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A Beginner’s Guide to Marketing Your Store on the Internet: Retargeting

August 16, 2016

So you have a website and are selling your products online. You may be doing OK but you want to know what more you can do to increase revenue and customer satisfaction. There’s a magnitude of options available, but some can be very costly or take too many resources. This article explores retargeting which is both cost-effective and uses minimal resources.



We would all like to think that when someone visits our website and finds the product they are looking for, they will make their purchase right away. But many visitors don’t do that; they come, shop around for a while, and then leave without purchasing anything.


The good news is it doesn’t have to be this way. Retargeting is a method by which eCommerce websites like yours can re-attract previous visitors who left your website for elsewhere. Every time a customer sees your retargeted ad, this will remind them of their former desire to purchase and possibly direct them back to you, not only hopefully creating a sale, but also fostering brand awareness.


How Does It Work?

Retargeting relies on the use of “tracking tags” and “cookies.” You add a snippet of JavaScript code called a “tracking tag” to your webpage’s source code, and this tracking tag places an anonymous cookie in the browser of every person who visits your website. This cookie allows you to “identify” audience segments based on their browsing behavior. It captures anonymous data about the visitor’s site activity, which will help you properly market to those visitors who leave your website. You can design your ads to either be static, meaning the same ad will be shown every time, or dynamic, where the content of your ads can change. The ads will be shown on other websites the user visits to keep your company at the forefront of their attention. It is important to find a good retargeting company to work with. The company buys ad space on many web networks and will then display your ads on these websites; you will want a company that has a vast network of websites they have contracted with so your ads will reach as many people as possible.

Retargeting image


Generally speaking, almost any retargeting company you choose will work with you on a revenue-share basis. What this means is for every sale you make as a result of customers clicking on your ads, a percentage of that sale will go to the company that displays the ads. Depending on the company, this can range from 5-15%. Most companies do have a minimum ad spend, so make sure you ask them what it is before you sign any contracts. Even if you don’t hit the minimum, you will still have to pay it.


The Downside

This may seem like a pretty easy way to increase your revenue and conversions, but there is still a downside. Every retargeting company I have encountered collects payment on your customer’s entire purchase, not just on the items your customer adds to their shopping cart after they click on your ad. Here’s the scenario: your customer has accessed your website directly and is browsing and adding product to their cart. They decide to surf the web for a bit before completing their order and leave your website. While they are surfing, they come across one of your retargeting ads for a different product. Out of curiosity, they click on the ad and are taken back to your website, where they decide to place a few more items in their cart and check out. Even though your customer was already on your website and intent on making a purchase before they saw the ad, you will pay the retargeting company a rev share on ALL the products your customer buys because they clicked on the ad. This can make it hard to determine whether or not your customer would have still made their purchase if they had not seen your ad.


To make sure you get the right company to help you effectively sell your products, I suggest that you talk to as many as possible before you make your decision. Here are some companies that you can research for retargeting solutions:



Ian Michael

Marketing Director

Book Depot


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