What is Remarketing and Why Use It?

Remarketing / retargeting is a hot topic in the online marketing world and there’s a lot of new technology out there right now to choose from. The great thing about these tools is they give you as marketers the ability to target users that are already interested in your product or service, making them far more likely to be in the ready to buy.

A typical ecommerce conversion rate is only 2%. So the big question is “What are you doing about the other 98%”?

According to a recent report released by SeeWhy, 48% of shoppers who abandoned shopping carts after online shopping more than once in the previous 28 days, returned to the site and purchased items after a remarketing campaign.

Remarketing vs Retargeting

Retargeting is most often used to describe online ad placements and display ads. A new user comes to your site, a cookie’s set and you can now target ads to them on other sites they visit, hence the term retargeting. What makes retargeting so appealing is that it gives you the opportunity to reach users on millions of different sites.

Remarketing typically is used for email, an on-site overlay and can also include dynamic or personalised display ads that remind people of businesses they have interacted with in the past, increasing the likelihood that those people will make repeat purchases.

Remarketing and Retargeting sounds virtually the same but they should not to be confused with each other as they have very different remits. Retargeting in essence seeks to bring in visitors who have not expressed an interest in purchasing whereas Remarketing’s goal is to convert a potential or past customer into purchasing.

How does Remarketing work?

Think of it like this: you use marketing to bring a visitor to your website, and if he or she doesn’t make a purchase, you then use remarketing tactics to bring the visitor back to your website and convert him or her in to a paying customer.

If someone were to visit your store without making a purchase – you could run a retargeting campaign to target them specifically based on their actions, and they’d see more generic advertisements for your store on other websites.

What Types of Remarketing are there?

For example, if a customer abandons their shopping cart that contains a dress and pair of shoes online, then they may go through the following sequence of remarketing techniques:

  • On-Site / Exit-intent Remarketing – At the point of abandoning and leaving the website, the consumer is shown a remarketing message (Customisable Overlay) on the website inviting them to stay onsite. Messages are highly customisable and include the ability for the user to enter their email address so they can be sent a discount code, send the contents of their shopping cart for use later.
onsite remarketing overlayPetCare $10 off exit intent remarketing overlap
  • Email / Abandonment Remarketing – Within minutes, the consumer receives an email remarketing message with the content of their shopping bag and with the option to return and ‘Complete the Purchase’ at their convenience. A second follow up email could remind them that their dress and shoes are still available while stocks last and offering recommendations of other items that might be of interest. The customer then clicks on this email and goes through to complete their purchase.
Example of an email remarketing campaignExample of an email remarketing campaign

Using Remarketing

How a business uses a remarketing strategy depends on how that business first makes contact with its customers. An online retailer must approach the strategy in a different manner than a brick-and-mortar service industry business might. The secret to a successful campaign/s is not to become that “scary stalker” that follows people around the internet. Strive to stay true to your brands core values when remarketing, build your report with your users and let them see that you’re interested in them and provide a great service.


Pesonalisation / dynamic ads

In a traditional retail store, skilled sales associates observe how someone shops and offer an informed suggestion for their purchases. Savvy online shoppers expect an engaging shopping experience, how can an ecommerce store achieve this when up to 85% of cart abandoners remain anonymous?

Personalization, once a nice to have, is now a necessity for engaging them, keeping customer attention, building loyalty and driving sales. A proven way to accomplish this is to implement a personalization strategy that includes product and content recommendations and leverages the power of real-time customer profiling.

Is Remarketing Effective?

Online transactions aren’t complete until the customer confirms the purchase. People often place items in their online shopping carts, only to have second thoughts and abandon the purchase before it is complete.

Remarketing is widely recognized as one of the most effective forms of online marketing available as it plays so closely to the Right Person, Right Time, Right Message mantra that most marketers live by. The fact that a consumer has shown a potential intent to buy (right time) and found the type of products they like (right message) means they are just about the hottest prospect (right person) that a marketer can send a message to.