A Guide to E-commerce Retargeting and E-commerce Remarketing

Table of Contents

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What are Retargeting and Remarketing?

Retargeting and remarketing are e-commerce strategies that generate more leads or enhance sales. These two strategies are equally important to expand your business, especially at the initial stages. 

Remarketing vs. Retargeting: What’s the difference?

Though these terms are used interchangeably by entrepreneurs, there are some differences between the two. 

Retargeting hits a vast range of potential customers by utilizing paid ad campaigns to spread the word. Remarketing focuses on a group of people familiar with your brand. The company uses email to upsell the products and minimize cart abandonment. 

Let’s understand this with the help of an example. Suppose the customer searched for the coffee mug and added the item to the cart. They left the cart without completing the purchase and went to some other site. There they would see an ad related to the same coffee mug they added to the cart. That’s how retargeting e-commerce works. Businesses use cookies to get browsing information and display the same and related products to the customers.

Remarketing is done differently as when the customer enters the website, the first thing they do is enter their email address. Brands use those email addresses to remind them about their unfinished transactions. 

The bottom line for both retargeting and remarketing is– reaching customers. It is the approach of marketing that sets them apart. The placement of ads and cookie settings comes under retargeting. In contrast, remarketing undertakes sending email notifications. Retargeting e-commerce is estimated to increase your conversion rate by 10% across industries!

Benefits of E-commerce Retargeting and Remarketing

Both strategies have become prominent among many big industry players, especially in e-commerce. It is the best way to engage and bring the audience to your site. Through remarketing, entrepreneurs can make the users subscribe to their daily updates to get a notification each time they launch new products. 

Furthermore, retargeting e-commerce helps you get more traction and increase customer retention. We have listed some key benefits of incorporating retargeting and remarketing in your business. 

1. Increased CTRs for paid ads

A growing business demands more lead generation. Customers who visit your site for the first time are not likely to come back. However, they could get engaged with your content. The average display ads CTR is 0.07% which could shoot up to 0.7% by remarketing ads. This outstanding jump could have an enormous impact on your leads and sales.

2. Increased brand awareness

With the help of remarketing and retargeting, you can open the doors wide to reach customers. It helps you reach the touchpoints and create a niche for your brand. Though it doesn’t guarantee instant success, it helps create your brand’s image. 

Your brand should be the first thing to strike their minds when they think about purchasing a product of your genre. You should know how to create a bridge between the brand and the customer by making people think about a niche and consider buying your product.

3. Higher conversion rates

Besides CTR, another aspect where remarketing and retargeting e-commerce ace is improving click-through rates. It helps you amplify conversions. 

Recent studies showed that visitors who return to your website through email tend to convert more than 70% of first-time visitors. Email marketing reduces abandonment rates and gives them a gentle nudge to revisit your website. 

4. Generate more leads

Advertisements and social media campaigns are the most extensive tools to expand your customer base. As per recent research, 28% of internet users found a new product through social media ads. 

It has become popular among the younger generation– the highly addressable market. Seeing your social media post or advertisement, anyone could visit your online store and become your customer. People are more likely to buy from a store that is good at presenting its brand. 

Steps for Retargeting and Remarketing

Step 1: Set up Google Analytics

Linking Google Ads and Analytics accounts

Google ads and analytics are prominent tools integrating into retargeting e-commerce strategies and campaigns. It helps to

  • Import Google Analytics conversions
  • See analytics data in your ad reports
  • Import analytics marketing audiences
  • You get to measure website or application performance from Google Analytics

To link these tools with your marketing campaign, follow the steps below: 

  1. Create your google analytics and Ads account
  2. Link both accounts together
  3. Create goals in analytics that allow user segmentation based on their previous actions.
  4. Create specific audiences in google analytics that target different groups of customers.
  5. Create an ad campaign with a Google account and assign audiences to Google Analytics.
  6. When you have a minimum level of the audience, your ad will start showing to the target audience that has been created.

Setting up Goals

Goals can measure anything from a user subscribing to a newsletter, making a purchase, or downloading a file. Moreover, it can also be customized so that they can track the most important metrics for a website or app.

