How To Use Google Remarketing for Ecommerce

How To Use Google Remarketing for Ecommerce


In the world of ecommerce online marketing, there are many ways to find your audience. SEO, PPC ads, search marketing, demographics, interests, and more. Remarketing, also known as retargeting, takes audience building to another level – one that is ultimately a win-win for you and for your customers. You are able to reach highly qualified customers, and those customers get highly relevant, personalized marketing messages that are actually useful. Let’s take a look at how you can put remarketing to work for you.

What is remarketing?

Remarketing on the Google Display Network using Google Adwords is a process that allows you to anonymously reach past visitors of your site or online store, showing them a tailored message after they leave your site. Your message appears to these visitors as they browse other sites across the ad network. It’s a powerful way to continue the conversation you began with them on your online store. You can customize your creative to present relevant items and offers to your various audiences, based on information such as items browsed and abandoned secure shopping carts. You can reach these potential customers even after they’ve left your site, giving them another chance to buy.

Who should use Google remarketing?

Shopping sites are ideal for remarketing. Those who sell products or services online are a good bet, as exclusive personalized coupons and offers can be a great way to increase ROI. Imagine visiting your favorite shoe store and, after comparing prices, continuing to research some more – but wait, the original site is now offering 25% off, with a photo of the shoes you were about to purchase! All you need is the right technology and the right data to reach your customer at that moment of relevance.

Best practices for ecommerce remarketing 

In order to get the most out of remarketing, its best to follow a few simple guidelines when setting up your campaign. Here are seven great tips that should help:

1. Tag every page on your site 

Returning to our previous example: have you ever seen a remarketing ad from a shoe site? They are impeccably effective, showing you the product along with a couple of similar items. The moral of the story is clear: tag every page on your site to gather visitor interactions.

2. Tailor messaging to specific remarketing lists

As you probably know from email marketing, customization is key. You could have a number of dynamic remarketing lists, such as those for specific items, abandoned carts, demographics, or other characteristics.

3. Use sophisticated techniques

There are many different approaches you can take to segmenting based on remarketing data. For example you could choose to not market to those who have already made a purchase; or you could choose to not show ads to those who have already visited your site - instead focusing on generating “fresh” traffic.

4. Scale remarketing campaigns 

Use remarketing in tandem with other techniques. For instance, you could use contextual targeting to drive new visitors to your site, thus creating fuel for remarketing campaigns.

5. Optimize performance of remarketing campaigns 

Layer remarketing with other forms of targeting such as contextual, demographics, or interests, focusing on those most likely to convert. These small nuances can create dramatically different ROIs.

6. Manage frequency 

You want to provide consistent reminders of your product or brand, but you don't want to over do it. With Google's remarketing solution, you can analyze your audience response and determine the right number of views that lead to a sale.

7. Become a stat junkie 

Pay attention to the analytics that result from your remarketing campaign. Once you see them along with social media numbers, website analytics, sales, and so on, you can truly get a sense of the value of your campaign. Analyze, alter, and repeat as needed.

How to get started


    Whether you are a small boutique or a massive retail store, remarketing can drive sales and build relationships. It works – and it’s a must have for any digital campaign today. Google is leading the way in remarketing innovation with integration in Adwords and the Google Display Network.

    Further reading

    This is a Guest Post by Aitan Weinberg, Sr. Product Manager, Google


    • Andrew Youderian
      Andrew Youderian
      May 07 2012, 02:23PM

      Very neat stuff. I’ve recently noticed more and more advertisements by sites I’ve previously visited, and a few have been effective in getting me back to reconsider their offer. I wondered how this worked, and now I know. I’m generally not a fan of traditional PPC – due to the high cost – but will have to test this as the (likely) higher conversion rate might make it worthwhile.

      May 08 2012, 08:44AM

      Great review.

      I dont really believe in PPC, but now i must give it a chance.
      are there any other creative ways of marketing e-commerce?

    • @Shopify Mark Hayes
      Mark Hayes
      May 08 2012, 11:33AM

      Andrew: Great to hear – let me know how it goes! We regularly post marketing tips and how-to’s on the Shopify blog, so keep checking back!

    • Louis
      February 28 2013, 10:49AM

      This is the old way of implementing the code, this video is not relevant anymore. Watch this one instead :!

    • Olivier Scialom
      Olivier Scialom
      May 21 2013, 11:21PM

      Hi, we already have set up our Shopify store and Adwords remarketing tags & lists. What I’d like to do now is tag different stages in our funnel (cart, checkout, thankyou page). The idea is to make specific campaigns for those who dropped out just before converting, or to those who did convert (or maybe exclude those who converted for a few days).

      Cart is done, but I am not able to tag the checkout pages or thankyou page (/checkout/orders/show) as they use trailing parameters and so the URL is dynamic.

      The strange thing is that I have successfully set up goals in Google Analytics using the 2 URLs shown above for these specific pages in our funnel.

      How can I tag these URLs in Adwords to make remarketing lists for each?

      Thanks in advance!


    • Olivier Scialom
      Olivier Scialom
      June 14 2013, 04:48PM

      Mark, would you have an idea about how I could tag the pages in Checkout and Thankyou/order confirmation page so I can implement 3 “Sophisticated Techniques”?

    • Gerald
      March 05 2016, 01:02PM

      You need to change/update that youtube video..its quite old and doesn’t reflect the current way of setting up a remarketing ad

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