Free Dynamic Remarketing Guide for Ecommerce Sites

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Dynamic remarketing is a method that allows businesses to win potential customers and put them back in the conversion funnel. 72% of ecommerce shoppers are likely to abandon their shopping carts before making a purchase. Only 8% will return to complete one on their own, but dynamic remarketing can increase that to 26%.

We can only hope that all buyer journeys are the same – quick and follow a linear path towards conversions. In the real world, a decision to purchase takes a long time and people rarely buy anything on the first time they visit a store.

There are many reasons why people get lost in the conversion funnel, hence the importance of remarketing.

What is remarketing and how does it work to the advantage of ecommerce sites?

what is ecommerce remarketing

Remarketing is a clever way of engaging again with lost potential customers by positioning targeted ads in front of them as they browse someplace else. Remarketing ads can take place on websites, search, and social media, targeting only users that have visited your site and have a previous experience with your brand.

How does retargeting work?

There are two types of retargeting – pixel-based retargeting and list-based retargeting.

Pixel-based retargeting is the more common type between the two. It is a cookie-based technology that uses a JavaScript code to follow your audience anonymously all over the web.

When someone visits your site, a JavaScript code is anonymously attached to their browser. When they leave your site, this JavaScript code will let your retargeting provider know when to serve your ads, ensuring that it only gets displayed to people who already interacted with your site.

how retargeting works

Pixel-based retargeting is popular because it works almost immediately after a visitor leaves your site. It’s unobtrusive and unnoticeable to your visitors.

However, the downsides of pixel-based retargeting are that there is a lower volume of people in the campaign at any given moment since it is based on how often people are landing on your site, browsing, and leaving. Even the installation of the JavaScript may be complicated for some, favoring the other type more.

List-based retargeting is different from pixel-based retargeting because it only works after you have a database of contact information at hand.

It is easier to set up and implement than pixel-based retargeting because you only need to come up with this list of existing email addresses, upload it on your retargeting campaign, and the platform will identify users on that network, often social media networks, and start serving ads to them.

With list-based retargeting, you’re not limited to behavioural targeting; you can really choose who to serve your ads to. The only downside, however, is that email addresses given to you by your potential customers may be different from the ones that they actually use for their Facebook or Twitter accounts. To overcome this possibility, make sure that your list of email addresses is exhaustive enough to make your retargeting efforts effective.

How to get the best results

To ensure that you have the best results from your retargeting campaigns, you need to have well-established goals behind your ads. These goals can be about creating awareness for your brand and improving conversion.

Although as it is, retargeting ads are promising, having a 10x higher click-through rate than normal display ads and consumers that are the subject of retargeting are 70% more likely to convert, it is important to implement the following remarketing strategies to get the best results.

Have a unique segmentation process in place. You can start with your unique customer data on Google Analytics. See the pages where your visitors spend more time at and think of the possible reasons why that is. From there, start crafting your dynamic ads.

For instance, if you discover that you have substantial traffic to your ‘What’s New’ page, you can display a retargeting ad that offers a coupon code that they can use to purchase your fresh items.

You have a good number of visitors already interested on your new items – a coupon code will be great to keep those conversions rolling.

As we discuss retargeting more on the different retargeting platforms, such as Facebook and Google Analytics, you will see how audience segmentation is an important first part of any retargeting campaign.

Reach your audience on a variety of retargeting platforms. You’re getting potential customers back in the funnel, so you have to make your attempt at doing so count. You can do a variety of retargeting efforts, such as site retargeting, search retargeting, and social retargeting simultaneously.

For instance, Agoda, the hotel booking site, is an example of a brand that does a wide retargeting campaign. Look up a hotel on the Agoda website and do not book a room.

Pretty soon, Agoda will retarget you with different ads of that hotel page you abandoned via a Google Display ad on a different site or a sponsored post on Facebook.

agoda retargeting ads

Social retargeting is one of the remarketing best practices you can adopt for your brand given that 28% of time spent online is dedicated towards social networks. It is a tool that allows you to show your ads directly in the newsfeed or on the sidebar. To advertise on social media, you need to use platforms certified by the network’s ad exchange network, and you also need to adhere to their creative guidelines to get those ads rolling.

Test your retargeting ads. Retargeting ads only become effective after constantly improving on them through testing.

Test the different creative aspects of your ads, such as the headline, the ad copy, and the design to get insights on the preferences of each particular audience. One of many remarketing best practices is to regularly test your call-to-action.

If people are not responsive to ad option 1, keep the same promotion and offer, but tweak the call-to-action. A slight change in copy can help make the difference.

Once you get to see what works, build on those strengths and use it as guidance when making your retargeting ads in the future.

There’s so much more to retargeting than keeping potential customers engaged again with your site; it also happens to be a helpful research tool.

Retargeting on Facebook

Have you checked out on a product, say on Amazon or Macy’s, and see it later on Facebook? That’s Facebook retargeting in action.

