5 Campaigns to Retarget Apparel Shoppers

Written by Tim Edmundson

As the seasons change, so do the fashions and apparel retailers are prepping for a wave of customers looking to update their look for the season. Brick and mortar stores will see their fair share of clothing shoppers, but the real action is found online. eMarketer reports that ecommerce sales for apparel and accessories surpassed $63 billion in 2015, exceeding 2014’s $55 billion figure, with that number expected to break $100 billion in 2019. Trends point to consumers becoming more and more comfortable with buying apparel and accessories online.

The sales are rolling in, and there a lot of potential customers out there. There is opportunity to capture a lot of sales as people update their wardrobes, and if a customer is satisfied with last season’s clothing purchase, they are more likely to return to your brand later on for the next. So that begs the question – are you doing everything you can to take full advantage of shoppers looking to update their wardrobe?


One of the strongest assets at your disposal is retargeting – serving ads to users who visited your site and viewed product pages, but did not purchase anything. These are potential customers that you know are interested and engaged; the equivalent of people coming in and trying a few things on. With effective retargeting, you can ensure that you drive these folks back to your site to seal the deal.

We previously assembled a list of data-driven campaigns that can help any business bring customers back to their site. Here are a few of those campaigns that we think are a great fit for for any apparel retailer looking to drive conversions.


Geo-Targeted (Location- Based) Mobile Campaigns
This is an especially effective campaign for any retailer that has a brick and mortar storefront. With geo-targeted campaigns, you can reach your customer the moment they are in an ideal position to complete their purchase. And according to research conducted by Accenture, 44% of US smartphone users hop on their mobile device to research apparel purchases, so mobile is a good place to serve these ads.

For example, customers who have seen one of your ads in the last 24 hours and happen to be near one of your stores can have a coupon or discount offer dispatched directly to their phone. You know they are interested, and now you’ve given them a nudge to walk into the store and convert.

You can also take advantage of site analytics to determine what geographic locations your shoppers are coming from. By creating location-based segments and geo-targeting your ads, you can target visitors in certain countries, provinces, cities, zip codes, regions, or even DMAs (designated marketing areas). In doing so, you can incentivize and engage visitors on a more personal level, as well as market your products and service offerings based on upcoming events.

Promotional Campaigns
Promotional campaigns are one of the most common campaigns and have been around for ages, but that’s because they are effective. Offering a seasonal special will generate clicks and tap into the needs of people looking for a wardrobe that will handle whatever weather the season will offer.

Focus on items that match the season – shorts, tees, tanks, sun dresses, and bathing suits are going to see an uptick in sales during the summer, for example. Your competitors are going to be pushing the same items, so be sure your creative makes yours stand out. Showcase items with vibrant colors on smiling models to catch the eye, or utilize video to show your clothes in motion in locations that people enjoy during the summer months; it gives your customer a much better idea of how it will look in the real world.

Spread your campaign across multiple channels to get the word out – your customers are found on mobile, social, and desktop – so be sure your reach extends to each.

Flash Sale or Private Sale Campaigns
Shoppers love feeling special, and getting an exclusive first look at new products, limited products, or a new seasonal line will give them that feeling. With a flash or private sale, you can give your customer the VIP treatment by making them feel they are getting ahead of the crowd – who wouldn’t want to be the first of their friends to show off the newest line? These types of campaigns also build loyalty – segments that include customers who have made a purchase from you in the past respond well to this type of messaging.

Cart Sweeper Campaigns
How many times have you visited a retail site, added items to your cart, and not actually clicked buy? This campaign is designed to ensure that you and the millions of others who do the same actually complete the sale.

By creating a campaign that incentivizes them with a deal and serving it the next time they visit your site, you can sweep up all the lingering items in their cart and ensure they complete the transaction. You’ll want to focus on customers who recently visited your site – focus your campaign on those who have abandoned their cart within five days. Give discounts for items already in their cart, or get a bit more aggressive and offer deals for the past 5 items they viewed. This should give them the nudge they need to pull the trigger.

Escalating Offer Campaigns
This type of campaign plays on a customer’s sense of urgency. By escalating or deescalating the value of the offer, you can play on their intent to purchase – if they see an offer of 15% off and don’t bite, you can escalate the offer to 25% to see if that does the trick. Conversely, you can push a customer into making a purchase by offering 25% and then lowering the deal to 15% –they will want to take the deal before the percentage drops again.

Be sure to include a countdown timer to really drive home the idea that it’s a limited time offer. If a shopper thinks they have a chance of missing out on a good deal, and see time literally slipping away from them, they’ll be motivated to complete their purchase.


Utilize these campaigns with your retargeting efforts and you’re setting yourself up for success. There is a lot of competition out there in the apparel retail industry, and you need to set yourself apart. As long as you offer true value to your customers through compelling offers, and match it with vibrant creative, you’ll see the conversions come rolling in all season long.

Click through the images below to see examples of seasonal SteelHouse Campaign Creative