On-demand platforms connect service providers with customers by acting as the middleman. They fulfill this function through real-time notification frameworks which drive the necessary onboarding, action items and communications among the users.
The first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘notification’ may be the alerts you see on your phone. These are called notifications include everything from emails, app alerts to low battery warnings. We are focusing on app-alert notification frameworks designed to guide users through your app’s UX. We also invite you to read our article on push notifications here.
Unless you are sending a broadcast to a group of users, you must ensure your notifications only go to the targeted user. Ensure you are dealing with a developer who understands how to utilize end-user device IDs and accounts to safeguard privacy and user experience. Each device has a unique token that is provided by the interaction of the OS with the server where the app is hosted. It is this unique ID that is used when sending notifications to an end-user.
Pieces of the Notification Puzzle
A typical on-demand notification framework has the following parts:
- end-users : The people involved in a transaction on your platform;
- triggers : An event/occurrence that causes communication between end-users;
- Email/Push/SMS: The notification method to communicate with end-users;
- Content : What the notification is saying; and
- Action : What interacting with the notification leads to.
Types of Notifications
Trigger-based notifications are sent during an end-user’s journey on the app. They are specific to the transaction happening between the customer and service provider like a message inviting you track your service provider’s location.
Broadcast or Bulk Notifications
Broadcast notifications are sent to multiple users at the same time. You could send different notifications to different user groups based on certain filters or even send the same notification to all users.
Notification Triggers, Modes and Content – When, What and How
When do you send trigger notifications? The big milestones include registration, requests for service, scheduling the service, delivering the service and payment, but can they can also address issues like delays or cancellations.
Push messaging is the preferred notification mode in most circumstances because its built into the user experience unlike email or SMS. Push notifications are also actionable – i.e. they lead end-users seamlessly to the next step of their on-demand journey, pushing them forward intuitively. Clicking on alerts on your phone’s notification panel should ideally let end-users take an action to move ahead. Typically SMS should be reserved for major steps like initial registration or authentication and email for delivery of larger amounts of content such as receipts or other email attachments.
Be Aware of Payload Limitations
There’s a term for the bytes in a notification called payload. The acceptable limit of a payload is different for each OS. If a notification exceeds that limit, it will be rejected by the server. While there is presently no limit in Android, iOS limits the payload to a maximum of 2 KB.
Hopefully, you now have an idea of the importance of notifications in any on-demand platform. Once you and your developer have a solid grasp of the when, how and what of your platform’s notifications, you are well on your way.