The Secret Weapon of the Online Retailer – Remarketing.

7th January 2014 by dan hamilton

Remarketing is an ideal way to entice consumers back to your ECommerce store and promote a sale. We explore the best bits to help you make an informed decision about if it’s right for your marketing campaign.

It’s a term that confuses many, often confused with retargeting. There are obvious differences between the two, each having their own advantages. When done correctly, remarketing can bring incredible results to the retailer, enhancing loyalty, increasing conversions and ultimately putting those doing it well at a distinct advantage over the competition.


Abandonment Issues

Consider this: The Agency Online revealed research in 2013 that claimed over 70% of shoppers abandon their baskets before whipping out their card. This isn’t the interesting part, as a retailer you already understand this, it’s a big problem and one many have tried to solve since the beginning of the internet ages.

“The interesting part is the reason behind the abandonment”


The survey interviewed over two thousand uk shoppers and discovered that people adore the convenience of shopping online but when they get to the checkout they miss the human interaction. It’s simple psychology.

So a shopper wants your products, fills their basket but then has a little time to think and consider if the purchase is justified. They aren’t greeted with a smile as they hand over the card, they don’t leave carrying a bag full of their new purchases and they don’t receive any thanks for spending their hard earned cash. It’s all quite generic, it’s all very impersonal and it really is a bit boring.

Shoppers no longer window shop, they skip up and down your virtual aisles filling their baskets with virtual items, virtually checking out but not completely!

We are after all a nation of “want it, have it, need it, give it to me,” and the hypocrisy around online shopping shows this. We want convenience, we want items delivered direct, we want to order from our living room but we do reminisce about the corner shop where we were greeted with a smile as the bell on the door tinkled even if we only had ten pence to spend.


It’s Not Impossible to Conquer Abandonment

It seems like a problem that’s insurmountable, yet remarketing offers you a chance to conquer it. Remarketing brings your customers back from the brink with a range of techniques that build on the information you have. This delivers offers, promotions, greetings and recommendations that seem bespoke to your customer. Bingo, you’ve made them feel special, you’ve shown that you’ve noticed their presence and now you’re letting them know that you value the money and time they spend in your online store.


ReMarketing vs. ReTargeting What’s the Difference?

This is where it becomes complicated so let’s make it simple.

ReMarketing uses information from customers that have visited your website. For instance those that have an account, have signed up to a newsletter, or have a cookie from your site. By being connected to a potential customer, retailers can apply techniques that speak directly to the consumer to tempt them back from abandonment and complete a purchase.


Whereas ReTargeting focuses on the consumer you’ve not yet connected with but is searching for items you sell via search engines. This is done mainly through ad-networks which can monitor what customers are searching for and track them across many sites. (Sign up to get notified of when we tell you in a future article how to use Search Retargeting).

Both take planning, a little bit of flare and a solid technical partner!


The Big Benefits of Remarketing

As Remarketing targets customers that have already expressed an interest in your products, they are qualified and thus the effort to convert them into customers is less than that of a new visitor. Shoppers usually have an account already so only a few clicks are needed to complete a purchase.

Remarketing not only increases sales, it increases engagement which leads to increased customer loyalty. You will be well aware that loyalty is the buzzword of the ecommerce big brands right now. The Etailing Group produced a report that gave incredible insight into the ROI generated by remarketing. Their research showed that:

Remarketing using emails after shopping cart abandonment proved an amazing 55% success rate while remarketing with custom strategies enhanced customer loyalty by 22%.


In fact giants such as Waitrose place so much emphasis on loyalty that much of their campaign is targeted towards this as they understand the value of a returning customer, while keeping the consumer happy so a reputation is maintained.

Along with this they revealed that the more personal the remarketing campaign the better, as adverts and emails based on a consumers recent activity generated much more return than generic banners that simply asked a shopper to return.

Showing a recently viewed product in the email increased effectiveness by 36% while a custom homepage based on previous visits increased ROI by 25%.


Key Remarketing Strategies

Remarketing allows you to use one or a variety of techniques to bring your buyers back. It’s more personalised and more focused ensuring it brings better results.

Here are some of the main strategies adopted by major retailers to ensure that customer returns, you will have noticed some yourself.

