6 Traits of Great Retargeting Vendors

6 Traits of Great Retargeting Vendors

Marketers today can be easily caught up in the day-to-day channel management of Search, Affiliates, Display, Email, Print, TV, Radio and Social that all work to drive new site traffic to their websites. In fact an inordinate amount of time, money and energy goes into filling the top of the funnel. Ironically, so much work is put into driving traffic that ends up, more often than not, abandoning.

It’s like constantly filling a bucket that has gigantic holes in it. Sucharita Mulpuru, a senior analyst at Forrester Research, found that 88% of online shoppers say they have abandoned a shopping cart without completing their online transaction – a number that was consistent with the last time Forrester did the survey five years ago.

With such miserable site conversion statistics, it’s no wonder that more and more marketers realize how much more efficient it is to drive back a percentage of the initial site traffic they worked so hard to get, rather than to try and spend even MORE money to find new traffic that’s just going to abandon again.

To start, marketers need to find a good retargeting vendor that can help you:

  • Bring qualified site visitors back to complete an abandoned cart
  • Start a new shopping session based on products/categories they had an initial interest in
  • Introduce new brands and products that are similar to those they viewed
  • Reach loyal shoppers and get them to return and buy more goods
  • Use offers to increase brand awareness and prevent shoppers from going to your competitors


Because the sheer numbers of abandoners on eCommerce sites is huge – bringing back even a small percentage and converting them into purchasers quickly adds up.

So what should you look for in your retargeting vendor?

1) Technology Platform – Does the retargeting vendor you’re considering have truly innovative technology that separates them from the other vendors you’re considering? Find out EXACTLY how their technology differs. A lot of retargeting vendors have a ‘black box’ on how they work – if they can’t explain it to you in a way you can explain to your boss…beware.

2) Targeting Capabilities – Find out how their targeting works. Beyond just reach and frequency you need to ask if their targeting is only based on the past products and categories the shopper has viewed? Can it dynamically show these in ads? Is it in real-time or delayed? Can it do multi-variant/multi-dimensional targeting including shopping behavior, site activity, demographic/psychographic all at the same time? Is it using live data? Can they do escalating offers?

3) Performance – Ask for case studies that prove their solution can generate the type of results you want. Are you looking for conversion lifts? Revenue pick up? Sales unit generation? Increasing overall site conversion? Decreasing cart abandonment? Some retargeting vendors are better than others, some specialize in some of these but not others. You should ask for proof either in the form of a case study or reference check that they have a history of doing what it is you need to accomplish. The retargeting vendor needs to align with your goals instead of you trying to fit your goals into their capabilities.

4) Reporting – Will you be given a set of canned reports? Ask to see what types of reports you’ll get based on your goals. Will you be able to see information based on publisher and view-throughs? Will custom reporting be developed for you as part of your relationship? Can you access it 24/7 through a web-based interface?

5) Pricing – Are you paying on a CPC basis (which may or may not lead to conversions), or by proven incremental lift based on a control group? rev share? CPA basis? CPM? How many incremental conversions are you expecting to get from site abandoners? How does the math work out?

6) Client Services – The linchpin in any successful Retargeting relationship. Is it going to be full-service or self-service? What is the price difference between full and self-service? Are you going to be assigned a dedicated account manager? How many other accounts are they servicing and what size of account do they specialize in? Are you getting an account manager, optimization manager, media manager and creative manager? Are they commissioned when they upsell/cross-sell you into other products or when you spend more with them? Do they have any client-side experience or have they only been on the vendor/agency side? Do they offer 24/7/365 service so they’re available to you on Black Friday at midnight if something happens?

Retargeting can help close the loop on expensive site traffic leads that have abandoned and never completed your conversion funnel. Finding the right vendor will make or break the success of your retargeting campaign and how well it performs. Save yourself the hassle of having to hire and then fire your retargeting vendor by doing due diligence upfront!

by Anthony Ginn, VP

Sources: Forrester Research “Understanding Shopping Cart Abandonment”; Baymard “Cart Abandonment Rate” statistics



image source: SellorDieTrying.com