Shopping Remarketing Lists Can Increase Your CTR & CVR by 400%


When Google introduced Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA) in July 2013, advertisers welcomed the ability to cater their bids, ads, and targeting to better reengage their past site visitors on both Search and Display. But savvy advertisers lamented one notable omission from the RLSA targeting – advertisers couldn’t apply an RLSA target to a shopping campaign. Well, fret no more! As of yesterday, Google has announced that RLSA targeting options for shopping campaigns are now available to all AdWords accounts in the form of Shopping Remarking Lists.

RLSA for shopping campaigns gives advertisers the ability to either exclusively target past website visitors to reach on the SERP with their shopping ads or bid more aggressively for users based on their past engagement on their site. Advertisers can leverage any existing remarketing audience list in their account eligible for RLSA, including the newly announced customer match audiences.

Sophisticated marketers should absolutely take advantage of the new targeting, as our Beta testers have shown amazing results:

 Remarketing Shopping Lists Data

In a cohort of 26 early adopters, advertisers saw returning visitors have double the click-through rate and conversion rate of new visitors. But advertisers who were targeting more engaged users like shopping cart abandoners and past buyers saw conversion rates 5 and 6 times higher than that of new visitors! Given the amazingly different performance of these audiences, advertisers found that the better converting traffic was worth bidding more aggressively on with a bid adjustment.

MORE: RLSA for Competitive Industries

Shopping Remarketing Lists Decrease CPA Too

Even with a large bid adjustment, many advertisers only saw their CPC for these audiences rise by a few cents. The result was, in most cases, that these audiences converted at CPAs nearly one quarter that of the rest of their shopping efforts.

Most users chose to add these audiences as “Bid only” audiences, but a few took it one step further and added them as “Target and bid” audiences, which allows you to exclusively serve shopping ads to users who had previously been to your site. While these users saw similar improvements in CTR, CVR, and CPA, it’s worth noting that many saw significant decreases in reach from this “Target and Bid” approach, in many cases losing as many as 98% of their total impressions from these shopping campaigns, so be cautious applying this type of ad targeting.

 RLSA for Shopping Campaigns Reach Graph

How to Set Up Shopping Remarketing Lists

Advertisers can add remarketing lists as targets to their shopping campaigns similarly to how they add them to their display or search campaigns. Within the shopping ad group, select the “Audiences” tab, then hit the “+Remarketing” button. From here, you can add any existing remarketing list(s) and select either the “Bid only” targeting (recommended) to set a bid adjustment for these returning audiences or the “Target and Bid” option to exclusively serve ads to these users.

 Remarketing for Shopping Lists Setup Instructions

Whether you’re new to managing shopping campaigns or you’ve been doing it forever, this new RLSA targeting option for shopping campaigns is sure to take your campaigns to new levels this holiday season!

Data Sources

Data is based on a sample size of 26 accounts (WordStream clients) with early access to RLSA for shopping while the product was in Beta. The report incorporates data from shopping campaigns on the Google Search Network in September 2015.

About the author:

Mark is a Data Scientist at WordStream with a background in SEM, SEO, and Statistical Modeling. Follow him on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google +.



Oct 22, 2015

Interesting! So for your study you compared September 2015 to the previous month or to the average in the previous year?

Oct 22, 2015

Glad you found it interesting!
The study is looking at how different audiences performed relative to each other in September 2015.

Oct 22, 2015

nice article i glad that i read this article............ i am gona bookmark your site and come back for further updates.................thanks

Jordan McClements
Mar 23, 2016

Are the shopping basket abandoners people who abandoned in the last 30 days?

Are the past buyers people who bought in the previous year (ish) including in the last 30 days?

How many of the extra conversions from the increased bids from the shopping basket abandoners would have been gotten anyway without the increased bids? (I know it's very difficult to answer). But particularly with shopping campaigns where price (I think) plays a bigger part in the position / visibility of your ads. If you have a good price, then your abandoner should have no problem finding your product again without increased bids?


Alexander Becker
Jan 24, 2018


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