Remarketing vs. Retargeting – Everything You Need to Know

According to a webengage study, only about 3% of people actually end up purchasing a product the first time they land on your site. As per Search Engine Land, this percentage goes even lower to 2.35%! This is because

  • First-time website visitors don’t know much about your business
  • On the first visit, they may not trust you enough

The above estimate might seem surprisingly low. However, in these competitive times with hundreds of brands out there, you really need to win customers.

You might be getting a lot of new web traffic through organic or paid methods, which is terrific. The question is, are they bringing in conversions?

Oftentimes, the best customers to target are

  • Those who have visited your website before a couple of times.
  • The ones who are already associated with you through digital platforms.
  • Inactive customers.
  • The ones who might be interested in the products/services you offer.

As per, about 69.7% of people abandon their online shopping carts. By now, you must be wondering how remarketing and retargeting are linked to all these statistics. Well, when your target customers have abandoned the cart, mixing and using these strategies right may give them the push they need to check out!

According to research, retargeting and remarketing reduce customer cart abandonment by 6.5%.

Why Do People Abandon Their Online Shopping Carts?

There are several reasons why customers might not complete their checkout:

  • They are unsure whether the products are worth the price
  • They are comparing your prices with other websites
  • They just wanted to check the shipping cost
  • Their total came out way more than they expected
  • They were shopping for fun
  • They wanted to save the products for later
  • They received an important email from their boss while they were shopping
  • Their 3-year-old son started crying

Remarketing and retargeting also allow you to reach customers that are more likely to make a purchase. This is a remarkably fundamental approach in your marketing efforts.

Remarketing vs. Retargeting – What’s the Difference?

Remarketing vs. retargeting is an age-old debate. The two are often confused with each other. Here is a quick clarification!

  • Retargeting allows you to reach customers who have previously visited your website and attract new prospects with advertising campaigns.
  • Remarketing focuses on re-sparking the interest of your current or inactive old customers through emails and other tools.

While remarketing and retargeting are similar in many ways, there are some significant differences between the two.

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What is Retargeting?

As mentioned above, 97% of people who visit your website for the first time leave without generating any sales. Retargeting reminds website visitors to get back to their carts through a couple of ways.

Have you ever searched for something specific and then have seen advertisements related to that particular product or service whenever you visit other social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram? This is precisely what retargeting is. It allows you to retarget customers and show them relevant advertisements when they visit other websites!

The most common type of retargeting occurs when an individual views your website and clicks on a certain product. After that, a cookie is set in his or her browser. You can then use this information to “retarget” customers with advertisements based on their interactions once they exit your site. It has a 1,046% efficiency rate and beats all other advertisement strategies.

A marketing rule of thumb to help customers make up their minds about purchasing a product/service from your website is to make them come across your message at least seven times. Through retargeting, you can reach individuals that have already expressed interest in your brand or a specific product.

Retargeting ads also appear on social platforms of those users who have never heard of your company, but the products or services of your brand solve a potential problem or simply fit into their lifestyle.

For example, if you find that a certain product is really well-known among Generation Z, you can create a carousel ad and use it for retargeting them.

Retargeting can be done with the help of many retargeting platforms, such as Facebook, Google Ads, Twitter, and others.

Types of Retargeting

The two main types of retargeting include pixel-based retargeting and list-based retargeting. Let’s discuss the two in more detail:

  • Pixel-based Retargeting:
    Pixel-based retargeting includes re-displaying your products/services to anonymous site visitors.

When users visit your website, a cookie is placed on their browser; when they leave your website and scroll through social platforms, that cookie notifies the retargeting platforms to show them particular advertisements related to the particular pages they visited on your website.

Following are the benefits of pixel-based retargeting:

  • It is timely – users can be retargeted immediately after they leave your website.
  • It is specific to the pages they visited on your website.
  • It is behavior-based.
  • List-Based Retargeting:
    For list-based retargeting, you need to have the audience’s contact information in your database.

To run a list-based retargeting ad, you need to upload a list of email addresses (usually on social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter). The retargeting platform will identify users on those social media platforms with those email addresses and show them retargeting ads.

It is not as widely used as pixel-based retargeting, but it allows you to highly customize your ad content.

However, there are a few drawbacks of list-based retargeting:

  • Many users also have more than one email address, and in case they provide you with an email that does not belong to their social media platform, they will not be able to see your advertisements.
  • It is more time-consuming than pixel-based retargeting.

What is Remarketing?

