The Beginner’s Guide to Remarketing

What is remarketing?

Remarketing is a method used in eCommerce to convince a customer to revisit your website and complete a purchase they previously failed to complete. We’ve compiled a handy ‘Beginner’s Guide to Remarketing’ for you to master eCommerce remarketing and sort out those lost sales.


And this isn’t the first time we’ve written about abandoned carts you know – you can check out the three hottest abandoned cart recovery techniques here once you’re done with the basics.

Why Are Consumers Abandoning Carts?

Good question. Understanding the problem is the first step to coming up with solutions. According to SaleCycle cart abandonment increased from 15% to 75.6% this year. Why are so many people jumping ship?


  • The largest segment (28%) are leaving due to unexpected shipping costs
  • 23% leave due to having to make an account before purchase
  • 16% because their path to purchasing was only intended as research
  • 13% chickened out due to payment security concerns
  • 12% because of a confusing check out process


So you can clearly see why customers are abandoning carts and there’s some clear solutions you can get from that list alone. A transparent shipping policy, allow guest purchasing, make sure you have security sorted, etc., etc.. But sometimes it’s not so obvious why they’ve decided to leave. So we’ve sorted out an easy list of remarketing techniques for you to implement – even as a beginner.

Remarketing Techniques

Cart Abandonment Emails 

One of the most successful methods of remarketing is the cart abandonment email. These can take the form of a friendly reminder that their basket is still sitting there, or you they can be more advanced and can offer discount codes on the items that they left – the choice is yours. Stats show these emails can get you a 4.1% uprise in sales with a 47% open rate and a 31% click through rate.


So given the options, what should yours look like?  Our tips for a great abandoned basket email include:


  1. A Clear Subject Line – Don’t let your email get lost amongst spam
  2. Show the Abandoned Items in the Email – Perhaps add urgency to it by adding how many of those items are left in stock
  3. Use This Opportunity to Clarify Any Confusion – For example mention your shipping/returns policy
  4. Make Sure Products Link to the Checkout – You don’t want them to have to go through that whole process again, especially if that was why they abandoned it in the first place. Make sure as soon as they click on the product in the email they’re straight at the checkout.

On-Site Remarketing 


Alternatively you can do your remarketing on-site. This is more of a preventative measure since it engages with the customer before they leave. The best type involves a bit of science by recognising where exactly the customer is in the buying cycle. On-site remarketing is your best bet when customers haven’t left behind an email address – only 10-15% of cart leavers do.


85% of consumers often need support during their purchases, so this comes in pretty handy. The following should be considered your main efforts:


  • ‘Email My Basket’ Options
  • Live Chat
  • Call Back
  • Customer Reviews
  • Recommendations
  • Pop Ups


You can add urgency to a purchase by displaying a pop up that tells the user how many other people are booking or buying at that moment also. By adding urgency and incentivising purchases you can appeal to the consumers who are considering leaving. Messages like ‘leaving so soon?’ can encourage customers to complete purchases. Other useful pop ups are informative ones about shipping policies.

Site Remarketing

You can implement remarketing onto your website by introducing a small piece of code into it. A simple bit of JavaScript; your customer won’t even know it’s there. Every time a new visitors comes to your web page it’ll drop an anonymous browser cookie. Once they leave and enter another website your ad service provider will then know when to display a remarketing advertisement to them. As opposed to traditional advertising techniques, remarketing ads allow you to attack those who have already shown an interest in you!

How Can I Measure Success?

Of course it’s important to measure the results of your efforts, so what are your KPI’s for remarketing?


ROI – The most important of all the metrics. The formula for ROI is your gain from investment minus the cost of investment

CTR – This is the click through rate – the number of times the ad was clicked on

CPC – Cost per click. To do that, take the total spend and divide by the number of clicks

eCPM – Effective Cost Per Thousand Impressions – you can determine this by taking the total earnings and dividing by the total number of impressions served. Then multiply this by one thousand.

eCPA – Effective Cost Per Acquisition. This is based on the campaign spend divided by impressions served, multiplied by the CTR and again by conversion rate. Doing this will determine what you may have paid on a cost per action basis.


The best way for you to figure out your preferred methods of on-site remarketing is using A/B testing. Use it to test design elements and response rates to your messaging to capitalise on successful tactics and optimise the weaker ones. We have a blog with a whole bunch of great resources on A/B testing – enjoy!


Alice Page

Digital Project Manager

Digital project manager, Alice smashes PPC campaigns and getting the developers into gear...