Remarketing for E-Commerce

Michael Jenkins
Michael Jenkins

CEO - Shout Agency
[email protected]


Here’s a fun fact for you: 46% of professional search marketers think retargeting (a sub-set of remarketing) is the most underutilized online marketing strategy. And guess what? They’re probably right. 

Remarketing converts a ton better than traditional marketing and can drive some serious ROIs, which makes it an essential marketing strategy in 2019.

That’s why today, we’re going to be giving you the low-down on remarketing and show you how you can leverage it to increase sales in your e-commerce store. Let’s start with the basics.

What is remarketing?

Remarketing is basically an umbrella term for any marketing method in which you target the same person more than once. It’s often confused with the term ‘retargeting’, but there is a difference between them. Retargeting only targets web traffic, while remarketing covers various different marketing channels. 

Imagine this: you’ve just been browsing your favorite online clothing retailer looking for a new winter hat, but before you decide on which one to buy, you have to go to work, so you leave the webpage.

The next day, you’re searching for something on Google, and you notice a banner ad advertising the same website you were on yesterday.

Then, a few hours later, you’re scrolling through your Instagram feed, and you notice a sponsored post advertising winter hats. What’s going on? 

Well, that’s remarketing. It’s all around us, and the chances are, you’ll have seen it in action a bunch of times already. In fact, you’re probably on a dozen different remarketing lists right now. 

Different types of remarketing

There are various different types of remarketing, including:

  • Offline remarketing (example: Using RFID chips and interactive billboards to remarket to customers)
  • Phone remarketing (example: Collecting contact numbers from sales leads and arranging follow-up calls)
  • Email remarketing (example: Sending out custom automated email campaigns to customers already on your mailing list)
  • Social media remarketing (example: Using Facebook ads to advertise to a custom audience of people who visited your website)
  • Retargeting ads (example: Using Google Display Network to show banner ads to target individuals based on the products they’ve viewed on your site)

Of these, retargeting is the newest, most interesting, and arguably most effective type of remarketing. It deserves explaining further, so let’s take a closer look at how retargeting works.

How retargeting works

Retargeting works by tracking the visitors to your website, storing that data, and using it to create targeted lists of users to serve ads to. 

The way website visitors are tracked is through something called a retargeting pixel—a small snippet of code that you place on your website.

When a user visits a page on your website, the retargeting pixel on that page places a cookie inside their browser, which identifies the user so that they can be targeted later down the line, and their information is saved.

I won’t go into too much detail about the specific process of setting up a retargeting pixel here, other than to tell you that you can do it both through Facebook ads, Twitter and Google Analytics. 

All of these can generate a snippet of code for you that includes a specific tag that you can add to different pages of your website. You can then create a customer ‘remarketing list’ to be filled with visitors to a page with that specific tag, and target users on those lists with customized ad campaigns later on.

Best remarketing strategies for e-commerce stores

Alright, so now that we know all about how remarketing works, let’s look at some actionable remarketing strategies that are perfect for e-commerce stores

Product suggestion emails

One great way eCommerce stores can leverage the power of remarketing is to send out automated product suggestion emails. The idea is to collect information about the products your website visitors view and purchase, grab their email addresses, and then suggest some similar or complementary products in an automatic follow-up email that says something along the lines of ‘seeing as you bought X, we thought you might like Y’.

“Make sure to include a table of products complete with images and buy buttons to maximize conversions. This is a classic strategy that works really well, which is why it’s been used by tons of big-name retailers, including Amazon.”

Michael Jenkins

Abandoned shopping cart emails

If you want to get even more targeted with your email remarketing campaigns, try using abandoned shopping cart emails. 

Under this strategy, eCommerce retailers send automatic emails out to customers that have added items to their shopping cart but then abandoned it before checking out. To make the emails even more effective, you can try adding in flash discounts, like 10% off if they complete their forgotten purchase.

This is a vital remarketing strategy for eCommerce retailers as, while 30% of people that visit online stores add products to their shopping cart, only 3% of them actually continue on and complete the purchase. You can increase that number dramatically by sending out abadoned shopping cart emails. It really is a super effective strategy that can send your conversions through the roof.

Retargeting ads 

And of course, a final remarketing strategy that all e-commerce websites should be using is retargeting ads, which generate, on average, a 10x increase in CTR over regular ads. You can set up your retargeting campaigns in many ways.

For example, you can use it as a prospecting tool to add brand new customers to your funnel by targeting users based on their searches, or by targeting those who have visited one of your competitor’s site or interacted with similar content to your own.

You can also use it as a re-engagement tool to up-sell products to your existing pool of customers, by targeting individuals that have already bought from you, viewed your product pages, or interacted with your site. You can get really specific here and send custom marketing messages to individuals based on the kind of products they viewed.

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