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It happens to all of us — we click on a catchy email from an e-retailer, add a few eye-catching items to our carts, and… close the tab. For one reason or another, card abandonment happens, and it happens frequently. Studies show that in 2019, the average cart abandonment rate across all industries was a whopping 69.57%Cart abandonment can pose a big problem for e-commerce brands. Luckily, we have a solution: Retargeting ads.

Here’s everything you need to know about these nifty ads that can help boost cart recovery rates. 

What Happens When Shopping Carts Are Abandoned? 

When shoppers abandon their carts, it means that they used up and wasted the marketing resources you spent to prompt them to visit your digital storefront in the first place. Though display or social media ad space is relatively cheap, marketers should still want to maximize their precious marketing dollars as much as possible. 

In other words, if brands see high shopping cart abandonment numbers, something needs to be done, stat. For more on what to do about abandoned carts, check out this guide.

What Can I Do to Reduce Abandoned Shopping Carts?

How Do Retargeting Ads Help Recover Abandoned Carts?

One great way to reduce the rate of cart abandonment is by leveraging retargeting ads — you know, the ones you see on Facebook that say, “You forgot to check out!” or “Here’s an extra 15% off!” These headlines are frequently paired with images of the products shoppers had clicked on. 

Retargeting ads use “cookies”, a small piece of data stored by the Web browser that remembers users who visited your website. Cookies help marketers to keep track of the pages a visitor viewed and action taken on the website. With the information, marketers can create ads to target visitors, for example, who added products to the shopping but didn’t start checkout or who started checkout but didn’t complete the purchase. 

Retargeting ads are popular because they work — they have a clickthrough rate of 0.7%, which is significantly higher than the 0.07% rate for regular display ads. After all, it makes more sense that a shopper who has already shown an interest in your products will click on an ad, compared to one with little to no brand awareness. 

Simply put, adding retargeting ads to your abandoned cart recovery mix is a faster and more effective way to a sale.

How Do I Optimize my Abandoned Cart Retargeting Ads?

Consistently analyzing your results, experimenting with creative, and reiterating your retargeting ads is the key to success. Here are some ways you can optimize your retargeting campaign:

Personalization

Take advantage of dynamic ads, which see a 2x higher click-through-rate compared to traditional static ads. For the unacquainted, dynamic ads are personalized and based on site visitors’ activity on your site — you can design them to serve up best-selling, recommended, or previously-viewed products. 

In other words, rather than a generic blast, you’re tailoring your ad to each potential customer on the right platform. (Dynamic ads can live on whatever channel you decide, from website sidebars to social media to search engines.)

For more information on dynamic ads, click here.

Segmentation

Segmenting your retargeting ads can mean shifting from aimlessly shouting into the void to actually tapping into the pool of shoppers that will convert. It requires looking at trends to spot shoppers’ pain points and why they don’t check out. 

Here are the most common ways marketers segment their cart retargeting ads:

  • By product. You can deliver dynamic ads that include images of items that the shopper left in the cart. Or, even better, consider showcasing similar products that are known bestsellers. Adding copy such as “This is selling out fast!” can also provide the final push for shoppers to snag the items they want. 
  • By checkout process. Did shoppers abandon their cart right after they saw shipping and total costs? If so, try offering free shipping in a retargeting ad. 
  • By first-time vs. returning customers. Consider offering first-time customers a welcoming discount code. Comparatively, you can thank returning customers for their loyalty in a way that reminds them of their purchasing history — a personalized message that acknowledges their patronage can help them feel appreciated (and compelled to check out.) 
  • By cart value. Messaging, ad spend, and design can also be modified according to the value of the abandoned cart. For example, if a shopper has added $25 worth of items to their cart, you can serve retargeting ads that offer free shipping. Comparatively, a shopper who has added goods valuing $500 to their cart might appreciate more premium deals, such as product personalization or custom consultation. 

Regardless of how you decide to segment your ads, make sure you are leveraging strategic A/B testing on offers, copy, and images. When it comes to driving cart retargeting, small changes can lead to significant results, especially when it’s targeting highly-specific behaviors.

A/B Testing: An Introduction [INFOGRAPHIC]

Ad copy and creative

Nobody wants to see “you’ve abandoned your cart” over and over again. Instead, the best practice is to plan a progression of messages, which uses different ad copy and creative.

You can start by reminding shoppers that they have abandoned their cart, then a friendly call to finish the purchase. If they’re still not budging, provide a compelling offer. (But you’ll want to make sure that you don’t encourage cart abandonment so shoppers can unlock the deal.) 

For creative, make sure you’re using high-resolution images and designs that are visually appealing and catchy. In terms of copy, you’ll want your value proposition to be short and precise to grab attention best. 

For information on creative best practices, click here

It’s Time to Start Retargeting Your Cart Abandoners

If you’re ready to get started, take a look at our abandoned cart retargeting plans. We work with advertising partners so that you can target and reach your customers as efficiently as possible, all across the internet.

With AdRoll, it’s easy to get abandoned cart retargeting campaigns started.

Wilson Lau
Author

Wilson is the Sr. SEO Marketing Manager at AdRoll.