Follow Up Emails from Abandoned Carts

There are many reasons a shopper abandons a cart and a personal email can be just the job to tempt them back to shop. If they abandoned the cart as they felt the service was too impersonal, you can ensure the email includes their name and items they love so they feel as if you’re speaking directly to them. If a cart was abandoned due to an interruption or through forgetfulness, the email will cheerily tempt them back so they can finish what they started. There are tools to use to make sure the emails target the right people with the message that brings them back, such as You Send It or a plugin for a Magento or a custom built solution that sends automatic reminder emails that are tailored to the individual.

Remarketing Adverts

Remarketing adverts can be viewed with suspicion. They can scare the paranoid as they do seem to be like Big Brother watching over the internet usage of a shopper. In fact it’s a complex code made simple to use by Google Adwords remarketing. Use this tool and you’ll see that the shopper who left before saying goodbye suddenly finds that the products they were tempted to buy are floating around the internet in banner adverts everywhere they go.

It’s clever, it’s effective, it certainly increases brand recognition and it does work. The aim is to put those adverts in front of the shopper’s eyes when they are in the frame of mind to buy. It doesn’t have the personal feel of an email but it keeps your store top of mind which is important for purchases where the customer makes their decision over multiple browsing sessions. EasyJet do this with flair, they understand holiday makers will shop around for the cheapest airfares yet they never let them forget that there’s is the best deal so no matter where the consumer visits, they’re reminded that the EasyJet quote was by far the best.


Vouchers are the currency of the internet right now and the reason voucher sites are flourishing. In these tough economic times everyone loves a bargain and offering a personal one can ensure you get that sale.
Basically the more personal you can make your offer the better. For instance there’s little point offering 2 for 1 on nose hair trimmers if your shopper was a Miss World wannabe. Similarly, a voucher that offers money off lingerie could be quite insulting to a pensioner. This is why it is crucial to understand the customer, their age, location, and even their lifestyle. When it’s done correctly it’s an incredible tool that’s highly powerful. You will gain a loyal customer, they will tell their friends about the bargain they were offered on your site and your reputation will be enhanced. Papa Johns send vouchers based on previous orders for example if a customer loves a Hawaiian Pizza they will receive an offer that is too good to refuse.


This follows the same principles as vouchers, offer items that customers think they are receiving as a reward for shopping with you, items that others don’t have access to, or can’t buy at the price you’re offering. This makes the shopper feel special and part of a secret club where they are thanked personally for their presence in your online store. To generate the best exclusive offers you need solid analytics in order to fully understand your demographic.

Again Papa Johns excel at this, offering exclusive offers on new recipes pizzas. This is an intelligent way to launch a new product that existing customers may be reluctant to try. Once they’ve sampled the new flavours at a discount price, they will be more likely to order it at full price in the future.


It is proven that recommendations are the most powerful way to sell a product online, as eCommerce is notoriously impersonal, shoppers will research recommendations of others before deciding to buy. Consumers place high importance in the opinions of those that have tried the product before and so a good recommendation can make the difference between a sale and a fail.
You can target your shoppers by placing the recommendations for products they’ve showed interest in in front of their faces, via email or adverts, if they see that others champion the product you’ll remove any doubts they had that stopped them from buying.

Amazon really are the kings of remarketing, from their customised homepages to their incredible instant customer service they are a shining example of how to capture, engage and retain the consumer. Recommendations are sent via email, they are visible on the homepage and they are always present when shopping so customers are never far away from a tempting offer relating to what they’re looking for or a past browsing experience.

They also use upselling by suggesting add ons that combine the current purchase with other products based on what customers have bought together. This is an incredible way to sell extras as it suggests the customers are recommending products rather than Amazon itself.

A Clever Combination

The bonus of remarketing is that it encompasses so many different strategies that you don’t have to settle for one. Clever combinations can double your selling power and bring you a better return. For example, if you combine the follow up email from abandoned carts with a voucher that offers 15% off if only they’ll checkout today, you have a powerful message that’s difficult to resist.


The Last Word

As with any marketing campaign you must never forget the reason behind it. It’s amazing how many will follow up with an email or voucher yet leave crucial information out.
Ensure your remarketing has clear calls to action, links that take the consumer directly to where they want to be and information that persuades them to check out this time.

There’s no denying the effectiveness of reMarketing, especially when campaigns are custom built. It’s an incredible way to boost sales, increase exposure, raise reputations and potentially make your brand a household name. We help many eCommerce websites make the most of their remarketing ensuring they get an incredible return for their investment boosting profits in the short and long term.

To see if this is the most effective way to bring your buyers back and to increase your sales considerably contact Emagineers for a free no obligation consultation

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