How to use web push notifications to drive more repeat sales

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By now, it’s common knowledge that a 5% increase in retention can increase profitability by 25% to 95% for businesses. Your repeat buyers tend to spend 67% more than your new customers. So, it’s needless to say that what your Shopify store really needs to grow faster, are repeat sales.

But how do you get a shopper back to your store after they have made a purchase already?

Email newsletters are overdone. Every store out there is sending out a curated list of products to their customers or lookbooks that they can get inspired to make a purchase from. But the truth is that they are rarely read and mostly ignored.

Take a look at your own inbox and tell us how many times you really open a newsletter from an online store? Chances are that your answer is - once in a blue moon. And as a business, that is not enough to drive repeat sales.

If you’re counting on display ads for retargeting, you should note that they work only when you have a sizeable amount of audience. Additionally, ad blockers are now widely being used by adlergic people all around the globe. Statista shows the interesting rise of ad blockers 2014 onwards and predicts it to hit 28% by 2020. So, a lot of ads that you are running are actually not seen by the audience you want to engage or re-engage. Ad clickthrough rates aren’t motivating either.

We’re not saying that these channels are ineffective. We’re just saying that your marketing stack needs another channel - web push notifications.


Well, here’s a quick list of why they are gaining popularity:  

  • Easier to opt-in than emails

  • Deliver higher engagement rate

  • They are difficult to ignore because they appear right on your mobile or desktop screen

  • They can drive real-time, personalized, and highly contextual engagement

  • Low unsubscription rate

  • More importantly, with apps like PushOwl, you can get started in less than 5 minutes

But just like the other marketing channels that you have using, web push notifications require strategy. So, we listed down a few ways you can put your customer data to use to drive repeat sales using web push notifications.

6 ways to use web push notifications to drive repeat sales

Discounts and offers

Getting dormant users back to the buying mode can be a tough deal. That’s unless you can lure them with ongoing discounts on your website. People who haven’t visited your website for days might not be aware of the deals you are offering. They might not have checked that email that you sent, informing about upcoming discounts. Also, they might have blocked ads from popping up on their social feeds. In these cases, web push notification gets across the message in a jiffy, right on time.


A sense of urgency makes people act swiftly. Running a flash sale promotion on web push notifications could help you win immediate attention from your old and dormant customers. Time-bound offers do really well, especially during an event like Black Friday.


Exclusive curations  

You already have a lot of data about your old customers - what they like, their purchase behavior or what would interest them. For example, if an old customer always bought from your ‘Home Decor’ collection, you can use this information to win back his interest. In this instance, you can notify the customer about ‘Spring 2019 Collection’ in Home Decor.

Pro tip

For customers who have been buying quite regularly from you but haven’t shown up for a while, send them a collection that they are more likely to purchase from. You could additionally add a little discount that says you miss them. You can even add little note of admiration and gratitude in your message.


Price drops

Here’s a scenario. Your customer has his heart fixated on the one ‘GANT’ watch that he has checked out on your website at least five times in the last month. He is an old customer who has made quite a few ‘valuable’ purchases from your store. But this time, he is waiting for the seasonal discount sale. How do you get him to buy sooner?

Running a special price discount on his favorite watch will definitely be the turning point for him. Price drop promotions are just the needed nudge when a buyer has a high intent to buy but might be price sensitive. And, you don’t want to lose him out to competition, right?


Automating your price drop campaigns means that your visitors can subscribe to be notified for price drops they are interested in. A price drop notification needs to be timely! Read about the price drop automation in our Help Centre.



If a user has just bought a pair of Nike runner shoes online, it only makes sense to showcase the cool new anti-sweat Nike socks that he could use. Chances are, you’ll hit a repeat sale. Similarly, if someone has recently purchased a laptop, you can send him notifications about laptop bags and covers to keep his brand new laptop damage proof, and clean.

Pro tip:

Using emojis brings in a fun element to any message. You can double the impact of your notification copy by lessening the number of words and intelligently using emojis instead. For example, if you are cross-selling socks, you could use emojis showing ‘shoe’ and ‘socks’ in your copy.

Recommendations based on past purchases

Leverage the pool of data and information that your users have left with you to target them with super relevant products and offers.

Consider that someone purchases a few dresses from your site, in size 22. You could use this information to notify them about other ‘trendy’ dresses in the same size that the user might like. You could further use this information to send ‘time-sensitive’ offers. Inculcating relevancy in your notification works like a charm in getting you repeat sales.

Pro tip

Personalize your copy to not only reflect your brand’s image but to also make your customers feel special. The following is an example of a recommendation campaign based on a visitor’s past purchase. See how the copy is quirky enough to reflect the brand’s tone, yet smartly personalized in a manner that it speaks to the shopper.


Back-in-Stock Reminders

You may find that a few old customers drop in time and again to check in on products that aren’t in stock. This could be a big put-off for both you and your shoppers. Sending out push notifications as soon as you restock that product could bring them back to finally make the purchase.

Pro tip:

If a buyer is genuinely interested in buying a product that’s currently not in stock, you don’t need to turn it into a promotion. PushOwl integrates with apps like Now-Back in-Stock to let visitors subscribe to out-of-stock products so that they can be alerted when the product is back in stock.


Over to you

While web push notifications give you a channel to reach your customers wherever they are - even when not on the store, you need to back your approach with a strategy.

And it all starts with understanding who your customers are, the brands that you’re competing with and what messages your customers are more likely to engage with. After all, you only go back to a brand when you feel valued, right?

Have you used web push notifications to re-engage your customers before? We’d love to know the strategy that worked the best for you.

About the author

Vanhishikha Bhargava is the Content Strategist and Marketer at PushOwl, a Shopify App that enables stores to send smart web push notifications to get more sales. Always finding new strategies for online stores to grow their business, you can follow her blogs here.

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