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Convenience Retailers Push the Engagement Envelope

Among the tips for a successful strategy, Rovertown suggests sending a push notification once per week.
Danielle Romano
Rovertown_push notifications

ST. LOUIS — Whether providing users with important updates or highlighting relevant promotions, push notifications are a powerful tool for boosting app sessions and driving results. But what actually works?

Rovertown, the mobile app platform designed for convenience retailers, recently released a report revealing the best practices for mobile app push notifications. Based on an analysis of more than 78 million push notifications sent by dozens of convenience retailers between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2023, the report offers guidelines for character count, emoji usage, dayparts, message phrasing and more.

"Push notifications are an essential aspect of any modern mobile app and engagement strategy. Unfortunately, best practices have not been widely disseminated within our industry. Rovertown's new report bridges that gap and offers valuable insights to both novices and experts alike," said Tyler Cameron, head of strategy and analytics at Rovertown.

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Here's what Rovertown uncovered:

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  • Curiosity drives engagement: Short teaser messages and longer notifications that were cut off due to character count limits were shown to be 121% more effective than the average push notification. 
  • Timing is crucial: Notifications sent during morning and evening hours performed up to 178% better than the average push notification. 
  • Beyond price points: Notifications highlighting contests performed 30% better than the median standalone push notification, while those focusing on a retail price point performed 32% worse. 
  • Utilize positive phrasing: Push notifications with negative phrasing such as "don't miss out" performed 9% worse than the median standalone push notification. 
  • Emojis matter: Push notifications with emojis performed 50% better than the median standalone push notification.

Following an initial analysis in January 2024, Rovertown provided a select group of retailers with push notification guidelines. Those adhering to at least three key best practices — increasing frequency, using emojis and sending messages in the morning — experienced an average increase of 17% in unique app users, the firm reported.

"Driving results doesn't always mean investing more money into your app," Cameron added. "As a former retailer, I've seen how effective push notifications can be when it comes to communicating your app's purpose and driving engagement. I'm confident that this report will help many retailers in our industry identify new opportunities for success."

To download the full report, click here.

Headquartered in St. Louis, Rovertown's customizable platform empowers retailers to build branded, design-forward apps and make self-service updates in real time.

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