HomeBlog5 Remarkable Remarketing Audiences Retailers MUST Target

5 Remarkable Remarketing Audiences Retailers MUST Target

Author: Margot Whitney
Last Updated: November 12, 2022 | Display Ads, Ecommerce Strategy

A retail marketer who isn’t utilizing remarketing is like a fisherman with no bait. Similarly, your chances of catching a fish (or conversion) are much smaller if you don’t have the proper tools to do so.

With the holiday season upon us, I’ve been doing a lot of in-store and online shopping, and the majority of stuff I’ve purchased thus far has been a product of smart remarketing. Whether it’s when I’m scrolling through my Facebook feed and that wine rack I was browsing on Etsy pops up, or when I’m browsing recipes and the J Crew sweater I previously left un-purchased in my shopping cart reappears to remind me that their 20% off deal is about to expire.

The bottom line is that remarketing should be a top priority for all marketers, but it’s especially important for retailers during this prime-time selling season. The problem is some retail marketers are limiting their reach and strategy by running their remarketing campaigns on autopilot and not targeting the right people, at the right time, with the right messages.

Here are 5 audiences that all retail marketers should be targeting:

#1: Remarket to New Visitors with a First-Time Incentive

Most marketers start with an all-visitors remarketing campaign, showing the same one or two ads to each and every site visitor. While this isn’t necessarily a bad tactic for gaining brand recognition, retailers need to ensure that aside from just going after everyone with generic ads, they are providing an incentive to return. Since new visitors are typically at the top of your marketing funnel, you need to treat them as such. They’re still warming up to your brand, as they’ve visited your site, but haven’t converted. There’s something holding them back, which often has to do with trust and their incentives to purchase. It’s like a new friend or acquaintance asking you on a date. Why should you go out with them when there’s so many fish in the sea? Then that person offers to take you to your favorite restaurant, and you’ve reconsidered your rejection.

The same goes for remarketing. These new leads need to be incentivized, so when remarketing to new site visitors, make sure to give them a boost to entice them to buy. See the ad below where European Waxing Center remarketed with a first-time free wax!

european wax center ad

#2: Remarket Based on Product Categories

This tip seems obvious, yet many marketers are failing to do it. Naturally, if someone visits a particular product page, they’re interested in that product, right? Unless your landing pages are mislabeled, you should be following-up with these browsers to remind them about their previous curiosity.

For instance, let’s say you sell apparel for men and women. You wouldn’t want to show a man browsing for a winter jacket a generic ad for your company, or an ad for a women’s dress, right? You’d want to show them the exact pair of pants they just looked at. There are several companies that do this well. Just the other day, I was looking for a simple cardigan on Gap’s website for a holiday party. A couple hours later, a remarketing ad reminded me of my need, and during my lunch break, I went to the store and purchased the cardigan. Would I have bought a cardigan regardless? Most likely, but from Gap? Probably not, but this ad reminded me that I already found one I liked, and that there happens to be a store in close proximity to my office.

gap product ad

Setting these lists up is as easy as creating a product category based on what the URL contains. Just do it, your new customers will thank you.

#3: Remarket to Re-Awaken Abandoned Shoppers

Did you know that the average human has a shorter attention span then a goldfish? I kid you not, the modern-day shopper is extremely distracted, and it’s only going to get worse as technology evolves. For instance, on the average night, how many devices do you interact with? Personally, I watch TV while scrolling through my Instagram feed, while checking emails on my iPad, while reading digital marketing articles on my MacBook. The reality is we’re all consistently multitasking throughout the day. Even at work with your cell phone by your side, your coworkers surrounding you, and meeting notifications popping up, it can become quite hard to get things done.

Introducing the abandoned shopper! This set of individuals doesn’t necessarily have attention deficit disorder, but rather they’re a product of modern-day society and we need to treat them as such by remarketing to abandoned cart shoppers.

Several brands constantly do this to me. The other day, I had a pair of men’s shoes in a shopping cart to purchase for my dad, and then my colleague started talking about ordering pizza and that pair of suede loafers was left in the dust. Luckily, this advertiser targeted me with the exact item and a catchy message. What I love about this ad is that the copy is catchy, slightly humorous (“You left without your shoes…”) and it provides two incentives encouraging me to return (free shipping and return, wahoo!).

shopping cart abandoner ad

Moral of the story? Create remarketing lists targeting shoppers who abandoned their cart with catchy messages to entice them to return.

#4: Remarket to Upsell Active Buyers

A large part of a retail marketer’s job is determining how to create returning shoppers. Since an individual average order value is often low, the most value doesn’t necessarily come from the large pool of one-time shoppers, but rather the shoppers that become loyal customers.

To move your customer relationship beyond the first date, start using smarter remarketing tactics to form a long-term relationship with each and every shopper. The best way to do this is by creating remarketing lists of active buyers with ads to resell them on related products that may be of interest.

Let’s say someone purchased a tennis racket from your online sports store. You wouldn’t show them ads for soccer balls, right? Rather, you want to follow them around with a tennis racket case or tennis outfit to go along with their new racket.

remarketing ad upsells

“If a shopper buys your shampoo, then remarket a deep conditioner to them,” says WordStream’s Senior Paid Search Specialist Jaclyn Jordan. “Be aware of what products complement the one your customers have previously purchased and remarket to gain more sales through the same customers.”

#5: Remarket to Re-Sell Buyers After a Certain Time Period

Last but not least, you should be remarketing to people who have run out of your product or are in-market for more!

For instance, let’s say you’re selling facial products. How long does a bottle of your facial scrub typically last? Right around the point where a buyer is likely running low, you should be remarketing to remind them to buy more.

You may be wondering whether they’d just buy it on their own without seeing an ad. Sure, this may happen, but more often than not, people get lazy. They might see another brand on sale in CVS and buy it there, but if you catch them with an enticing ad beforehand, they’re more likely to become a brand loyalist and purchase from you you.

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Meet The Author

Margot Whitney

Margot is a content marketing specialist at WordStream and nutrition graduate student at Framingham State. She loves all things digital, learning about nutrition, running, traveling, and cooking.


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