How to Retarget Window Shoppers with Web Push Notifications

How to Retarget Window Shoppers with Web Push Notifications

Marketers throw in the towel too soon when it comes to retargeting window shoppers. Some marketers are convinced that window shoppers are just here for ‘fun’, and will not convert, ever. But in reality, window shoppers are potential buyers. Buyers, that you are letting go, conveniently. Read on to know how web push notifications can be weaponized to retarget window shoppers and nudge them to convert.

An uncle of R.U. Darby, an insurance salesman went behind the riches in the western frontier. At that time, discoveries were made every day in Colorado. He picked a shovel and started off with the digging, and discovered what was believed to be the biggest gold mine in history. He covered up the mine and headed back to Maryland. Darby and uncle went back with the right tool and equipment in hand to unearth the ore. A sample of the ore was shipped to a smelter, and it was claimed it was from one of the richest mines in Colorado.

Overwhelmed with joy, Uncle and Darby rushed back, but only to find that the vein of gold had mysteriously disappeared! Puff! There was no sign of it! They tried to keep their hopes high and kept drilling. And then they finally gave up.

With utmost despire, they sold the machinery for a few hundred dollars and took the next train back home. The junk man who the machinery was sold to, with the help of a mining engineer did a little calculation and found out the fault lines. Believe it or not, they found the gold exactly three feet from where the Darbys has stopped drilling! Just 3 feet away! The gold vein had by no means disappeared. It was right there, waiting to be found.

Needless to say, the junk man made millions of dollars.

What we derive out of this is that we give up easily; we quit too soon. We as humans as biased. And there is no denying that fact. If something doesn’t work out once, we declare that it is never going to work out, and we give up. And this is evidently seen in the marketing world while taking decisions, important ones.

It doesn’t hurt me that people are not able to retarget well, what hurts me bad that they don’t even try. I want people to market fearlessly, to experiment and explore all options before that declare that they have hit a dead end.  

Most of our decisions are based on pure assumptions. We ‘assume’ that people would come back to your store when the need arises. We ‘assume’ that people would refer your store to your friends. We ‘assume’ that users who do not buy anything, are not interested in your products.

Just because you were not able to bring back window shoppers via a particular channel as you wish you could, you throw your hands in the air. And I don’t deny that it is a bit tricky to retarget window shoppers, but it’s not impossible.

The Mysterious Case of Browse Abandonment

97% of first-time users leave the store without making a purchase; they browse and then just leave. Are they going to come back? No one really knows. Can you try to bring them back? Hell yeah! Did you know that 41% of revenue comes from browse abandonment campaigns? What even more striking is that only 15% follow up with customers who leave the product page. You can read more about browse abandonment in this in-depth article.

But the question still remains – Are all window shoppers interested in making a purchase?

Browsers or Potential Buyers?

Window shoppers are users who browse your store but do not make a purchase. On the surface, it seems like they are just browsing, but most of the times there is a lot more than goes on.

  • They might be thinking of buying from your store, but not right then
  • They are gathering information about a product (94% research before they buy).
  • They might be comparing your products with that of others
  • Or they are just browsing for fun

If you don’t reach out to them in time, you might lose out on the opportunity to convert them. You need to guide them and help them in making a purchase. A nudge at the right time goes a long way.

There are different channels and different ways to approach the challenge of retargeting window shoppers. You just can’t let sales slip through your fingers when there is clear potential. Web push notifications — which is a fresh channel as compared to email and SMS — has made its way to bring back window shoppers to your website.

Web Push Notifications as a Weapon to Retarget Window Shoppers  

Web push notifications are succient messages sent to the users even when they are not on your website. They can be delivered to the desktop, mobile, and tab, making sure to reach out to the audience no matter what device they are on. Push notifications are triggered messages that are sent to the right users at the right time.

Unlike email and SMS, web push notifications do not require the users to share their personal information. Window shoppers as we discussed above are mostly contemplating about making a purchase, so the chances of them sharing their personal information are close to none. All that the user has to do is give permission to receive notifications from that website.

push notification subscription prompt

The user has to click on allow to start receiving notifications

Browser notifications do not cram your inbox, nor do they occupy any space on your device making it an ideal channel for window shoppers.

Turning Window Shoppers Into Impulsive Buyers with Web Push Notifications

While window shoppers are just usually browsing, a push can lure them into making a purchase. Like I mentioned before, they are not mere spectators; they are evaluating and analyzing. A notification sent to them can lure them into making a purchase. Here are 8 examples you can get inspired from-

First time offers

As soon as the user subscribes to your notification, you could surprise them with a first-time offer. This not only reduces the number of window shoppers but also helps you bag more sales. Offers make it irresistible for first-time users to ignore, especially when they are comparing your store to your competitors.

first time offers


While the users might still be sceptical about buying a product, a time-based offer accelerates the buying process. A sense of urgency can be created to encourage users to make a spontaneous purchase.

time bound

Competitor comparison

Why not make it easy for users? Help them take a decision. You could draw out a comparison chart of you and your competitors,  to let them know the price or feature differences. You just reduced one step for them! While this might not lead to a sale, as you need not always have a price lower than that of your competitor, it tends to build trust. The users might revisit your store, just because you make it easier to choose. And this trust goes a long way.

Number of products left

Have they visited a particular product page? Inform them about the number of items that are left. If they are looking forward to buying that product, it will encourage them to visit your store right away and make a purchase.

New collection shout out

Is a user interested in a particular category on your store? Let them know when you have added new products to that collection. This is a brilliant opportunity to bring them back to your website and encourage them to convert.

new collection shoutout

Back in stock

There are chances that user might have visited the store, gone to a product page, but found that it was all sold out. Even if they had an intent to purchase, they come across are window shoppers, who are just ‘browsing’.You can lift up their spirit with the ‘back in stock’ update. This would bring them back to the store if they are really interested in the product.

back in stock

Inform them about a sale!

Who doesn’t love a sale! Announcements like these can lure users back to your store, browser and most of the times, convert. If they have a product in mind, it is most likely that the exact product is sold at a lower price. This gives them a chance to buy the product and go easy on the pocket as well.

push notification for sale

Praise to impress

Sometimes the users are not sure if the should buy a product. A notification assures a user that they have made the right choice. You could even go ahead and set sequential automated notifications to boost their confidence. The visual below shows how Helm makes use of triggered notifications to retarget window shoppers and bag more sales-

trigerred push notifications

These examples show how you can grab the users attention to lure them back to your site. You can have a look at these 40+ web push notification templates to know other campaigns e-commerce marketers can make use of to engage, re-engage and retarget.

The idea is to keep trying. See what has worked for others, check if it would work out for you, keep experimenting and strive to create solutions for your challenges. What you need to remember is, it is not always about making more sales. It is about building a relationship with the users. And when the bond thickens, window shoppers will no longer leave your store without clicking on the ‘Buy’ button.

Author Bio

Author head shot

Pravya is a Product Marketer at iZooto. In love with animals more than humans, obsessed with amazing hair and educating the world about the progressive web. She secretly is mastering the art of stone balancing. Amidst all of this, she also squeezes out time to paint on canvas. Her dream is to go on a bike trip to the highest motorable road. She writes often on the iZooto blog.

Twitter handle – @pavipravin @iZootoTeam
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/pravya-pravin-a98b1269/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pravya.pravin
Company URL – https://www.izooto.com/

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