There are mainly four types of Google Analytics goals:

  • Destination: Track when visitors reach a specific page or set of pages on your website. 
  • Duration: Track how long visitors stay on your website.
  • Pages/Screens per session: Track how many pages or screens visitors view during a session on your website
  • Event: Track when visitors complete specific actions, including clicking a button or watching a video.

You can add these goals to your system in four easy steps

  1. Sign in to your Google Analytics account and select the website you want to create a goal.
  2. On the left panel, click the ‘Admin cog’ In the view column, click goals.
  3. Click the +New Goal button.
  4. Lastly, enter a detailed description of your goal. You can also add a preferable name and choose the most suitable goal type. 

Step 2: Create a custom audience

Identifying potential customers

Your ads and marketing campaigns remarkably assist you with identifying potential customers in lesser time. With the help of specific tools, you can tailor the marketing campaigns that would directly hit the addressable market. This would gather organic traction on your website, thereby increasing conversion rates.

Building an email list

Remarketing focuses on creating an impactful email sales and marketing campaign that cuts through the clutter. To make it even more effective, you can create an email list of all the potential customers, visitors, or other patrons of businesses. 

A comprehensive list is challenging to make. Therefore, you can curate the list with the help of the following methods.

  • Attractive content upgrades
  • Exit intent pop-ups
  • Entirely or partially gated content
  • Squeeze pages
  • Loyalty and referral programs
  • Discounts and deals
  • Notifications
  • Social media
  • Email sign-up forms

Creating a lookalike audience from your email list

Lookalike audiences on Facebook, Instagram, or Google ads help you target a new audience segment by aligning their characteristics with your existing customers. This enhances PPC and ROI and boosts sales. 

Step 3: Analyze your customer journey

Understanding the different stages of your funnel

There are four stages in the marketing funnel: awareness, consideration, conversion, and loyalty. These funnels are even more effective in reaching shoppers at each step. Therefore, it is necessary to comprehend the marketing funnel to retarget and remarket the campaigns.

Identifying areas for improvement

To identify improvement areas, you need to understand the customers’ journey. Each level in the marketing funnel could have some loopholes that need your attention. The next step would be to improve your retargeting. Perhaps customers do not always visit websites to buy something. Therefore, you must align your custom advertising audiences with shoppers’ intents. 

Scrutinize your advertising frequency. Is it too much or too less? Is it targeting the audience the right way or distracting them? Online store owners don’t have to come up with extensive marketing strategies. Simple yet engaging campaigns help. 

Step 4: Design your remarketing campaigns

Choosing the right campaign type and target audience

You can create the perfect campaign for your customer based on your marketing funnel. Evaluate where your products would perform the best in terms of brand awareness. Social media like Facebook, Instagram, and now YouTube are some of the most prominent platforms to display your brand and make the audience aware of your business’s existence. 

Crafting complimentary campaigns for specific product categories or exact products

Complementary campaigns increase the chances of reaching customers, encouraging them to convert normal visitors into shoppers. One of the ways to practice complementary campaigns is by—

  • Identifying your target audience.
  • Determining the customer journey from when they became your customers
  • Developing messaging and creatives to reinforce the brand: Content is key to reinforcing your brand. Develop content that is tailored to your target audience.
  • Choosing your channels. Use a variety of mediums, such as blogs, videos, podcasts, and social media posts, to communicate your messaging.
  •  Measuring and optimizing campaigns. Once the campaign is launched, tracking the right metrics will help you determine if your campaign is achieving its objectives. This includes impressions, clicks, conversions, or cost per acquisition (CPA). 
  • You should regularly monitor the performance of your campaigns to help you identify areas of improvement and optimize them accordingly.

Step 5: Set up retargeting ads on the Google display network

Uploading a product feed to google shopping & merchant center

Here is a step-by-step onboarding guide:

  • Sign in to your Google Merchant Center account
  • Click the “Products” tab on the left-hand side of the screen 
  • Under “Manage Feeds” click “+ Data Feed”
  • Select the country that your feed applies to, and choose the language
  • Enter a name for your feed, and select the file format (e.g. CSV, XML) 
  • Select the file location (e.g. a URL or file stored on your computer) and click “Upload Feed” 
  • Once your feed has been processed, click “Manage Feeds” and select the feed you just uploaded
  • Under “Actions” select “Schedule Fetch”
  • Select the frequency that you would like to update your feed (e.g. daily, weekly)
  • Click “Schedule Fetch”. Your feed is now uploaded to the Merchant Center and will be automatically updated 

