The Power of Mobile App Push Notifications

Marketing today is all about capturing the consumer at the right time and in the right context. One way to achieve this is through push notifications on mobile devices. A push notification is the most direct way to engage with your app users. What’s more, of those who download a brand’s mobile app, 68% opt-in to receiving push notifications from that app. With push notifications you can keep users informed with timely and relevant content, whether you app is running in the background or inactive. Notifications can display a message, play a distinctive sound, or update a badge on your app icon.

McDonalds-push-notification So why are push notifications so powerful?

Well for a start the consumer is mobile. The global smartphone audience has surpassed the 1 billion mark in 2012. Push notifications provide a direct-to-pocket channel and are within arms-reach of the consumer. Although this may seem like a passport to reaching your consumer it is important to capture their attention also. Similar to email, push notifications consider the user before delivering push. Messaging can therefore become more relevant by including previous location information, in app behaviors, stated preferences and purchase history. For instance, you’re walking past Starbucks at 8.00 am on a Monday morning and you’re a long time loyal customer at this location, chances are you would love a coupon for a Tall Latte. Push notifications when used sparingly and correctly can be good for your brand and can allow you to connect with your mobile audience in a helpful but influential way.

1) Push can drive unplanned purchases

Push not only promises to build customer loyalty, but it can also motivate impulse or unplanned spending. In a study on shopping behavior it was found that shopping apps are considered most useful and more likely to impact shopping behavior. Email and online product reviews were also included; the common denominator being their ability to influence the consumers shopping behavior and satisfy their shopper needs.

2) Push can influence the consumer on their journey

Push can be part of a holistic customer journey, for instance giving customers the information that they need from various devices from their smartphone when they are on the move (researching a product) to their tablet when they are at home (getting out their credit cards to make a payment). Whilst push notifications are concentrated on mobile phones and tablets they are quickly expanding to reach all kinds of new internet devices. In fact, the world will have more connected devices than people – 75 billion devices connected to the “Internet of things” by 2020.

3) Push can drive customer retention

Push can promise to help with customer retention. For most app marketers minimizing churn is a major pain point. Retention for push-enabled users is significantly higher than for those who disable push notifications with a nearly 3 times higher retention rate compared to those who disable push. To keep users coming back into the app months down the road, it becomes extremely important to send timely, actionable push notifications. Even just one month after first downloading the app, the difference in retention is staggering. The cost to acquire an app user is $1.79 which is based on a quality user, defined as a user that will open the app at least three times. If you are willing to invest such an amount in capturing your user in the first place, with the cost per acquisition potentially lower then your lifetime value, you should be willing to invest more into retaining the user.

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XtremePush wins R&D Intellectual Property Award with iBeacon solution

homepageIPAwardsOurselves here at XtremePush, a leader in mobile analytics, iBeacon, push notifications and app engagement, entered the Intellectual Property Awards with our iBeacon location proximity solution back in April. We are delighted to have emerged as the winner in the category of indigenous IP R&D. The IP Awards are Ireland’s most highly prized awards in Intellectual Property, recognising and celebrating those involved in IP development.

Our indoor proximity solution works through both Apple’s iBeacon and WIFI wto deliver a higher precise of indoor location mobile engagement. A number of commercial real time location solutions exist but they typically attempt to replicate GPS indoors, requiring the installation of expensive custom hardware solutions. Most of these are aimed at industries that are concerned with “where stuff is” for example logistics and manufacturing. In contrast the proximity solution we provide works with any mobile device and requires no custom hardware or tags. Our solution means an app can now easily, and economically, analyse, target and engage with a higher level of relevancy and accuracy than ever before. Deloitte estimate that in the US by 2016 smartphones are likely to influence between 17% and 21% of retail purchases equating to $628-782 billion in sales.

Outdoors GPS is king. A custom standard for location detection, shipping with every mobile device. However indoors GPS does not work. Our patent pending indoor proximity solution which overcomes this problem works through either iBeacon or WIFI. App developers can easily install a package to their app so the app can be contextually aware of it’s location relevant to a beacon or WIFI router within a range of half a meter to 70 meters. This breakthrough is the result of two years of development through an innovation partnership with Clarity, the Centre for Sensor Web Technologies, Dublin City University, Enterprise Ireland, Science Foundation Ireland an with ourselves here at XtremePush. It has developed from a proof of concept to a commercial technology over the last 24 months by our CTO Dr. Kevin Collins himself.

