Retargeting: taking back the buyer

Retargeting is not a new concept, it is simply engaging prior users who have shown interest in your product or service. However in 2011, when digital marketing was buzzing about the topic, it was limited to desktop platforms. It’s relevance decreased as mobile took over, but in the past year or so that has not been the case.
It now includes site, search engine & social media retargeting anytime, anywhere. As we all know, buyer behaviour isn’t what it used to be. According to Adroll only 2% of shoppers convert on their first visit to an online store. The rest could be brought back through retargeting.

How does it work?

Retargeting works by keeping track of customers who visit your site, then displaying your ads to them on other websites within your display network (a collection of websites such as YouTube, Facebook and Gmail, including mobile sites and apps you have access to). This is done by simply placing a JavaScript tag in the footer of your site, and the code creates a list of users that visit your site by placing cookies in their browser.

In the customer service industry, it can be difficult to provide this to customers without simply being a clutter and distraction. To prevent customers from feeling disrupted and potentially annoyed by constant retargeting, the focus in implementation has shifted. No longer is retargeting simply about relaying content, it’s now important to serve optimised and segmented messaging and deliver a cross-platform, agile, intuitive advertising experience that assists shoppers in discovering new products and services.

Retargeting done right

Post it

Banner retargeting exemplifies the disruptive and cluttered nature of retargeting, however Post-It creatively demonstrated how they could use it to engage and interact with customers. They used the banner ads as ‘digital sticky notes’, allowing customers to write themselves reminders which later appeared on various display networks. These banner ads resulted in high levels of engagement and a much more positive online experience.


To view the case study video, click here.

The Iconic

Using a personalised retargeting system, Australia’s largest online fashion retailer, The Iconic, experienced a 350% increase in new customers. They reduced customer acquisition costs by 50% and achieved this result over a 6 month period in 2015. They did this by implementing a cross-device platform that considers when customers shop, what they buy, how likely they are to buy again and then suggests how to further increase the customer’s purchases. For example, a customer may look at purchasing a new dress for the races on The Iconic website, and later, on any of their display networks, they would be shown matching heels, jewelry, or even have fashion collections displayed to them specifically for ‘the races’- based on their style


Groupon’s desktop site and apps offer dining, shopping and lifestyle deals to more than 100 million users worldwide. In order to bring first-time buyers, or previous purchasers, back into the apps to view deals and make a purchase, retargeting campaigns were used in 2015.

Strategically, a user’s location, search and purchase history were used to bring customers back to a specific page in the Groupon app through deep-linking. Kartick Narayan, Director of Global Display Advertising at Groupon stated ‘we are able to reach shoppers across 22 markets with near real-time dynamic banners. We are able to serve these dynamic banners to 12 segments in each market, thus enabling us to tune our campaigns to maximize our return on ad spend.”

Read the full case study here.

If you haven’t thought about this, or need advice on best practice, our strategy team would be happy to speak with you.

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