Leverage Ecommerce Retargeting to Win Back Your Customers

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Published on: August 18, 2022 Updated on: July 10, 2024 views Icon 768 Views

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Gaurav Rajpoot
Gaurav Rajpoot LinkedIn

Sr. Director - MarTech

Gaurav Raajput, with 15 years of experience, specializes in B2B marketing, campaign management, marketing automation (Marketo, HubSpot, Eloqua), and sales operations (SFDC admin, custom apps). He excels in SQL, CRM integration, database management, reporting, and SDLC. His expertise includes lead nurturing, data warehousing, customer targeting, and financial reporting. Gaurav's specialties are MS CRM 3.0, business process analysis, data mining, and marketing strategy.

Article Reviewed By: Rahul Sharma LinkedIn

Table of Contents

Purchasing a product is rarely love at first sight. There are multiple touchpoints before a buyer decides to buy. 

For example, an online user visits your product page, scrolls through it multiple times, and closes the browser window without taking action. With eCommerce retargeting, you can nurture such leads and convert them into customers

Retargeting is a popular strategy in eCommerce because it reduces cart abandonment by 6.5% and increases web traffic by a whopping 700%! In fact, 27% of the retail industry uses retargeting compared to just 9% in finance. 

What Is Retargeting?

A man with an arrow pointing at a laptop and a mobile phone.

Retargeting is not a new concept. Marketers have been using it for a long time to win back business or generate leads. Let’s see how it works.

You choose a retargeting service, which will ask you to put a code snippet on your website that tracks conversions and visitors. 

You must prepare the marketing collateral, such as ad copies, which include the text and graphics. 

Once the retargeting is live, whenever a customer visits your website and leaves without performing the desired action, they will start seeing your ads on different websites including popular news sites or social media platforms. 

These ads usually have an offer that encourages visitors to return to your website and seal the deal. However, you should not confuse retargeting with remarketing. 

How Is Retargeting Different From Remarketing?

Both retargeting and remarketing are used to make sales or generate leads. These terms are interchangeably used even though they are not technically the same. So how are they different? 

Retargeting uses multiple approaches including online ad placement or display ads that target users who visited and interacted with your website without making a purchase.

For example, you visit a website to purchase a pair of jeans. You finalize a product, add it to your cart, change your mind and exit the website. You decided not to buy it. 

A few hours later, you browse your favorite websites and see the ad for the same jeans.

That is retargeting. It happens because of the cookies installed in the browser, which track users’ actions such as entering the website, clicking on a product, or taking other critical steps like adding the product to the cart. 

Retargeting ads are placed by third parties like Facebook or Google Display Network. It is about converting prospects into customers by triggering ads on third-party sites that your visitors visit. 

In contrast, remarketing is more about re-engaging subscribers via emails. It provides an opportunity to upsell or cross-sell and "remind" users to act based on their purchase history. While most brands like to remarket through emails, paid ads are also popularly used for remarketing.

So Why Should You Care About Retargeting?

Research by Invesp claims that:

  • 75% of online buyers pay attention to retargeting ads.
  • Up to 26% of online buyers will click on a retargeting ad and revisit the website. The average click-through rate of retargeted ads is 0.7%.
  • Using display ads for retargeting can lead to a 70% conversion rate.

Top 3 Benefits of Ecommerce Retargeting 

The end goal of any eCommerce retargeting campaign is to move the user down the buyer's journey. Here are the top three ways eCommerce retargeting benefits your business: 

1. Reach Interested Prospects

Retargeted campaigns are focused and ensure you are not shooting ads all over the internet. It helps you show your ads to only those prospects who have interacted with your brand online.

2. Increase Brand Recall

Retargeting ads let you stay in front of your prospects and make them aware of your brand. Even if they do not convert immediately, your brand will have a higher recall value when the user is ready to purchase. 

