Ever been shopping for something online and then opened your Facebook profile to find the same product featured in the sidebar ads? It’s not a coincidence, it’s called remarketing (or retargeting) and whether or not it freaks you out, it’s growing in popularity. It also happens more frequently than you think, right across the web.
It’s a cookie monster
Companies employing remarketing as a tool use web code to drop cookies onto your device while you’re looking at their products online. The cookies tell the company’s ad provider what you’ve been interested in, so during your next online visit an ad of the same product can be shown.
As you’ve already been looking at the product, it appears to the retailer to be a good way to convert a warm lead.
And when you consider that Mobify Insights suggest that e-retailers are unlikely to have a mobile conversion rate of 1% or more, whatever category they are in, you can see why this would be a potentially popular choice with marketing teams looking to increase sales.
If it looks too good to be true…
It’s a risky business for brands though.
Still relatively new, remarketing is not well understood by consumers, many of whom are uncomfortable with the level of customer data that businesses appear to be acquiring and sharing.
I recently Googled both flights to France and wellies and these ads popped up next time I logged in to Facebook. Not a surprise to me but potentially off putting to those who are protective of their privacy.
Being spooked out can also be replaced by frustration at being constantly targeted by a brand. Seeing the same ad too many times is annoying – particularly if it’s for goods you already purchased, couldn’t buy because the product was out of stock or because you decided you didn’t want them anyway.
Do the groundwork
So while on the face of it remarketing looks promising, brands would do well to consider the downsides.
Investing in understanding why conversion rates are low, optimising sites for mobile, enhancing the customer journey and attributing visits across devices would probably be a better place to start.