandonment by sending our regular alerts along with schedules. You can also use content marketing to reach out to potential customers, and cross-sell courses within the same domain. Send course updates, schedule changes and alerts to start where the user left to keep them engaged.