iOS 16 to support web push notifications in 2023 on Safari (finally!)

 

 

Earlier this month, the new updates from the iOS 16 operating system came to life during the WWDC 2022. Besides the innovative personalisation features, a big announcement made its breakthrough: Web Push Notifications on iOS will be a reality through Safari Beta 16. 

 

So, what does that mean to you if you work in the marketing field?

 

The operating system has significant updates, mainly on how notifications will interact with users. With seamless communication in mind, iOS 16 unlocks a whole new level to reach potential customers. We are excited to announce that Safari Beta 16 will be able to support push notifications for web apps, extensions, API integrations, and so much more.

 

This great news means potential for the websites to increase their push notification subscriber base by 50-100% on average as almost 20% of overall web traffic comes from iOS on a global level and opt-in rate on mobile devices is 4 times higher than desktop.

 

Keep on reading if you want to learn more about the innovations that web push notifications on iOS 16 and iPadOS are bringing to the table.


A brief introduction to Web Push Notifications

pop-up-vs-notification Web push notification example  / Frizbit

 

Often, web push notifications are confused with app push notifications, like those seen in the media and news industry. They might seem similar at first, however, in reality, they offer endless marketing possibilities to conduct retargeting displaying an open rate of 5% to 6% on desktop only.

 

Web push notifications are clickable alert-type messages sent by a website to the users navigating through it. After the user authorises them through a click, they will display on the user’s device screen, even if the user is not on the website any more.

 

What are many of its great advantages?

 

With web push notifications, you can:

 

  • Communicate with users in real-time without having a mobile app
  • Be present in a multi-device customer journey
  • Notify them even if they are not on your website
  • The user doesn’t need to register or fill any type of personal data
  • Comply with the latest privacy regulations as it doesn’t require third-party cookies

 

They are the latest and most powerful digital channel for websites to re-engage and communicate with subscribers while enhancing conversion funnels. They have the full capacity to bring your customers back.

 

Web push notifications and iOS operating systems

iOS Operating system

Pixabay / Pexels

 

After reviewing the relevance of web push notifications, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of things.   Let’s find out what it means that Apple has decided to support web push notifications on iOS 16 in 2023 on Safari browser.

 

At the beginning of this year, Apple started testing new functionalities regarding push API on its iOS 15.4 Beta. It was an unexpected update as after seven years, it was the first time to see changes on Safari on macOS. Now that the beta testing is concluded, we are excited to announce that push notifications support on iOS and iPadOS isn’t a long-time expectation any more. They are expected to be launched in early 2023.

 

So, how can we interpret the appearance of this new feature?

 

Market research shows that web push notifications can have up to 80% of reach and CTR seven times higher than other traditional retargeting channels such as email marketing. This comes as no surprise, given that push notifications are widely preferred by users reporting x10 higher engagement. As we mentioned before, they are also in compliance with the privacy regulations, making it the perfect marketing tool.

 

With the announcement of the web push support on iOS 16, many are celebrating the long-awaited update. However, as expected with Apple’s history and privacy data, this too comes with a trick.

 

iOS is stepping up against its competitor with Web Push Notifications

Android vs Apple
Android vs Apple / Tada Images

 

Web push notifications have been existing on almost all operating systems (Windows, Linux even MacOS on desktop and Android on mobiles) and almost all browsers (Chrome, Firefox, MS Edge, Safari, Opera, etc.). The only major operating system which didn’t enable web push notifications was iOS. It had been always an expectation for years that Apple would enable them on iOS, as it already had them enabled on MacOS. As a result of this, Android had been the only mobile OS which had web push notifications activated. That’s why the field of web push in mobile had been completely taken by Android by now. On the contrary, Apple had no participation in the mobile market share by not having this implementation. The fact that they have decided to go ahead with this implementation will mean big changes in the market. 

 

Currently, Android is the one software that enables push notifications on web apps. This represents an additional way to communicate messages for web users who don’t prefer to install mobile apps.

 

This update sets a new direction for Apple in the tech and marketing industry. But would the company be able to step firmly against its biggest competitor?

 

Only time will tell whether this comes as another successful step by Apple or not. For now, although web push notifications support is a reality, it might not display to users as easily as we would want to.

 

Where’s the trick?

 

During the testing phase on iOS 15.4 beta, test users experimented with safari push notifications on mobile devices. Testers found out that the new feature is disabled by default, requiring the user to activate them through the settings tab.

 

Having said this, predictions expect this feature to function under a toggle basis with a new settings tab. They are expected to work not only on Safari on iOS but also on other browsers such as Chrome,Firefox, Opera etc. on iOS. 

 

Other marketing features unlocked in iOS 16

marketing features unlocked in iOS 16
iPhone Screen / Wachiwit


Some more exciting features are coming around on iOS 16 for marketers. The main areas that are more appealing are the intake for the privacy of users, home screen and lock screen settings, and finally updates on Apple Pay.

 

Some more exciting features are coming around on iOS 16 for marketers. The main areas that are more appealing are the intake for the privacy of users, home screen and lock screen settings, and finally updates on Apple Pay.

 

As we know on iOS 15.4, the privacy settings were greatly targeted as part of the operating system updates. On iOS16, we can expect an increase in the protection of the data of users. This is given that Apple wants to minimise as much as possible the data needed by apps to function properly.

 

The biggest change on iOS 16 privacy settings is related to accessing private data. With the new update, companies won’t be able to retrieve the name that users give to their devices. It means that organisations will no longer be capable of sending notifications or advertisements using the first name gathered from devices.

 

Let’s move on with the second-biggest change. Apple is coming up with tailored options for the home screen and lock screen. The new release features suggestions on the home screen with pages, apps, and widgets relevant to the focus mode the user chooses.

 

New focus modes?

 

Yes, new modes for users to disconnect more frequently from their devices. And as a side effect, we will experience a restricted impact in the interactions of apps. This certainly complicates, even more, the digital marketing scenery of strategies using opt-in notifications.

 

Lastly, the other outstanding update Apple is performing on iOS 16 is their “buy now, pay later” feature for Apple Pay. Implementing payments through instalments comes as more optimistic news for eCommerce owners, especially after limiting the usage of ads. This update is expected to increase the average ticket size and conversion rates on mobiles.

 

What all of this means for your marketing campaigns

iOS 16 updates Apple Pay

Apple Pay / CDPic

 

We have seen that Apple will continue to enhance the privacy of the data app developers can access from the app store. It is clear that reaching users in the traditional ways will only get more complex with time. Therefore, new technologies should be implemented.


On the bright side, there’s finally support for web push notifications on iOS and iPadOS. And it couldn’t come at a better timing, considering the cookieless future in marketing. This new step means for the websites to
increase their subscriber base by 50-100% on average, as 18% of overall web traffic comes from iOS.

 

If you are interested in web push notifications for your eCommerce, you can request a demo with Frizbit and may qualify for one month of everything that web push notifications have to offer.

 

On the other hand, we have seen that Apple is taking firm steps to enhance consumers’ purchasing habits with mobile devices. If you run an eCommerce, this means you will be able to expand your audience and reach a higher ticket one coming from Apple users.

 

We are sure that Apple Pay and its instalment system will be beneficial for eCommerce stores by simplifying the purchase step. We are also optimistic that boosting this online purchase practice with push notifications can bring excellent results for business owners.

 

This is all from us with these iOS 16 updates and new features. Which one was the one you are looking forward to? Which one didn’t resonate with you and your business? Let us know in the comments down below!

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