5 Different Retargeting Techniques for Ecommerce Sites

Sales are crucial for ecommerce success, but sometimes the reality is that business starts to slow down. Overall traffic to your website may take a dip, and as a result, your sales will as well. Even if you get a steady stream of traffic to your website, if those users aren’t converting, you’re still in trouble.

Thankfully, there is a lot you can do to turn things around. Namely, retargeting. Sometimes also called remarketing, retargeting is one of the best tactics marketers should take advantage of in order to drive relevant traffic back to a website.

While general advertising efforts may increase traffic to your site, you’re still likely to see a large majority of that traffic leave without ever converting, and you might not even get much traffic at all. In fact, retargeted ads on average produce a click through rate (CTR) that is 10 times higher than display ads.

What is Retargeting?

Step by step: How retargeting works. Image credit(s): ImageX

So, what is retargeting, and what makes it so great? Instead of guessing who you should target your ads to, retargeting shows your ads to people who have already shown an interest in your brand. With your retargeting efforts in place, any user who visits your site is able to be retargeted. And that is certainly great news, as over 70% of ecommerce users will abandon their cart, with the majority never returning to make the purchase.

Here are 5 unique retargeting strategies that ecommerce sites can take advantage of in order to drive relevant traffic back to their site and increase conversions.

Abandoned Cart Retargeting: MailChimp

You just saw the statisitc above, and that is why the number one retargeting strategy for ecommerce sites should be abandoned cart retargeting. Over 70% of ecommerce users abandon their carts- that is a lot of potential business you should capitalize on! Not only are these users interested in your brand, they have taken their interest one step further by selecting items they like and adding them to their cart.

A common way that brands try to recapture these abandoned carts is via email marketing. MailChimp, one of the most popular email marketing platforms, makes it easy for you to set up automated abandoned cart emails.

An example of a retargeted email campaign from Nordstrom. Image credit(s): Aitoc

Set up your marketing automation and your emails will send out automatically once a user has abandoned their cart for a certain amount of time. Most ecommerce platforms, like Shopify, agree you shouldn’t wait more than 24 hours to send your abandoned cart message. In fact, some say you should do so almost immediately. The longer you wait, the higher the chance the user has moved on, changed their mind, or worst of all, purchased from somewhere else.

One more quick tip for your abandoned cart emails- include a discount code! Did you know that 3 out of the top 4 reasons why a customer will abandon their cart deal with price? Something as simple as an additional 10% off their order may be just the final push they need to make the purchase.  

Social Media Retargeting: Facebook/Adroll

This next retargeting strategy is another big one. Your audience is spending time on social media, and for that reason, it is a great platform for serving your retargeted ads. These can also be ads reminding a user of items they left in their cart (dynamic ads), but you can also do more general retargeted ads in order to capture those users who have just visited your site but not much else. You can also run dynamic ads for users who haven’t placed items in their cart. In this case, they will be shown products of yours that they are most likely to be interested in.

An example of a retargeted ad on Facebook. Image credit(s): Social Media Examiner

Adroll is a popular company that handles social media retargeting, but you can also set up a retargeting campaign directly on Facebook as well. Many brands use Facebook because their placement network has grown to be quite large. A Facebook retargeting campaign can be shown on Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and their Audience Network.

Keep in mind to get started with Facebook retargeting you have to place your Facebook Pixel. Without it, Facebook won’t have a way to track who has been to your site and who to show ads to. Installing the pixel is very easy.  

Website Retargeting: Adroll

The basics of website retargeting. Image credit(s): ?Adroll

The classic form of retargeting, website retargeting is an excellent way to bring users back to your website. These ads show up at various places across the web. You can choose to either retarget anyone who visits your website with a certain ad, or you can get a bit more specific and personalized (which we highly recommend, as over 70% of customers report preferring personalized ads).

For example, you may go the abandoned cart route and show items a user previously looked at, or you may segment users who look at your blog and retarget them with ads focused on your content. You can also choose where your ads show up, for example having your ads show up at websites with similar content.

Adroll is also an excellent tool for handling your website retargeting efforts. Take advantage of their tools for uploading native ads and Facebook ads, which ensures your images are the right sizes. See their full list of ad sizes here.

Video Retargeting: AdWords/YouTube

If your ecommerce brand has a lot of video content, video retargeting is a great option for you to consider. Video marketing is only rising in popularity, so it is something to consider even if it isn’t a current focus for your brand. Keep in mind that 4 times as many consumers list that they prefer to watch a video about a product in comparison to reading about it.

With video retargeting, you are able to track people who have interacted with either a video of yours or your video channel (i.e. your YouTube channel) and show them ads. These ads may be video ads themselves or display ads that show next to a YouTube video. In fact, you have several options when it comes to selecting your YouTube ads:

Placement options for YouTube ads. Image credit(s): KlientBoost

As you’ve probably guessed, we recommend using YouTube and AdWords to handle your video retargeting efforts. You can easily link your YouTube channel with your AdWords account and from there you can start to set up your video retargeting efforts.

Retargeting via Web Push Notifications: Aimtell 

Finally, a newer form of retargeting that has gained a lot of popularity recently is through the use of website push notifications. Marketers are increasingly turning to web push in an effort to better connect with their users. Web push is one of several email alternatives, as it tends to have much higher visibility. These notifications deliver to both desktop and mobile devices and are seen in real time (even if a user isn’t currently using a browser), which can be a real game changer.

If you are looking to update your mobile marketing strategy, implementing web push is a great alternative to developing a mobile app, as web push is much quicker to set up and also much more affordable. Once a user opts in to your notifications (and opting in only takes one click!), you are able to retarget them with any number of campaigns. This can include abandoned cart notifications, or other personalized notifications alerting users of new products, new content, or other news you want to share.

An example of a retargeted push notification. Image credit(s): Aimtell.

Just like other types of retargeting, these notifications are clickable and will drive your users back to your site. Aimtell is a popular web push provider that is easy to set up and in fact has a plugin for two of the most popular ecommerce platforms- WordPress and Shopify. Users are able to build powerful segments and send notifications to those segments.

If you are still new to the world of web push, check out this web push notifications beginner’s guide.


That covers 5 of the most popular retargeting techniques out there that ecommerce marketers are already taking advantage of. If you have your own ecommerce brand, you should strongly consider starting up your retargeting efforts. By capitalizing on your existing traffic and interested users, you are sure to see an increase in conversions.   

4 Response to "5 Different Retargeting Techniques for Ecommerce Sites"

  1. Comment From Peter Aaron

    before even going through this it is very important to understand the real essence of why you should do it.

  2. Comment From Mellissa Maverick

    It’s very interesting! Always learning new stuff from your blog, Thanks!

  3. Comment From Shaun Pauls

    I didn’t know that you can actually retarget abandoned carts! That would be really good if ever possible.

  4. Comment From Geroge Medley

    “By capitalizing on your existing traffic and interested users, you are sure to see an increase in conversions.” That is very true, tried and tested. You have to capitalize on what you already have.

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