3. Be Cost-Effective

For cost-sensitive businesses, retargeting ads maximize your ROI on digital advertising. Retargeting ads' conversion rates are relatively higher, and you will likely get a bang for your buck. 

How Can Ecommerce Implement Retargeting?

Integrating retargeting into your online store requires different steps, starting with identifying the type of retargeting platform you want. Do you want Shopify or WooCommerce retargeting plugins, or go with the most popular Google's built-in retargeting? 

Implementing eCommerce retargeting is pretty straightforward. Install all the required plugins or code add-ons, create ad copies, and set it up to execute campaigns. 

The Google Display Network Reach attracts more than 92% of visitors across millions of devices, websites and videos.  

Here's how you can set it up in Google AdWords:

1. Log into your AdWords account.

2. Click and open the 'Shared Library.’

3. Select 'Audiences.'

4. Do 'Set-up Remarketing.'

5. Click 'View AdWords Tag for websites.'

6. Select the entire remarketing tag code and copy it. 

7. Paste the code at the bottom of the web pages you will use for the campaign.

8. Save the changes and publish the page.

9. Use 'Google Tag Assist' to see if the tag is working.

10. Click 'Continue' and then 'Return to Audiences.'

And that is it. You are all set. 

In a few days, you will notice that the tag is collecting the cookies of web visitors. You will see the data in your account in the 'All Visitors' list.

Ecommerce Retargeting Best Practices

Before you launch your eCommerce retargeting ads, here are a few best practices to keep in mind regardless of the platform you decide to use.

1) Create Relevant Messages

The internet is a noisy place. It is full of brands trying to grab consumers' attention. It is critical to creating relevant messages to ensure that your eCommerce retargeting ads perform well. 

Target your ad appropriately with relevant messages if you want to build quality relationships with your customers. Irrelevant messages can be annoying and pass off as spam. For example, if you sell products specifically for men, your retargeting ads should not be displayed to boys and certainly not to women. 

2) Segment Your Audience Correctly

Personalization goes a long way to ensure your messages are relevant. But personalizing each message can seem a daunting task without segmentation. 

Segmentation lets you divide customers into multiple groups based on a common trait, such as their preferences, likes, and dislikes. This allows you to tailor your messages to those specific segments. Typically, you can segment your audience based on: 

Demographics: Demographics include any profile data of your customers or subscribers, including gender, age, gender, location, and marital status. 

Campaign engagement: Segment data based on how your contacts or customers engage with your online campaigns, such as digital ads or emails. 

Shopping behavior: Use shopping behavior to segment customers no matter where they are in the buyer's journey. 

Layer these segments to get even better results. 

For instance, imagine you want to retarget 50-year-old men who recently purchased a cashmere pullover from your winter collection. In this case, you can layer demographics and shopping behavior segments to send relevant and ultra-personalized messages.

3) Focus on Different Ad Elements

Ecommerce retargeting ads have different components from the copy and call to action, to visuals. It's critical to pay attention to these elements, especially the visuals. The ad design must convey what you want to say and should include your brand logo.

Create a power call-to-action, which can potentially attract the customer and compel them to act, including "Get your 50% Discount", "Shop now," etc. Also, ensure that your offers are time-sensitive. It creates a sense of urgency and FOMO within your audience. 

Then, finalize your ad by doing an A/B test. Create at least four different iterations, changing one element, be it visuals, CTA, or the copy, at a time.

Top Metrics to Measure

When running retargeting campaigns for your eCommerce business, you must target specific metrics that will help gauge your success.

Conversion Rate

The average conversion rate in eCommerce is 2.5-3%. It is the baseline. Use it in your retargeting campaigns to see if there is an uptick in the number or if your ads need to be further optimized. 

Abandon Cart Rate

If you have a high card abandonment rate, then it makes sense to do retargeting campaigns. Retargeting ads can reduce cart abandonment by 6.5%. 