Our CEO Tommy Kearns has stated “With Apple’s release of iBeacon technology it has bolstered our proximity solution to make it easier and economical for apps to engage in-doors or in a highly localized and contextual relevant manner. Our mobile engagement platform is completely compatible with iBeacon and WIFI technology and we are delighted to be recognized by the IP Awards for our innovation in this area. The opportunity for brands to learn, analyse, engage and retarget their users presents a new vista for consumer insights.”

Our mobile engagement and analytical software solution has over 300 apps signed up through a global customers base in Ireland, UK, USA, Mexico, France, Argentina and Brazil. Brands use our platform to automate push notifications based on app analytics, user segmentation, geo fences for outdoors and now beacons for indoor proximity awareness. And we are very excited about the future of the mobile market.

Apple’s Mobile Payments and Proximity Purchasing using iBeacon

paypal-mobileThe development of smartphones has gone and replaced the necessities and utilities we grew up with; the watch, the alarm clock, the tape recorder, music players, and it seems that very soon, we can add cash and wallets to that list. Mobile payments are garnering more attention throughout the world due to an improved user experience and the new opportunities it can provide for financial institutions, operators and merchants. This attention has been driven by the growing demand from the consumer side for mobile payments. According to Gartner, the number of mobile payment users in the world will reach 384 million by 2015, in 2009 there were 70 million users.

Mobile payments can now be based on proximity using iBeacon 

Proximity payments are going to make in-store shopping a lot more interesting. Proximity payments are a form of contactless payments which is more convenient than swiping credit cards. In a store setting you can use a mobile device to complete a payment by way of short-range communication technologies including Bluetooth, RFID and now iBeacon. Mobile payments fall into three categories; mobile proximity payments or in-store payments, mobile peer-to-peer and mobile commerce. Whilst growth will occur over the next few years for all three, the growth in mobile proximity payments will far outpace the growth of the other two.

Mobile is unleashing convenient commerce and enabling consumers to purchase how and when they want whether on a phone or in a store. By 2017 Mobile proximity payments is expected to reach $40.1 billion, up from $1.1 billion volume expectations in 2013.

Two companies embracing mobile proximity payments include Hailo and PayPal:

Hailo

Up until now Hailo drivers and passengers are matched based on both availability and proximity using GPS-enabled smartphones. The new ‘Pay with Hailo’ service is now fully equipped to use iBeacon technology. This feature uses iBeacon which can automatically recognize taxis with the option to connect and pay for a journey automatically as soon as you step foot inside a vehicle. According to Tom Barr CEO of Hailo “We are taking the friction and the hassle out of taking a taxi and making it easier for people and for drivers“. Ultimately Hailo’s vision is to provide a seamless experience for both drivers and passengers. Currently our-selves here in Ireland have been lucky enough to be the very first country to get our hands on Hailo’s new payment features. The Hailo app proved successful at the Web Summit in Dublin last year, and with attendee figures set to double to 20,000 this year, now is an optimal time for Hailo to embrace this technology.

Hailo-mobile-payment

PayPal

In the new year PayPal will be deploying PayPal Beacon to connect to a customer’s PayPal app when they enter a store. With one vibration or sound on your phone, you will know you’re checked in. And when you’re ready to make a purchase, all you have to do is say you’re paying with PayPal and the transaction is automatically completed: no cash, cards, taps, or signatures required—all hands free. PayPal Beacon will connect consumers to enhanced shopping experiences such as automatically ordering your favorite dish at your usual lunch spot, or getting personalized service at your favorite clothing store. In addition, you can choose to accept messages from stores that you walk into, so that you can take advantage of special offers in the product aisle. You can get notified immediately when your prescription is ready, order your usual lunch at your favorite restaurant, or simply walk to the counter with your purchases and say you’re paying with PayPal, the merchant does the rest and you receive your receipt electronically. With PayPal Beacon it has the potential to change the landscape of mobile payments.

paypal-ibeacon

Top Ten Irish Apps in 2014

top-irish-appsIrish Apps have come a long way. Four years ago the top ten favourite Irish Apps as announced by joe.ie in 2011, included a Carlow Weather App. According to the reviews of the App “We’ve never seen a weather app with such a distinctive focus on one particular area, especially Carlow.”

