M-Commerce Marketing: Using Push Notifications for Abandoned Carts

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By Miva | September 23, 2013
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It’s no secret that mobile and tablet online shopping sales have been on the rise.  There has been an 81% spike within just the last year, making m-commerce a $25 billion market (Smashing Magazine). 68% of smartphone and tablet owners have attempted to purchase something on their mobile device.  However, 66% to 97% of those have abandoned their transactions due to obstacles due to the mobile checkout process (Market Watch).  Push notifications are one of the most powerful and effective ways for ecommerce retailers to re-engage mobile users who have abandoned their shopping carts.

Reasons Why Consumers Abandon Mobile Shopping Carts:


The cost of taxes and shipping and handling can scare off shoppers.  People have come to expect free shipping and handling, so they abandon their carts when they don’t receive it for free.

There are also so many discount codes or promo codes online, so shoppers sometimes abandon cart in order to find a code or search for a better deal somewhere else.


Often times, shoppers are simply putting items into a shopping cart in order to easily find them when they are ready to purchase.

This infographic show what drives shoppers to interact with stores on each device:

  (Click to enlarge)

Different devices can indicate a different purpose for online shopping.  For example, smartphone users are shopping online so that they can get up-to-date information, keep in touch and socialize.  Tablet users are more interested in being entertained and browsing for fun.


Poor user experience (UX) is possibly the highest driver of shopping cart abandonment on mobile devices.  There are shocking statistics from shoppers who attempted to purchase on their mobile devices but could not due to a bad UX design:

  • 41% said the checkout was too difficult on their device
  • 23% said they failed to complete their purchase because it would not go through (Market Watch).

Mobile Shopping Cart Recovery Apps

Many ecommerce stores are using push notification apps in order to recover abandoned shopping carts.  Essentially, these apps will personalize a notification for the user who browses and abandons their shopping cart.  It will send the user a reminder notification about the product.

Push notifications are already used for the majority of apps in order to catch the user’s attention and bring them back (re-engagement).

Here are some of the notifications that retailers can use to re-engage shoppers after they have placed an item in a shopping cart:

  • Buy within the next 20 minutes and get 30% off
  • Add an accessory and you’ll get free shipping

Retailers can even re-engage users that have chosen a size and color, even if the user did not place the item in the shopping cart:

  • The Converse Chuck Taylors you browsed are now available in red
  • That BCBG Rosa Dress you looked at is available in your size

A Guide to Push Notifications for Mobile Re-Engagement

You can re-engage consumers right at their shopping source.  By using this app, you will elevate your message above the noise of their inbox and capture their attention.  You can direct the shopper right to the checkout, eliminating confusion or other interferences.  Also, the message you send can be personalized and targeted to that specific person.


Update mobile users when a desired size or color is available.

Entice shoppers abandoned cart with offers.

Close the sale with an expiring offer.

Send the user a personalized message.

Each push notification is rich with personalized content, images, and one or more CTAs.

Once the user opens the message, they are directed to the shopping cart where they can purchase the item, reply with questions, or ignore the message.


Ecommerce stores can measure what the users do with the message and can improve it with A/B testing.  Businesses can also see the ROI for each rule that is set to optimize it.  By using mobile push notifications, online retailers can really learn about their customers and connect with them on a more personal level.

Once these procedures for recovering abandon shopping carts are implemented, the chance of the user purchasing is between 12% and 16% (HipMob).

The potential for ecommerce businesses to use push notification apps to win over customers is virtually endless.

Images: Forbes

Mobile is a hot topic for ecommerce. Learn more about the future of ecommerce and download our ‘Future Economy’ whitepaper.

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Author's Bio


Miva offers a flexible and adaptable ecommerce platform that evolves with businesses and allows them to drive sales, maximize average order value, cut overhead costs, and increase revenue. Miva has been helping businesses realize their ecommerce potential for over 20 years and empowering retail, wholesale, and direct-to-consumer sellers across all industries to transform their business through ecommerce.

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