Retargeted Ads — Turn Abandoned Online Checkouts to Sales

BY Kathy Crosett
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Retargeting online consumers with ads for sites they have previously visited works, especially if those customers made it as far as the online checkout page before changing their minds. Some research shows that your clients could achieve up to a 25% purchase rate when they retarget correctly. How soon after a consumer visit should your client be paying for retargeting? Here is the answer.

Retargeting Impacts Revisit Rates to Online Checkout Pages

Navdeep Sahni and Sridhar Narayanan at the Stanford School of Business formally studied retargeting. They researched visitor activity to an online home building products site based in Canada. Using Google’s DoubleClick technology, they tracked site visitors. Over a period of four weeks, the researchers tracked some visitors who saw no ads and those who saw up to 15 ads a day.

Similar to research conducted by Performics, the university professors found that consumers who see a retargeting ad will return to the site they visited, sometimes to complete the purchase they abandoned at the original online checkout page. In fact, these online shoppers have a 15% higher revisit rate than other shoppers who did not see an ad. This statistic applied to online shoppers who had viewed a product page but hadn’t yet created a shopping cart or made it to the online checkout page. 

Retargeting Ad Timing

Sahni and Narayanan also found that 50% of the impact of a retargeting ads takes place within the two-​day period following the site/​online checkout visit. Narayanan states, “This is a relatively big deal because it goes against the canonical thinking.” The thinking he’s referring to is all about how marketers might not want to bother consumers too soon after a site visit, especially if they abandoned their carts at the last minute on the online checkout page. It turns out that marketers shouldn’t waste a minute in their retargeting efforts. The sooner your clients reach out to an online shopper who visited their website, but didn't make a purchase, the more likely it is that they will rethink their decision and go back to make the purchase they had been considering.

Consumers leave a site without purchasing for many reasons. They could be shopping for a better deal. But they could also have been distracted by a breaking news report. Or they might be hesitating to open a shopping cart and make a purchase because they are thinking about what to do.

Your clients’ competitors know what’s going on as consumers trawl online. They’ll waste no time sending ads to them in the content they’re viewing. If your clients don’t want to miss out on a sale, they should begin retargeting immediately and understand that after a week, the purchase intent may no longer be present.

Help your client set up retargeting ads either on your site or across a wider range of sites and apps, possibly including Facebook. To learn more about the kinds of digital ads that generate the best consumer responses, check out the AudienceSCAN profiles available on SalesFuel from AdMall.