The TV3 App came in at number seven in 2011, sadly it is no longer in the top ten. The App came with a price tag and to no surprise it changed it’s pricing to free in order to adapt to App market expectations. At the time there was little belief that RTE would develop the RTE player app, however, an RTE player app was in fact introduced and has gained momentum coming in at number 6 below in the Top Ten Irish Apps, along with RTE news now at number five.

Interestingly the Journal.ie which was also a free App came in at number three. Four years later the App ranks as number two in the list. The Journal was referred to as the best Irish news App and was patted on the back for being absolutely free to the consumer. It is nice to see it has grown in popularity.

Below are the Top Ten Irish Apps in 2014:

1. DoneDeal
DoneDeal is Ireland’s largest buying and selling website. The app allows you to browse sections including cars, houses, clothing and electronic equipment and find the bargain that you are looking for from the palm of your hand. Features include filtering ads by location, section and price, sharing adverts on social media and saving favourites for late.

2. TheJournal.ie
The Journal.ie App provides users with up-to-date-minute breaking news, all day, and every day. Some of the Features include poll voting, commentary on stories and searching for topics or specific articles. As already mentioned above the Journal is growing from strength to strength.

3. AIB Mobile
The AIB Mobile Banking App allows you to access a wide range of convenient features from your mobile device. They recently launched a new smartphone app, Me2U that allows person-to-person (phone-to-phone) payments. The idea is to make sending money to people as easy as texting.

4. Daft.ie
The Daft.ie App allow you to search Ireland’s largest property website. Some of the features include; searching where you can search through 100,000 properties across Ireland, Finding where you can get directions to a property based on your current locations, saving and synching where you can save properties that are of interest and use a nearby search feature where it will show properties near to you.

5. RTÉ News Now
The RTE News Now App offers all the latest national and international headlines, top stories, latest sports results and much more. You can personalise your news feeds and browse offline and save stories to read later.

6. RTÉ Player
The RTE Player App allows you to watch and catch up on a wide selection of programmes broadcast on RTE Television. Some of the features include social sharing buttons, saving programmes as favourites and picking up where you left off.

7. Bank of Ireland Mobile Banking
The Bank of Ireland Mobile Banking App is designed to help you perform your banking ‘on the go’ and in a way that is convenient for you. The App has added a new feature ‘Mobile Top Up’ where users have the ability to top up their own/family/friends prepay mobile phones with credit.

8. Adverts.ie
The Adverts.ie App allows you to grab a bargain across every type of category imaginable. Sellers can receive instant notifications about ads, buy credits using PayPal and respond to offers on an ad. Similarly buyers can receive notifications on ads they are watching, access their wish list and pay quickly ad securely using the Buy Now buttons on Shops’ ads.

9. Dublin Bus
The Dublin Bus App is something that we at XtremePush or the general public in Dublin city could not live without. The utility of the App is that it stops you being too early for that bus or too late, and allows you to arrive at the right time. The App provides real time information for all 5,000 bus stops and shelters in the Dublin Bus network. You can follow the bus in real time on a map and save your favourite bus stops.

10. Aldi Ireland
The Aldi Ireland App lets you receive the latest offers and locate your local Aldi store. Menu features include Special Buys, shopping lists and store locator.

Push Notifications, iBeacon, and iOS 8

Mobile devices are the remote controls for our lives. As the consumer becomes more sophisticated and tech savvy they are demanding more from their applications. An app with a pulse is not enough anymore. On the other hand an app with a pulse and a good notification strategy gives the user control over what they receive and provides the option to immediately take action. This will become key to meeting mobile users’ extremely high expectations when iOS 8  is released.

With the beta release of iOS 8 Apple are giving us a glimpse at a key enhancement that will reduce friction for bidirectional communication between users and their apps. Some of the new features for push notifications include; Interactive notifications, Widgets and enhanced Location services. Interactive Notifications are something that brands can—and should—quickly adopt.

