What Is Retargeting and Why Does It Matter?

Last updated on March 21, 2019

What Is Retargeting and Why Does It Matter?

It is the same story: your website traffic numbers look good, but sales are lagging behind. This is the online version of window shopping: people look at your products, but leave your online store without buying anything. Rest assured, you are not doing anything wrong with your website design or product presentations, it is just human nature.

Few people commit to making a purchase the first time they see a product. Impulse shopping is a rarity – most people wait until they actually need a product or they see an attractive discount. However, most of them will forget about your website and your products, unless they are reminded of them. How do you do this? It is simple: through retargeting.

What Is Retargeting?

Here is a simple scenario: someone browses your website and looks at a few products, but leaves without making a purchase. Later on during the same day, the person logs on to their Facebook account or visits another website. There they see an ad for the exact products they were browsing on your website. The person remembers those products, clicks on the ad to return to your website and, most of the time, actually completes a purchase.

This is how retargeting works: it reminds people of your products and directs them to have a second look at them. Why does retargeting work so well? Simply, because once they visit your website again, the prospects are no longer first-time visitors. They know of your company and were recently reminded of it by the ad.

Here are a few other key considerations concerning retargeting.

It Works Best When It Is Relevant

The explanation above is valid for retargeting done properly. This means, first of all, segmenting your website visitors by their interests (the type of products they viewed, how long they spent browsing the website) and targeting them with relevant ads.

For example, if a visitor was looking at women’s summer shoes, targeting them with an ad for men’s suits is completely purposeless – the person will not click on your ad.

You Learn More about Your Prospects’ Internet Browsing Habits

When you look at the analytics of your retargeting campaigns, you obtain valuable insights about your prospects and qualified leads. For example, depending on the websites they came from to your website following your ad, you learn more about their interests: if they like sports, are new parents, are interested in financial and stock exchange news, etc.

More in-depth information will show you when they spend time on the social media and when is the best time of the day to target them with ads.

Upsell to Existing Customers

Retargeting should not be restricted to new website visitors. You should include retargeting codes in your Thank You pages, which people view upon completing a purchase. You can target these people with relevant ads for complementary products which enhance the benefits of their initial purchase.

Smart Promotions Go a Long Way

Retargeting works best when people get a valuable incentive, not just the reminder about a specific product. For example, telling people that the product now has a 10% discount, or that they will receive free shipping if they order before a specific date, will certainly represent an attractive deal which they won’t want to miss.

Do Not Overdo It

Too many ads displayed on too many websites will do more bad than good to your marketing efforts. People will become annoyed, or will even feel that they are followed around by your ads. A reasonable approach of showing the ad a few times a day and over a period of a couple of weeks works better in your favor – it keeps your brand image fresh in the person’s mind in a constant, but non-invasive manner.

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