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Adi Dekel
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The Big Push: The State of Push Notifications Use

Push notifications. We’ve all seen them, we’ve all ignored them. It feels like they always pop at the least convenient moment, right? Well, it looks like we’ve reached the point where this should no longer be the case. In our next whitepaper, we will make a quick review of the push notifications market, point out the main problem that is causing the market’s biggest pain point, and once we understand what the problem is, we will find that the solution is quite simple.


First, how big is the push notification market? As big as the mobile market itself, and that’s big. Really big. The mobile market has been steadily growing in the past years, and it is now at the point where almost two thirds of the world population has a mobile phone; that is 4.9 billion unique mobile users. An even more important figure is that at least half of the world’s population owns a smartphone. From the numbers GSMA Intelligence and Ericsson are providing, it appears that mobile phones surpassed laptops and desktops in the share of web traffic for the first time in 2017.


In the mobile market, where communication with the users is essential for every company, push notifications are a vital element for apps to communicate with their users. Understanding how to better use push notifications will help players in the mobile market to improve dramatically.


Unfortunately, many apps send too many push notifications at the wrong time or with irrelevant content for the users. According to Oracle research, retailers who use push notifications effectively and are considered non-spammers are very selective in what they distribute, and drive notifications with valuable offers, useful and informative data.


When talking with consumers about their reasons they choose to opt out, many reply that the notifications are simply annoying (50%). Consumers’ biggest complaint was that the push notifications they received were irrelevant or non-personalized.


Source: Don’t Push Me: What Makes Users Opt Out of Push notifications, Relate, 2016


On a brighter note, consumers also say they would use push notifications if they were more personalized than what the market is currently offering.


The main problem push notifications are facing is lack of contextuality, making them a nuisance to the users. The solution is quite simple. All that’s needed is:


  • Personalization and contextualization of push notification
  • Fine segmentation of target audience


There is a real need for change in the market, and we see a gradual understanding of the potential of right usage of push notifications. In 2017, if a change like adding an emoji to notifications can lead to 85% increase in the opening rate, one can imagine what contextual, perfect timed notification can do.


To read our full report and insights around push notification, download The Big Push whitepaper.