“Retargeting gives you a second bite of the cherry,” explains Egan. “We generally consider conversion rates of 5-10% to be fantastic for ecommerce stores but what about the 90-95% who aren’t converting?” The simple fact is that “most users won’t buy from you first time around. Perhaps they’re unsure, unexcited or just browsing. Retargeting is one way you can stay visible to these users after they’ve left your site.”
It’s possible to get it wrong in fundamental ways though: “Marketers often jump into retargeting without putting enough thought into the potential mindset of the user. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been retargeted by an ecommerce site trying to sell me something I’ve just bought.”
In other words, if you want dough, don’t D’oh!
Egan advises that if you’re on the fence about whether retargeting is the right strategy, you might follow these steps:
He insists: “There’s no point doing a test if you’re not going to learn anything concrete. You’ll soon find out if it has a chance of working for you. You can then either explore it further, or have a well-formed rationale as to why it isn’t for you.”
Egan says to focus on three things: Targeting, creative and volume.
“Targeting is really important. Who do you want to remarket to and what do you want to say to them?
“Do you think there’s an opportunity to target users who have been to your site, added items to their shopping carts but not converted, serving them an ad that gives them a time-limited discount code (perhaps 10% off if you buy today)?
“Or perhaps you want to target users who have converted, cross-selling a complementary product?
“Getting this right is the most powerful thing you can do.”
“Once you’ve thought more carefully about your targeting, you need to ensure that your ads and landing page are compelling.” It’s just as well that eCommerce Insights rounded up the top landing page trends in 2016, whilst BannerSnack has collected some real world retargeting ad examples.
Questions to ask of your creative work include:
Or phone-in a friend: “You can learn a lot by just sitting someone down in front of the computer and ask them to think out loud as they navigate and attempt to buy your product.”
“You can generally find user segments that will convert much more readily than others. If you focus on these, pausing other activity, your conversion rate will go up,” says Egan, adding a “But…”
It will be at the cost of sales volume, he adds: “It is therefore worth remembering that a high conversion rate is not necessarily your primary KPI. It is often ROI, or even net profit generated by the activity. Sometimes it is worth trading conversion rate for additional volume if it means the business receives greater benefit overall.”
“You could boost your conversion rate by pausing all activity that has a below-average conversion rate, but if that paused activity was profitable, you’ll make less overall.”
Depending on how good your strategy is, Egan doesn’t think that your retargeting conversion will exceed your general conversion rate – at first: “Your initial aim is to prove that some elements of your retargeting campaign produce, or have the potential to produce, a positive ROI.”
When you’re at that stage, “it’s highly likely that you’ll be able to improve your retargeting conversion rate to be higher than its non-retargeting equivalent. For example, display retargeting should ultimately have a higher conversion rate than non-retargeted display ads.”
Paul Egan is Director at atom42 – www.atom42.co.uk