Digital Advertising

How to Use Retargeting for Your E-Commerce?

e-commerce retargeting
(Last Updated On: October 11, 2023)

For companies having an online presence, retargeting holds many opportunities. E-commerce is a diverse business sector that can especially benefit from this advertising technique that boosts sales. What do you need to know about e-commerce retargeting? Read our article. 

In this article you will learn:

  • How mobile and desktop advertising differ
  • Why e-commerce companies should invest in retargeting
  • The challenges and good practices for retargeting on mobile and desktop

Table of Contents:

Which types of e-commerce can benefit the most from retargeting 

The e-commerce sector is more than just e-shops and marketplaces. It includes such businesses as travel agencies that sell online airlines, hotels, price comparison websites and classifieds. Which e-commerce sector brings the highest value for retargeting?

Based on our vast experience in the programmatic advertising industry, we know that the retail sector (especially the fashion and electronic industries) can benefit the most from retargeting. Nevertheless, all types of e-commerce can leverage retargeting to grow their revenue and build customer loyalty. We know how to adjust e-commerce retargeting strategies to achieve great results. In fact, our team has performed many successful retargeting campaigns in various sectors. 

See also: The 5 Must-Have Features of Retargeting Ads for a Fashion Brand

Mobile e-commerce is on the rise!

Retargeting works well both for businesses focused on sales through websites and mobile apps. 

According to the SaleCycle report, in general more than half of all e-commerce purchases are done via mobile devices (57% in Europe), a bit less is generated by desktop sales (43% in Europe). At the same time, e-commerce businesses everywhere struggle with a high shopping cart abandonment rate (over 80%) This presents an opportunity for companies to leverage retargeting to manage this issue by bringing the users back to the website / mobile app.

Before we dive into the details, learn more about the state of modern advertising, and find out what retargeting is and how it works.

Mobile and desktop programmatic advertising – how do they work?

The world of advertising has changed a lot through the years. Today, we are dealing with programmatic advertising, which operates based on real-time bidding (RTB). Buying and selling ad space in web and mobile environments is automated to increase the efficiency of advertising and optimize marketing spending. Programmatic advertising techniques leverage modern technologies such as Deep Learning and AI that help businesses reach the right users, with the right content and at the right moment. A market dominated by programmatic advertising allows companies to make the most of e-commerce retargeting.

Guide to a Multiple Retargeting Strategy [REPORT]
This guide debunks the most popular myths regarding the multiple retargeting strategy and provides tips and best practices on how to get the most out of advertising efforts.

What do you need to know about retargeting?

Retargeting is an advertising technique that enables companies to reach users who have already visited their website (regardless of whether they bought anything or not). At RTB House, we not only retarget our customers’ audience, but also ensure that the proper message is displayed. We use deep learning to better understand users’ needs and expectations. Thanks to this technology, we are capable of leveraging personalization in e-commerce retargeting. Based on a specific user’s behavior and purchase intentions, we retarget them with the most engaging content that motivates them to come back to your website or mobile app and buy your products. At RTB House, we are among the DSP leaders in preparations to perform retargeting in a cookieless world.

The entire (simplified) successful retargeting process is as follows:

  1. A user visits your e-commerce website or mobile app and engages with your content (browses products sites, adds products to their shopping cart, etc.).
  2. Based on their activity, we show them personalized ads of your company on other websites or mobile applications.
  3. The user sees the ads for the product they are interested in, comes back to your website and makes a purchase.

Good to know: Retargeting and why it should be in the digital toolbox of every home improvement organization

Why is retargeting important for e-commerce companies?

Personalized retargeting works best for larger companies with well-established websites / mobile apps. This is simply because such enterprises have access to a big pool of users that are necessary to perform analyses and optimize campaigns. Large online shops with a variety of product types allow advertisers to leverage a wide range of retargeting campaigns and strategies. Here are some e-commerce retargeting use cases:

  • bringing the user back to the page of the product he viewed previously,
  • cross-selling,
  • up-selling,
  • introducing new products or product lines,
  • promoting special discounts and limited time offers.

The essential benefits of applying personalized retargeting in the e-commerce industry are:

  • Increased conversion rate – users are more likely to buy when you present them with an offer that is meant specifically for them. 
  • Reduced costs of customer acquisition – reaching new customers that have never visited your website is more time and money-consuming than reaching those users, who have already expressed interest in your products.
  • Reduced ad fatigue – your users are retargeted with content adjusted to their needs and interests, so they don’t become irritated with your advertising efforts,
  • Converting one-time buyers into loyal customers – you can use retargeting to display ads with special offers to those who once bought something, to show them that they are important to you and that it is worth buying from your company on a regular basis. 

How is retargeting used in e-commerce? 

Retargeting allows you to play with cards that you already have in hand more efficiently, which enables you to increase your ROI. Let’s assume you already have high traffic on your website or many users download your app, but you don’t see results in the number of transactions. With a proper strategy, you can convert your visitors – users who never purchase nor put any product into the shopping cart, but often browse your website. An interesting special offer can encourage them to actually make a first purchase. This advertising technique could be also applied in the case of a high cart abandonment rate to bring customers back to your website and motivate them to buy. 

Nice seasonal discounts or personalized offers promoted with retargeting can make your active users buy more, which positively affects the overall cart value. Such an application of retargeting can not only increase the number of sales in specific periods, but also help build a strong sense of loyalty among your active customers. 

You have to focus on both web and mobile retargeting. Taking the current trends in retail and mobile e-commerce market on the rise into consideration, as leveraging only web retargeting seems unreasonable. Apart from that, it’s worth remembering that there is a trade-off to be made between the quality and quantity of users. The more conversions you want to get from retargeting, the more expensive it will get. 

Read also: 5 Benefits of Mobile Retargeting


Here are some things you should remember from this article:

  • All types of e-commerce businesses should consider retargeting, although some companies are more likely to achieve better results than others
  • Retargeting allows companies to bring the users that already visited their websites / mobile apps back to them
  • Personalized retargeting for e-commerce is possible for both mobile apps and websites
  • Retargeting can help you to fulfill various goals (e.g. upsell, cross-sell, promoting new product launch)

Contact us and we will help you to plan your e-commerce retargeting strategy.

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