Retargeting Marketing: Why It Is Essential for eCommerce Sales

Ron Dodby Ron Dod

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Here’s a hard truth about the eCommerce industry: 98 percent of consumers don’t buy on their first visit to a brand’s site.

In fact, it takes multiple interactions with a company before a consumer is willing to purchase. According to Salesforce, it takes six to eight touches to generate a sale.

Meanwhile, other sources claim it can require as many as 10 touches to make a sale.

No matter how one looks at it, engaging a consumer multiple times is a requirement to increase conversion rates.

It is this dynamic that makes retargeting marketing such an essential tool for eCommerce retailers to employ. By following consumers around the web with personalized adverts, sellers can effectively engage shoppers enough times to score a sale.

To help sellers increase their company’s bottom line, here is what they need to know about retargeting marketing and how to deploy it effectively.

What Is Retargeting Marketing?

Retargeting is the process of dropping a cookie on a website visitor’s browser as a means to identify them as they move across the web and serve them with personalized advertisements via popular online destinations.

Hello Fresh Retargeting

Today, eCommerce retailers can create retargeting marketing campaigns through platforms like Google, Twitter and other social websites. Moreover, by setting up Facebook retargeting ads, merchants can not only target previous visitors but prospective buyers that closely resemble visitors or existing customers.

While some may question if retargeting marketing breaks any privacy laws, the fact is that it is perfectly safe and legal, granted that the advertiser’s site has a clear privacy policy that denotes how visitor data is collected and utilized.

In fact, customers are fine with giving up some of their information for a more custom experience. As Retail Dive reports:

“63 percent of consumers surveyed are interested in personalized recommendations, and the majority of them are willing to share their data in exchange…”

The Benefits of Retargeting Marketing

Retargeting ads are incredibly advantageous for retailers who are looking to bolster their brand awareness and optimize eCommerce conversion rates as merchants can generate unique, personalized adverts.

Given that the ads cater directly to a consumer’s interests, retargeting efforts are quite fruitful in terms of generating an exceptional ROAS.

Retargeting Marketing

In fact, as is shown by Facebook retargeting statistics:

  • 75 percent of consumers notice retargeting adverts
  • Retargeting ads are 76 percent more likely to generate a click than display ads
  • Retargeting ads can help sellers move up to 50 percent more merchandise

While standard eCommerce marketing funnels can be efficient and effective, they are often impersonal. Again, consumers are demanding more personalization than ever before. Because of this transition in consumer desires, retargeting marketing can help to create a personal connection with shoppers that helps to engender higher levels of brand loyalty.

Moreover, when retargeting marketing is done correctly, sellers can:

  • Keep a business top-of-mind
  • Reduce the cost per impression due to exact targeting
  • Enhance campaign ROI

How Retargeting Ads Work

As mentioned earlier, there are a multitude of places that retailers can run their remarketing adverts. That said, the two most popular destinations are Google and Facebook. This is not only due to the many ad formats and targeting features each provides, but because they are the largest digital ad platforms in the U.S, touting gargantuan user bases.

However, despite the advertising rivalry that exists between these two tech giants, their process of creating and delivering retargeting adverts is quite similar.

Setting up retargeting

From an extremely simplified perspective, retargeting ads work as follows:

  • Install a tracking pixel on a merchant’s website
  • Log into Facebook or Google and create an audience comprised of individuals who have visited specific pages or upload a list of customers
  • Upload the necessary creative materials for ad generation
  • Set the budget
  • Start retargeting

From here, the chosen platform will begin serving retargeting ads to individuals tagged for engagement.

Again, this is the abridged version of the process as sellers can develop Dynamic Remarketing campaigns through Google or Facebook, run retargeting ads on Instagram and get quite deep into the retargeting marketing weeds.

The Retargeting Marketing Sales Funnel

With a firm understanding of how retargeting marketing works and the benefits that can be reaped from such a campaign, let’s explore the different stages of the retargeting marketing funnel and how merchants can group consumers to use retargeting campaigns effectively.

While many would consider retargeting to be a part of a brand’s larger sales funnel (which is true), this strategy can be broken down into its own structure. Moreover, retargeting ads can be used effectively throughout the entire funnel.

There are four primary stages that retargeting customers reside:

  • Cold
  • Warm
  • Hot
  • Post-sale

Here is how retailers can reach consumers in each of these stages:

Cold Leads

While cold leads might seem as if they do not exist in retargeting by the very nature of the strategy, they are indeed an aspect of a retargeting audience.

Since retargeting audiences are built using the Facebook pixel or a Google tracking tag, individuals who have visited any page of a site can be retargeted.

Through the lens of retargeting marketing, consumers who landed on one of a store’s blogs can be retargeted with content that helps to guide an individual deeper into the sales funnel.

By creating an effective content marketing strategy, sellers can craft blogs, videos and the like that help to address the questions of each stage of the customer journey, ultimately leading a consumer to convert with the brand.

