Retargeting is a form of targeted online advertising to reach people who have already visited your online store.

What Is Retargeting?

Retargeting is a form of targeted online advertising to reach people who have already visited your online store. These can be people who already made a purchase and you want to upsell them on more items. You could also retarget those who haven’t bought from you based on browser cookies to remind them of the items they’ve shown an interest in.

The most common type of retargeting is Pixel-based retargeting. When a person visits your website, a JavaScript code is placed in their browser, making it ‘cookied.’ The cookie then helps retargeting platforms serve them specific ads on external sites based on the pages they visited on your website.

How Does Retargeting Work?

There are quite a few platforms that you can use for retargeting, but two of the most popular are Google and Facebook. These platforms have a huge reach and billions of active users. But they also have a display network where you can advertise. It means that you can have retargeting ads shown to customers on websites around the world. The process looks something like this:

The ad will go out to your audience on the platform you choose or their display network. 

How to Apply Retargeting in Ecommerce?

Before focusing on anything else, ask yourself two questions:

  1. Who is my customer
  2. Where is my customer in the buying journey?

Your ads will look different to customers at each stage of their buying journey. So make sure that you show the most relevant ads to the relevant audience. Here is how you can apply retargeting to ecommerce campaigns:

For Abandoned Carts

Every ecommerce business owner dreads the abandoned cart. It happens when a customer adds items to their cart but does not complete the purchase. Although email marketing works wonders to retrieve customers lost to abandoned carts, retargeting can add a boost to your efforts as well. For example, if the customer added something from your shop to their cart and abandoned it, they will later see an ad about the product on their Facebook feed. It is a mighty powerful strategy to ensure that an interested customer comes back.

For Cross-Sell and Recommend Products

One of the best times to reach out to an existing customer is after they have just purchased from your store. At this point, the customer trusts you and has confidence in your store. It is the best time to target them with ads about other products. For example, if someone buys a coat from you, you can retarget them with ads about scarves and sweaters to make them come back. 

For Improving Relationship with Customers

Do you have a new product that you are sure your customers will love? You can announce it with retargeting ads.

Along with social media, email, and other channels, a retargeted ad ensures that the customer spots your exciting new product offer and rushes to your store. Or you can create follow-up ads that a customer sees after they spot the main ads on a platform. These kinds of ads build a relationship with your existing customers. Showing new offers or products to your customers makes them feel special and cared for.

Cart Abandonment

Best Retargeting Practices in Ecommerce

There are a few best practices you should follow when launching retargeting ads, regardless of the platform. 

Send Relevant Messages

We get a lot of noise around us, as a consumer. It is coming from all directions and rarely makes sense to us. Do you know what a retargeting ad does differently? It gives you a relevant message. If you are looking to build a good relationship with your customers, you should work on tailoring the ad appropriately. If the message is not relevant, it becomes a part of the noise and goes to spam.

For example, if you sell products only for men, do not target the retargeting ads for women. If you want to target women, you can set the message for women who want to gift something to their partners. The ad message should reflect the needs of your customer. Keep in mind that what a customer needs will change as they move in their buying journey. This is where segmentation is important.

Segment Your Customers

The best way to make a relevant message is by personalizing it. If personalization is a task that overwhelms you or seems difficult, that is because you haven’t segmented your audience yet. Segmentation allows you to categorize your audience into different, smaller groups. You tailor the message according to the particular segments. It begins with knowing the types of customers you have and focusing on where they are in their journey. There are three main ways in which you can segment your customer base:

  1. Demographics: Gender, age, location, marital status, location, etc. Any profiling data you might have on your customers go to demographics.
  2. Engagement: This segment comprises user engagement with your campaigns. Are they highly engaged, active, inactive?
  3. Shopping behavior: You can target a customer no matter which stage of the buying journey they are in right now. This segment is known as shopping behavior. 

Optimize Your Retargeting Ad

It is very important to pay attention to different elements that go into a retargeting ad: