Monday, July 21, 2014

Online remarketing as a business tool

If you've (almost) purchased an item from Amazon or some other large retailer lately, you might be forgiven for thinking that the retailer is tracking you online and asking yourself, "How does the internet know I almost bought [insert item here]?"  The answer involves the computer cookies (online trackers) in your browser. They allow for remarketing, a type of advertising that gives you "a chance to reconnect with visitors who have abandoned your site without converting through Display Network advertising." 

With remarketing, an advertiser can promote specific ads related to the products or interests that online visitors have already expressed. For undecided or procrastinating visitors, remarketing can help remind them about products they previously were curious about. So for example, a visitor who abandons her shopping cart with a product in it will see the same product in a advertisement elsewhere online - with a discount coupon attached. Sellers only pay for the ad when someone clicks on it. 

People shop all the time for products they are not entirely certain about but could easily, with a bit of a nudge,  be persuaded to buy. A garden tool may seem like a pricey splurge on Amazon, perhaps, but more like a necessity when that gardener is reading a popular garden blog or chatting with fellow vegetable enthusiasts in a Facebook group.

Implementing remarketing is fairly simple. First, a business owner must sign up with Google AdWords and create an advertisement. Once this ad has been created, the retailer can target different audiences for remarketing.  So instance, a retailer can serve ads to potential customers who have visited their website as well as those who have already purchased their product. Or they may even target the former, excluding the latter. With Google Adwords, a retailer simply needs to select the audience that it would like to seek out, pinpointing for greater success. 

Remarketing is an especially effective advertising tool for those people who wish to improve their shopping cart abandonment rate. It's an unobtrusive tool. Most people will not even register this gentle reminder, making it more like a note from Mom rather than a bounty hunter's chase. But, if used correctly, it will improve your conversion rate, and it should be employed by anyone who believes AdWords is an essential part of their marketing efforts.