Through retargeting marketing, retailers can anticipate the customer’s next move (per the sales funnel) and deliver content directly to them that speaks to the information needed to move the person to the next stage.

Once the consumer reaches the decision-making phase, merchants can begin delivering product adverts through Facebook, Google and similar platforms to pull consumers back on-site to convert.

However, this is the big picture. At the point of engaging a “cold” lead, the objective of retargeting marketing is to move consumers from being cold to becoming warm.

Warm Leads

At the point that a consumer reaches the “warm” stage, they are actively engaged in researching products or services capable of providing a solution to their want or need.

At this point in the process, retailers have a variety of options for how they can go about targeting shoppers with a retargeting marketing campaign.

Warm leads

Firstly, sellers can produce retargeting ads based on a specific product. Alternatively, a more practical approach might be to harvest all the product pages for which a particular shopper has viewed to create Facebook carousel ads to remind them of those offerings.

Amazon Retargeting

If merchants do not feel that the shopper is that close to a conversion, they can target them with content offerings that will help to inform their purchase decisions and push them further down the funnel, as discussed above. However, if this approach is chosen, it is necessary to deliver content that is educational and relates to the product that can solve the customer’s desire. This strategy is what, in part, drove Tiege Hanley’s astronomical three-year growth.

Whichever way retailers opt to go, the important part is that their retargeting marketing efforts are delivering value to the end consumer. If the strategy is to merely push a product on them until they convert, the plan is almost certain to backfire.

Hot Leads

Hot leads are the folks who have reached the point where they are ready to make a decision and convert. These folks are looking to make a purchase that will finally solve whatever it is they are seeking to fix.

This is the most critical point for merchants to ensure that they are top-of-mind.

At this stage, it is incumbent upon retailers to overcome any final objections that shoppers may have to their product. Some of the more common ones include:

  • What makes this product better than others?
  • What is the price of shipping?
  • What payment methods are accepted?
  • What is the return policy?

While retailers can find the specific questions that their audience is likely to pose in relation to their products via customer surveys, those listed above are quite frequent.

That said, merchants might consider crafting retargeting ad copy that speaks directly to these issues and highlights the standout features of a product.

One strategy for helping to increase conversions from consumers at this point in the funnel is to address one of the above concerns while creating urgency at the same time.

For instance, sellers might run retargeting ads that provide a special discount or free shipping, but only for a limited timeframe. Given that 92 percent of shoppers are always looking for a deal, this is a prime tactic for increasing retargeting marketing sales.

Post-Sale Leads

Just because a consumer has converted doesn’t mean that retailers should stop serving these individuals retargeting ads.

However, before going into this tactic, it is worth noting that this phase is more delicate as a retailer can turn off consumers by targeting them too often. This phenomenon is what is known as “ad fatigue.”

With this in mind, after a shopper converts, retailers can segment these individuals into a separate list that contains others who have recently purchased and retarget them again with related items in an effort to cross-sell and encourage the elusive second purchase.

Fenty Beauty Instagram Screenshot

For instance, if a customer just purchased a smartphone case, sellers can then begin to target these individuals with other popular items that go with the phone such as portable chargers, wireless charging stands, wireless earbuds, smart home assistants, running armband phone holders, portable Bluetooth speakers, selfie sticks, PopSockets and tons of other relevant items in which the shopper is likely to be interested.

Using this strategy can help to elevate the customer lifetime value by inspiring repeat purchases again and again.

Find New Customers with Retargeting Marketing

What may be one of the most fruitful elements to running retargeting ads is that through features like Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences, merchants can target cold leads who are likely to convert as they closely resemble those who have purchased from a brand.

Similarly, Google also offers its own version of this targeting feature, dubbed Similar Audiences.

Each of these targeting tactics utilizes information from retargeting lists to pinpoint other individuals (based on interests, behaviors, etc.) who are likely to be interested in a brand’s offerings.

Because of the vetting process done through these targeting methods, the individuals who see the adverts are closer to warm leads than cold ones simply because of how much they mirror the traits of those who have completed a purchase.

These targeting features can provide retailers with a seemingly infinite pool of potential leads from which to draw and continue growing its customer base.

Test your ads

As with all advertising efforts, retargeting marketing is a commitment that requires substantial amounts of time, energy and resources to optimize appropriately. To achieve the maximum results, it is necessary for retailers to A/B test their adverts to find the elements that will resonate most effectively.

Nonetheless, retargeting marketing is an essential component to all eCommerce sales funnels as it is an extremely compelling tactic for bringing consumers back into the sales funnel and getting them to convert.

That said, creating a retargeting campaign that generates a satisfying return on ad spend can be a challenging pursuit, given the level of competition online.

If your brand requires assistance in its re-engagement efforts, reach out to Visiture’s eCommerce retargeting professionals for help developing an engaging retargeting campaign that turns leads into loyal customers.

Join 150+ Leading eCommerce Brands

And see how Visiture can grow your revenue online through award-winning transactional focused marketing services.

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