See if the sales have increased after retargeting ads. Retargeting ads have multiple benefits, such as they help in increasing brand revenue and customer acquisition by 33% each, boosting website engagement by 16%, and growing brand awareness by 12%. In other words, retargeting ads will improve the overall performance of your marketing efforts. 

Time Spent on Page

Are your visitors only clicking your ads and bouncing off, or are they reading the content of your landing page? You may want to optimize the landing page content for higher conversions and lower bounce rates. Look for the time they spend on the page before either leaving your landing page or converting into customers.

Click-Through Rate

Retargeting ads have a higher click-through rate than traditional ads. The click-through rate is the number of people who clicked on your ad link and landed on your website. The CTR of retargeted ads is 10 times higher.

 Effectively Leveraging Retargeting Campaigns

Ecommerce retargeting ads offer incredible opportunities to reach the customers you want. It places your brand and message in front of users who have expressed interest in your business through online interactions. 

Integrating Retargeting in Customer Lifecycle

Understanding the Customer Journey and Retargeting Touchpoints

The customer journey consists of multiple stages, each presenting unique opportunities for retargeting. By identifying these touchpoints, you can effectively engage customers and guide them toward conversion:

Awareness Stage

  • Customers in this stage have just discovered your brand or product.
  • Retargeting at this stage involves reaching out to website visitors who have viewed your product pages or blog posts.
  • Display ads or social media retargeting can be used to maintain brand visibility and keep your offerings top-of-mind.

Consideration Stage

  • Customers in this stage are actively evaluating their options and comparing different products.
  • Retargeting strategies may involve showing personalized ads to users who have added items to their carts but didn't complete the purchase.
  • Utilize dynamic retargeting to display the exact products they showed interest in, increasing the chances of conversion.

Decision Stage

  • Customers in this stage are close to making a purchase decision.
  • Retargeting efforts should focus on reinforcing the value proposition, offering limited-time promotions, or highlighting positive reviews.
  • Email retargeting can be effective for delivering personalized offers and discounts to encourage conversions.

Tailoring Retargeting Messages Based on Customer Lifecycle Stage

To maximize the impact of retargeting, it's essential to tailor your messages based on the customer's current position in the lifecycle:

Segmenting Your Audience

  • Group customers into different segments based on their interactions and positions in the customer lifecycle.
  • Utilize data such as website behavior, past purchases, and engagement with previous campaigns for effective segmentation.

Personalizing Retargeting Messages

  • Craft personalized ad copies and visuals that resonate with each customer segment.
  • Address specific pain points, preferences, or interests to create a stronger emotional connection.

Aligning with Customer Intent

  • Understand the intent behind customers' actions in each stage.
  • Tailor retargeting messages to align with their intent, whether it's providing more information, addressing concerns, or offering incentives.

Gradual Approach

  • Implement a gradual and strategic retargeting approach as customers progress through the lifecycle.
  • Avoid bombarding customers with repetitive ads, which can lead to ad fatigue and a negative impression of your brand.

Testing and Optimizing

  • Continuously test and optimize your retargeting campaigns based on performance metrics.
  • A/B tests different ad creatives, messaging, and audience segments to identify the most effective combinations.

Overcoming Retargeting Challenges

Addressing Privacy Concerns and Compliance

In the age of data privacy and regulations, retargeting campaigns must be conducted responsibly and transparently to address privacy concerns and comply with relevant laws. Here are some key considerations to overcome privacy challenges in your retargeting efforts:


Be upfront and transparent with your website visitors about your retargeting practices. Clearly communicate the use of cookies or tracking pixels and how their data will be used for retargeting purposes in your website's privacy policy.

Consent Management

Implement a robust consent management system that allows users to give explicit consent for retargeting activities. Offer an easy-to-use opt-in or opt-out option to respect user preferences and choices.


Ensure that the data used for retargeting is anonymized and cannot be directly linked back to specific individuals. This protects user privacy while still enabling you to deliver relevant ads based on user behavior.