Retargeting and remarketing are often used interchangeably, as they can both be used to re-engage customers who have previously shown interest in your products. However, they don’t mean the same thing as the channels used are quite different.

Retargeting, as discussed above, is focused on creating paid campaigns that are addressed to customers who have shown interest previously.

Once a customer visits your website, you can get his or her information via browser cookies. Browser cookies are small files that are dropped in a user’s browser when he or she visits a website.

Through remarketing, brands target customers who have previously purchased or done business with them. Historically, remarketing has been a term that refers to collecting customer information and then using it to remarket to them later. This is usually done by using email or even direct mail.

Remarketing includes using the information you already have of your past customers for refining the information you send them through email. This is also known as email retargeting, but the correct term is remarketing.

The main focus of remarketing is on email campaigns that are targeted at customers who

  • Abandoned their cart on a website.
  • Marked products as “favorites.”
  • Added a product to their wishlist.
  • Haven’t made a purchase for a while.

According to research, the number of active email users is estimated to reach approximately 4.3 billion by 2023, which shows why remarketing is so important. The remarketing or email retargeting prompts users to go ahead with the purchase.

Remarketing solutions can prove to be fruitful since potential customers have already shown interest in your products and, more often than not, were at the end of their buying process. According to a study, sending approximately three abandoned shopping cart emails results in 69% more purchases as compared to a single email.

There are many agencies and platforms that can provide you with advanced remarketing services. Here are some of the reasons why remarketing solutions can be beneficial for your business:

  • It will enhance your remarketing efforts by targeting particular audiences based on their interests or demographics. Simply select remarketing groups or a subset that did not previously convert to sales and appeal to them through email campaigns. It can help to reel those inactive customers back in.
  • Advanced remarketing services will help you get repurchases.
  • It will help you drive a higher ROI. The average estimated ROI is $42 for every $1 you spend.

Remarketing vs. Retargeting – The Similarities

Even though the mediums used for remarketing and retargeting are different, they both have the same purpose. This is one of the reasons why the terms are used interchangeably — they both market to users who previously came in contact with your brand.

Since users have already come in contact with your brand, you already know that they are interested in your products/services. Because of this reason, remarketing and retargeting are different from regular advertisements you see on the internet.

Remarketing and retargeting ads are not displayed to everyone, just to those who have previously visited your site or interacted with your business online.

In short, remarketing and retargeting are similar as they both have the same goals:

  • They both target users who are already aware of your brand.
  • They both engage users who are most likely to purchase from your business.
  • They both help your business achieve awareness and recognition.

Remarketing vs. Retargeting – When Should I Use The Campaigns?

If you are finding yourself comparing remarketing vs. retargeting, remember that retargeting and remarketing are both long-term marketing strategies for brands to bring interested customers back to your business.

Here is when you should use remarketing and retargeting campaigns:

1. To Promote Bestsellers

Remarketing and retargeting advertisements are effective ways to showcase your best-selling products. Promoting those products can help convert visitors into customers and ultimately increase your ROI.

2. To Introduce New Collections

Users who are currently interested in your products are a great audience to target when you’re launching a new collection. Your retargeting and remarketing campaign can catch their eye, and, being curious, they will likely go back to your store to check out what’s new.

3. To Build Brand Awareness

Users like to know a brand before they decide to make a purchase. Through search retargeting ads, your brand will stay on the top of the mind of customers who weren’t ready to make a purchase when they first visited your website.

Each time potential customers see your retargeting ad, they will be exposed to your brand; this promotes trust. They may not purchase from your brand this time, but it does increase brand awareness which is an essential factor.

4. To Drive Conversions

You’re investing in a retargeting campaign, so of course, you want to get people to click on your advertisements and take the next step. Through pixel-based advertisements, you can generate leads and direct people to landing pages of a website where they can fill out their information.

On the other hand, with list-based retargeting, advertisements will appear to contacts who have previously provided you with their information.

5. To Complete the Buyer’s Journey

For example, as a brand, you can use retargeting and remarketing to send the list of contacts that have downloaded your mobile app and invite you to sign up for the free trial of the pro version of the same app. If they like your app, it is likely that they may decide to become a paying customer.

6. To Reduce Online Cart Abandonment

Retargeting and remarketing help recover customers who have abandoned their online carts by sending them reminders that the products they were interested in are still available.

