How dynamic remarketing can boost your eCommerce sales

Aran Reeks
By Aran Reeks
14 Oct 2013

In all probability around 98% of the people who visit your eCommerce website will leave without buying anything. We’ve talked about the many things you can do to improve that figure but, in reality, your conversion rate is likely to remain in single figures!

So what do you do about that 98% or so of people who are interested enough to come onto your site, have a look at some of your products and possibly even go so far as to start a shopping cart? If these shoppers spent a reasonable amount of time in your online store it’s likely that you have a higher chance of converting them at a later date than a new visitor - one who lands on your site from an organic search.

What you need is a way to re-engage visitors with the content that interested them. With people who abandon carts one opportunity is to use abandoned cart emails.  These remind them of the products they selected and invite them to complete the purchase. 

Remarketing through the Google Display Network

For those who were ‘just looking’ you have the additional option of remarketing through the Google Display Network.

Dynamic Remarketing as it is also sometimes called, allows you to deliver highly targeted display ads to specific customers based on products they have viewed or purchased. It uses the vast Google display network to select the most relevant sites to display your ad and allows you sophisticated control over how your ad looks and when it appears.

In later articles we’ll go into more depth about the technicalities of setting up Google Display Network remarketing, but for now I want to focus on what it is and how it works in more general terms.

Remarketing lists

When you have Google Display Network remarketing set up you are continuously building remarketing lists based on how people behave – in particular the type of products they view. You then use those remarketing lists to deliver targeted display ads to people who visited your site when they visit other relevant or related websites.

Remarketing gives you the opportunity to use your paid search budget much more effectively by showing specific ads to people who are much more likely to click through and convert. There’s no additional cost for using remarketing, you just pay for the campaign in the same way as with any other AdWords advertising.

The sorts of things you can build remarketing lists around are diverse and varied and the trick will be in identifying the ones that are most relevant for your business and the ones that will allow you to target your ads most purposefully. Here are a few ‘typical’ segments you could consider:  

Converting and non-converting customers. Customers who converted could be targeted with ads focused on cross-selling. Customers who didn’t convert could be shown ads based on the products they viewed - but perhaps with an exclusive discount code.

Gender-based. Very important in fashion that you target display ads for men’s clothes at people who previously viewed men’s clothes rather than women’s.

Specific product pages visited. If you want to run a promotion on a particular product wouldn’t it be a good idea to show your display ad to people who have shown an interest in buying that sort of product?

Abandoned shopping carts. You can target specific ads at people who almost completed a purchase in a similar way to abandoned cart emails.

The more you are able to create detailed and specific remarketing lists, the more successful your campaigns are likely to be. AdWords allows you to create highly specific ‘advanced lists’  based on options such as URL, referring URL, or specific parameters and  attributes  that your data feed sends to the Google Merchant Center such as the value of the products viewed.  

Careful planning and structuring from the start will ensure that you collect the most relevant data to build the most appropriately optimised lists you can. Ultimately this means you can target your campaigns around the products and the characteristics of visitors that will deliver the best results.  This is the best way achieve the highest return from remarketing and we’ll say more about that in later articles.

Setting up remarketing via the Google Display Network needs some effort and a sound grasp of how AdWords works. The principles are fairly straightforward but it’s getting the details right that will ensure you generate the maximum number of additional sales. You’ll also have to be prepared to analyse results and modify campaigns as you would with any AdWords campaign.

What you need to get started:

  • Google Analytics for eCommerce set up on your site
  • A Google Merchant Centre Account
  • Clear goals for your remarketing campaigns
  • The remarketing tag needs to be added to each page on your site so that you can start collecting data for your remarketing list
  • A data feed needs to be set up to the Google Merchant Centre
  • Ad groups setup for different lists

Remarketing in this way has enormous potential for improving overall eCommerce sales and is well worth investigating. It’s a subject we’ll come back to in later articles so if you’re interested it’s worth subscribing to our blog to make sure you don’t miss anything.