Mappa Via Marconi 20, Bussolengo (VR)

eCommerce: remarketing vs retargeting

retargeting vs remarketing

Imagine that someone does not yet know your company, visits your website for the first time and makes a direct purchase of one or more of the products you sell online. This is an ideal scenario isn't it? Unfortunately, the conversion of a prospect to a full-fledged buyer is not so straightforward, we recently talked about this in our article "Tips on how to improve ecommerce shopping cart abandonment".

This is a well-known problem in the world of online commerce: users arrive on your site and leave after a few seconds or minutes without having purchased anything. It is important to remember that not all visitors who land on your website are automatically at the same point in the purchasing cycle.

For first-time visitors, the average conversion rate is very low, which means that the vast majority of potential customers leave the site without buying anything. Visitors who are at a more advanced stage of the purchasing cycle often add products to their shopping cart but then change their mind at the last minute and leave the site.

All these visitors have a common interest in what you offer on your website, regardless of the stage they are in, so it is important to keep these customers in mind. How? Perhaps you have already heard the term retargeting or remarketing... are these the same thing? In this article we clarify what they are and, if any, what the differences are between these two marketing approaches.


Remarketing vs Retargeting

The terms remarketing and retargeting are often used as synonyms. But if you pay closer attention, although they are very similar, they do not have the same meaning. The main difference between these two methodologies lies in the underlying strategy they use. 

Both aim to reach previous visitors to your shop and ultimately attract them back to your website. Retargeting uses cookies and advertisements, such as Google Ads, to reach potential customers. Remarketing, on the other hand, is based on email marketing: email addresses are collected and potential customers are informed that there is still something in their shopping cart and that they can buy these items at a discount. Both approaches have different potentials, opportunities and obstacles to overcome, which we will now analyse in detail.


The potential challenges of both approaches 

The obstacles or difficulties of retargeting lie in its frequency of display. If the same ad appears repeatedly on several pages, it may be annoying on the one hand, but it may also simply blind the customer. The information that should be conveyed in this way does not reach the potential customer who would take an action; therefore, variety is required.

Remarketing's enemy is probably the spam filter, because if your e-mails end up there, the measure is considered a failure. First you have to convince your potential customers to whitelist you. Also, be sure to avoid typical terms such as buy, subscribe, earn, because spam filters react to these terms. If this has already been done, it is important to generate interest in the subject line of the email, for instance by offering free shipping.


Remarketing vs retargeting: which to use?

In the previous section we saw that remarketing and retargeting are not the same, but this does not mean that choosing one approach automatically excludes the other. Both measures have their purpose and can also be used in parallel.

They both have the same target group, i.e. visitors of your website who have not yet made a purchase, but they have a different effect, as they start at a different point in the purchasing cycle.

Remarketing starts when products have already been added to the shopping cart; retargeting, on the other hand, focuses on consumers who are not yet that far along in the purchase cycle, but who have nevertheless expressed interest. Both online marketing approaches complement each other very well: with retargeting it is possible to raise awareness and then give the final push with remarketing in the last stages of the purchasing cycle.


Although much of the work in both areas is now automated, constant monitoring and optimisation should not be underestimated. If you need help, please contact us by filling in the form here


You might be interested in:

"Best payment methods for e-commerce"

"8 tips to improve mobile conversions"

"The 5 most common mistakes companies make on social media"

"Shopify: 4 suggestions to increase your sales"

"5 aspects to consider before opening a Shopify shop"