How to Build 3 Types of Mobile App Notifications For An Online Marketplace?

How to Build 3 Types of Mobile App Notifications For An Online Marketplace?

Notifications are the must-have feature for almost any kind of mobile apps and marketplaces these days. Various updates and reminders depend on this, at first sight, a tiny feature. In this article, we’d like to share with you the following:

  • The specifics of different app notifications;. What kind of notification would work best for your B2B or B2C marketplace app?

  • [Code part] How to create SMS alert system, email notification system and in-app messaging examples for your marketplace type;

  • Tips on how to build a notification system your customers will love, taking into consideration in-app messaging and mobile push notifications best practices.

Before we show how to build a notification system, let’s start with random types of mobile app notifications:

1. Push notifications (of course)

Push notifications are the very ‘rockstar’ of mobile notification system these days. This kind of notifications has become popular with the rise of smart devices but, actually, take their beginnings from the early 2000s. Such push notifications are used for various purposes in apps of random types. Remind users of to-do tasks, your friends’ birthday dates, or future events - it’s by far not the complete list of push notifications’ functionality. What’s more, all of this reminder-updating stuff is made in the background, without the need to constantly check the app. 

Of course taking advantage of inspiring mobile push notifications is not just about user convenience, but about building engagement with your audience and converting casual users into paying customers. There’s a fine line to tread in ensuring they are practical without being an intrusion, so stick to best practices here.


We offer you to learn how push notification works and more about mobile push notifications best practices by reading ‘How to Implement Push Notifications for iOS and Android In React Native’ article.

2. In-app messaging examples. How does in-app messaging work?

This is another known solution among the various types of mobile app notifications. In-app messaging requires user’s in-app presence. Among widespread in-app messaging examples there could be different offers, marketing messages from app’s producer, account or personal info-related notifications, and the list goes on.

At Apiko, we’ve dealt with the development of the Netherlands-based event management marketplace app, called Meals Unite. It’s (primarily) a mobile marketplace that allows you to arrange meal sessions by hosting your friends or complete strangers to meet new people, right at your home. The product with such a concept surely makes us get to know each other a bit closer via live communication and food culture.

Currently, the app is available for Android devices. Try it out and download Meals Unite from Google Play.

Take a look at how we’ve implemented in-app messaging examples mechanism in Meals Unite:



What to pay attention to when comparing in-app notifications vs push notifications

The truth to say, there’s no ‘better than this or that’ type of notification. What you need to know that such project details, like notifiers, should be in constant A/B testing. To make the most of the effectiveness from notifications, there are several tips to get going with:

  • Apply the latest UX\UI design trends or create your own ones,

  • Use UX copywriting approach

  • Experiment and determine personal in-app messaging or mobile push notifications best practices.

3. Other kinds of notifications (text message notification system and email notification system)

The current types of mobile app notifications might be considered as the secondary ones which emphasize on the important messages more intensively. We can enlist here:

  • SMS alerts/ text messaging notifications. Such alerts might be helpful when it comes to event planning, reminders or promos. As much as push notifications, this kind of notifier provides the user with quick info on their status without the urge to directly interact with the app.

  • Email notifications, just like SMS alerts, but being sent right to your mailbox. Email notification system, for the most part, is used for onboard messages, offers and polls a company sends over their customers’ database.


In-app messaging, email notifications, and SMS alerts system. How to build notification system of 3-in-1 kind?

(We deliberately haven’t mentioned here how push notification works. You can find an entire separate article on this kind of notifications already mentioned above)

Let’s see how to create SMS, email, and in-app notifications sending mechanism and its API organization.

Below you can find end to end notification sender example (simplified).

First, let's define our notifications (can be stored as separate YAML or JSON file):


Below we provided the possible code example for API localization:


Now, let’s start notification sender implementation itself. First, we define our ways to send notification:


Next, we should specify the relation between notification type and send methods that we will use:


Now, we need to implement each send method (note: all functions share common interface):


Finally, we can implement the main function which is responsible for sending notifications (it will be used by client code):


Below you can find usage example of our new notification system:


How can the given approach benefit the development of various types of mobile app notifications for your marketplace project?

  • Single function call for multiple send methods

  • Custom send methods per notification type

  • Built-in localization

  • Ability to render custom data (context) at notification text

  • Easy to use - only 3 arguments to send a notification via multiple send methods.

Let’s make the final bright. Tips on how to build notification system that is catchy

There is no strictly determined rule what type of mobile app notification to implement in mobile app development. You can give a try to all 4 notification kinds mentioned in the article: push notifications, email notification system, text message notification system, and use in-app messaging best practices.

Here are several tips on how to level up the customer engagement via notifications, before we’ll move to this article’s completion:

  • Interact with user on more personalized level (to do this, and avoid sending senseless notifications, track their in-app activity and the way they’re utilizing your product)

  • Let your notifications invoke emotions. Don’t create that obvious ‘you have 1 notification’ or ‘there’s a message for you to see’ update. The tip is to keep it short and at the same time as descriptive as possible with the hue of intrigue. Check out neat notifications examples compilation by Leanplum

  • Too many notifications will turn your product into some kind of a promo app. Send only the most important updates and messages. Let user determine the priority of notifications and whether they would like to receive some of them at all

  • Keep notifications simple in design and provide them with native look and feel.

You certainly don’t want your customers and users to have this Lisa-Simpson-bored-face when using your marketplace app.


The rule is - don’t overdo...


Well, no explanations are needed.

Summarizing all said above

We hope that this article has shed some light on the notifications realm and various types of mobile app notifications for marketplaces. Here we’ve tried to answer such questions, as what mobile push notifications best practices are, how in-app messaging works, and how to create SMS alert system and email notification system.