The abandoned carts conundrum: a retargeting guide for e-commerse sellers

Almost every e-commerce seller faces the challenge of abandoned carts. These uncompleted purchases can be frustrating, but with astute retargeting strategies, this trend can be swiftly reversed. Dive into the power of retargeting with us, and turn those abandoned carts into successful transactions.


Root causes of abandoned carts 

In order to address the issue effectively, it’s crucial to understand its origins.

  • High Shipping Costs: Nobody likes unexpected charges. This is especially true when it comes to shipping, as data from the Baymard Institute reveals. Being transparent from the outset can work wonders.
  • Complex Checkout Processes: A convoluted checkout process can deter customers. The goal? A straightforward, step-by-step process that customers can navigate with ease.
  • Unexpected Charges: Think of import duties, VAT, or other unforeseen charges. For e-commerce sellers specializing in cross-border sales, clarity on these matters is important. 


The magic of retargeting

Retargeting is the key to recapturing customers who have left your website. It goes beyond traditional remarketing by advertising more precisely and intelligently based on user behavior. Retargeting, sometimes known as remarketing, is an online advertising form targeting users who visited your site but took no action, such as completing a purchase. This strategy employs cookie-based technology and displays ads to these specific users when they visit other sites within the retargeting network. Through retargeting, you’re truly tapping into the psychological principles underlying your potential customer’s purchasing behavior.


Core strategies for retargeting

With the right approach, you can convert browsers into buyers:

  • Time-sensitive offers: instill a sense of urgency. A discount code expiring in 24 hours might be just the nudge someone needs to finalize their purchase. Or emphasize low stock levels (scarcity), such as “Only 3 left in stock!”. Read more about artificial scarcity here.
  • Personalization: show customers what they’re missing out on! By highlighting products they’ve viewed, you keep them engaged.
  • Dynamic product ads: ensure your ads remain current with automatic feed updates. Platforms like Facebook and Google allow dynamic retargeting, enabling potential buyers to see the specific items they have already considered once.
  • Audience segmentation: not all customers are the same. Tailoring your retargeting based on the customer journey stage and customer type can make advertising more effective. This can relate to various reasons for abandoning purchases but you should also consider demographics (age, gender, location), purchasing behavior, browsing history, and interactions with past marketing campaigns.


Be present everywhere

Retargeting isn’t limited to just one channel, and neither are your potential customers! With multichannel retargeting, you can reach them where they’re most active. Consider:

  • Email retargeting: a well-timed email, sent a few hours after a cart has been abandoned, can remind a customer of what they’re missing out on. Add images of the products they left behind, and perhaps a special offer, to sweeten the deal. But don’t forget to comply with GDPR regulations when sending such emails to European customers!
  • Social media retargeting: social media platforms offer robust retargeting tools, allowing you to craft dynamic ads based on what customers viewed or left in their carts. With compelling visuals and a persuasive call-to-action, these ads can lead a customer back to their abandoned cart, ready to complete their purchase.

Furthermore, it’s vital to note that integrating channels often has a synergistic effect. A customer who receives a retargeting email and subsequently sees a retargeting ad on their favorite social platform experiences multiple touchpoints, enhancing the chances of conversion.



In summary, retargeting is an indispensable tool for any European e-commerce seller aiming to maximize conversion rates and establish profound customer relationships. By understanding the reasons behind abandoned carts, leveraging the power of retargeting, and implementing the strategies we discussed, you position your business at the forefront of customer-centric marketing. Good luck!


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