eCommerce Insiders

Retargeting: Why It’s Still Ascendant In Relevancy

Retargeting is a term referring to the practice which allows marketers to reach consumers that they have previously had interactions with in order to stay top of mind, improve brand awareness, and ultimately, make the sale.

It’s a term that was coined by AdRoll a few years back, and it’s a practice that’s still being used by smart companies that want to take a streamlined, efficient approach in capturing (and recapturing) the attention of consumers, and potential brand loyalists.

But is retargeting still a thing? It it still relevant, or are companies wasting their time with the practice? Should marketing teams think about moving on to a new strategy?

In short, marketing teams should hold firm to the practice of retargeting, as it shows no signs of slowing down as a viable resource for capturing sales leads. In fact, industry experts would say that retargeting is continuing on an ascendant track.

Here’s more basics about the practice, along with why the practice should either be implemented, or expanded.

What’s retargeting all about?

Retargeting allows marketers (in particular, retailers) to stay at the top of the minds of consumers who have visited a retail website. There’s usually two types of consumers who have visited a site:

  • Those who have made the purchase of at least one item
  • Those who are window shopping online

Marketers want to stay at the top of mind of both groups of consumers, but for different reasons. The first group of consumers have already decided to place trust in the brand, and it would bode well for a company to keep these customers in the loop. The hope is that this group will continue to make purchases with the company, for years to come. At the very least, the hope is to get them to spend money with the company in the upcoming months.

But then, there’s the second group of consumers. These are the online shoppers who, for one reason or another, have decided not to make a purchase.

Perhaps their intent for visiting a company’s website was to always window shop for an upcoming purchase. Often, they want to price items to before committing to a purchase.

Then again, there are those who didn’t find what they were looking for. Perhaps they’ll come back to the website to look for their intended item, but traditionally, the chances of this taking place are often low. There’s simply too many competing outlets out there that will capture a shopper’s attention, in the blink of an eye, and at the click of a mousepad.

This means that marketers (And again, retailers in particular) have to find creative, targeted ways of coaxing window shoppers back to the website. Enter retargeting.

Retargeting is more than a marketing practice. Retargeting gets applied to software that works in conjunction with a shopper’s browsing habits, and specifically, with their cookies.

Once a site cookie is picked up on a shopper’s browsing history, then the cookie sends a message to retargeting software, signaling the software to create an ad that appears on other websites that the shopper might visit, especially if the sites are relevant to the original site being targeted for a second visit by the consumer.

Are marketers invading consumer privacy?

When retargeting first became a thing, consumers wondered out loud why they kept seeing ads from the same marketers, no matter which sites they visited on the internet. Some were annoyed, and some consumers freaked out! And many had personal privacy concerns. In response, the FTC created the Do Not Tract Act. This gave consumers a way out of feeling stalked by retargeting ads.

However, consumers have the responsibility of self-opting out of retargeting advertising, so marketers are still able to take advantage of reach and scale opportunities that might become temporarily available with each consumer. And on the other hand, many shoppers have made future purchases, directly because of retargeting advertising. At the end of the day, retargeting has proven to provide far more advantages than disadvantages for marketers, and retail brands.

The golden age of retargeting?

As of this writing, the practice of retargeting shows no signs of slowing down, and in fact, the practice shows strong signs of ascendancy. It simply provides too much of an upside for retailers who were previously helpless in recapturing shoppers who bounced away from ecommerce sites without making a purchase.

But as the practice ages into maturity, Media Post author Cory Treffiletti offers insight on the practice from the consumer’s perspective:

Better retargeting would reflect the context and add to the story of why you should be buying the product. It’s not enough to simply show me the product again; you need to push on the buttons of motivation and try to convince me that not buying the product would be a missed opportunity. Dynamic creative is fine, but do something more original with the space: Tell me a story. Stories sell.

Retargeters also tend to focus myopically on what product was being examined, but they stop short of finding out more about the consumer…Don’t just try to force the product down my throat; get me thinking about why the product matters and how it fits into my life.

As you can see, retargeting is something that many marketers should be invested in, but it’s also something that many are currently not doing properly. If your company is struggling with retargeting, ROI Revolution has an excellent resource that goes into some great strategies for retargeting on social media.

Their special report, Facebook Ads for Ecommerce, gives a detailed description of the benefits of retargeting on the social platform, and how your business can get started today. Download it now to take full advantage of all this excellent marketing channel has to offer.

Terri Scott

Terri is a content marketing storyteller and strategist. She teaches marketing and entrepreneurship through stories for marketers of all stripes. Her specialty is creating narrative and she writes essays and memoir in her spare time.

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