Retargeting Platforms

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ICT Competence: Intermediate

English Language Skills: Basic

Webshop Level: Well developed

Action type: Simple actions that can be implemented immediately, but require an investment

What is Retargeting or Remarketing?

Have you ever seen ads for a product you were recently looking at on a different website? This was not just a coincidence! This often happens across websites, mobile apps and social media and there are two terms used to define this concept: Retargeting and remarketing. Remarketing is the word mostly used by Google, while other engines prefer to call it retargeting.1

In fact, when you visit a website, web cookies store useful information about you (demographic, geographic) and send them to a third-party network that uses this information to display ads from that advertiser across others.2

For that reason, retargeting has become increasingly popular in digital advertising and search marketing. However, 46% of the marketers claims that retargeting is still the most underused engine in online marketing.3

How does it work?1

  1. Collect your visitor information: There are miscellaneous platforms for retargeting campaigns that work in a similar way. To get started, your first step is to add a JavaScript tag that serves as a code to your website. Your platform will place cookies on your visitors’ websites, collect information about their behaviour and apply them on your site. Although you are not getting any personal information about your visitors, it is important to have a privacy policy which informs your visitors about the use of cookies on your site and ensures them that their data will be used only for marketing purposes.
  2. Build your lists: Retargeting lists help you define your audience based on their behaviour across your website. Initially, you can create a retargeting list of all your visitors. Then, you can make a list of those visiting a certain page of your site, or category or combination of pages. The more creative and specific you get, the easier it will be to target groups of visitors on your site.
  3. Build your campaigns: After creating your retargeting lists, you might need to run specific ad campaigns on these lists. For example, if you have a list of visitors who added products to their cart but didn’t end up buying them, you could display an ad for free shipping or a discount coupon on a purchase.

Overall, the following illustration can help you understand how retargeting works and what is important to keep in mind4:

How retargeting works

Picture 1. How retargeting works

How to improve your marketing performance

Here are some of the ways retargeting can help you improve your performance:5

  • Cheaper cost-per-impression
  • Improved conversion rates
  • Lower cost-per-click
  • Low-cost branding
  • Increased return-on-investment (ROI)

However, if you want to get the most out of your retargeting campaign, all you must do is get really specific, act fast and test out new tools!6

Positive and Negative Part of the Solution


Customers become more familiar with you and you become more familiar with them. This helps you in being more specific and creating more relevant targeted ads that are perfect for your audience.


In order to be successful, you have to build up your creativity.

Time required to implement a solution and when possible associated cost

It needs approximately 3 hours to implement but requires constant monitoring.

Estimated Exploitation

Retargeting campaigns can help you to:6

  • Bring leads closer towards conversion by showing them products they might be interested in, together with discounts or other offers.
  • Bring your customers closer to purchasing.
  • Encourage several purchases from existing customers by showing them ads of new products that are similar to what they have already purchased.
  • Re-engage customers that haven’t made a purchase for a while by running relevant campaigns.

Informative Text (Sources)

  1. MODassic Marketing (2017), Retargeting ads – How it works and the top platforms, retrieved from
  2. Costill, A. (2015, May 8), The Evolution of Retargeting: Interview With Meteora’s Nicholas Waken-Paschal, retrieved from
  3. Baker, L. (2015, June 15), 5 Retargeting Ad Platforms You Need to Explore Today, retrieved from
  4. AdWordsRobot (2017), 9 Remarketing/Retargeting Services which Drive your Online Sales, retrieved from
  5. Andrus, A. (2017, June 22), The Ultimate Guide to Retargeting Ads, retrieved from
  6. Gotter, A. (2018, February 8), Why You Can’t Afford to Skip Retargeting, retrieved from

Additional Resources

  1. The Ultimate Guide to Retargeting Ads
  2. What is ReTargeting and How Does it Work?
  3. The Top 5 Retargeting Myths
  4. Why You Can’t Afford To Skip Retargeting
  5. How to plan an efficient remarketing campaign for your e-commerce

Cross Border remark

Remarketing campaigns for cross-border e-commerce help you to be more engaging, especially upon undecided clients that searched for a specific item or have visited your webpage.