Creating ads on the Google Display Network

With the Google display network, you can show your ads with particular contexts to audiences. For instance, outdoor lifestyles for younger audiences. The display network campaigns allow you to

  • Build campaigns around your goals
  • Drive more sales, leads, and traffic
  • Familiarise you with machine learning solutions
  • Help you optimize the target
  • Improve your performance

Step 6: Monitor and Tweak your campaigns 

Track your performance in Google Analytics & Ads Manager. Make your adjustments accordingly to increase conversion rates conclusion.


Tips to Make the Most Out of Retargeting and Remarketing

Below are some tips to make the most out of remarketing and retargeting e-commerce. These are:

1. Create compelling and relevant messages

A compelling branding could give you wonderful results and holds the potential to highlight the best USPs. 

Structure the best, most compelling, and most relevant message for customers that can generate leads and enhance retention. Your marketing tactics should highlight the pain points that the brand has solved. The prospect should compile both the brand’s and the customer’s viewpoints. 

Through remarketing, you can add relevant messages in the campaigns that will help you get more open rates. Hence your mail would be less likely to be read as spam and would have a better chance of being opened by the recipient. 

2. Segment your audience

Segmenting or categorizing your audience would help you spread a more relevant message. You can also personalize the message to target the addressable market effectively. Customer segmentation assists you with finding different types of audiences. You can segment your customers in three ways:

  • Demographics: It includes gender, location, age, and marital status.
  • Buying behavior: It helps you target the perfect group of individuals by understanding their buying behavior.
  • Campaign engagement: It tells you about how much your customer engages with your platform and marketing campaigns and also tells you about their activity status. 

Moreover, you can specifically target niche spaces, such as females in their 20s who love wearing various outfits and accessories. Customer segmentation is one of the most effective ways to reach your customers rightfully. 

3. Use a strong CTA

More than email marketing and ad plugins would be required for customers to determine what your brand is about. There should be short and precise information about your brand within the mail and ad. Adding an impactful call-to-action pushes customers and makes them check out the brand. A strong CTA can be:

  • Precise and convincing copy
  • Striking design
  • Prominent placement

4. Use compelling visuals

The main purpose behind presenting visuals is to convey the brand’s message while effectively targeting the audience. These images include brand logos, aesthetically pleasing designs, product visuals, exciting offers, and many other elements. The visuals should be compelling enough to make the users click on them. 

5. Test your ads

One of the best ways to test your ad strategy is to run A/B. It is also known as split testing, in which marketers split their audience to test the variation in their marketing campaigns and determine which is better. You can divide the audience into A and B categories and show them two versions of your content (A/B) to see which is better. 


Remarketing and retargeting e-commerce have become a go-to for many entrepreneurs. Smart marketing strategies help you reach customers and establish a brand’s reputation. With the help of certain tools and technologies, you can endeavor toward the desired goal you have always dreamt of. 


What are retargeting techniques?

Retargeting e-commerce techniques target lapsed users who have engaged with your ad but haven’t used your products.

What are the two main types of remarketing?

The two main types of remarketing are– standard and dynamic. Both focus on targeting the audience by showing ads to previous visitors—however, dynamic remarketing works on personalizing the experience.

What is the difference between targeting and retargeting?

Targeting means focusing on the audience that has yet to interact with your brand (aka cold audience), whereas retargeting e-commerce aims at targeting those who have recently visited your website (warmer audience).

What is the first step of displaying retargeting?

The first step of displaying retargeting is placing a code on the website to gather all the important data about the visitor to target them later via ads.

What is the best practice for a retargeting campaign?

Here are seven best practices for a retargeting e-commerce campaign. These are:

  • Know your target audience
  • Use dynamic display ads to get their attention
  • Retargeting existing customers
  • Develop quality and engaging content
  • Avoid ad fatigue and brand blindness
  • Retarget based on social media engagement with form-based ads
  • Optimize for best results

Is remarketing a part of SEO?

PPC and retargeting e-commerce are two of the best SEO tactics usually used simultaneously. Marketers can use the best techniques to identify brand-appropriate keywords to ensure a successful campaign.

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