Remarketing vs. Retargeting – The Best Strategies

1. Personalize the Content

You know exactly what the potential customers want; thus, you can create content that directly engages them. Appromxialy 25% of customers like retargeted ads as it reminds them of products that they have previously viewed.

Other than that, 78% of buyers have also said that relevant advertisements increase their purchase intent.

With email campaigns, you can include subject lines such as, “We have missed you,” “You haven’t shopped with us for a long time,” or “Where have you been?” for consumers who have not engaged with your website for some time.

2. Offer Discounts and Promotions

A crucial aspect of search retargeting and remarketing is offering customers discounts and promotions that customers cannot say no to. Offers such as

  • buy-one-get-one-free deals
  • free shipping
  • 50% off
    are some of the offers that will surely grab their attention.

As discussed earlier, one of the reasons customers might abandon their online shopping cart is that they wanted to see the shipping cost or were comparing the prices. Thus, free shipping or a discount via email might convert your potential customers to actual customers.

3. Keep the Marketing Funnel In Your Mind

With the information you have on your site visitors, you can create content that will appeal to particular people at whatever stage they are on the marketing funnel.

Here are some examples of the content that is suitable for the four stages of the marketing funnel:

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7 Remarketing and Retargeting Platforms to Boost Conversion

E-commerce is a booming industry. No wonder business owners are learning and can use all the tools and platforms out there to make their ecommerce businesses bring in conversions. If there is one thing we know about the market in any industry, where there is demand, there is supply. The same is the case with remarketing and retargeting! Here are a few tools/platform recommendations to boost conversions through remarketing and retargeting strategies!

1. Adroll:

Being an advertising partner with Google, Bing, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms, Adroll provides an audience reach that covers almost the whole internet.

Another factor that makes Adroll one of the most well-known retargeting tools is its user interface. You can easily segment users, manage ads, and generate reports.

Visit Adroll.

2. Criteo

Criteo is a big name in retargeting advertising as it was one of the earliest players. Criteo is known for its extensive understanding of the customer journey, which can add tremendous value to the campaigns.

However, Criteo demands constant monitoring to accomplish campaign objectives. Marketers have to manually manage the campaigns to achieve the KPIs.

Visit Criteo.

3. Google Ads

Google Ads offers a compelling retargeting platform. Google Ads enjoys unparalleled access to the Google search and Google display networks, making Google Ads one of the best retargeting platforms.

Google Ads will ensure that your retargeting advertisements find the right audience.

Visit Google Ads.

4. Facebook

According to Statista, as of the third quarter of 2021, Facebook has approximately 2.91 billion active users. Another study says that as of 2021, Facebook is the third most visited website.

So, if you already run your advertisements on Facebook but want room for better conversions, you can create your custom audience in Facebook Ads Manager.

Once you sign in to your Ads Manager account, go to the Audiences option, then select Create Audience > Custom Audience > Customer list.

To create a Custom Audience list, you have to provide Facebook with data regarding your current customers. Facebook then matches the information you have given them with Facebook profiles, which it then uses to help your business find customers that you want your advertisements to reach.

Visit Facebook Ads Manager.

5. SharpSpring Ads

SharpSpring Ads allows you to set up retargeting campaigns across almost every well-known channel along with targeting customization based on visitor interaction, such as events triggered, visited pages, etc.

This tool is compatible to run advertisements on mobile as well as the web. It retargets your audience through different channels such as Twitter, Facebook, Shopify, and others. It also allows you to blacklist the IPs that are not performing as per your desires.

Visit SharpSpring Ads.

6. Fixel

An AI-powered segmentation tool, Fixel allows marketers and campaign managers to target site visitors based on their engagement levels across a myriad of social platforms.

To help brands prioritize and target particular customers, Fixel ranks users based on their engagement level and behavior within your brand’s site. It is extremely easy to implement and use.

Visit Fixel.

7. Twitter Ads

According to several sources, Twitter has over 300 million monthly active users, making it a great app to retarget individuals.

With Twitter ads, you can retarget users who have previously visited your site, engaged with your brand in some way, or subscribed to your newsletter. You can also remarket to almost-there shoppers by sending reminder emails!
Visit Twitter Ads.

Take Away

When we’re talking about ecommerce platforms and businesses, understanding marketing terms and lingo is vital. You may be one strategy away from making it big or losing everything you worked so hard for. When I first got into marketing, Remarketing vs. Retargeting was one of the first terms that had me scratching my head. Hence, this guide is what would have answered all of my questions and saved me hours of research. I hope it did the same for you!

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