According to Statista, 40% of internet users in the US stated that they purchased items online at several times per month, and 20% of those buy online weekly. At the same time, it is known that 96% of site visitors leave without making a purchase. We have almost half of the US population regularly shopping online—but the majority of overall site visitors don't immediately commit to purchase, even if the intent is there.

Fortunately, there's a way to get those shoppers back on your site.

It's called retargeting and it works.


What is Retargeting?

Retargeting is a technology, and form of advertising that—through cookies and JavaScript—"follows" your audience around the web.

When shoppers visit your site, they acquire cookies that collect and relay basic information to your retargeting provider. Your provider then takes this data and distributes relevant ads based on whatever parameters you set.

You can segment users based on what they did on your site and tailor ads to shown to those segments. For example, you can target users that viewed a section of your site differently from those who went as far as to put something in their cart.

This a great way to deliver more personalized experiences and is likely to resonate more with past visitors.


While a perfect world scenario where every site visitor completes a purchase would be great, that's just not the case. A recent Episerver study revealed insight on consumer habits that reaffirm the importance of retargeting:

  • 92% of consumers that visit a brand's website for the first time do something other than complete a purchase
  • Even when a consumer visits a website or uses an app with purchase intent, 32% of them rarely or never purchase
  • More than 2/3 of shoppers feel that brands do a poor or very poor job of customizing the online shopping experience

One visit usually isn't enough to get a shopper to convert. Retargeting a great way to re-engage shoppers of interest.

Retargeting Platforms

There are quite a few powerful remarketing platforms to choose from. One of the most popular being Google's Dynamic Remarketing. Other popular channels include Criteo, Facebook, and Adroll. Once you select a platform, you'll need to set up a feed based on their specs. A third party feed provider like GoDataFeed can eliminate some of that hassle for you by letting you bulk upload items to the channels of your choice.


Is It Really Worth Your Time?

We'd say so. 

Of course, as with anything, your mileage may vary. That being said, if you set yourself up for success, retargeting can benefit you greatly in a few key ways:

  • Build Brand Awareness: The more often a consumer sees your ad, the more they'll recognize your brand, and the more likely that they'll remember you next time they want to purchase something they know you offer. Even if your initial retargeting of a customer doesn't immediately result in a conversion, you'll be reinforcing your brand presence in their mind.
  • Expand Marketing Reach: Retargeting lets you advertise across different websites all over the Internet. You're actually likely to reach shoppers while they're leisurely browsing the web, when they actually have time to shop around your site. Your ads may reach a user browsing their favorite blog or watching a video—that's some serious reach.
  • Re-Engage Visitors/Customers: Your retargeting candidates were already on your site and they may still be interested in what you have to offer. These individuals are way more likely to come back, but people are busy. They could have left due to a time restraint, distraction, or because they just weren't ready to purchase at that moment. They may need to have their interests piqued a bit, or they may just need a simple reminder.
  • Generate Sales: When using retargeting ads, you're likely to reach consumers that are far along the buying process. These people may be more likely to purchase from your site once they see an ad. Statistics show that website visitors that are retargeted with display ads are 70% more likely to convert on retailer's website.


Make the Most out of Your Ads

There is a lot that goes into effective retargeting, you'll want to ensure that you're setting up your campaigns correctly. Here are some retargeting best practices to follow if you want to make the most out of your ads.

Segment Your Audience

Not all shoppers are the same. Don't waste your time treating them as if they are. Some past visitors may have been first-timers, while others may have previously purchased items. When setting up your ads, you'll want to match ad experiences to shopper types.


One way to segment is based on what page they visited before leaving your site:

  • Homepage Visitors: These shoppers didn't get very far. You'll want to target them with more general ads to familiarize them with your brand.
  • Product Page Visitors: These shoppers were most likely looking for something specific. Show them ads of the product type they were browsing.
  • Shopping Cart Abandoners: Whether they decided against purchasing from you—definitely or indefinitely—or they simply put something in their cart and forgot about it, these people were clearly interested in an item but never committed. Remind them what they missed out on.
  • Customers: The shoppers that actually made a purchase at some point before returning to your site again. While you don't want to target them with the same ads as non-converted visitors, you'll want to show them ads that keep them coming back for more (ie. loyalty programs and special offers).  This segment is especially important if you want to build brand strength, sell consumables and/or anything with accessories, sell a service, or just generally profit off of customer retention. It costs five times as much to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one.  

Use Frequency Caps

There is such a thing as too much advertising. Ads can quickly go from unintrusive to spammy. Persistent ads can agitate potential customers, which is unproductive and makes you look bad.

Use Demographic and Geographic Targeting

Not only can you tailor your ads by page visited, but you can also take advantage of demographic and geographic targeting. You'll want to make sure you are showing ads to relevant users based on age, gender, location, etc. 


You probably wouldn't want to show a winter coat ad to homepage visitor living in Florida... Unless they abandoned their cart with the coat in it—in which case, they should be in a different segment (shopping cart abandoner).

Test out Different Types of Ads

Like a lot of things in life, effective ads are born of trial and error. Some may work brilliantly, while others... may not.

Keep testing different messages, different imagery, and different presentations. Regardless of your approach, make sure your ads are consistent with your brand. After all, one of the purposes of retargeting is to promote relevancy in the minds of consumers—remember, these are all people that have already heard of you (to some degree).

Here are some examples of general ad content you can try:

  • Highlight different product benefits
  • Develop a clever call to action
  • Promotional offers (free shipping &/or other)
  • Personalized sale from relevant product pages to product page visitors
  • Seasonal ads


Final Thoughts

Retargeting is a powerful tool for online merchants. With it, one can deliver relevant ads to interested non-converted visitors as well as past customers. If done correctly, it can lead to strengthened brand awareness, expansive marketing reach, visitor/customer re-engagement, and more sales. 

GoDataFeed can eliminate some of that hassle behind effective retargeting. Contact us or book a demo to learn how!