Retargeting: Your Most Powerful Ecommerce Marketing Weapon

June 11, 2015

Retargeting is a marketing strategy that has grown in popularity over the past few years. In fact, according to the Chango Retargeting Barometer, more than half of all marketers surveyed will be increasing the amount of money spent on retargeting during 2014, and one in five marketers interviewed during the survey now has a dedicated budget just for retargeting. Below is some information to help you understand what retargeting is and how it could be beneficial to you.

More than half of all marketers will be increasing the amount of money spent on retargeting in 2014, and 1 in 5 now has a dedicated budget. (Tweet this)

Defining the Concept of Retargeting

According to Fireclick, global conversion rates averaged between 3 and 4 percent for most industries during 2013, and the average cart abandonment rate exceeds 60 percent for most industries. Retargeting is a strategy designed to help you reach those users who don’t convert on their first visit to your website, as well as those who begin the checkout process but fail to complete it.

Retargeting works by leveraging a user’s Web history to determine which advertisements should be shown to that user in the future. The idea behind this marketing strategy is that a user who bounced from your site or abandoned a cart may decide to come back if he or she is reminded of the site shortly after leaving.

For example, assume a user comes to your website, learns about your products and eventually decides to go check out your competitors’ offers before making a purchase. While the user was on your site, an anonymous cookie was sent to the user’s browser. After the user leaves your site, this cookie will allow your retargeting vendor to display your advertisements in the user’s browser in hopes of enticing him or her to return to your site.

Without retargeting, this user may forget all about your brand and make a purchase from another company. With retargeting, the user will continue to see your advertisements even after moving on from your site, which keeps your brand top of mind and increases the chances that the user will return.

Is It Effective?

When used appropriately, retargeting can significantly improve consumer engagement and conversion rates. According to Wishpond, customers who view retargeting ads are three times more likely to click on the ad than consumers who had never interacted with a company before. Wishpond also reports that retargeted customers are four times more likely to convert than customers who do not view retargeted ads after leaving a website.

Retargeted ads are effective for several reasons:

  • They go after the right people. Retargeting ads only appear to users who have already expressed an interest in your products or services. This means that fewer ads are wasted on uninterested consumers.
  • They last longer. Whereas standard banner advertisements appear at random based on keyword searches, retargeted ads follow the same consumer for up to 30 days at a time.
  • They offer better ROI. Because retargeted ads focus on the right people, they often provide a better ROI than other marketing methods. In fact, according to, search retargeting reduces cost-per-click rate in virtually every industry, from insurance to education.

Types of Retargeting

The first type of retargeting developed was site retargeting, which sends retargeted advertisements to users as they continue to surf the web after leaving your site. However, as social media became more popular, vendors began offering retargeting services designed specifically for these networks in addition to standard site retargeting. Facebook retargeting, for example, places ads on the right hand side of the platform as well as in the news feed to reach users who have recently visited your site. Likewise, Twitter retargeting involves Promoted Tweets that pop up on users feeds after they have shown an interest in your brand.

You can also invest in search retargeting, which sends retargeted ads to users based on their recent searches. This type of retargeting does not require the user to visit your website before receiving ads. However, it is often more expensive than site or social media retargeting services.

Vendor Overview

Before you can start retargeting website visitors, you must choose a platform. Several vendors offer this service. Some of the most popular retargeting platforms include:


According to AdRoll’s website, more than 15,000 brands have chosen this platform, including Levi’s, Skullcandy, Salesforce and others. AdRoll also reports that their customers earn an average of $10 for every $1 they spend, and that 97 percent of all customers who try the service stick with it.

AdRoll offers web retargeting, as well as retargeting on social media websites like Facebook and Twitter. This platform also allows you to access more than 60 different ad exchanges. AdRoll is compatible with laptops, desktops and mobile devices.

Google Retargeting

Google Retargeting is part of the Google Display Network. When compared to AdRoll, Google Retargeting is more hands-on and requires more input from the user. For example, whereas AdRoll offers continuing support to users, such as ad design assistance, Google Retargeting simply provides the tools you need to create your own retargeting campaigns. is similar to AdRoll in that it offers a retargeting platform along with ongoing support. According to’s website, the company’s web-based retargeting ads can display on 98 percent of websites. also offers Facebook retargeting services.


Chango is another popular retargeting platform that promises efficiency and industry-leading effectiveness. Chango offers users access to site retargeting and Facebook retargeting, both of which can be used for desktop computers, laptops and mobile devices. Chango sets itself apart from other vendors by collecting and utilizing its own data about searches and browsing behavior. According to Chango’s website, the Chango team has access to all of the same data as competitors, along with billions of exclusive data points.

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Prices for retargeting services vary by vendor and typically depend on the products you choose. For example, many vendors charge one fee for site retargeting and another for Facebook retargeting. Some vendors may offer discounts if you choose more than one product.