By Mikal E. Belicove|For Entrepreneur Magazine|April 2, 2011
Online shoppers are fickle. Nearly anything can prompt them to abandon their shopping carts–sticker shock from shipping and handling fees, second thoughts about spending the money, an inkling that they can find a product cheaper elsewhere or simply a desire to sleep on it.
Whatever the reason, you no longer need to sit back and let prospective buyers drift away or, worse, wander over to the competition’s website. You may be able to track them down and close the sale through behavior retargeting, also referred to as behavioral remarketing or simply retargeting.
If, say, a potential customer visits your site, tosses a few items into the shopping cart and walks out the virtual door before completing the transaction, you may be able to woo them back. Sites that use Google AdWords or a retargeting vendor [see box] record a snippet of computer code to identify each visitor. The next time that person visits a participating site where you advertise, your banner ad will show up. Run ads that educate shoppers about an almost-expired special offer or that remind them that your company has an excellent track record with fraud prevention and you may see that once-abandoned shopping cart at your checkout.
The idea behind retargeting is that once you have succeeded in attracting visitors to your site, they have already shown an interest in your products and are likely to be more receptive to your call to action, whatever it may be–purchasing a product, subscribing to a service, registering for a newsletter or downloading a white paper. Chances are good that you have invested considerable resources to attract visitors to your site and are looking at a conversion rate in the single digits. Retargeting gives you…