How to Implement a Retargeting Campaign for your E-Commerce

Only 2% of traffic converts on their first visit to your site. Don’t let hot leads get away!

Now that you’ve set up your online store, all that you have to do is wait for people to start buying, right? Wrong. Up to 98% of visitors do not convert on the first time they visit a website.

Even if your potential customer actually adds something to their cart, over two-thirds of these people will not follow through.

How do you remind these people to come back to your site?

By using a method called retargeting, you can plant a series of nudges across the internet that bring your users’ attention back to your website.

75.6% of visitors abandon their order


Retargeting can be one of the most efficient marketing strategies available because it allows you to target only users that are already familiar with your site and interested in your products.

To create an effective campaign, focus on displaying specific products to people who have viewed them repeatedly, rather than marketing to everyone who has ever visited your site.


  1. What is retargeting?
  2. Where to implement a retargeting campaign
  3. 5 Steps to set up a Facebook retargeting campaign
  4. Alternative retargeting methods

What is retargeting?

Retargeting is a way to reconnect with visitors to your website to remind them to return to your site and eventually convert.

Although you may imagine that every client that arrives on your site will follow a clear path down your funnel, most customers will need to become familiar with your company before they make a purchase.

41% of the people that abandon their order said they were not ready to buy

For example, a potential client might stumble across your site while reading one of your blogs.

Then, they close the browser and don’t return for two months. They download your e-book based on a friend’s recommendation, then browse your products, and eventually return to buy what they need.

In this scenario, you have very little control over their journey.

Now imagine if you could follow that potential client after they left your site, reminding through subtle ads that they should return to complete their purchase.

Retargeting does just that, usually by planting an unobtrusive “pixel” or cookie on the computers of people who visit your site.

That small piece of code allows you to follow your users through the web and drop hints that they should return to your site using Facebook Ads, banner ads, or Google Adwords campaigns.

The following image from Retargeter explains how retargeting works visually.

retargeting story

99 Retargeting Statistics To Reveal Its Significance For Marketers!

Where to implement a retargeting campaign

While any small business can use retargeting to stay relevant for potential clients, this digital marketing strategy is particularly apt for e-commerce sites.

For example, if someone adds a product to their cart, and then leaves for a few hours or even a few days, you could send them an email or a targeted ad to remind them to come back.

If they are still shopping around, your nudge might be enough to bring them back to your online shop and follow through with the purchase.

There are three main platforms where you can use retargeted ads to bring clients back to your site: Facebook, Google, and email.

Facebook is currently one of the most popular options because it is easy to set up a campaign using a line of Javascript code on your website.

What are Abandoned Orders?

5 Steps to set up a Facebook retargeting campaign

Use these five steps to set up your first Facebook retargeting campaign so you can start driving customers back to your site.

1. Within your Facebook Ad Manager, create a Custom Audience.

If you already have a Facebook page for your business, enter the Business Manager section on the top left hand of the screen. Choose Audiences from the dropdown menu to start creating your campaign.

On the top left of your screen, click Create Audience to build a new campaign. Choose custom audiences to be able to target people who have visited your website.

2. Choose Website Traffic or Customer File.

To build a simple retargeting campaign, select the option “Website Traffic” from the list.

This plan allows you to target only those people who have visited your site.

Within the selection, you can also focus specifically on people who have stopped on a certain page, or on those who have visited a page a certain number of times.

You can also target people who have already interacted more intensively with your site: potential clients who have already given you their email.

The Customer File section enables you to import contacts from Hubspot, MailChimp, or another CRM program, which it matches with Facebook accounts to display targeted ads.

However, match rates can be as low as 30%, so list-based retargeting might be less effective, depending which platform you use.

3. Select your target audience from the menu.

Within the Website Traffic section, you will see several options for the audience you target. These include:

  • People who visit your website

  • People who visit specific pages

  • People who visit specific web pages but not others

  • People who haven’t visited in a specific amount of time

  • A custom combination of your choice

4. Create and install your custom pixel code to start tracking.

If you do not already have a pixel installed on your website, you will need to do so before you can track your leads.

The code is an invisible 1x1 pixel on your website that follows anyone who “sees” it. Once your potential client has passed that page, the pixel will be able to track them.

To set up your pixel, find your campaign in the Ads Manager section of your business page.

Click on Actions and select View Panel from the dropdown menu. This section will display your pixel code, which you or your developer can easily install on your site.

5. Get creative and design your campaign!

Once you have set up the pixel and your ideal audience, you are ready to create your ad campaign.

Choose a product and a deal you think might drive people back to your site, such as a discount or a coupon.

Use an attractive photo and tell Facebook to drive clicks to your website.

You can create a custom UTM link to track people who visit you through the ad.

Before you launch, set a budget (start small and test lots of options!) and send out your campaign.

Alternative retargeting methods

If you have a bit of experience with retargeting, or your audience is not active on social media, you can try retargeting via email or Google Ads.

Email can be extremely effective for e-commerce sites, especially in the first hour after someone leaves your site.

The following graphic by Rejoiner shows the effectiveness of retargeting ads after a potential customer bounces.


The best time to get back in touch with a lead who leaves your site is within the hour.

Send an email right away if someone abandons their cart, then follow up again a day later.

If they don’t come back, try one more time in a week, then let the customer go.

You could see your conversion rates jump from the average of 3% to up to 41% if you target the right person at the right time.

If retargeting still seems intimidating, there are dozens of third-party sites that can help you set up systems to follow your customers.

Companies like Retargeter, PerfectAudience, and AdRoll can implement your retargeting across social media, web, and email, so that you can sit back and watch your leads convert.

Retargeting is most effective when you get back in touch with your potential client with the right information at the right time.

By sending them a nudge as they explore the internet, you can drive traffic back to your site, show them the value of your product, and boost conversions, without having to hire more salespeople.