The number may vary for your eCommerce store, but on average only around2% of customers convert during their first visit to an online store. So, 98% of the traffic is walking right back out, including traffic you’ve likely paid for.
Most eCommerce marketers are aware of the loss. Aside from investing in otherconversation rate optimization (CRO) tactics, at least one in five marketers now has a dedicated budget for retargeting.
What Is the Draw of Retargeting?
Retargeting in order to engage a customer that has already made contact with your brand in some way can boost ad responseby up to 400%. It’s that effective because customers are more attracted to something they’re familiar with—especially if they just recently saw it. Approximatelythree out of five online buyers admit to noticing ads for products they searched for on other websites.
Customer comfort with this type of marketing makes these types of ads seea 10x higher conversion of traditional display ads (.7% vs .07%). CPG company Kimberly Clark sees upward of60% higher conversion rates among consumers that have been retargeted.
If you want to improve your own ad campaign to step up conversion rates, here are 15 tips you can start testing today.
PROMOTE MORE THAN YOUR PRODUCTS
Most eCommerce brands use retargeting to promote products in their store to customers who interacted in some way with those product pages. However, you can do a lot more than just target products.
Content marketing in eCommerce is growing as an effective tool for generating inbound traffic. So, why not use retargeting to drive traffic toward your content? If you have a blog post, case study, or other downloadable that has done exceptionally well, run retargeting ads to attract customers to that top-of-funnel content.
Just be sure to exclude those who have already read that content. I don’t recommend using new content. Instead, check your analytics and use something that has proven to be popular.
TARGET CONTENT MARKETING TO SPECIFIC SITE ACTIVITIES
Retargeting should always be done based on segmentation. Rather than target everyone that came to your site, break it down and get granular.
For example, split your visitors off into activities, such as customers who:
Landed on specific category pages
Added targeted products to a cart (or wishlist)
Read your about page
Visited your contact or customer service pages
Deliver ads that are highly targeted with content relevant to those segments so you’re getting products and content in front of the right people.
SET UP EXCLUSIONS BASED ON TIME-ON-SITE DATA
Your pixel data will contain everyone that hits your site within your segments that you specify. However, even if you’re targeting a segment, you don’t want to target everyone in that segment.
Make sure you filter out the people who spend a short amount of time on your site—10 seconds or less.
Avoid spending your retargeting budget on people thatcontribute heavily to your bounce rate without spending any great length of time on site. Those people are the least likely to convert when they see your ad.
That’s a lot of people missing your promotion. Use retargeting to deliver the same message through other channels.
You might have missed the click in email but you can upload that segment list of email opens to hit them again with a promotion and capture their attention.
TARGET THE CUSTOMERS WHO DON’T OPEN EMAILS
Along the same vein as the above item, you can take the same approach with people who didn’t open your emails at all. That’s probably a good chunk of your list for any given campaign where the average open rate is around 24%.
Even with a good open rate of 43%, like the image below, that’s still more than half the subscribers who don’t see your promotion.
Upload the list of people who never opened your emails to remove that email-open barrier. Get the message right in front of them.
That’s a hefty loss of a customer who was just about ready to check out.
If you’ve got automated cart abandonment emails in place, you’re already a step ahead in recovering some of those carts. You won’t catch them all, though. That’s where retargeting can help.
Take that list of abandoned carts and customers who bailed, upload it, and hit them with a special offer they can’t refuse, to get them to come back and finish checking out.
EXCLUDE THE CUSTOMERS WHO HAVE ALREADY MADE A PURCHASE
A lot can happen between the time you pull customer data and when your ads start rolling. More than likely, a few of your customers (hopefully, more) have come back to make a purchase. You don’t want to serve “come back for a discount” ads to someone who just finished. You risk frustrating the customers and wasting your ad budget.
Instead, before you run an ad, scrub your retargeting data to eliminate customers who just made a purchase.
Show happy customers. If you can’t easily get those images, then turn to your team.
