Creating an engaging online website experience is a critical step if you want to grow your business online. Often business leaders try to run before they can walk. Get your priorities right or you will pay a high price.

How do you know if you have missed a step?

You’ve built an ecommerce masterpiece, and driven traffic to it at some considerable cost in terms of time, effort, and money. Perhaps you’ve considered trying or have already tried Adwords or Facebook advertising? If so STOP.

If I stopped you before advertising then you have just saved you a whole lot of money. To those of you who have tried Google Adwords or Facebook, clearly, it was underwhelming.

It’s a common symptom of the missed step when your advertising campaigns cost more to manage and fund than you make in return.

If either of the scenarios above describes your situation, then this post is for you.

Did you ensure that you had a great conversion rate BEFORE you stepped on the Google AdWords rollercoaster?

Driving website traffic before you are ready is like taking a car onto the highway before learning to drive. And your ecommerce website is heading for a crash!

Before resorting to buying website traffic, make sure you understand your visitors' reasons for visiting.

You can do this by setting up Google Analytics and carefully analyzing your visitor behavior. This will enable you to segment your visitors into different types for better targeting.

In addition, it will also provide you the information you need to create a sales funnel. The sales funnel identifies the stage at which each visitor is at within your buying process. This then enables you to target them with soft conversions to warm them up to buying at the bottom of the sales funnel.

Planning a sales funnel requires a deep understanding of your visitors, what are they interested in? An answer to the question, “How can I give my users what they are looking for?” is necessary.

The first question is not so hard, dig deep into your Google Analytics.  Find what website pages your visitors are looking at and for how long. Then consider at what point in the buying journey are visitors likely to read this content or take a particular action.

If you have both the product and the right audience, and still aren't “seeing the money” then you are missing personalization.

Personalization has many smaller steps that all make a difference. Without getting too technical, below are some effective suggestions that may fit your business model, and improve your conversion rate. All the below suggestions are examples of onsite retargeting.

Onsite retargeting works by monitoring visitor behavior and triggering additional messages if the visitor is ready for them. Typically this is a popup, sidebar, nanobar, or even by using a lucky wheel.

The ultimate goal is to convert abandoning visitors by providing them a secondary offer or additional incentive to sign up or complete their purchase.

Consequently, you can reduce your PPC costs massively and improve the results from your current PPC budget with onsite retargeting.

Are you new to onsite retargeting? No worries – here are the top 7 options to get started:

1. Engage Your Visitors in a Fun and Compelling Way

Make your visitor feel like a winner and you are more likely to engage them and convert them.

You can accomplish this by gamifying your conversion process. Provide a contest which they have a good chance of winning, with varying degrees of success and award value.

engage your visitors in a fun and compelling way onsite retargeting

The example above is Optimonk’s lucky wheel popup which can be used to win discounts of varying sizes in exchange for their newsletter subscription. Any contest or sweepstake with a no lose scenario is going improve your conversion where none existed before.

2. Turn Early-Stage Visitors into Newsletter Subscribers

The top of the sales funnel is the entry point, this is for new visitors not yet identified.

This is important because 97-98% of visitors leave without buying on average. From those that leave most of which never return, so it is vital to get the visitors details before they leave.

The most effective way of doing this by utilizing exit intent detection technology.

turn early-stage visitors into newsletter subscribers onsite retargeting

Exit detection triggers a popup providing them a reason to keep engaging with your website. Examples here include a discount on their first order or a discount for email subscription.

3. Promote Your Special Offers

Everyone likes to feel that they are getting a good deal. By providing the details of products that they are already interested in with special offers, will greatly improve the conversion rate.

The trick here is to not provide discounts for those visitors who are already going to buy at the full price.

promote your special offers onsite retargeting

Everyone wins with this strategy and best of all, your customers are more likely to return if they get a good deal. Consider it’s far easier to convert an existing customer than a new one. This strategy earns visitor loyalty.

4. Recover Your Cart Abandoners

This strategy is probably the most valuable of all.

Consider that from the 2-3% of visitors that buy these equate to 32% of visitors that add products to their shopping cart. That means that without retargeting them with a better offer, you are letting 68% of your interested customers leave, most likely never to return.

You can hugely improve conversion rates by setting up a exit-intent campaign for visitors. Specifically for those who have already added something to their cart but didn’t complete their purchase.

In many cases, a simple notification works: “Wait, you left some items in your shopping cart!” But if you want to be sure and capture price-sensitive visitors as well, offer a discount or free shipping. Or both, as you can see in the example below.

recover your cart abandoners onsite retargeting

Always remember to add a deadline or countdown timer to your popup to increase the sense of urgency. It’s worth taking a cut in profit to convert visitors since it's easier to sell to them thereafter.

Another factor to consider is that if they don’t buy from you then they will go to a competitor.

5. Recommend Relevant Products and Upsells

One of the best ways of upselling and cross-selling to your visitors is to make product recommendations based on user behavior.

Convert visitors who have a good idea what they want to buy, but aren’t quite sure what option is best for their needs.

Your visitors will welcome your recommendations, especially if you have lots of similar products to choose from. The most important factor here is to make your recommendations accurate and relevant for your visitors.

recommend relevant products and upsells onsite retargeting

This product recommendation strategy can be achieved by building a recommendation engine for your ecommerce website even though this is a lot of work.

A simpler more cost effective way is to utilize OptiMonk’s built-in template which can help you to quickly get started with product recommendations.

The online retailer,, increased their average order value by 63% and the number of purchases by 75%.

6. Video Converts

Utilize product videos to show products in their best light, an image with text description is just not a simple or clear as using a video to not only display the product but also demonstrate it. Video is particularly useful for explaining services offered.

video converts onsite retargeting

7. Test Messenger Popups and Conversational Marketing

Although email marketing is still a vital marketing channel, the average open rate is only about 12%. The same messages sent via Facebook Messenger bring an 85% open rate on average.

So, instead of gathering new email subscribers, now is the best time to start Messenger marketing. Grow your Messenger list and send automated messages via Facebook Messenger, as Cristiano Ronaldo did:

test messenger popups and conversational marketing onsite retargeting

Messenger popups has a one-click subscription form: visitors just tap on the CTA button and that's it. As a result, shoppers – especially the mobile users – will get the best subscription experience.


All of the above engagement suggestions will improve your conversion rates. When used together in a targeted manner to the right audience, can massively improve your advertising ROI.

There are NO losers with onsite retargeting, just winners: your visitors win by getting what they want at a great price and you win by winning them as a customer.

Over time, you can retarget abandoning visitors through email marketing, Facebook Messenger marketing, onsite retargeting and remarketing.

When used in combination, this strategy can greatly increase your website conversion rate, enabling you to consistently beat the average conversion rate of 3%.

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