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Retargeting Tuesday: Why You Should Care

There was once a time in the not-so-distant past that Black Friday was the retail holiday of note. As of 2014, however, you’ll find several retail holidays:

Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving), Small Business Saturday (the day after Black Friday), Cyber Monday (the Monday following Thanksgiving).

And, if these weren’t enough, experts are now proclaiming the beginning of Gray Friday, which is actually a diluted version of Black Friday. Gray Friday came into existence due to retailers who encourage post-Thanksgiving shopping events that start on Thanksgiving evening, carrying over into Friday.

While all of these are designated to whip retail shoppers into a retail tizzy of spending over a 4.5 day period, there’s a new retail shopping holiday that’s been designated exclusively for retail marketers: Retargeting Tuesday.

What Exactly Is Retargeting Tuesday?

Retargeting Tuesday is a phrase that was coined by AdRoll, a San Francisco-based digital marketing firm. The term is a prompt for retailers to refocus their marketing efforts towards two sectors of Q4 retail shoppers:

  • Those who missed out on post-Thanksgiving shopping events, due to the lack of funds or other issues, or,
  • Those who are waiting to complete their Christmas shopping until later in December.

In short, retargeting allows retailers to reintroduce themselves to shoppers while creating a way to stay at the top of their minds. In fact, AdRoll says that marketers are beginning to realize the benefits of continuing post-Thanksgiving retail momentum by creating an extended retail holiday, based upon the reported 76.0% increase in spending that has been invested towards reaching out to shoppers who might have missed previous earmark shopping events.

Isn’t Retargeting Perceived As Creepy?

“They’re watching me like a creepy elf on the shelf!” That’s what an anonymous Facebook member posted on their news-feed in response to retargeting. And, an online shopper was quoted in a few years back in the New York Times as saying, “For days or weeks, every site I went to seemed to be showing me ads for those (Zappos) shoes!”

It’s quotes like these from online shoppers that have many marketing firms expressing nervousness about implementing retargeting strategies, particularly on Retargeting Tuesday. Part of the nervousness is due in part to a recent FTC decision that seeks to protect the privacy of online shoppers via the Do Not Track Act, which involves software accessible to online shoppers who want to opt out of having their shopping habits tracked.

However, shoppers must self-opt out of tracking systems, and many don’t. This means that online retailers can realize additional streams of revenue that would otherwise be lost (or left to chance) until the next major retail holiday shopping rush. Search Engine Land has this to say to online marketers:

“Retargeting allows you to reconnect in a meaningful way with people who, for one reason or another, cared enough to visit your site in the first place. On average, you’ll be able to get back in front of 84% of your tagged traffic, for a total of 10-18 additional exposures per month.”

So yes, while online shoppers might be a bit puzzled about targeted ads from the same brands “following” them all over the internet, they’ll be far more likely to remember the targeted ad (and therefore, the brand) when it’s time for them to make a buying decision.

Why The Tuesday After Thanksgiving?

In light of the recent extension of shopping holidays (and, most of the recent shopping holidays beyond Black Friday involve online shopping), it makes perfect sense to create an extended shopping focus. There’s no better time than the Tuesday after Thanksgiving for retailers to motivate shoppers to remember their brands, as shoppers continue to double-down on their spending habits.

But, smart retailers would do well to use retargeting as a year-round strategy: retargeting should certainly be at the top of marketing team priorities as they chart course into 2015. The fact is, there are plenty of shoppers who have earmarked products for purchase at a later date.

Many families struggle to make their personal spending funds stretch. Reaching out to targeted shoppers who are forced to delay spending is creates new revenue for brands while strengthening public relations.

Retargeting helps to spur delayed shopping decisions, prevent lost revenue and shopping cart abandonment while promoting brands after post-Thanksgiving shopping holidays. Retargeting Tuesday ties a figurative bow on a holiday shopping package that benefits both shoppers, and retailers.

Terri ScottAbout Terri Scott (9 Posts)

Terri is a 4-year copywriter for hire, and an internet marketing storyteller for eCommerce, B2B, and B2C clients.  She’s captivated by the nuances of business and personal relationships, along with how they intersect to help clients establish enduring relationships with customers. She’d love to hear from you: @Positive_Twist , and you can view her work at

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