Retargeting is commonly used by digital marketers to show ads to potential customers who have visited their site but left without making a purchase. The purpose is to convert those who shopped on a site into buyers.

It’s an important strategy give than an estimated 97% of people who visit a website for the first time do not make a purchase. It’s a smart way to reach out to people who have shown interest in your brand or products but have not yet made the purchasing decision.

It can turn an initially hesitant buyer into one who makes a purchase.

How Retargeting Works

It’s fairly straightforward approach when companies use retargeting. It typically consists of the following steps.

  • A person visits your website
  • They spend most of their time looking at a specific product
  • They leave the site without buying. Sometimes they never leave the product description page, but many make it all the way to putting an item into a shopping cart before bailing
  • As they surf other parts of the web, retarget ads appear in their browser. Typically, they show the product they were looking at earlier
  • The retargeting ads serve as a call to action for consumers to return to the site and make a purchase
  • The customer returns to the site and makes the purchase (in theory)

Retargeting is accomplished using tracking pixels or cookies that follow users after they have left your website. By using third-party ad networks such as Google Display Network and Facebook, companies can reach customers on a wide variety of websites with retargeting ads.

Why It Works

A common example of retargeting efforts would be car advertisements that people see for the model they were looking at a dealership site. Another example is clothing companies or sports gear sites that also show photos to users after they have left the site. Many retarget ads turn up on email sites, search engines, and social media channels.

They are effective because customers have already shown interest in either your brand or a specific product. This allows companies to practice personalized marketing. They are directing the ad at a specific person who showed interest in a specific product.

Is Retargeting Successful?

Retargeting is very popular with online companies because it has such a strong success rate. Google Analytics offers an example of a pre-owned luxury watch company Watchfinder in the United Kingdom.

The company was able to achieve a 1,300% return on investment in their retargeting efforts.

Retargeting is often used interchangeably with remarketing. However, remarketing refers to the strategy of sending emails to past visitors to your site.

For those looking to increase sales with customers already interested in their products, retargeting can provide a successful approach. It’s worth considering a conversation with a digital marketing agency about the potential of a retargeting effort for your business.