How to Get Good with Retaining and Retargeting Ecommerce Customers

Every business wants loyal customers. It doesn’t matter if yours is big or small, old or new, offline or online—this fact holds true. Fortunately, there are a number of low-effort methods for retaining your ecommerce customers.

Read on to find out more about turning one-time buyers into loyal customers in the ecommerce realm.

What Is Ecommerce?

What is ecommerce? Shopify defines ecommerce as “the buying and selling of goods or services using the Internet, and the transfer of money and data to execute these transactions.”

Did you notice the part about transfer of data? in other words, ecommerce businesses can strategically use the data they collect from online shoppers to retarget and retain buyers.

How to Retain and Retarget Your Ecommerce Customers

Therefore, without further ado, here’s how to keep ecommerce customers through retention and retargeting schemes.

Take Advantage of Online Advertising

Targeted advertising is all the rage these days, and with good reason. Instead of merely buying ad space on a webpage or blog, which could be shown to anybody, you purchase the opportunity to remind specific users about your e-store.

For example, if a web user visits your store twice a day to view the same jean jacket, he or she will likely be shown an advertisement for that jacket on a third-party website through the use of cookies. This helps keep your ecommerce store top of mind. Moreover, it could motivate a purchase.

Harness the Power of Email Marketing

While social media is the talk of the town right now, you shouldn’t ignore the old standby—email marketing.

As a matter of fact, ecommerce email marketing has a reported ROI of $40 for every one dollar spent. Luckily, it’s easy to capture a customer’s email address. For example, just use email campaign subscription opt-ins or checkout forms.

However, don’t abuse this privilege. In other words, don’t send your ecommerce customers spam or other unwanted messages.


If you want to harness the power of email marketing, there are a number of approaches you can take. The first is run-of-the-mill marketing announcements. These include store news, notices of upcoming sales, alerts regarding new product launches, and the like.

Get Personal with Your Ecommerce Customers

The second type is personalized email messages. These should mention the shopper’s first name along with content specific to them. For instance, “Hey Jessica. Are you enjoying your new cookware? Find deep discounts on kitchen products in our clearance section!


The email starts by getting the buyer’s attention. Then it provides them recommendations based on their recent purchases. However, don’t get too specific. That’s because some of your ecommerce customers could find hyper-specific messages creepy.

Retarget Your Ecommerce Customers

A third suggestion is to retarget shoppers who have inexplicably abandoned their carts before completing their orders. This doesn’t have to be a big to-do.

Instead, make it a gentle nudge reminding your customer about their pending order. For example: “Hi Tom. We noticed you had three items in your cart. Complete your order to avoid missing out on these exciting products. If you have any questions or need further assistance, see our contact page.

A note like this one could make the difference between a successful sale and a missed opportunity.

Leverage Order Fulfillments for Retargeting Your Ecommerce Customers

Then again, not every method of retargeting is digital. There are tactics to retarget customers offline as well.

Consider your order fulfillments for a moment. A first-time buyer purchases something from your website and waits eagerly by their mailbox for its delivery. Once the package is in hand, she tears open the box and is delighted to see her merchandise.

She tosses the cardboard box into the recycling bin and forgets about your e-store. And this is despite the fact that she loves your product.

You just missed an opportunity to retarget this customer.

How to Retarget This Customer

To retarget this customer, consider dropping limited-time coupon codes into the delivery box. For example, one could read, “30 percent off your next order. Good for 60 days.”

The idea is to offer the new buyer a personalized discount code that automatically reintroduces them into the ecommerce sales cycle within a short period of time following their first purchase. And since it’s a unique coupon code, you can track the efficacy of this program. Pretty clever, no?

Stay Front and Center with Your Ecommerce Customers

As you can see, retargeting and retaining ecommerce customers is all about keeping your ecommerce website top of mind. This can be accomplished through digital advertising, email marketing, or even during the order fulfillment process.

Of course, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of other methods out there. Therefore, feel free to experiment until you find what works best with your ecommerce customers.