ios8Some of the 200 million current owners of an iPhone 5, 5S or 5C will be updating their operating system after Apple’s announcement that iOS 8 will be available to download on your iPhone or iPad on Wednesday 17 September.

Apple has taken a leaf out of Android’s lead in supporting button-enabled push notification and widgets. The features of iOS 8 prove promising for retailers and marketers who wish to reach more customers. With iOS 8, Apple have made available interactive notifications, actionable notifications and widgets letting you engage with your customers in a whole new way.

Interactive notifications represent the greatest opportunities for iOS 8. Interactive notifications let you respond to push notifications without switching apps. Now rather than customers simply reacting to push messages with the iOS 8 they will have the ability to be more interactive; users will have multiple options to respond with simple button taps: Share, Shop Now, Download, Check In And Accept Or if it doesn’t appeal to the customer they can: Dismiss, No Thanks or Decline.

interctive-notification-accept-declinePush action buttons as seen above can enable businesses to receive immediate feedback from their apps users. Buttons and push notifications themselves can each be deep-linked to different in-app and mobile web pages, offering users more relevant and responsive experiences. For instance an option of two buttons appear on the users home screen Yes/No, each with different intentions and content. And the advantage of this option over time will help to gauge a greater understanding of the users individual preferences and ultimately deliver greater relevancy to the users.

Sometimes push notifications may be delivered to a customer’s phone but the timing isn’t great, the push notification could be a piece of content or an offer that they are interested in, similar to your alarm clock going off on your mobile phone when you can press the ‘snooze button’ or ‘dismiss’, the alarm will remind you to wake up in the next ten minutes or so. Until now, marketers didn’t have a way to capture an audiences response that suggests customers might be interested in the future. Before iOS 8 a basic notification appears on a users home screen where they can swipe it and possibly remember it later, but with iOS 8 the customer will have the option to respond by clicking one of following options; shop now or remind me later, which can be seen below.

notificationsThe synergy of iOS 8 and push notifications represent significant opportunities for organizations trying to reach more customers. The iOS 8 operating system itself is custom-built for mobile customer engagement where the anticipated iPhone 6 and iOS 8 will set the standard for mobile and tablet experience. The iOS 8 is built around the concept of integration and is compatible with Mac and iPhone, this will allow devices to be easily switched from one to the other. For example based on the actions of a user on a mobile device the iOS 8 will enable brands to re-target those users with related messaging such as expiration or location-aware reminders for downloaded coupons.

The iOS 8 will help businesses to drive and enhance their mobile engagement strategies. For example in terms of retails, retail apps will be able to run micro-targeted campaigns based on customers’ interests inferred from button taps and subsequent clicks within deep-linked app and mobile web pages. Ultimately push notifications will become more actionable where push action buttons will enable businesses to offer multiple ways to respond to messages, offering immediate feedback into what users want more or less of and how best you can interact with them at that moment and over time.