Amazon or Macy’s placed a Facebook code on their sites, allowing them to show you an ad on Facebook based on the product you just checked out.

Facebook retargeting makes it easy for you to grab that chance to convert a fleeing visitor into a customer. There’s a lot to lose if you do not include Facebook as part of your retargeting efforts given the amount of time spent on Facebook daily.

Today, online advertisers are using Facebook Custom Audiences for their retargeting campaigns. With Facebook Custom Audiences, all you need to do is install a code on your site to reach visitors with an ad when they use Facebook.

Here are four Custom Audiences you can use when retargeting Facebook users with your content.

Website visitors

Whenever someone visits your site with your custom audience code, they are automatically added to your list in your Facebook Ads Manager.

type of facebook custom audience

You can also create a personalized custom audience if you want to target only a portion of the traffic that visited specific landing pages.

On the same ‘Create Audience’ panel, select ‘People who visit specific web pages’ under website traffic and then customize the URL elements. It may take a few hours for your new audience to have the final user count.

custom audience website visitors

Facebook fans

Aside from website visitors, you can also retarget ads to your existing Facebook fans.

custom audience facebook fans

Although it may seem odd to advertise again to your existing Facebook fans, remember that your posts only reach a small percentage of your fans. If you want to make sure that your most valuable content will be visible to them, retarget them with your ads.

Email list

Consider targeting people in your email list with your Facebook ads and here are three good reasons why.

● They may be on your email list, but they haven’t bought your product yet.
● They may have bought from you in the past, but now you have a new product and they might be interested in it.
● They may not have opened their emails to check on your newsletters.

To retarget your email contacts, upload your email list first and then create a custom audience. Once you have uploaded your email list, you will be able to retarget them with your Facebook ads.

custom audience email list

Lookalike audiences

With 1.55 billion active monthly users, Facebook can be a good fit in identifying target customers for you, and you can take advantage of this ability through Lookalike audiences.

Facebook can create a lookalike audience based on the ones that you currently have. This is helpful for websites that are not receiving enough traffic or websites that have a substantial email list. Create a lookalike audience first and then use that audience when retargeting Facebook ads.

Incorporate interest targeting when creating your Lookalike audience to ensure that you are aiming at people who are likely to be interested in what you offer.

Facebook dynamic product ads

Facebook dynamic product ads allow you to promote relevant products to your shoppers that are browsing your catalogue on your website or store app.

Facebook dynamic product ads

As your product catalogue grows, dynamic product ads scale along with those changes. You can create ads based on your product feed, helping you save time, lessen errors, and quickly flash ads in front of your potential customers.

With Facebook dynamic product ads, each individual alert is creatively templated. Set up the campaign once and it will reach all your potential customers at the right time showing different entries from your catalogue. You can also display ads to your shoppers whatever the device they are using and regardless of where they first established contact with your business.

Target experienced two times the conversion rate with dynamic product ads. It also enabled them to perform well on mobile devices, which is a fast-growing area for any ecommerce brand.

Although there are also benefits to using Facebook Custom Audiences, dynamic product ads are actually making brands more successful based on these statistics.

facebook custom audience statistics

And the best part? Dynamic product ads are easy to set up – upload your product catalogue, set up your code, create your dynamic template, and run them.

Retargeting on AdWords

Aside from Facebook, another retargeting platform is AdWords.

Google AdWords remarketing is conducted on the Google Display Network. It is a powerful paid search strategy that allows you to re-engage with people who have previously visited your site by showing them ads across the web. Remember the Agoda example earlier?

These ads can come in the form of static images, videos, animated images, and text ads.

There are many ways to remarket with AdWords.

First is the standard remarketing where ads are shown to past visitors as they browse sites with Display Network and sites that use Display Network apps.

There’s also remarketing lists for search ads where ads are shown to past visitors as they follow-up searches on Google after leaving your site.

Another is video remarketing where ads are shown to people who have interacted with your YouTube channel as they watch videos YouTube and browse Display Network sites and apps.

Similar to Facebook, setting up remarketing campaigns using AdWords starts with a careful selection of your audience.

Decide which site visitors you will target your remarketing ads to. You can target them based on the product pages they visit, based on visiting a certain page of the checkout process, based on abandoned shopping carts, or a combination of the three.

You can improve your ROI and conversion rates significantly if you can segment your audience well and show ads that are specific to their previous action.

Generate your remarketing code so you can start placing cookies in your site visitors’ computers. This code can be generated within Google Analytics or your AdWords account. Place the code on the different pages of your site and your remarketing has just begun.

The benefit of getting your remarketing code on Google Analytics is you can set-up lists based on actual goals, and not just on pages you visited.

Start creating your remarketing lists within Google Analytics and factor in some important considerations as you go along, such as frequency capping, membership duration, 100 visits, and ‘Don’t Show Ads on all Websites’.

