A Guide To Remarketing For E-Commerce Businesses


You spend 15 minutes looking at jackets online, perhaps you even put one in your basket before abandoning the site and deciding it’s best to wait until payday to treat yourself to something new. But the next day as you’re browsing the internet you see an advert with an exclusive offer for that very same jacket. Then, as if by magic, you receive an email from the company letting you know about their current sale… Hmmm are they trying to tempt you?

Of course they are! This is all part of a very clever technique called remarketing and if you eventually go back and buy that jacket (as many people do once they’ve been made an offer) then it was a success. 

So, as you can imagine, this can be a very effective marketing tool and a great way to increase sales for your e-commerce business. Want to know more about it? Well, you’re in luck, we’ve put together this guide to help you better understand remarketing, why it can be beneficial and the best strategies for implementing your own remarketing campaign. 

What is remarketing?

Remarketing is a digital marketing strategy in which e-commerce businesses can serve adverts, offers and emails to people who have previously visited their site or webpages but not taken action whilst there (for example not made a purchase). It is a great way for businesses to reengage users who have dropped off and to try and persuade them to make the desired action next time around. 

What is the difference between remarketing and retargeting?

There is often a bit of confusion about remarketing and retargeting campaigns as they sound and act in a very similar way and can both be very effective techniques. That said, it’s important not to mix these two up. Retargeting often falls under the umbrella term of remarketing but is a more specific strategy of following users around the internet with targeted ads based on cookies. 

Remarketing, however, is about reaching out with offers or directly landing in their inbox with targeted emails. This is done by collecting information and making lists of those who have visited the site but not completed the desired action. 

What are the benefits of remarketing?

There are a number of key benefits for running a remarketing campaign and this is why it should be an important part of any digital marketing strategy for your e-commerce business. Below, we’ll look at some of the biggest benefits of running a remarketing campaign:

  • Boosting your sales – Not everyone makes a purchase the first time around so by remarketing to them you can increase your chance of making a sale
  • It’s a budget-friendly technique – Remarketing usually generates a higher ROI for a relatively low cost, making it a budget-friendly way to drive sales 
  • Cross-selling – As well as letting them know about any offers or reminding them to buy that jacket, you can also take the opportunity to cross-sell by suggesting other things that the user might like 
  • Building your brand – If you are slowly following users around the internet and even dropping into their inboxes, your brand is more likely to stick in their minds in the future 

What tools should I use for remarketing?

As digital marketing and remarketing strategies became more popular and important to businesses, more and more online tools were created to help businesses harness the power of these marketing techniques. Though there are a variety of different tools you can use, below we’ll briefly touch on some of the most well-known and popular ones: 

1. Social media 

Most (if not all) social media platforms now have the option to create targeted ad campaigns and many also offer the functionality to run remarketing campaigns too. For example, Facebook is one of the leading platforms for this, though Instagram and Twitter also offer similar marketing tools. 

2. Gmail Remarketing 

In 2017, Google gave the go-ahead for Gmail Remarketing and by creating separate social and promotions tabs within the Gmail inbox, this became the perfect tool for helping your remarketing emails stand out. 

3. Mobile apps 

If someone downloads or visits your app but does not complete the desired action, you can collect their information from here and use this to go directly to their inbox. 

4. Google Ads 

Google Ads pairs perfectly with email for the ultimate remarketing campaign. Imagine your ads are chasing users around the internet and then suddenly you pop up in their inbox. This could be the sign they needed to complete the desired action. 

But as we said, these are just some examples of the tools you can use for your remarketing campaign. There are lots of platforms out there, so do your research and find the one that works best for your e-commerce business. 

Our top tips for your remarketing strategies 

In this final section, we’re going to share some of our top tips for running a success remarketing campaign for your e-commerce business. 

  • Get your timing right – Choosing the perfect time of day, week, month and year to target customers is important. For example, in the run-up to Black Friday or Christmas why not ramp up your efforts and make sure you’re showing them plenty of targeted offers and information
  • Reduce basket abandonment – If you’ve noticed that a customer has abandoned their basket without making a purchase, that is the perfect time to remarket to them. Don’t leave it too long or they could lose interest. Reach out straight away reminding them they abandoned the basket and even giving them an exclusive offer
  • Target those interested in your Shipping and Returns page – If someone has checked out your shipping and returns policies this is a good sign that they’re interested in purchasing from you and they just need a final nudge, so target them as quickly as you can 
  • Look at which products they removed from their basket – Did you notice a user added something to their basket but later removed it? Take this opportunity to retarget them with the products they removed. Perhaps they were sitting on the fence, but reaching out to remind them why they wanted it can be the perfect way to complete the sale 
  • Make offers they can’t refuse – Last but certainly not least, remember that people love a discount. Target those that have left your site without action by offering exclusive discounts, one time offers or promotional freebies. This can be all it takes to get them engaging with your brand and even making recurring purchases in the future