Asad Ali
Asad Ali 25 May 2018

3 Easy-Wins for Digital Marketers to Get Started with Onsite Retargeting

Take a look at the best ways how digital marketers can get started with onsite retargeting to recover the abandoned shopping carts.

Retargeting is a term often referred to in relation to PPC advertising, just ask anyone for an example and the first response is usually “Google Ads”, usually referring to Google’s remarketing technology. However, there is another type of website retargeting that every ecommerce provider should be using long before resorting to external retargeting advertising. Here I am referring to Onsite Retargeting.  

To better illustrate the difference, consider a time when you have visited a product to then see it advertised later on a different website? This is likely to be remarketing. Here’s a great example:

Onsite retargeting is different to remarketing in terms of where visitors are targeted. By monitoring the behavior of visitors on your website it can detect behavior that indicates they are ready for some additional information, content is then displayed to them, usually in a popup overlay. You can convert some of these visitors into sales in real time. For instance, you can provide them an incentive to purchase immediately. For those customers who aren’t quite ready to buy, we can retarget them to join our newsletter and convert them into leads and continue to nurture the relationship. This popup is going to recover cart abandoners:

The ultimate goal is to give the customer the best possible user experience while giving them what they are looking for in terms of an ecommerce sale or in the very least in exchange for their contact details (become a subscriber).  Of course this includes upselling or cross-sell products or services they never knew they needed or wanted.

The problem with retargeting in the PPC advertising remarketing sense is that you follow your previous visitors around the web with display adverts, - away from your website, which potentially has the opposite of the desired effect, it can feel intrusive - potentially alienating customers towards your brand.

The potential rewards of onsite retargeting are huge when you consider that the average conversion rate for an ecommerce website is less than 3%.  This means that overall, 97% of visitors leave ecommerce websites without buying, and from those visitors that are interested in buying, on average 68% of them will abandon their shopping.  These are shocking statistics considering that for most businesses, digital advertising takes up the lion's share of digital marketing budget, the purpose of which is to drive traffic to their website, without onsite conversion rate optimization you are literally throwing money away.  

Ideally, the reverse should be true, CRO and onsite retargeting should be prioritized before spending a dime on online advertising. What I mean by this is optimize the visitor experience to convert organic traffic first and once the process is right only then consider PPC advertising. This way you maximize conversion for every dollar spent on PPC retargeting.

Getting Started With Onsite Retargeting

Keep it simple, although every online store is different,  there are many commonalities in how visitors navigate and shop, consequently there is no need to reinvent the wheel.  

There are many inexpensive onsite remarketing tools, that are very effective, this is despite the fact that onsite retargeting and CRO platforms didn’t even exist just 10 years ago. There are a couple of vendors out there that have served webshop owners for a good 4-5 years, so it makes sense to benefit from these more experienced vendors.

Now let’s take a look at the best ways how digital marketers can get started with onsite retargeting.

#1 Recover your (almost) Lost Shopping Carts

The best way to start onsite retargeting is to target the 68% that start to purchase and then abandon their shopping cart or online form,  just by doing this you can potentially double your business turnover, (depending upon how effective your existing purchasing experience is).

Of those that abandon only 10-30% actually return to complete the purchase meaning that 45 - 65% intend to return but don’t. Your goal should be to stop these visitors from leaving and not by brute force but through persuasion. This can be done by spicing up what you are offering, providing greater value for money or simply ensuring that they can see the related products in-store, - items that they perhaps had not even considered purchasing.

#2 Convert Early-Stage Visitors into Newsletter Subscribers

New visitors are costly to obtain and so it’s vital to get their data as soon as possible.  The importance of this is highlighted by the fact that on average 97-98% of visitors leave without buying, so in order to be successful you need to beat that average.

From the majority that leave, most never return, so if you fail to get their email address early on you will have lost a opportunity.  The new EU GDPR regulations require that in order to get their email address, their authorization is required via double opt-in. Once this is obtained you can freely correspond with them with whatever they agreed to via the opt-in.

It’s time to brainstorm what you can offer, regardless whether it's a product or service. Keep it creative, fun and free or at least low cost when possible and certainly to begin with. Ensure that even if they do not buy, that you get their first name and email address through an incentive-based subscription form. This will allow you to retarget them later through email campaigns or through social media. (You can get inspired by checking this exit-intent gallery.)

#3 Get Customer Feedback

Trust and loyalty come hand in hand with listening to your customers. If you consider that one of the fastest ways to lose a customer is to provide poor customer service (or none at all). If your customers feel they are not listened to, they will abandon you for your competitors.

It is perhaps best to consider the cost of replacing a customer rather than trying to calculate the cost of losing one, the time, effort and costs of marketing. Then there is the costs associated with lost repeat business in the time frame concerned. Instead of being one customer up, you will always be one customer down.

Eliciting feedback from your customers is a simple way to show them that you care about their needs and in turn you can benefit greatly by learning how to improve your offering - providing new sales opportunities. Onsite retargeting provides a powerful way to provide highly targeted feedback forms as show below.

Useful Tips for Using Onsite Retargeting

Start by devising an exit intent strategy. This is the most recognized onsite retargeting type and is triggered in response to exit intent.  This is when a visitors mouse movement is towards closing the browser window. When intent is detected it will launch an incentive to stay and continue shopping or checkout like the example above, this could be a discounted offer or a subscribe to a free guide offer.   

Other main triggering options include:

  • Scrolling Down - Great for blogs and guides, to get the visitors contact details before they can read further.
  • After X seconds - Where scrolling down isn’t an appropriate option (short page perhaps).
  • Onclick Triggering - For highly targeted offers. Useful in cases where there is a potential of offers undercutting own pricing un-necessarily.

Exit intent is the safest kind of onsite retargeting since you have little or nothing to lose, a visitor showing exit intent through mouse movement is likely to leave, never to return, and you will have no way to retarget them again - unless you stop them and get their details. You only need to make sure you have numerous examples of each offer type in order to A/B test to find the best converting advertisement incentive. 

Last, but not least, increasingly video is playing an important part in keeping visitors engaged, a popup video guide providing valuable information is effective, especially if you require an email fill in order to view the video (around 40% conversion rate).  This is a great way of building a newsletter subscription list. Once you have thought of some incentives, you need to consider how to present your offers. This can be tricky since since timing and placement of onsite incentives is essential for successful CRO.

Closing Thoughts

Onsite retargeting provides the answer to the question “how to increase ecommerce website conversion” in terms of the technology need to achieve it, but its use requires a deep understanding of your visitors in order to retarget them successfully.  You must personalize marketing offers, not individually perhaps but in groups by developing visitor types, often referred to as personas.

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