If you have a customer service rep, agent, partner, or manager the customers are familiar with, then consider including them in your retargeting ads. That familiar face and/or familiar name generates a lot of extra trust around advertisements.
Millennials are especially careful about spending on non-essentials and are spending less than previous generations. So, with price-sensitive customers in mind, you can win them back by targeting customers based on loss.
Go after those who left at a specific point in the checkout, like right after selecting shipping options. Promote discounts and/or free shipping to get them to come back.
TARGET YOUR BEST CUSTOMERS AND BRAND ADVOCATES
Your eCommerce platform should provide a wealth of reporting, including customer and merchandising reports andother analytics. Query your customer data regularly to track your customers who spend the most money or spend with you on a regular basis.
A simple retargeting campaign for these customers can have the same impact of a loyalty program but without the effort of accruing points. Simply offer them a discount on a repeat purchase or an exclusive promotion.
CROSS-SELL NEW AND EXISTING PRODUCTS
Depending on the products you sell, there’s a good chance you have products that complement one another.
Use your customer and sales data to create a list targeting specific product purchases—then show that audience ads relating to a different product that complements their purchase. Just be sure to make the value clear in the ad. Show them how the purchases can work together.
Consider this same tactic for a product launch. If a new product has substantial relevance to a product you’ve been selling, use retargeting to promote that new product.
USE DYNAMIC RETARGETING TO SHOW THEM WHAT THEY LOVE
One of the great things about retargeting is the dynamic use of it. Thisdynamic retargeting is such a terrific way to capture customers who love you and your products, but are just browsing—which also happens to be one of the top reasons for cart abandonment.
If you’ve got someone actively engaging with your product pages, don’t let them forget about you. Use retargeting to show them the products they liked enough to visit. If they liked it but were on the fence about a purchase, then they’re more likely to convert after you show it to them again.
USE FOMO IN YOUR RETARGETING TO BUMP LAST-MINUTE SALES
Retargeting ads already have spectacular conversion rates when set up properly. There’s always room to grow, though. One way to build on your conversation rates is to incite FOMO (fear of missing out).
This tactic is often seen with countdown timers, last minute deals, and limited time offers. If your audience sees something they were interested in (dynamic retargeting) mixed with a last-minute deal, it’s more likely to spur them to make the purchase.
You can evencustomize your ads with things like countdown timers to heighten the sense of urgency.
ADJUST THE FREQUENCY OF YOUR RETARGETING ADS
People are generally receptive to retargeting ads … as long as you don’t overdo it. If your ads are popping up too frequently, it can negatively impact the relationship between your brand and the customer—even to the point wherecustomers get frustrated or feel like you’re intruding into their lives in a creepy manner.
KEEP YOUR RETARGETING ADS FRESH
The fastest way to kill the effectiveness of your retargeting campaign is to run the same ad copy and images on repeat. If your customers see the ad pop up everywhere, it won’t take long for them to put blinders on. If the ad doesn’t capture them right away, the same ad isn’t going to do it again later.
They’ll develop advertising blindness (banner blindness), the same way many of us ignore things like speed limit signs and the same billboards we pass on the way to the office. Withmore than 80% of consumers suffering banner blindness, it pays to run different variations of your ads and regularly change things up to keep your audience engaged
Retargeting, by itself, is already highly effective, but every marketer in eCommerce knows that careful adjustments and a creative strategy can help you continually increase conversions.
Lean on these tips to help you craft more creative retargeting ads. Above all else, remember that the most effective ad strategy is based on segmentation of your audience. Get granular and customize your ads for those smaller groups to see a tremendous change in your ROI.
Do you currently use retargeting in your eCommerce store? What kind of results do you see from your efforts?
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Ronald Dod is the Chief Marketing Officer and Co-founder of Visiture, an end-to-end eCommerce marketing agency focused on helping online merchants acquire more customers through the use of search engines, social media platforms, marketplaces, and their online storefronts. His passion is helping leading brands use data to make more effective decisions in order to drive new traffic and conversions.
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