Compliance with GDPR and CCPA 

If your business operates in regions covered by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), ensure that your retargeting practices align with the regulations. This includes providing users with the right to access their data, the right to be forgotten, and clear information about data collection and processing.

Data Security

Implement robust data security measures to safeguard user information. Regularly update and audit your security protocols to minimize the risk of data breaches or unauthorized access.

Preventing Ad Fatigue and Frequency Capping

Ad fatigue can lead to negative brand perception and reduced engagement from users. Preventing ad fatigue and optimizing your retargeting campaigns can significantly improve their effectiveness. Here are some strategies to achieve this:

Frequency Capping 

Set limits on the number of times a user sees your retargeting ads within a specific time period. This prevents overexposure and annoyance, ensuring a positive user experience.

Ad Rotation

Rotate different ad creatives within your retargeting campaign. By presenting fresh and diverse content, you can keep users engaged and interested in your ads.

Segmenting by Engagement Level 

Segment users based on their level of engagement or interaction with your ads and website. Tailor retargeting messages differently for each segment to deliver more relevant content based on their behavior.

Optimal Timing

Strategically time your retargeting ads to maximize their impact. Consider factors such as the time of day, day of the week, and the user's stage in the customer journey to deliver ads when users are most receptive.

A/B Testing 

Continuously test and optimize your retargeting ads to identify the most effective combinations of ad creatives, messaging, and audience segments. Data-driven insights will help you refine your strategy and improve campaign performance.

Future Trends in Ecommerce Retargeting

A blue background with a computer and a headset.

The future of ecommerce retargeting lies in harnessing the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms. AI can analyze vast amounts of user data to understand individual preferences, behaviors, and intent. This enables businesses to deliver hyper-personalized ad experiences that resonate with each user, increasing engagement and conversion rates.

As consumers interact with brands across multiple channels and devices, future retargeting strategies will emphasize multi-channel integration. By retargeting users across various platforms like social media, email, display ads, and even SMS, businesses can create a cohesive and seamless retargeting experience that follows users throughout their online journey.

The future of retargeting will involve greater emphasis on ethical considerations and user privacy. Businesses will need to strike a balance between personalized advertising and protecting user privacy. Transparent practices, responsible data handling, and respecting user consent will be essential to maintain consumers' trust and ensure the long-term success of retargeting strategies.


As the retargeting landscape evolves, businesses must remain committed to ethical considerations and prioritize user privacy. By doing so, brands can build strong and lasting relationships with their audience, leading to continued growth and success in the ecommerce market. Embrace retargeting as an integral part of your marketing strategy, and leverage its potential to win back customers and achieve sustainable business growth. With a thoughtful and customer-centric approach, you can turn retargeting into a powerful ally for your ecommerce success.

If you need help with retargeting, Growth Natives can help you devise a proven retargeting ad strategy for your business. Write to us at info@growthnatives.com and we will help you create and optimize these ads, turning those clicks into conversions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Ecommerce retargeting is a marketing strategy that involves targeting website visitors who have previously interacted with your online store but did not make a purchase, with the goal of re-engaging them and encouraging them to complete a desired action, such as making a purchase.

Ecommerce retargeting works by tracking user behavior on your website, such as product views or abandoned carts, and then displaying targeted ads to those users as they browse other websites or social media platforms, reminding them of products they showed interest in and encouraging them to return to your site.

Ecommerce retargeting is important for businesses because it allows them to re-engage with potential customers who have already shown interest in their products or services, increasing the likelihood of conversion and maximizing the ROI of their marketing efforts.

Common retargeting strategies for ecommerce businesses include displaying personalized product ads to users who have viewed specific products, offering discounts or promotions to incentivize purchases, sending reminder emails to users with abandoned carts, and retargeting users based on their behavior and interactions with your website.

Ecommerce retargeting can be implemented across various channels, including display ads on third-party websites, social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, email marketing, and dynamic retargeting through Google Ads or other advertising networks.

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