Do you ever feel like an advertisement, product or website is following you? You’re shopping online and you decide against an item then, moments later, their website is being advertised on your Facebook newsfeed? No need to be worried, you’re not being followed! Well, actually, you kind of are. This is a nifty tactic called remarketing, used by many e-commerce websites to reconnect with previous visitors of their website.

What is Remarketing?

Remarketing is an online marketing tool that helps you connect with people who have previously visited your website. When people leave your site without buying anything, remarketing helps you reach these potential customers once again through relevant ads across the web, or when they Google search. Through remarketing, companies have the opportunity to reintroduce a product that was previously turned down. These companies utilize remarketing in hopes to improve sales and reignite the interest of previous visitors.

How does it Work?

How are these companies following you like a shadow on the Internet? It’s actually quite simple. These sites add in a small piece of code into their website. Every time a new visitor comes to their site, the code drops an anonymous browser cookie. Later, when the cookied visitor browses the Web, the cookie will let the retargeting provider know when to serve ads, ensuring that their ads are served only to people who have previously visited their site (Retargeter).

Why it Works.

Facebook and Google advertise for millions of different products and companies daily, but most of the time it is irrelevant to your interests, so you disregard them. But what if all the ads on your browser were your favorite brands and products? Distracting, huh? Well, that’s the point. These companies want to reintroduce their products to you by displaying the products and websites you visit most often. Generally, 2% of shoppers convert on the first visit to an online store. Retargeting brings back the other 98% (Adroll).

Other Types of Remarketing

  • Search Remarketing
    • Sometimes referred to as a form of “behavioral retargeting,” where a user of a search engine will be targeted with ads based on their searches. The searcher didn’t have to visit their website for the ad to show up, only search similar products or companies.
  • Email Remarketing
    • If a user puts something in their shopping bag on the company’s website but then leaves without making a purchase, an email can be sent to the user saying “Hey, you should come back and buy that stuff you wanted!”
  • Contextual Remarketing
    • When websites share similar customers with similar interests, they can partner up to share their cookies. So, if a visitor leaves one site and visits their partner’s site later, an ad from the first site will show up.

Also published on Medium.