Entrepreneur - - By Brandon Eley

Can Retargeting Boost Your Bottom Line?

There’s a good chance you might be missing out on a huge percentage of sales or leads.

The average e-commerce conversion rate is 2%, and conversion rates of lead generation websites aren’t much better. That means that 98% of website visitors don’t convert right away.

There are a plethora of reasons for this – some consumers are simply doing research, others are comparing different retailers’ prices, and even more simply get distracted either by something on their computer or by the real world distractions we all experience day to day. But what if there was a way you could find those visitors that left without converting, and offer them a second chance? What if you could target them specifically with ads that showcased the exact products they were browsing on your website? That’s where behavioral retargeting comes in.

What is Retargeting?

Behavioral retargeting, or simply retargeting, is the process of showing advertising (particularly display or text link advertising) to visitors based on their previous browsing behavior. In most cases, retargeting is used to show advertising more frequently to people who have visited a website before, but not converted into a customer or lead.

Let’s take an average niche e-commerce merchant for example … maybe a custom tailored apparel retailer such as Indochino. A visitor might search Google for custom tailored suits and visit Indochino.com. They browse through a few different pages, and maybe even add a suit or jacket to their shopping cart. But they get distracted by an email notification, instant message, or even a baby crying, and leave the website without completing their purchase.

But later that day, or even later that week, they are again browsing the web. They may be on a web page completely unrelated to men’s apparel, but they are shown display advertising from Indochino.com because they visited the website before. That is behavioral retargeting.

As it might seem, retargeting is an extremely powerful marketing tactic, because it only shows advertising to previously qualified candidates. They have already shown an interest in your product or service by browsing your website, adding an item to their shopping cart, or downloading a whitepaper (the trigger is up to you). They are far more likely to convert than unqualified visitors.

Utilizing retargeting can significantly drive up profit margins and lower per-customer acquisition costs by reclaiming lost visitors. AdRoll.com, Retargeter.com and Chango.com are three firms that specialize in retargeting, and Google Adwords also offers remarketing.

Is Google Crippling Remarketers?

Google recently made a change that could have a profound impact on the data website owners and marketers receive about their referrers. Previously, when a visitor conducted a Google search and clicked through to a website, information on the specific search phrase was also passed, which could then be analyzed by Google Analytics or other stats package.

Google announced recently they would no longer pass this referrer data by default for any logged-in users. While this only represents about 10% of global searches, I am curious to see what percentage of U.S. searches would be affected. One thing is sure, taking away this valuable information will hurt companies such as Chango and AdRoll, which rely on this data to target advertising to visitors based on their browsing history.

Give Retargeting a Try

Retargeting is an incredibly effective way to cash in on potentially lost sales, so give it a try. If you’re already using retargeting (sometimes called remarketing), let us know how it works for you in the comments below.

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