Shopping cart abandonment is one of the most pervasive concerns among online retailers, and with good reason. Studies show that 75% of your site visitors will likely leave without making a purchase, and 85% of the top 1,000 online retailers are doing nothing to combat this growing issue (Listrak 2011).

If you are investing in channels to drive traffic to your site this holiday season, take advantage of the opportunity to add value to your campaigns and maximize ROI by using your existing AdWords Conversion Tracking pixel to remarket to past converters.

Remarketing using Conversion Tracking (RMCT) adds an innovative and personal layer to your remarketing investments by targeting loyal customers who have already purchased from you. This creative approach to Remarketing has twice the win rate of conventional Remarketing (Google internal research), and is a great way to multiply conversions among loyal customers during the crucial post-holiday period.

By tracking conversions and collecting cookies associated with visitors who have completed a purchase, RMCT targets customers have done their research and chose you. Use RMCT to remind them why they did by separating converters from non-converters. With these two separate lists, you’re able to assign different values to them, and target them with specific copy and image ads. Reach the past converters with “loyalist” coupons, accessory and gift ideas to complement their most recent purchase, or even bulk and last minute discounts.

There are two ways to enable RMCT:

1. Easiest and most simple approach: Create a “Converters” Remarketing List based off the AWCT code (no additional pixel needed). This is a quick and easy solution for upselling or cross-selling to existing customers without having to implement additional pixels, but it is more limited in scope.

  • Select the conversion code in the section Control Panel > New Audience > Existing Tag > Select your conversion tag
  • The system will activate your conversion code into a Remarketing mode and will collect AdWords conversions and cookie IDs of people who hit your conversion page (regardless the traffic source they came from: AW, Search, Direct traffic, Referrals, etc.)

2. “You’re Halfway There” approach (a little more advanced): Deploy a basic but high ROI Remarketing ‘Shopping Cart Abandonment’ strategy (one additional pixel needed, placed on the cart page) and collect converters in one click. With this method, the existing conversion tracking tag can double-duty as a Remarketing tag and be used to exclude converters without any additional pixeling (see above). You can also choose to expand to tag Homepage & Product pages if your pixel implementation bandwidth permits. If AdWords Conversion Tracking is enabled in your account, use the same code to create a list of users that are reaching your conversion page.
  • Select your Conversion Code in the List Creation Panel > “Select from existing tags”
  • By adding the pixel to your thank you for ordering site, a list of all converters will appear in your Audience Tab--use this list to directly target only those people
  • Start taking advantage of RMCT now and challenge competitors to win more loyal customers and conversions with this innovative approach to Online marketing this holiday season
Nearly 57% of shoppers plan to do most of their holiday shopping after Cyber Monday this year (Google/OTX Holiday 2011 Study), so make sure you stay top of mind, challenge competitors, and increase conversions for the rest of the holiday season by taking a novel strategic approach to online marketing by implementing Remarketing with Conversion Tracking (RMCT).

Please visit this site for more information on Remarketing, and this site for FAQ.

Posted by Benna Wise & Andrea Cohan, The Google Technology Team