Interactive notifications lets you respond to push notifications without switching apps. Also an interactive notification could be another way to gather customer feedback. For example you have ordered food from an app like ‘Just eat’, you receive your meal and you receive a notification asking “How would you rate the restaurant?”, whilst another notification which could be sent out would be “Would you dine with this restaurant in the foreseeable future?”

an interactve notification

An Interactive Notification

iOS 8 offers an incredible amount of potential for businesses to improve their app’s stickiness and drive continued engagement, even without having their end-users directly in the app. Here are a few examples: A customer is in Starbucks and they receive a notification saying “Your balance hit $0.00 after your last purchase” the future notification would allow the customer to reload their balance with the same amount they last reloaded their balance with.

With iOS 8 users will have the same level of multi-tasking that Android users already enjoy. Interactive notifications and widgets will enable consumers the ability to take specific actions on a push notification (either as a banner or on the lock-screen). The possibilities are endless for retail. From a purchasing perspective, retailers might offer an interactive notification to users whose wish-list item just came back into stock, giving them the option to add it directly to their cart without leaving the app they’re currently browsing. The more users interact with the initial interactive notification the more precise your profile of the user becomes.

Another utility benefit of the iOS 8  is the ability of the user to take action outside of an app through actionable notifications which let you respond to in the notification tray such as typing a reply or comment on a Facebook photo tag without switching apps.

actionable notification

An Actionable Notification

Another important addition is Widgets in Apple’s Notification Center and lock screen, which, offers users immediate, non-intrusive information. Instead, iOS widgets will share the drop-down hub with app notifications. These miniature iterations of apps will go into the Notification Center for iOS 8 and provide small bites of information provided by the app, the new widgets inside the notifications panel. One example of a widget could be from the eBay App widget, showing items your currently bidding on and the time left until the end of the bid.

Widgets

Even more compelling is the possible integration of interactive notifications with iBeacons. From a customer service standpoint where beacons recognise that you have walked into your favourite store, an interactive notification sent after the customer has walked in store could quickly provide an interactive, yet non-disruptive notification…“Welcome back Annmarie, is there something we can assist you with today”? A quick tap of “yes” could alert the floor manager to send a customer service assistant in Annmarie’s area to help her find what she needs. Maybe Annmarie taps “no” and then enjoys browsing the sales without being bothered. It’s a small touch that can have a great impact on customer experience.

One interesting development with the iOS 8 operating system is in regards to location services. Rumour has is that an app icon to the left hand side of the lock screen would appear whenever a user is in the vicinity of a location that has a corresponding app in the App Store. The device’s current location is used to recommend relevant apps on the lock screen, the user doesn’t even have to have the app installed on their device. For instance you walk up to a nearby Apple Store and an app icon appears on the Lock screen. This new feature will tie in nicely with iBeacon. When a user is within close proximity of a business for example Starbucks an icon from the Starbucks app will appear on the user’s home screen as can be seen below.

StarbucksiOS 8 offers numerous advantages for both businesses and consumers in their update to how push notifications may be improved and how iBeacon will continue to grow in relevancy to the users local interactions with their apps. Businesses have a new platform for engagement that can improve brand awareness and stickiness whilst consumers can easily respond back without having to make a conscious effort to navigate back to one application.

 

10 Awesome Mobile Infographics

Here at Xtremepush, we have gathered together Ten Awesome Mobile Infographics which show how mobile is changing the way we live, the industries influenced by mobile and how mobiles will soon outnumber people.

1. What you mean you’ve taken a picture using a camera?

infog 13

2. Its All In The Apps. 75% of mobile users are more likely to take action after seeing a location- specific advertising message

infog 21

3. Mobile phones will soon outnumber people

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4.Land lines are being replaced by mobile devices

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5. Smartphones are used not only for squandering time but for actual learning

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5. Meet The Connected Consumer  “in her shoes”

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6. Mobile Technology has changed travel forever, 5% of apps in the Apple store are now travel apps

info 127. More people are reading emails on mobile devices

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8. A new syndrome, Nomophobia “No mobile phone syndrome” has emerged

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9. There appears to be a slight gender imbalance in terms of accessing smartphone devices

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10. Shower twice a day, brush teeth three times a day, use my apps (wait I’ve lost count)

mob infog