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What is On-Site Remarketing?

What is On-Site Remarketing?


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EMEA Marketing Manager, Jack Ford, tackles On-Site Remarketing. What it is. What it isn’t. And how, when used properly, it can help you deliver the content your online customers are actually craving!
On-Site Remarketing aka retargeting ads, pop-ups, light boxes… right? Wrong. While commonly considered all one and the same, On-Site Remarketing is an art and science in its own right.
On-Site Remarketing helps you identify the moment someone is lost or about to leave your site. It involves the use of on-screen messages to help these visitors continue on your site or encourage them to enter an email address to receive more information.
For example, this short video from fashion brand Matalan, shows an example of an On-Site Remarketing displayed on the checkout page as the visitor is about to leave:

Now we’re (hopefully) all pretty clear on the definition of On-Site Remarketing, allow me to dispel a few myths and tackle what On-Site Remarketing is definitely NOT…

What On-Site Remarketing Isn’t

1 Random and Intrusive

One of my pet hates is when I land on a website and immediately get a pop-up stopping me in my tracks.
Trust me, I understand the importance of capturing potential customers’ information, but when they’re bombarded with a full-screen message, with no exit ‘x’ in sight… they’ll be abandoning your site before they even get started!

2 Generic and Unengaging

So I’m browsing a website looking for some new shoes and then a message pop-ups which is entirely unrelated to what I’ve been viewing. Bang! My interest is gone. Why not tell me something that will convince me to buy the shoes I’m looking at instead of a generic message about the latest sale on handbags?

3 Creepy

I guess this is as good a time as any to set the record straight. Those adverts that follow you around online from site to site until the end of time… that’s not On-Site Remarketing, that’s Off-Site Remarketing (or Display Retargeting). And I think we can all agree, while a really valid marketing tactic, sometimes that can just get weird…
On-Site Remarketing only displays messages on your site, targeting shoppers who need a little extra help or are about to abandon. It won’t follow your customers around like a bad smell.
Ok then you ask, so what the heck is it that makes On-Site Remarketing so different?!

What On-Site Remarketing Is

1 Targeted and Smart

Some of the most effective uses of On-Site Remarketing are ones that apply a bit of science and recognize where the visitor is in the buying cycle and deliver the appropriate message. For example, telling a visitor who’s about to abandon a car rental booking how many other people are making a booking at the same time is a great way to add the sense of urgency that will help drive the cart recovery.
Similarly, a timely reminder about free shipping or returns can help those price-sensitive visitors to take the plunge.

2 Engaging and Helpful

On-Site Remarketing gives brands the chance to recover sales using their friendly customer-service voice and with uniquely creative designs.
The fact that 83% of online shoppers need support to complete a purchase highlights the need for brands to deliver effective customer service-oriented messages to engage and help visitors along the buying journey. Examples from some great clients include (but are certainly not limited to):

  • Customer Reviews
  • Recommendations
  • Live Chat


  • Call back
  • Email my basket

In a bid to increase customer engagement, brands can use animated On-Site Remarketing campaigns to catch the attention of their visitors and deliver persuasive messaging.

3 Flexible

As with all successful marketing, it’s important for brands to run tests on their On-Site Remarketing campaigns. By running a series of A/B tests on elements such as messaging, design and trigger events, brands can ensure their On-Site Remarketing campaigns are fully optimized.
SaleCycle’s Head of Strategic Client Services for EMEA, Rebecca Waiting, sees her team testing and optimizing remarketing campaigns with a range of leading global e-commerce clients:

“We find that it’s not one single solution that will work for everyone. The findings for each client create remarketing campaigns that are optimized to fit the unique needs of their customers – it’s always exciting to see the results come through!”
Rebecca Waiting, Head of Strategic Client Services, EMEA

To find out even more and to see some great examples from big brands download our Little Black Book of On-Site Remarketing today.