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CEO SPOTLIGHT Peter McLachlan, chief product officer and co-founder of Mobify

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Internet Retailing spoke to Peter McLachlan, chief product officer and co-founder of Mobify , to find out more about Mobify Web Engagement Messaging.

What is Mobify Web Engagement Messaging and what’s the business use case?

Push technology for the mobile app user has been around since 2009 but with Google’s Chrome browser for Android you can reach customers right on their phones without the requirement to build an app or ask a shopper to download one. Google only launched the technology in May, so Mobify’s Web Engagement Messaging is the first enterprise retail solution to leverage their ‘push notifications’. The solution provides a new channel for retailers that want to reach customers where email or an app may not be the right tool.

It’s also a great new channel for retailers who already have an app but want to use mobile for timely notifications such as flash sales, exclusive offers, retargeting, localisation or other time-sensitive marketing programs.

Right now it works in Safari and Chrome on desktop and Chrome for mobile so gives a 55% potential reach across all users regardless of device. The limitation is that Apple iOS does not yet support web push, although we’ll be there when it does.

What results have retailers been achieving?

Long-time Mobify customer Beyond the Rack runs private sales events online for its 14m members worldwide. Typically, the company sends emails, but with sales events that might last just 48 hours, they couldn’t rely on members to check their mail. With Mobify Web Engagement Messaging, Beyond the Rack can reach customers with gentle, opt-in reminders that appear at the front of a their mobile phone. Beyond the Rack is seeing a 20% click thru rate with the new solution and a 26% average increase in spend by customers who visit via web push.

Customers in other areas of retail, including books, groceries, household products, travel companies and department stores, are using the solution for sales, new items and exclusives, retargeting, renewals and discounts, as well as items back in stock. Messages related to abandoned carts, such as “complete your purchase, get 10% off,” are compelling too. In fact, we’re seeing 55% more revenue generated through web engagement messages than via retargeting efforts. The main litmus test is: “Is this the right message, to the right customer, at the right time?”

Customers are starting to show their engagement when using web push by spending an average 72% longer on a site per visit. More importantly, they’re showing their love through higher conversion rates and average order values.

What is going on in mobile commerce that is driving the need for engagement tools like this?

Shoppers are looking for contextually relevant, real-time information about the brands and retailers they do business with. They want to know about today’s flash sale today, not the day after it ended because the message was placed in the ‘promotions’ tab of their Gmail box.

Retailers’ goal is to give an exceptional experience end-to-end, from awareness and search to browse and purchase. They want to reach each customer touchpoint in the most effective manner, wherever the customer is.

How should retailers be thinking about new engagement channels?

I think the key is to be thinking about what you are going to do once customers discover you through mobile web. After the initial interaction, what is your strategy for making mobile more than just a platform for discovery? How can you better engage customers in a way that is personal and spurs them to action? How can you make your pushes timely? Then, think about what information you can provide: is it a sale; new item; services like package tracking, loyalty points or returns? Having push notifications available as a tool right from your dashboard makes launching this capability even easier to deploy and track than running an email campaign.

How should retailers engage with shoppers on mobile without annoying them?

That is a great question. We use a ‘double opt-in’ approach. So, for example, you might send a message saying, “we can send you notifications when our auction goes live”. That’s the first opt-in opportunity and customers can say yes or no. Customers like it because they do not have to download an app or give personal info. The double opt-in approach offers an optimal user experience and ensures that users really want to hear from your brand. This creates a dialogue with engaged customers, so they are less likely to opt out of receiving messages.

For more information about Mobify’s products and services visit or get in touch directly via

This is a promotional interview. For more information on how to take part in this feature, visit the Internet Retailing advertising page.

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