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How to do retargeting for ecommerce stores – Examples from Startup Vitamins

By Reading Time: 2 minutes

Bring back lost customers

Retargeting is a powerful way to show ads to people who have already visited your site. They already know your website and just need that little nudge towards a purchase.

A typical ecommerce website might convert less than 3% of their visitors into paying customers. Retargeting is a powerful way you can convert those lost 97% of visitors back into paying customers.

Tools for retargeting

There’s a number of retargeting sites out there, but in our experience we used Adroll for flash-based retargeting ads around the web and Perfect Audience for Facebook-based retargeting. Perfect Audience even gives you a free $50 credit to jumpstart your retargeting efforts. But there are other sites out there like Retargeter that help you do retargeting.

There is a growing trend of product-based retargeting. Companies like Mamaya allows you to import your product feed and automatically create ads based on your products so your visitors will see ads with products they viewed when they visited your store.

You can target users based on their behavior

The beautiful thing about retargeting is that you can show ads only to people who have completed a certain task on your site or have not visited a certain page on your site. For example, for Startup Vitamins and, we run most of the ads targeting users who had added a product to their cart, but never finished the purchase. We do this by targeting all “customers” and excluding “people who visited the thank you page”. This is easily done in any retargeting platform interface.

setting up your retargeting
retargeting list

Experiment with different kind of lists and targeting window to see which has the best ROI. We tried running identical targeting options for both Startup Vitamins and and reached dramatically different results so you need to find out what works for your audience.

Ads that worked best for Startup Vitamins

Startup Vitamins statistics

Initially we started with just the free $50 Perfect Audience gave us after signing up and then gradually increased our retargeting budget. Perfect Audience will signal you if it thinks that your budget is too low for audience size.

You can see that for $8,638 in advertising spend we managed to generate 1,603 conversions with a total value of $129,622.19. Not bad, huh? This has a much higher ROI than the traditional targeted advertising we do.

Clear, concise texts that tell your user what to do

You can use texts like “Did you finish purchase?”, “Still on your mind?” in your ads to basically steer the user into action you want them to take. For an ecommerce store, this typically would be making a purchase.

SV facebook add

Be creative with your ads

creative Facebook add

Ads “We’re retargeting you!” had a lot of social shares (examples here, here and this). Try out different texts and images and disable the low performing ads over time.

Retargeting ads coupled with traditional advertising makes a greater ROI

We used a marketing company called Mentad to create traditional, targeted ads on Facebook. Whenever Mentad increased the advertising budget, the ROI for retargeting ads went up because often people who click ads on Facebook don’t convert immediately. They are then retargeted on the same platform they came from and convert later.

Try retargeting today

Retargeting is growing, exciting opportunities like Perfect Audience Connect where you can retarget visitors of others sites and product based retargeting is sprawling up. And it is not just Facebook anymore – Twitter also recently opened up their platform for retargeting. Retargeting might be that low-cost advertising opportunity that helps you to grow your ecommerce store.

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