Frequency capping is an AdWords feature that controls how often an ad will be shown to a visitor. Google does not assign a default number of impressions for this and although you are only paying for clicks, you would want to provide a frequency cap so as not to annoy people out with your ads.

It is also important to note that the likelihood of an ad being clicked diminishes with each impression. Visitors interested on your ad will click sooner rather than later, so keep the number of impressions at bay.

frequency capping google adwords

Remarketing lists must also have 100 people in order for ads to run. Especially if you are targeting specific product pages that are not receiving substantial traffic, this is an important aspect to consider.

Membership duration is the length of time a visitor will remain on a remarketing list. AdWords sets membership duration for 30 days by default.

Lastly, you don’t want your ads to be shown on sites that are not aligned with your brand values. Within AdWords, you can exclude site categories where you don’t want your ads to be shown.

site category options google adwords

With over 2 million websites and mobile apps that are a part of the Google Display Network, the potential to create effective and well-performing retargeting campaigns is high with Google Analytics remarketing.

Other retargeting platforms

If you want to try out dynamic remarketing outside Facebook and Google Analytics, there are a lot of effective platforms that you can use.

The most widely used retargeting platform, AdRoll is known for their remarketing strategies that use advanced targeting and filtering, such as segmentation and geolocation. Their clients come from diverse industries from B2B and retail to finance and education. They offer retargeting solutions for web, Facebook, Twitter, and Mobile.

What’s special about AdRoll is that they work with Facebook Exchange, Google, and Microsoft, giving their clients that advantage of reaching 98% of sites on the web.

Aside from AdRoll, there’s also Perfect Audience that uses a variety of retargeting platforms, such as mobile app retargeting, cross-device retargeting, Twitter retargeting, Facebook Exchange retargeting, and news feed retargeting to name a few.

Their clients include ecommerce brands, such as Eventbrite, App Sumo, and Wego, and B2Bs, such as Kissmetrics. Perfect Audience is an ideal retargeting platform for online stores using Magento and Shopify as their ecommerce building platforms.

ReTargeter is also a great option to use for site and Facebook retargeting. They offer Do-It-Yourself plans and managed services depending on your remarketing strategies and how much you want them involved with your process. They also have retargeting services for CRM, search, audience, and multiple products.

Main Benefits of Remarketing

Generally, only 2% of first time site visitors will convert into a customer. Will you simply bid the 98% remainder goodbye?

This alone puts into focus the benefits of remarketing and how it brings that 98% all back in the conversion funnel. It gives ecommerce brands a second chance to turn people that have already shown interest towards their products into satisfied customers.

On a basic level, retargeting reminds potential customers of their former desire to purchase.

Shopping carts can go abandoned for many reasons. It can be due to poor user experience, unexpected costs on the checkout page, or perceived security risks. All these can be overcome with an overhaul of the site functionality, but if the reason for abandoned shopping carts is due to an external distraction or a temporary website crash, retargeting can easily win these sales back.

Also, judging by how it works, retargeting works very well in fostering brand awareness. Retargeting can take your brand everywhere, and with repeated exposure, you are just an ad away from making your brand sink into the consciousness of your target customers and get them back to browsing and shopping on your store again.

Ultimately, greater brand exposure through retargeting makes conversion rates higher. Keeping your brand top of the mind will increase your chances for future sales.

Check out these retargeting examples for inspiration.

Quelle, an online retailer for household product and personal goods in Germany, wanted to engage shoppers back to their store. Through 30m personalized display ads on Facebook featuring Quelle’s products, they experienced conversion rates between 3% and 4%.

Hobbycraft, an online art and craft supplies shop, achieved a 47% jump in conversion rate in the first two weeks of running their Facebook retargeting campaign. Not only that, they also experienced an average order value 30% higher than their other channels.

If you think brands, such as Lazada, Zalora, Agoda, and Amazon are following you around wherever you go online, that’s because they have been retargeting you successfully.

Check out how they do their retargeting campaigns. Run fake site abandonments and notice where you will see their display ads next. Looking at retargeting examples is a great way of noting down remarketing best practices and strategies that you can implement for your own.


Now that you have an idea of how dynamic remarketing works, how to get the best results, the different platforms you can use, and its practical applications, it’s time to put it to the test for your own store.

There are so many ways to retarget people back in the funnel and a previous abandonment is just the first part of the purchase journey.

Test out retargeting as part of your online marketing strategy and make sure to commit to it. Retargeting will require your attention, but it’s all worth it. In time, you will see your audience grow larger, your ad impressions more effective, awareness and interest for your brand becomes stronger, your conversions higher, and your brand top of mind more than ever.

About the Author

John Komarek is the founder of Pixelter. He helped over 63 e-commerce businesses boost their mobile sales by up to 183.5%. He uses advanced UX research, A/B testing, and AI-driven personalization to deliver the results. Learn more about how he can help you grow your sales.

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