What Your Customers Are Not Telling You …

While there are many reasons why eCommerce shoppers abandon their shopping carts (price comparison shopping, shipping costs, and more), PPC cart abandonment retargeting strategies offer store owners one easy way to neutralize these objections by offering cart abandoners a series of compelling, incentivized offers to make up for the particular shortfalls in question and get them to reconsider their purchase. What hasn’t been offered to the shopper before they left their cart can be offered to the shopper in the form of an ad later on, providing a compelling reason to come back and finish what they started.

Cart Abandonment PPC Campaigns in a Nutshell

Execution of cart abandonment PPC retargeting strategies is simple. Position a Pay Per Click ad in front of anyone who has abandoned their cart in order to get them to come back to their shopping carts and buy. The more compelling and targeted the ad offer presented to the user in question, the higher the rate that particular abandoner will come back and complete the purchase of their goods.

If you would like for me to set you up with a free cart abandonment campaign that increases your stores profit pretty much overnight, then you can request that from me here


Categories of People Who Should Use PPC Cart Abandonment Retargeting

For most low-cost items where the average item for sale is ~$300 or less, PPC cart abandonment campaigns work great to increase top line revenue.


Why You Should Use PPC Cart Abandonment Retargeting Specifically

According to Cloud IQ, 90 percent of cart abandonment “leads” go cold after just 1 hour of time.  Because most people don’t check their email accounts for retargeting emails every hour, PPC ads are by far the more effective way to reach people in this critical window of time.


PPC Networks to Use for Retargeting

While I personally use several different PPC ad serving networks to volley up cart abandonment related offers for my clients’ sites, here are a few different ad networks I recommend for the purpose below:

Google Display Ads

Google allows us the option to use the Google AdSense network to retarget our cart abandoners mostly on any informational or social media site across the web, giving us retargeters tremendous customer reach.

How to Do This on Google:

There are two options for cart abandonment ad retargeting strategy via Google AdWords:

Product Based Dynamically Generated Ad Retargeting

Product Based Dynamically Generated Ad Retargeting


static ad example

 Value Offer Based Static Ad Based Retargeting


Dynamic ad product remarketing ads will sometimes work better than a generic static-based offer for cart abandonment, but it depends on what you are selling. Make sure to test each ad type individually before you make any determinations on which to use exclusively. It may be that you run both simultaneously to reduce banner blindness for your prospects and maximize click through.

How Dynamic Ads Work

If you wish to set up a dynamic cart abandonment specific campaign in AdWords, you will first have to add a tag to your shopping cart to dynamically collect the product IDs that shoppers have added to their cart so you can show these same exact items to your prospects later on.

How Static Ads Work

If you plan on running a static ad to target your cart abandoning audience in AdWords alternatively, set up your audience targeting definition in Google analytics so cart visitors are grouped by URL visited, namely the cart URL page of your eComm site:

Running Up a Static Ad

Anyone Who Visits Our Cart


Whether you decide to run static or dynamic ads to re-attract cart abandoners, make sure these same visitors are automatically removed from your cart abandonment lists once they have made a purchase, so you don’t waste any resources showing irrelevant ads to the wrong people. You can do this by setting up a separate audience type for people who make it your purchase confirmation page and apply it to your retargeting PPC campaigns in question as a negative.

 Separating Audience Type

But Does Not Convert Will Be Targeted


Facebook Ads

Facebook newsfeed ads will generally make more of an impact on your audience than regular AdWords display ads due to how people are trained to interact with these native style ads, both in terms of higher average CTRs and a higher affinity to act on ad content put in front of them.

Facebook also has over 10 billion ad impressions per month in inventory. 

I use Facebook ads together with AdWords display ads as a rule of thumb.

 Facebook Abandonment Newsfeed Ads

 Facebook Abandonment Newsfeed Ads

Facebook Now Also Has a Dynamic Product Remarketing Availability


Other Networks

Once your Google and Facebook cart abandonment campaigns are set up, make sure to replicate your Google & Facebook campaign strategies to these two other retargeting networks as well for maximum PPC retargeting saturation:



Perfect Audience



Determining Your Cookie Windows and Bids

Normally when running retargeting campaigns, I like to set my cookie windows for a seven-day period, as that is what I have found works best overall for most product types. You can of course also experiment with one-, three-, five-, seven-, and 10-day cookie windows for your own business to find out what works best.

By default, you are going to want to bid more earlier in the abandonment cycle, as your conversion rate numbers will drop as more time passes from initial cart abandonment. Tier your audience definitions and adjust your bids for each audience type individually to account for differentiating customer behavioral patterns such as this and others that vary campaign performance.

Defining Audiences by Timeframe

 Defining Audiences by Timeframe


Tier Bids by Timeframe

 Tier Bids by Timeframe


Before making any assumptions about your customers’ purchase behavior and determining a suitable cookie window for your cart abandonment retargeting campaigns, make sure to first view your customer purchase history via the time lag reports in Google AdWords/Analytics so you can make sound, data-driven decisions.

Google AdWords Time Lag Report

Google AdWords Time Lag Report


Google Analytics Time Lag Report

Google Analytics Time Lag Report


How Time From Cart Abandonment Should Affect Offer Copy

Different offers should be used at different stages of your abandoned customer’s journey to optimize what is likely stopping them from buying at that particular moment in question.

Someone who abandons your checkout to look for a similar product with a better price, for example, will likely purchase within minutes and not hours (if they ever do), so a good ad to pitch to these people would be a guaranteed lowest price match within one day of abandonment, followed by an offer of 10 percent off up to two weeks later to also get those who forgot to buy or got distracted for whatever reason as well.

Example of Ad to Use With 1-Day Cookie Window

Example of Ad to Use With 1-Day Cookie Window


Example of Ad to Use With 14-Day Cookie Window

Example of Ad to Use With 14-Day Cookie Window


Get creative on how you plan out your cart abandonment retargeting campaign strategies to maximize your front end campaign ROI. It doesn’t hurt to survey your intended audience directly and find out why they abandoned cart, specifically to aid in this process of planning out your campaigns.


Results to Expect

When I launch my PPC remarketing campaigns, I typically see results right away, with no other adjustments necessary on the campaigns to be profitable.


Easily 1000% ROI on This Facebook Abandonment Campaign

 Easily 1000% ROI on This Facebook Abandonment Campaign


If you have done everything correctly in your PPC retargeting campaign you have set up, your conversion rates should be north of 33 percent.



PPC retargeting ensures that, at minimum, potential customers who leave your cart prematurely will not forget about your store or how to get back to your site.

Ad copy used within these same retargeting ads can also rid your prospects of common anxiety points or objections and actually reincentivize them so there are new reasons to buy (information you cannot or wouldn’t normally offer to the public or can’t necessarily have in your checkout as it would affect your conversion rates), which help qualify more prospects overall without necessarily having to give away the farm to everyone who doesn’t need an incentive to buy.

PPC cart abandonment retargeting ad strategies work to grab your customer’s attention before they have shifted their focus to some other competing offer or away from the items you sell entirely. The only question is, can your chosen ad copy help change your prospects’ minds before it’s too late?


Corey Zieman

Paid Search Strategist

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