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More iOS users receive push notifications, but more Android users open them, as customers strive for control

Consumers want to be able to set their preferences when it comes to push notifications, research from Urban Airship and Forrester has found, with irrelevant notifications in the middle of the night being strongly disliked.

The push notification research by Forrester found that among European online consumers who receive push notifications or SMS alerts on their cell phone at least weekly, roughly 60 per cent use apps at least daily.

It was found that over three quarters of users receive push notifications: 89 per cent of iOS app users receive push notifications, while 83 per cent of Android app users do. Despite the similarity in these figures, it was discovered that open rates are much higher on Android than on iOS.

Forrester said: “We believe that push notifications on Android are more efficient for three main reasons: 1) iOS consumers may not easily find the Notification Center on their iPhones and probably miss some notifications, as only the most recent one is displayed; 2) Android push notifications offer different and more engaging formats; and 3) savvy marketers benefit from the learning curve, having launched push notifications on iOS first.”

The research also stressed the importance to marketers of taking into account users’ situations, preferences, and context before sending push messages. It was suggested that companies deliver highly relevant offerings that make the most of mobile’s intimacy and immediacy; that they build relationships in a timely manner to help loyalty, such as Walgreens letting customers know when they need a refill of drugs; and rewarding customers who are most likely to engage with the brand.

The importance of relevancy was again stressed in Urban Airship’s ‘bad push’ guide, which saw consumers complaining on social media of being woken in the middle of the night by irrelevant notifications. The company ruled that customers want to be able to hyperpersonalise their notifications, such as the ESPN ScoreCentre app, which allows users to set quiet times.

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