Your Guide to Retargeting eCommerce and How to Use Paid Ads to Drive Sales

Last Updated: December 2023

Suppose you get a first-time visitor to your eCommerce store. Will they buy anything on that first visit? Unfortunately, it is unlikely that they will. This is because customers usually need a few touchpoints or engagements with your brand before they decide to purchase anything.

For example, how many times did you hear about Amazon before purchasing from that website? It must have been at least a few times.

The Online Marketing Institute says that customers need to ‘touch’ your brand up to 13 times before you can make a sale. 

Even if the number ‘13’ is exaggerated, it remains true that your brand needs to reach customers multiple times before a sale happens. This is where eCommerce retargeting comes into the game.

In this guide, we’ll talk about what eCommerce retargeting is, how to use paid ads to drive sales, and different strategies that you can use.

Retargeting eCommerce: All You Need to Know 

If you own an eCommerce store, you need to be familiar with eCommerce retargeting. Learn more about it here:

What is retargeting in eCommerce?  


Retargeting in eCommerce means using various marketing channels (especially paid ads) to attract customers who have already visited your store and encourage them to visit again.

For example, a customer may have visited your Shopify store, looked at a few items on sale, and then left without buying anything.

There can be a lot of reasons for this abandonment. But most likely, they simply haven’t made up their minds to purchase something. Retarget Shopify allows you to solve this problem.

You can solve the problem by reminding the customer about the items they’ve liked.

Since this will not be the first time that the potential customer sees the product, it is more likely that they will make a purchase.

Let’s take another example.

Suppose a customer visits your eCommerce store and makes a purchase. After making a purchase, they leave your store.

You can still use retargeting eCommerce to try to upsell to the customer. For example, if they bought a mouse, you can show ads for keyboards that go well with that mouse. If they purchased a book, you could show ads for other similar books they are likely to like and purchase.

In this way, retargeting eCommerce can be a highly effective way to “re-target” the same customer to optimize their buying journey.

How to Use Paid Ads for Retargeting eCommerce? 


Online paid ads (also called pay-per-click) are a great and trendy way to retarget customers. However, retargeting ads cannot be made over print, radio, or TV since targeting people through these channels is impossible.

This is why advertising through Google or Facebook is the most popular option.

Both Google and Facebook are platforms that have a huge audience and see a ton of traffic every day.

Google is the dominant player in the search engine market, while Facebook is the most-used social media platform (including Instagram).

Further, both Google and Facebook have an extensive “display network”. This means that they have space on other websites to advertise.

Between Google and Facebook, you can reach almost anyone online who isn’t actively trying to avoid these platforms.

Both these platforms have specific features meant for retargeting eCommerce. For example, you can simply enter a few details while setting up your ad campaign, and Google or Facebook will do the rest.

These details may be some specific information you have on the customers you want to target or some graphics with which you want to target them.

Everything else is entirely automatic, and you don’t need any expertise.

Popular retargeting strategies 

There are certain ways in which retargeting can have the highest impact.

1. First, you can use retargeting to inform regular customers that you’re having a discount season or an offer on the products they’ve expressed an interest in.

This allows you to build a great relationship with your regular customers.

2. Second, you can advertise customers’ products on their carts. For example, suppose a customer has put Neil Gaiman’s Sandman on their wishlist. You can run ads on Facebook or Google to show the price and picture of these graphic novels to those customers to encourage them to purchase.

3. Third, you can cross-sell or upsell your products. As mentioned earlier, you can show advertisements for products related to the ones that your customers have purchased. Again, this is a great way to make the most of your existing customers.

Several other ways retargeting for eCommerce stores could work for you, but these are some of the most popular strategies. Do not let any ad go to waste; always have a strategy behind it.

Wrapping Up 

Retargeting can be as important as targeting. As mentioned earlier, customers need to hear from a brand again and again before they want to purchase. Retargeting is the solution to turn reluctant prospects into regular customers.

If you consider opening an online store but haven’t yet, check out our article comparing Shopify vs. WooCommerce.

If you already have an online store but need help with customer support, then check out our fully-managed customer support services at HelpLama, specially meant for eCommerce stores.


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