Future of CX

A complete guide to retargeting on Shopify store

Faisal Khan
last edited on
November 3, 2023
6-8 min

Table of contents

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What's retargeting and how can it help bring more business to your Shopify store?

What is Retargeting?

Retargeting is a marketing tactic of reaching out to or reminding your customers of your products and services after they leave your website without buying. Unlike typical banner ads, retargeting ads are a form of online targeting advertising that works as a reinforcement to the buying decision of the customers. 

Customers tend to explore and try to know more about the brands and offerings before making a purchase. While they look around your website, it becomes your responsibility to catch hold of their attention and offer assistance if they need any support. Retargeting builds brand visibility and allows you to reach an audience that has already expressed interest in your products and offerings. 

You must have noticed random ads showing up on your Instagram/Facebook posts and stories and wonder where they come from? Well, these are not random ads popping up on your feed, but retargeting ads from the website you've just browsed an hour or minutes ago. Retargeting allows brands to show their visitors relevant ads when they visit their sites and works both with apps and searches as well as website banner ads. 

Marketers use retargeting as a strong tool to drive higher sales and double marketing efforts. Moreover, retargeting is a lot more cost-effective than other types of advertising. The ultimate agenda of retargeting is to convince the visitors/customers to buy things that they have checked on the website or left in the cart.

97% of people who visit your site for the first time leave without buying anything, and then they’re lost forever. Unless you can bring them back.
~ Mailchimp

Retargeting on Shopify

Getting into the context of Shopify store and business. Cart abandonment is one of the most common issues faced by Shopify owners. Retargeting helps you communicate and get back to customers who have added products to their cart and abandoned it without checking out. On the other hand, a lot of businesses operate and rely on repeat buying models.

 Retargeting enables you to reach out to those old or inactive customers with offers and product catalogs based on their buying patterns. Store owners can also remind email subscribers about new products or offers and captivate them into making purchases. 

How do retargeting campaigns work and what are the types of retargeting?

Source: Creatopy

Retargeting works by utilizing "cookies", which are small pieces of data on the web browser that remember users who visited your advertisement or webpage. Showing relevant and targeted ads to visitors that have shown an interest in your brand, can increase brand awareness, consideration, and often total conversions. Search and display advertising is the most effective way to run retargeting campaigns. There are two main types of retargeting, which are known as pixel-based and list-based retargeting. The way each works is slightly different, and each has different advantages based on your campaign goals.

1. Pixel-Based Retargeting

Pixel-based retargeting is one of the most used approaches for retargeting. It re-displays your products or ads to any anonymous site visitors who have visited your site. When someone comes to your website, a small piece of JavaScript (often referred to as a pixel) is placed on the visitor's browser. And when the moment they leave the browser to move to other pages or apps, that cookie notifies retargeting platforms to serve specific ads based on the specific pages and products they have browsed on your website. With Shopify stores, AI-based solutions help store owners reach out to customers who have abandoned their cart or left the page without checking out.

2. List-Based Retargeting

List-based retargeting works on a simple rule. It only notifies or reaches out to people who are already in the directory of the brand/store. For list-based retargeting, you need to upload the list of contacts you want to target and decide what you are communicating with them. This method has highly customizable criteria for your ads because it's based on more than behavior. Also, list-based retargeting is less automatic and timely than pixel-based retargeting, as you are in charge of uploading and maintaining the list. Shopify owners can retarget their inactive customers based on their purchase history, as their data would already be available in the database.

How can Engati chatbots be used for retargeting and bringing more business to your Shopify store?

AI-driven chatbots could possibly be the next phenomenon that redefines retargeting. Conversational AI platforms/bots are taking up eCommerce and retail and changing the way customers interact and engage with the brands. Moving from conventional marketing to using chatbots to send suggestions and recommendations directly on the social media platforms and WhatsApp, eCommerce has come a long way.

Shopify owners find it difficult to keep a hold of inactive customers and guest visitors on the website/store. They often struggle through abandoned checkouts and recover incomplete orders. Finding a solution to tackle this problem is no more of a dream. Now you can use AI-enabled chatbots to roll out retargeting campaigns and remind visitors who have abandoned the cart or are inactive for a long time.

Side Note: These retargeting messages/ communications can be triggered across multiple platforms depending on the store owner and customer permission.

1. Cart abandonment notifications

These intelligent bots can notify and reach out to customers who leave the products in the cart and leave the store without completing the purchase. These notifications can either carry a text comprising the list of products, offers, bundles discounts, or delivery charges waivers, depending on the order value and other considerations. If we integrate any other app to set cart abandonment reminders, as an exclusive offering, that might take a bit more time and effort as you need to customize the notification for different customers. On the other hand, Engati's Shopify app automates the entire process and reaches out to the right customers at the right time.

2. Reaching out to dormant customers

AI chatbots are trained to keep the contextuality of conversations and can remember customers with their details. Hence, if needed, they can strike a conversation with inactive or dormant customers who have interacted with the brand on any platform of the store. These bots can send messages and trigger a new path with product recommendations or repeat order notifications based on purchase history. You can train bots and customize the cycle after which the bot sends messages to these dormant customers. It could differ from business to business; for some, the window could be of 30 days, for others it could be a year or a few weeks.

3. Sending discount offers/promotional messages

Engati chatbots can also be trained and used for sending promotional messages on a timely basis. This can be used as a retargeting tactic to get higher conversions and sales through existing customers. These bots can customize offers and trigger a conversation giving them options between products that they might have bought or shown interest in the past. Sending discount offers is not a new strategy for retargeting, but doing it through AI chatbots is surely a new approach to the strategy.

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More than conversations and omnichannel engagements, AI-enabled chatbots can also run a retargeting campaign. They could be used for notifying and reminding customers about the products that they've shown interest in and boost conversions and revenues. Engati's AI-enabled platform can help you achieve more sales with an increase in ROI by converting conversations into conversions. The greatest advantage of retargeting through bots is that they can trigger a path for conversation and not just deliver communications and end the loop.

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Faisal Khan

Faisal is a content marketer at Engati who also dabbles in brand management. As an MBA graduate and a spoken-word poet, he manages to marry his business acumen with an artistic flair.

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