ReTargeter Blog

Retargeting Shopping Cart Abandoners: How to Make Abandonment Part of the Purchase Funnel

For most online retailers, shopping cart abandonment is simultaneously a significant pain point and an accepted fact of everyday life.  According to a recent Forrester study, 88% of online shoppers report having abandoned a shopping cart without completing the purchase. Rest assured that if your ecommerce site struggles with abandonment issues, you are not alone.

And yet, people do return. A study completed by SeeWhy this March concluded that shopping cart abandonment could just “be part of the purchase cycle” for a new breed of seasoned online shoppers.  But shopping cart abandonment cannot become a point in the funnel without a little help.

How can ecommerce sites bring users back and make shopping cart abandonment “just a part of the purchase cycle”?

Retargeting is a phenomenal tool that can help keep your brand and your products top of mind among shoppers, and eventually drive them back to your website to complete their purchase.

But before taking action, it’s key to examine the reason the shopper abandoned the cart in the first place.

Why Shoppers Don’t Convert

We know that abandonment signals some objection on the part of the consumer. According to the Forrester survey mentioned above, shoppers cite price and timing as their primary objections to completing a purchase

Price objections can be counteracted by providing offers of free shipping past a certain price threshold, free return shipping to mitigate risk, or offering periodic discounts on merchandise that has been frequently abandoned.

You can then inform the customer of the price changes or special offer via a remarketing email, or in dynamically retargeted ads featuring the discounted products.

When timing is the issue, the best way to reach a customer is by reminding them of the product periodically, ensuring that you stay to of mind and reach them when they are in fact, ready to purchase.


Retargeting allows you to serve ads only to users who have previously engaged with your brand online.

You can serve ads to anyone who has been to your website and left, or you can serve ads only to shopping cart abandoners or people who have spent time browsing on specific product pages.

Retargeted ads are highly effective at all stages of the purchase funnel, and successful retargeting strategies may incorporate many different forms of targeting. After a consumer abandons a shopping cart, however, is a particularly important time to implement retargeting, as these users are likely right on the brink of making a purchase.

Even general branding ads featuring only a company logo and served to all bounced site visitors are highly effective at improving shopping cart retention rates. However, even more effective, are segmented campaigns that tailor ads based on where a shopper is in the purchase funnel. With segmented campaigns, shoppers who have abandoned a cart might see an ad highlighting free shipping on orders over $100.

For even more tailored ads, retailers can turn to dynamic retargeting. Dynamic retargeting can generate ads in real time that feature abandoned products. So, for example, a shopper abandons a pair of shoes, you can automatically begin serving him ads featuring those shoes.

If you work with the right provider, you can serve ads to your users featuring complementary products in addition to products the user has considered. For example, if many of the people who bought that pair of shoes also bought a particular pair of pants, you can serve shoe abandoners ads featuring those pants. With powerful recommendation engines, dynamic retargeters can automatically generate the most relevant ads possible and bring shoppers back to your site.


Shopping cart abandonment is a persistent problem faced by all retailers, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the line. With the right retargeting strategy, shopping cart abandonment can be just a part of the purchase funnel.



Case Study – Watters

Watters Logo | ReTargeter

Watters is the brainchild of designer Vatana Watters. For over 30 years, it has been the leader in offering luxurious designer bridal gowns, innovative bridesmaids dresses, classic special occasion dresses for mothers of the wedding, and adorable dresses for flower girls and junior bridesmaids around the world. Selling primarily at trunk shows and in third-party […]

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