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EBindle and Grainger stay competitive with real-time pricing, push notifications

The brands are using an API that tracks product pricing and provides information of competitor price changes along with an interface to effectively deliver push-notifications to users through the brands’ mobile applications, notifying them of a price change. The API allows these brands to stay competitive in the retail space through mobile and drive sales with the push notifications.

“Price monitoring is an important area for brands, especially if they are interested in engaging users,” said Hari Viswanathan, head of business growth at Semantics3. “Samsung, for example, would be able to use push notifications to alert its customers of specific price drops for wish-listed products by their customers.

“This often occurs in conjunction with any of their competitors’ price changes,” he said. “Additionally, a major area of interest to brands is Minimum Advertised Pricing compliance.

“It is often difficult for brands to constantly monitor online prices of their products, setting up push notifications for their products is an automatic method of ensuring compliance. Finally, brands would also be interested in the price points of their competitors’ products, no brand wants to be caught with their pants down in a retail price game, especially during peak shopping seasons like Black Friday, Back-to-School, etc.”

Product database
The API is a product from Semantics3, which has a database of thousands of merchants containing a wide-range of product information. The more retailers within the database, the greater the chance staying competitive is for retailers using the API. and Grainger can now send push-notifications in reference to products consumers are interested in. This is important especially when it comes to the summer season and the slew of one-day sales during the summer holidays.

Users will get a message alerting them of a price change on an item that fits their interest. This type of call-to-action can then lead consumers to the mobile commerce app or to purchase in store.

A recent survey from Localytics detailed the substantial effect that push notifications have on mcommerce apps, with a 278 percent increase in launches with those that enabled push notifications. The more launches and engagement these commerce-equipped apps generate, the more opportunity there is to drive sales, which is the key factor for retailers.

Pushing loyalty
It is imperative for brands and retailers to tread carefully with push notifications as to not annoy or overwhelm consumers with constant messages. They need to be timed effectively as well to reach consumers at the correct stage in the purchasing process with the most appropriate information.

Urban Outfitters Inc.’s bohemian apparel brand Free People effectively timed push notifications to drive sales for current collections available on its application (see more).

Brands and retailers should be aware of the changes in consumer behavior and the push notification realm.

A Mindshare executive at Mobile Marketer’s Mobile FirstLook: Strategy 2015 conference said the rise in popularity of wearables creates an opportunity for marketers to send targeted and informative push notifications that will form loyal users (see more).

“Push notifications can be used in tandem with contextual shopping,” Mr. Viswanathan said.”There are a variety of signals that brands and retailers can use to determine the likelihood of customer conversion.

“For example, if a user adds a product to a wishlist, that is a powerful signal,” he said. “An appropriately inserted push notification can tip the balance in favor of conversion.

“Push notifications based on geolocation and price drops work very well to get a consumer’s attention when they are near physical stores, e.g. Best Buy sends a price drop push notification when the user is near a store. Additionally, push notifications are incredibly powerful in directly helping consumers to first discover new products or ideas before they discover them via online publications and social media.”

Final take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant at Mobile Commerce Daily