Most forms of advertising work by putting ads in front of any eyeballs that have an interest in the things you’re selling. The difference with retargeting, also known as remarketing, is that adverts only appear in front of those who have already visited your site, but haven’t brought anything.
Although this means that the potential audience is much smaller, it also means that the potential for ROI is greater. While traditional forms of advertising offer a ROI of around 2% for e-commerce, for retargeting it’s an impressive 98%. Retargeting works because it reaches people who have already expressed an interest with your store, but who were just window shopping. Reports suggest that on average 90% of visitors leave e-commerce sites without buying anything.
How it works
Retargeting works by using cookies to anonymously track visitors across the web. A code is placed in your website’s template which creates a cookie that is attached to visitors who land on your site and then leave. This cookie follows them across the web and allows e-commerce retailers to target them with advertising when they’re browsing the web, far from the store they originally landed on.
Cookie vs List-based retargeting
Although cookie-based retargeting is the most common type, there’s also the potential for list-based retargeting via social media. If you have a list of email addresses for customers who have already created an account on your store, you can feed this information into social media advertising.
Uploading a list to a site like Facebook or Twitter means that the social network will analyse who’s on the list that also has an account on their site and serve adverts to them. The forms of advertising on social media are varied and offer plenty of opportunities for engaging content that can turn window shoppers into loyal customers.
As with any advertising you may do online it’s essential to set goals so you don’t end up wasting money – the two major goals for any retargeting campaign should be awareness and conversions.
Awareness campaigns really just lay the groundwork for conversions. Because you’re targeting people who have only briefly engaged with a brand, and haven’t left any contact information, the aim is to make them aware of your products, services, and share announcements with them. Doing this will increase impressions and engagement – both of which should be seen as successes.
Conversion campaigns on the other hand are all about turning visitors who have already given over their details, but not yet made a purchase, or have viewed specific product pages. Users who have looked at specific products can be targeted with more specific ads, increasing the chances of conversion.
When to use Retargeting
Retargeting is just one form of advertising, and best suited for increasing conversions. It’s definitely not something that should be used in isolation and works best when used along with more familiar advertising tools like AdWords. Retargeting doesn’t drive people to your site, it recaptures people who have already visited then left. This means it’s important to run campaigns that bring in visitors as well.
If you have any questions about how retargeting can benefit your business get in touch with Vu’s team of e-commerce experts. We can guide you through the initial steps and help you chose the best platforms for your retargeting goals.
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