Dynamic Remarketing: The Evolution Of Pay Per Click Advertising

Andrew Birkitt

Lead Technical Engineer
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Reading Time: 4 minutes

Over the last 12 months Google have made more changes to their Adwords platform than the average user would care to remember. The Adwords landscape has moved on significantly, from intricate Ad Extension Options to wholesale account changes such as the now mandatory “Enhanced Campaigns”. One of the biggest, and one of the most significant of all the changes to online retailers, has been the introduction of Dynamic Remarketing: Google’s evolution of Remarketing.
Dynamic Remarketing may not have received as much press coverage as Enhanced Campaigns from Digital Marketers and Journalists alike over the last 6 months, and has slid slightly under the radar for many e-commerce businesses, however, this new option may have a much more significant affect on your Overall Account Conversion and Profitability.
Dynamic Remarketing

What is Dynamic Remarketing and how does it work? The Science.

The best way to explain this is of course to use an example…
I have recently been searching online for a new pair of running shoes. I searched on several sites, (and still not bought a pair as yet), however, certain retailers have been “remarketing” products to me after I have left their site. These have not always been the exact same product, some have been very similar styles to the originally viewed product. This is happening as Google’s product recommendation engine, which is powering Dynamic Remarketing, can dynamically populate an ad for a pair of running shoes I had once viewed (pulled from the Google Merchant Feed). Dynamic Remarketing can also show related products or “products also bought” whilst buying that same item or similar item. Quite simply, Google’s product recommendation engine is as sophisticated to determine which products are advertised for what is likely to perform best based on visitors’ past actions on your site. All based on an Algorithm! The possibilities for advertisers to improve their all important conversion have never looked so rosy.
The advert below is an example of a remarketing advert that appeared in the banner position as I visited The Guardian’s Homepage.
Dynamic Remarketing
Google Dynamic Remarketing allows online retailers to retarget to the following visitors:

  • Everyone: All site visitors
  • General Visitors: Shoppers who visited your site but didn’t look at any product  or product pages.
  • Product Viewers: Online shoppers who have looked at particular products and product pages
  • Shopping Cart Abandoners: People who have visited your site, added a product to their shopping cart, and then decided to leave the site without completing a purchase.
  • Past Buyers: Online customers who have purchased items from your site in the past.

To fully utilise the benefits of Dynamic Remarketing, The two groups you should be primarily interested in are “Product Viewers” and “Shopping Cart Abandoners”, due to their advanced stage within the buying cycle.

Case Study Success

When Google’s issued a statement introducing Customised Dynamic Ads this was accompanied by a case study of EMP Merchandise, a European online music retailer, and their beta-stage experience of Dynamic Remarketing. Although any such case should be studied objectively, the results are difficult to dismiss. The Conversion of Dynamic Remarketing was 2.3 times higher than that of traditional display advertising, and lowered cost-of sale by 30%. Read the Case Study to see EMP Merchandise’s strategy in practice.

How do I start using Dynamic Remarketing:

  1. Link your Google Merchant Account with your Adwords Account, which you may have already linked when setting up your Product Listing Ads.
  2. You need to add the dynamic remarketing tag (snippet of code) on every page of your site. The tag will collect the product id and the type of page people visited (product page, shopping cart page, purchase page, general site visit). The snippet of code can be generated in your Adwords Account, or follow the link above to access the code directly and Google’s comprehensive instructions. 
  3. Target an “Audience” and Define your list of Users.
  4. Choose and Create your Ad Format using the Display Ad Builder.

Dynamic Remarketing Tips

  1. You should bid more for previous visitors who “abandoned their carts”. Prospective customers cannot be any further down the buying cycle without actually purchasing your products so bid accordingly.
  2. You can add a frequency cap to how long your dynamic product ads will be shown to its audience. Google’s Cookies can follow users for 180 days, which is not advisable. Try 30 days. Be aware that advertising dynamic products for 180 days (6 months) can do serious damage to the perception of your brand in the eyes of the original visitor to your site. Think Stalker.
  3. Dynamic Remarketing isn’t all about missed opportunities. You can also remarket to customers who purchased a product showcasing a related product, or remarket with a product “other customers bought/purchased”.


The textbook answer to “What is the average conversion rate for an ecommerce site?” is 2.0-3.0%, According to Industry Retailer, however this can fluctuate based on your specific Industry and far too many other variables to name.  If we were to take this very average number, (there is a very good chance your conversion rate may be even lower) we are estimating that only 3 in every 100 visitors to your site make a purchase. Dynamic Remarketing gives store owners the opportunity to get back in front of the 97% of visitors, who have viewed your products and left the site, many of whom may have even abandoned their carts. Google’s development of Remarketing is now highly specific to the past visitor, showing a recommended product or previously viewed product, and not just a generic company banner, which had previously been used on the display network for branding and awareness purposes. Dynamic Remarketing allows advertisers to remarket their products to potential buyers at an advanced stage of the buying cycle with a product that the visitor has previously viewed.  Dynamic Remarketing really does capitalise on all of the hard work that has gone into sending visitors to your site. You are just a few small steps from drastically improving your conversion.
Please do let us know if you have any experience of Google’s Dynamic Remarketing (Good, Bad or indifferent)  as we would love to hear your views. Will Dynamic Remarketing become an essential part of your Adwords strategy in the future? Let’s discuss below…

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