How iOS 8 Interactive Notifications Will Change Your Business

Kelly O'Regan


interactive iOS 8Monday afternoon when Craig Federighi announced at Apple's WWDC that iOS 8 would include functionality for a user to respond to text messages without having to leave the app they’re in, there were audible sighs of relief. Finally, iOS users will have the same level of multi-tasking that Android users already enjoy. Interactive notifications and widgets will unleash in the fall, providing consumers the ability to take specific actions on a push notification (either as a banner or on the lock-screen) if the app is running in the background.

But responding to texts and liking the latest Facebook photo you're tagged in is just the tip of the iceberg. There is an incredible amount of potential for businesses to improve their app’s stickiness and drive continued engagement, even without having their end-users directly in the app. Here are just a few different business cases that highlight the opportunities for any industry.

In the retail banking space, we could see some of these types of new features:

  • Ability to enroll in their next cash-back bonus program
  • Validate fraudulent activity
  • Even accept or decline money

Starbucks balance hit $0.00 after your last purchase? The future is the balance push notification which also allows for customers to reload their balance with the same amount they last reloaded their balance with.

Interactive notifications could also be used as a way to gather feedback. An application like OpenTable may ask direct questions, such as “Did you enjoy your experience at Roy’s Steakhouse last night?” with "yes" and "no" response options. While very simple in nature and overall user experience, it provides a new channel for collecting analytics that did not exist before.

For Swarm and other applications that provide nearby friends’ locations, interactive notifications could give friends a chance to say “hi” without having to even send a text.

And finally, in retail, the possibilities are endless. From a purchasing perspective, retailers might offer an interactive notification to users whose wish-list item just came back into stock, giving them the option to add it directly to their cart without leaving wherever they’re at in that moment.

Even more compelling is the possible integration with the rising beacon technology. There’s a unique opportunity to provide world-class customer service. Beacons may recognize that you’ve walked into your favorite store, and can quickly provide an interactive, yet non-disruptive notification…

“Welcome back, Lauren. Is there something we can assist you with today?”

A quick tap of “yes” could alert the floor manager to send a customer service clerk in Lauren’s area to help her find what she needs. Maybe Lauren taps “no” and then enjoys browsing the sales without being bothered. It’s a small touch that can have a great impact on customer experience, as well as bottom-line.

There are great plays to make with this new functionality. Businesses have a new engagement point with their customers that can not only improve brand awareness and stickiness, but also give customers a chance to easily respond back without having to make a conscious choice to navigate to one particular application. Now is the time to start thinking about your business strategy for using interactive notifications.